Travelling 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.
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 is not a widespread problem in Thailand, although it still makes sense to play it safe. One potential threat is pickpocketing. Depending on where you go, you will occasionally find yourself in confined spaces such as on the skytrain, or when shopping in a busy market. Such environments can make it easier for thieves to get lucky.
There are ways to help avoid becoming a victim of petty theft. For example, keeping clear of crowded places will help, although this is often impractical. Another solution is to keep your money in a place that other people can’t easily reach, such as using a safety wallet you can keep under your clothes. Petty theft can also include snatching jewellery like gold chains, making it a good idea to leave such valuables at home.
Regardless, 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.
Such scams can involve things like telling tourists that certain attractions are closed, although in reality they’re open. The scammer will then take the tourists on a ‘tour’ of the city, including to a variety of shops. The scammer will often get a commission each time they take a tourist to a shop.
You will also need to be on the lookout for people selling counterfeit goods, such as fake jewellery that’s worth a fraction of what you might pay for it. Another well-known scam is for jet ski operators to charge for damage to jet skis they rent even though the damage already existed. As such, it’s best to avoid buying expensive jewellery and other luxuries unless you know what to look for. You should also avoid renting jet skis and other vehicles unless from a reputable provider.
You should also make sure that taxi drivers use their meters before setting off to avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes to paying. Although taxi drivers are required to use their meters by law, some will still try to charge high prices if they think they can get away with it. However, the vast majority of visitors will experience no problems with the taxi service, as with any other service in the country.
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. Such common sense includes behaviour like avoiding walking in unlit areas, especially when alone. Most crimes are opportunistic, so don’t give criminals an opportunity and you will be just as safe as anywhere else in the world.
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.
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.
Such protests usually remain within a particular area – often the Bangkok city centre. 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.
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 safe, 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.
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.