One thing I have learned (or should I say real world lessons I have paid for) while being in Southeast Asia is how naive and guilty Americans are. When we are traveling abroad our guilt is used as a powerful leverage tool to part us from our money.
Two things to keep in mind when traveling in tourist areas in Southeast Asia:
There are police EVERYWHERE and they are there to protect you. You will probably not get outright rolled over or beat up just minding your own business. (Although there’s always pickpockets.)
The police can NOT protect you from simply being overcharged. So the main tool of the scam artist is using guilt to get your money. And guess who the number one easiest target is to use the guilt trip? Americans!