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Top Safety Tips for Visiting Thailand

Updated on July 24, 2011

Safety Tips for Visiting Thailand

Although there are rarely violent crimes ever reported against tourists in Thailand, the country is not without its minor problems that you should be aware of so you can protect yourself. Most issues, as you probably can guess, will be in the area of bag-snatching, credit card fraud and pick-pocketing just like any area full of many tourists. Of course, none of these crimes are dangerous but enough to ruin your vacation! By taking a few health and safety precautions, you can ensure that your visit is drama-free.

20 Safety Tips

  1. Avoid quiet stairwells when you are alone. Even though stairs are better for you, sometimes the elevator is the smarter choice.
  2. Compare the badge and the taxi driver to be sure that they match. Avoid any taxis that smell like alcohol, have loud interior decorations or dark tinted windows. If you are alone, sit directly behind the taxi driver. Always be polite yet firm and do not get in a taxi you don't feel comfortable about. They are everywhere, you can be choosy!
  3. It is recommended that women carry a whistle, preferably around your neck or somewhere that you can access it quickly. Quite often, making a loud sudden noise is all that you need to escape danger.
  4. Always have a back up plan in case you get split up from your companion, especially if you are out sightseeing at a significant distance away from your hotel.
  5. Learn a few easy Thai phrases. Being able to communicate a few key words can go a long way if you are in trouble, hurt or need directions.
  6. When scheduling tours, try to arrange those that finish at a time that will still allow you enough daylight to get back to your hotel.
  7. Purses should be worn across the body so thieves can't grab them on the run. Be sure to never flash money or valuables because some will use a razor blade to cut a purse strap.
  8. When strangers approach you needing help, evaluate the situation and make sure it's not a trick.
  9. Study maps of where you are going ahead of time, especially when getting a taxi so you at least have a general idea of the direction you should be headed.
  10. If you are alone, walk as though you belong with a nearby crowd. A solo traveler is more likely to be targeted than someone in a crowd.
  11. Never leave your drink unattended at the bar!
  12. Do not eat the ice or drink the water unless you are at your resort or in a highly populated city that you know you can trust. Most parts of Thailand meet the International Safety requirements however, most residents still drink purified water. Basically, use common sense and judge according to where you are.
  13. Stay away from pre-prepared foods. Many markets will cook the most fabulous food for you fresh while you're standing there so why eat food that has been sitting in the hot sun all day?
  14. Many hotels and resorts will provide in-room safes, use them! Lock up your passport, wallets and anything else of value and do not keep bags in view of windows.
  15. Avoid hotel tuk-tuks and taxi touts that may offer to show you around. Their low fare often comes with a persuasive trip to one of the many fraudulent jewelry shops. Pay a little extra and stick with guided tours.
  16. Secluded beaches are typically safe for couples or groups but should be avoided by a solo traveler.
  17. Women traveling alone should avoid tight clothing and cover exposed legs and shoulders.
  18. Don't automatically choose the cheapest tour and assume you are getting a bargain. Sometimes one is less expensive for good reason. Ask for reviews at your hotel, restaurant or even from locals, they are usually the most knowledgeable.
  19. Thailand is known for their jewelry fraud. That being said, if you are foolish enough to buy precious stones from someone who isn't a qualified and reputable dealer, you probably deserve what you pay for and don't complain about it!
  20. Avoid getting into deep conservations with strangers and don't give out personal information like where you're staying, this includes other tourists!

Thailand is one of the most remarkable and beautiful countries in the world and the Thai people are known for their kindness, generosity and overall sweet dispositions. However, anywhere you travel that tourism is prevalent will have minor occurrences from residents AND other tourists.

Women should dress conservatively. If you are going to a nightclub, use a wrap to cover your legs or shoulders while you're in the taxi and in the street and then take it off when you get to the club. Following these simple tips will ensure you have a stress-free and wonderful vacation.

Vacation in Thailand

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