10 Top Tips For Safe Travel In Thailand

by Beth Willmot

A few top tips to ensure your time in Thailand is a safe and enjoyable one…

1.Keep Belongings Safe – Always keep money, phones, passports etc in a safe place. Pickpockets’ can strike at any moment and will surely spoil your trip! Also make use of safes in private rooms, and don’t keep all your money and bank cards in one place.

2.Avoid the Scams – Thailand, like any country, has its scams. If anyone comes up to you and offers you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t go looking at gem stores with tuk-tuk drivers (they’re never a good deal, they’re always a rip off) and, if you go to the Grand Palace and some helpful Thai tells you it’s closed, ignore them, it’s not.

3.Drink Bottled Water and Avoid Ice – Another great safety tip for Thailand is to make sure you drink bottled water. You don’t want to take the chance of getting sick, and at less than 10p a bottle it’s hardly going to break the bank. You can also safely drink fruit juice, fruit shakes, coffee and tea and herbal drinks on the street – just avoid the ice if you’re worried.

4.Take Precautions When Taking Tuk -Tuks – Tuk -Tuks are the most popular and best value mode of transportation around the streets of Thailand. To make sure your ride in a tuk-tuk is interesting and not hospital-admitting, don’t put more than 2-3 people in a tuk-tuk and, that way, nobody will fall out of the side. Also ensure you agree on the fare BEFORE you ride, or the driver may hit you with a large fee once you reach your destination.

5.Don’t Do Drugs – Seriously, don’t go anywhere near drugs in Thailand. Thai anti-drug laws are very strict and there are already hundreds of westerners locked up in Thai jails. Recently Thai police have been clamping down even more, targeting party areas such as Koh Pha Ngan with anti-drug squads. Undercover officers have been known to act as dealers, then bust you once you accept the sale.

6.Avoid Renting Mopeds – A common scam that many find themselves stung by occurs when renting mopeds. Some traders will insist on a large cash amount or your passport as a deposit, then refuse to return these when you’re finished with the bike. They claim the bike has been “damaged” and insist on further money being paid to repair the bike.  If you are set on hiring a moped, stick to larger, recommended agencies and NEVER give up your passport.

7.Identification is required by law – Keep a photocopy of passports and visas incase you misplace them, this will assist in establishing your identity and immigration status should you lose them. You must be able to produce proper identification on demand by police.

8.Eating out – To avoid a “surprise” bill, avoid any restaurant or bar that doesn’t clearly display or quote their prices.  It is perfectly ok to ask a street vendor or other merchant “how much” before ordering.  Once you’ve consumed it, you’ve bought it – so be aware of the prices before hand.

9.Avoid Western Food – Make sure you stick to local food whilst in Thailand. It is by far the best and safest way to eat. Street vendors are very reliable when it comes to serving fresh food, and a top tip is to go where the Thai people eat, they know where is good and where is not! Avoid any Western food such as bolognaise, lasagne and burgers; these seem to be the main cause of  food poisoning in backpackers.

10.Respect the Local Culture – Take time before you travel to read up on local customs and religious tendencies, such as attire in Temples and how to interact with locals. Learn a few basic phrases such as how to greet people, say please, thankyou and goodbye, a small effort can receive a large amount of respect!

 

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