How to feel safe in Thailand

Like many South East Asian countries, Thailand has had its fair share of bad press, from political unrest to petty crime and drugs. Like most places in the world, Thailand does have a dark side, however exercising appropriate precautions and with a little common sense, the likelihood of becoming embroiled in disaster is low. To put your mind at rest, the following article details how to feel safe when visiting Thailand.

Food and drink

To avoid spending your vacation in the bathroom there are a number of precautions that will hold you in good steed. For starters, always wash you hands before consuming food. An easy rule of thumb to follow is; boil it, peel it or leave it. Make sure all food you eat has been cooked and if you’re eating fruit, peel it yourself. At all costs avoid drinking tap water, this means no ice and keeping your mouth shut in the shower! Most reputable establishments will provide bottled water.

Food in Thailand

Unfortunately despite your best efforts, travelers’ belly can hit anyone, in which case be prepared, drink lots of water and always carry Imodium.

Theft

Being aware of your surroundings and a little common sense are key to avoiding theft in Thailand. Never leave valuables unattended. Many high end hotels and holiday homes will provide in-room safes and security and if you are traveling with valuables or cash on you always keep these hidden close to your body. If carrying a bag, generally speaking have it across your body and keep it zipped up.

Pickpocket

Drugs

A severe punishment for the consumption and/or possession of drugs in Thailand make accepting or taking illegal substances a fool’s game. Keep in mind that penalties include life sentences and even death, so experimenting with drugs in Thailand, is literally, gambling with your life.

Scams

Without a little knowledge it can be easy to fall victim to scam artists, causing both lose of money and time. Being aware of popular tourist scams and standing your ground are both tactics that will keep your mind at ease and your money in your pocket.

Popular scams to be aware of include:

Gemstone scam

Usually initiated by your taxi or tuk tuk driver, you be offered unbeatable prices on wonderfully beautiful gemstones, 9 times out of 10 you will return home to find these gemstones are completely worthless. While you can get good deals on jewelry in Thailand, it is important to do you research and buy from reputable dealers.

The temple is ‘closed’ scam

Many tourists fall victim to this simple scam. As you approach an iconic landmark or even well-known tourist shopping mall, a stranger or your taxi driver will inform you that it is closed and offer to take you to on a guided tour for a small price. The tour will stop at tailors, gem stores and travel agencies. While this scam won’t see you lose money, unless you purchase something in said stores, it can see you lose precious sight seeing time.

Jet ski scam

After hiring a jet ski for the day you will return only to be told that there are a number of scratches that weren’t there before and demanded to pay a large fee for the damage. This scam is easily avoided; if hiring a jet ski make sure any damage or scratches are recorded before you leave for the day.

While there are a number of other similar scams operating throughout Thailand, it is important to note that many scammers play on your greed. Simply; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Civil threat and terrorism

Recent political unrest has seen Thailand in the news for violent protests, namely in the capital Bangkok. While the turbulence is off putting, knowledge and avoidance of demonstrations throughout Bangkok can see you avoiding becoming involved. Monitoring local media will keep you up to date and incase of emergency carrying the local phone number for your embassy is advisable.

Police in Thailand

Last word

Thailand is a stunning country that is bound to captivate those who travel there. Remember nearly 22 million tourists travel to Thailand each year, most of whom return with wonderful tales of adventure and excitement.

I have personally traveled to Thailand on numerous occasions, as a solo female traveler, and not once felt unsafe. By doing my research and trusting my gut, the experiences I have had have been both empowering and mesmerizing. I would not hesitate in recommending Thailand as a destination to anyone worried about safety.

Images: Shutterstock

Lizi Oldham is the Digital Marketing Manager at Amazing Accom.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (10)

  1. JennyRoo says:

    Great post! I felt the most scammed when ridding in a taxi and going to the river markets. It’s best to know the price and tell the driver before you get in. Don’t you think? Lesson learned!

  2. JennyRoo says:

    I shared this post on my Facebook Page and retweeted ;) Gotta pass on the knowledge.
    Thank You for the helpful tips.

  3. I was there in March and fell in love with Thailand! I don’t think Thailand is any worse than any other place we travel to…you have to be careful and aware wherever you go.

  4. John says:

    Thank you very much for the brilliant advice here. I likeThailand and wish to relocate here in the future.

  5. This is a very useful post, particularly about the scams. I do agree with Tam’s comment that travelling to many places you need to be aware anyhow. I guess the thing is not to be a tourist, rather a traveller who blends in as well as possible.

  6. noel says:

    Great tips on traveling to Thailand and to many other Southeast Asian countries. Also avoid all the hotspots where there is civil unrest in a country to avoid any of the issue above happening to you.

  7. This is a really helpful post especially for us as we have never visited anywhere in Asia and Thailand is one of the spots that is high on our list should we venture there sometime soon. The reality is that most places around the world receive negative press which of course is warranted to some extent but as long as you are careful and are aware of your surroundings, you are generally ok visiting most locations.

    That being said, this type of post is really helpful for ‘newbies’ just so that they are made aware of what to look out for. I think you make a great point about scams! But you know you get this same issue in Western societies such as Paris where you have the bracelet boys trying to sell you their cheap products.

  8. Nate says:

    The scam we experienced was at the Bangkok airport. We were grabbing a taxi, and a young man helped us get a taxi, and then to our surprise, he squeezed in with us. We were telling the driver our hotel, and the young man said he knew a better hotel, and told the driver in Thai the address of his hotel instead of ours. When we got to the hotel, we screamed at the guy until he told the driver our hotel. Thankfully, he wasn’t dangerous, just irritating, and we learned a valuable lesson.

  9. I’ve been 16 times in 7 years and had a stomach upset once. I eat on the street every day all day.
    I’ve also been totally drunk in some of the most dodgy areas at all times of the night with my wallet and phone and never been bothered once.
    Bear in mind the above advice but don’t let it spoil your holiday.

  10. Darren C says:

    One of the most common crimes in Thailand is bag and jewelery snatching, carried out by 2 guys on a motorcycle. My wife, my mother, and wife’s of numerous friends have all been victim, that’s how common it is.

    You advice about carrying bags is most important, don’t carry anything which could be snatched, not only are you likely to lose it, you could also get badly injured.

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