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 youre 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.
Unfortunately despite your best efforts, travelers’ belly can hit anyone, in which case be prepared, drink lots of water and always carry Imodium.
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.
A severe punishment for the consumption and/or possession of drugs in Thailand make accepting or taking illegal substances a fools game. Keep in mind that penalties include life sentences and even death, so experimenting with drugs in Thailand, is literally, gambling with your life.
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:
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 wont 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 werent 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.
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: ShutterstockLizi 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.