Staying Safe In Thailand for Tourists

By | September 14, 2013

You will find that Thailand, the Land of Smiles, is among the safest of tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and Thailand safety for tourists is one of the country’s top priorities.

However, just like anywhere else, it has its share of risks that the prudent traveler should be aware of.

By making yourself aware of the risks, you should be in no danger here.

Here are a few of them that you should take note of before traveling to this beautiful land.

Staying Safe in the Night Spots

Thailand is famous for its night spots and they are relatively safe however you must consider that these are drinking establishments and the unsuspecting tourist can easily become a target. One recommendation for Thailand safety for tourists is that you should not drink at these bars and discos alone. However, if you do, be especially alert for potential dangers and don’t get intoxicated. Also, when it is closing time, go back to your hotel. There have been shootings and other violent incidents outside of bars after they close.

The number one thing you should never do is accept a drink from someone you do not know well. Yes, this includes the bar lady whom you invite to drink with you for the evening. There have been numerous incidents of foreign tourists getting their drinks spiked with a drug that knocks them out thus allowing the perpetrators to rob them.

Safety on the Road

The first and most prominent mode of transportation you will see in Thailand is the motorcycle taxi and it presents a threat to Thailand safety for tourists. Their convenience and inexpensive cost is what makes them so popular. Plus, they are great for getting past congested traffic because the drivers weave through the lines of cars.

If you never want to be in a motorcycle accident then don’t ride one of these. Motorcycle accidents are probably the number one occurrence on the roads of Thailand. However, if you do ride a motorcycle taxi, try to take it only on side roads and not main thoroughfares. Also, it is best to ride only in the morning because sometimes the drivers are intoxicated in the afternoon.

Safety at the ATM

There are ATMs all over Thailand and they are linked to global networks so that you can get access to your money from anywhere. Most of them are reliable and but there have been instances where they have been tampered with. The tampering involves a thief installing a skimming device that gets information from your card.

Then, through the use of a tiny camera or an “over-your-shoulder” onlooker, the PIN number that you enter is recorded. Another Thailand safety for tourists recommendation is to always run your fingers along the slot where you enter an ATM card and cover your PIN entry with your hand to protect against skimmers.

Around the Street Food

The first time you come to Thailand, you will be amazed at all of the outdoor street vendors selling a variety of delicious Thai food. Of course, the first question the new tourist will ask is if the food is safe to eat. For the most part, it is safe but on occasion someone will come down with food poisoning which probably won’t kill him but he will spend most of his trip on the toilet or in bed.

When it comes to street food, be on guard for food that has not been cooked in front of you, is not covered, and is being sold at the end of the day. Be especially wary of coconut deserts at the end of the day because they spoil easily. Street food vendors who are fairly busy are safest because their ingredients don’t linger long enough to spoil.

Around the People

Thai people are for the most part genuinely nice people who are eager to please their foreign guests and look after Thailand safety for tourists. They are non-confrontational as well. In other words, westerners often find that their ways of dealing with service people such as waiters and waitresses are not as effective here in Thailand and can actually lead to altercations.

Thai people are very sensitive to “losing face” which is something a westerner should not instigate. Just because Thais are non-confrontational does not mean they do not have a limit. When the limit is reached because of a Westerner’s abuse, things could get physical.

To illustrate, let’s say that you take a ride in tuk-tuk without agreeing on a price with the driver beforehand. Then, when you arrive at your destination, the driver tells you the charge which will undoubtedly be more than you expect.

In Western countries, folks might become quite verbal in voicing disgust but in Thailand, it might cause an even hotter reaction from the driver that could be physical. When you have a gripe with Thai service people, sometimes it is just best to cut your losses and walk away. It isn’t worth it.

Like anywhere, you will find that staying safe in this country is really just common sense. Thousands of travelers come to stay each year and return home safely never having any incident here. However, it is always best to be prepared with knowledge of the dangers so that you can steer away from them and enjoy your stay and promote Thailand safety for tourists.

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