How Safe Is Thailand for Expatriates?

Embarking on the decision to live in a new country can be exhilarating yet daunting for many individuals. Thailand, known for its warm hospitality, is a safe place for expatriates to reside, with an abundance of welcoming experiences. In this article, we will delve into the safety aspects of living in Thailand, covering topics such as petty theft, scams, violent crimes, political unrest, and the availability of assistance through services like the tourist police. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview to help you navigate your stay in the “land of smiles” with confidence and security.

Living in Thailand: Safety Tips for Travelers and Expats

Traveling to a new country can be quite an intimidating experience for many people, especially if they are staying in the medium to long term. Thailand is no exception, and many potential visitors will likely feel apprehensive before moving. The good news is that Thailand is a safe place to live, although it pays to use common sense like any other global destination.

Welcome to Thailand.
Welcome to Thailand.

The Warm Welcome

Thailand is known for the warm welcome that you will receive throughout the country. This welcome can help you feel safe and more welcome and, for the most part, you will be. This is the case whether you’re visiting for a couple of weeks or planning on permanent residence in Thailand.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is not a widespread problem in Thailand, although it still makes sense to play it safe.

  • One potential threat is pickpocketing, especially in crowded spaces like the skytrain or busy markets.
  • Avoid crowded places and consider using a safety wallet to keep your money secure.
  • Consider leaving valuable items like gold chains at home to avoid potential theft.

The vast majority of visitors to the country will experience no issues with petty theft at all, although it’s still a good idea to take precautions.


Scams are also uncommon in Thailand and are nothing to be concerned about, provided you keep your wits about you.

  • Beware of individuals misleading tourists about closed attractions and taking them on commission-based tours.
  • Be cautious when purchasing goods and avoid overpaying for counterfeit items like jewelry.
  • Avoid renting vehicles, like jet skis, from untrustworthy providers to prevent unnecessary charges.
  • Ensure taxi drivers use their meters to avoid overcharging.

The vast majority of visitors will experience no problems with the taxi service or any other service in the country.

Vigilance Against Violent Crimes

Thankfully, violent crimes are rare in Thailand, and visitors are very unlikely to be harmed. But you should still use common sense just as you would in any other country, including your own.

  • Avoid walking in unlit areas, especially when alone, to reduce the risk of opportunistic crimes.

Behaving vigilantly will ensure your safety in Thailand, just as it would anywhere else in the world.

At Thai Visa Expert, we have witnessed how the warm welcome and low rates of petty theft and scams contribute to making Thailand a safe place for travelers and expats alike.

Safety Tips for Women Traveling in Thailand

As always, women should take extra care, especially at night but again, this is precautionary. Behave as they would when in their own country, and all visitors, including women, should experience no problems.

Political Unrest

Thailand is well known for being a country with a history of political unrest, potentially giving people a negative impression of the country. And you will likely have seen images of mass protests occurring, but you’ll be glad to know this is nothing for visitors to worry about.

Tuk-Tuk Thailand Vehicle
Tuk-Tuk Thailand Vehicle

Such protests usually remain within a particular area – often the Bangkok city center. Just avoid the location of any protests and you should have no problems. You can also keep up with the latest developments online, helping you to keep well clear of the troublesome areas.

This might mean having to cancel a trip or taking a detour, but it’s best to be on the safe side. Such problems are not going to come looking for you, and there’s usually no need for you to go to them.

Tourist Police

Thailand values foreigners staying in their country and has established a tourist police service to help make visitors feel safe and welcome. Tourist police will often speak English and are on hand to assist visitors and expats with any issues they might be having. They can be contacted on 1155 where you can talk to an English-speaking operator.

The regular police are known for being corrupt, but they will still help keep you safe from harm. A good thing about the Thai police is that there’s usually at least one officer in the area, meaning help can arrive quickly.


Thailand is a very safe place for expatriates overall, and many have made homes here without any issues. However, it still pays to use common sense to help ensure your safety, just as with any other location in the world. Make sure to be mindful of scams and keep your valuables safe, and also keep away from unlit areas. It can also be a good idea to monitor the location of protests to help you avoid getting caught up in them.

Police in Thailand.
Police in Thailand.

In our years of experience, staying safe in Thailand is usually quite easy. However, if you’re still unsure, the team at Thai Visa Expert will be happy to pass on advice. With our valuable expertise, you can ensure your stay in the land of smiles is a safe and happy one. We can also help with visa issues and similar, so you remain completely legal and up to date with minimum inconvenience.

Conclusion: Thailand is generally a safe place for expatriates, with low levels of petty theft, scams, and violent crimes. However, it is important to exercise common sense and take precautions, such as safeguarding valuables, avoiding unlit areas, and staying informed about potential political unrest. The presence of tourist police also offers additional support to visitors and expats. If in doubt, seeking expert advice can help ensure a safe and enjoyable stay in the vibrant land of Thailand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, Thailand is known for being a safe place for expatriates. While it’s important to use common sense like in any other global destination, the warm welcome received throughout the country often makes expatriates feel safe and welcome.

While petty theft is not widespread in Thailand, expatriates should be cautious of pickpocketing in confined spaces such as on the skytrain or in busy markets. It’s advisable to keep money in a secure place, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry in certain situations.

Scams are uncommon in Thailand, but expatriates should be aware of potential scams involving misleading tourists about attractions, selling counterfeit goods, and overcharging for services like jet ski rentals and taxi fares. Keeping your wits about you and being cautious can help avoid falling victim to such scams.

Violent crimes are rare in Thailand, and visitors are unlikely to be harmed if they use common sense precautions, such as avoiding unlit areas, especially when alone. Extra care is advised for women, particularly at night, although overall, Thailand is considered safe for expatriates.

While Thailand has a history of political unrest, mass protests are typically confined to specific areas, often the Bangkok city center. Keeping clear of protest locations and staying updated with developments online can help expatriates avoid potential trouble caused by political unrest.

Yes, Thailand has a tourist police service to assist visitors and expats with any issues they might encounter. These officers often speak English and can be reached by calling 1155. The regular police are also present and can help ensure the safety of expatriates.

Expatriates can stay safe in Thailand by using common sense, being mindful of potential scams, avoiding unlit areas, and staying informed about any political unrest. Additionally, it can be helpful to seek advice from experts like Thai Visa Expert for a safe and legally compliant stay in Thailand.

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