Your Safety in Thailand
Despite the travel
advisories put out out by several European nations, which especially
point at the island of Phuket in the south, Thailand is still a very
safe place to visit. If you are doubtful please have a look at the views
and comparisons put forward at the Safe
Phuket web site.
Thailand is a very safe country to visit, but it is always wise to
take some precautions to ensure you have a trouble free holiday:
- Make sure your room is locked and bolted at night.
- Always leave valuables, airline tickets and passports in the hotel
safety deposit box.
- Carry a photocopy of the id page of you passport. The police can
demand to see it, but rarely do.
- If you take a taxi, be clear about where you want to go. (See Scams)
- In Bangkok taxis have meters, but in provincial areas you will
need to bargain the price.
- When travelling by train or bus don't leave valuables in you baggage,
and be cautious of strangers offering free food or drink. Thai's can
be very hospitable, but it also has been known for food and drink
to be drugged. When you awake your valuables have gone.
- If you hire a vehicle read the terms carefully, and make sure you
get proper insurance cover, otherwise you may have to pay for any
damage or repairs.
- Wear reasonable clothing if you ride a motorcycle. A minor spill
when wearing shorts can ruin your holiday. The law requires you to
wear a crash helmet.
- The law requires front seat passengers in cars to wear a seat belt.
- Driving standards in Thailand leave a lot to be desired so take
- If you hire a water scooter or jet ski wear a life jacket and keep
away from areas where people are swimming.
- You require a Thai driving licence or and International driving
permit to ride a motorcycle or drive a car. Your licence from home
is not sufficient. When driving without a licence you also invalidate
your insurance cover.
- Take out travel insurance. If you are involved in a road traffic
accident the maximum amount of compensation guaranteed by law is only
US$2,000. For anything more you will have to go to court, possibly
waiting years and still never see a penny.
- Since 2003 there has been a crack down on drugs, and the penalties
for possession and trafficking have been enforced with extreme severity.
- Thailand has a special Tourist Police
force which was founded to assist visitors. The officers are multilingual
and will help deal with theft, accidents and disputes.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Tourist Police 1699
Emergency Number 191 or 123
- If you take a taxi, be clear about where you want to go. The driver
may tell you that the hotel that you want is full, or that the shop/restaurant
is closed. This is probably a scam. Go and check for yourself and
then decide where to go as an alternative.
- If you are approached on the street by someone offering special
discounts at shops it's probably a scam - don't go!
- Especially beware of touts offering special discounts at Jewelry
- Beware of restaurant menus that do not show prices. Outside of
the hotels a good meal can be had for around US$5 per head, excluding
- If someone wants to show you photos of a children's orphanage and
then solicits donations, it is probably a scam. There are many organisations
that do run orphanages and shelters for children, but we recommend
that you visit first and check out the place before offering financial
help. However, collection boxes at banks, shopping malls and the airport
are usually genuine.
- Boy Scouts may want to show you a notebook containing addresses
of overseas visitors and will ask you to write your name as well.
They will then want a donation, but it is only another scam.
- Do not agree to take packages or letters when you leave the country,
for posting overseas. These may contain drugs or other contraband
materials and you will be liable when stopped by the police or customs
- If you are considering a long stay in Thailand, or setting up business,
you may wish to look at prs.prserv.net/studies/
Customs Formalities | Do's
and Don'ts | Exchange Rate | Gems,
Health | Medical Vacation
| Miscellaneous | Accommodation
| Getting there & Around | Visa