Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand is a country of a million smiles and extremely popular direction of South-East Asia, where tourists can find all recreational options. If you want a classical holiday in a modern resort – Thailand is exactly what you need. If you dream of a vibrant nightlife – Thailand is a perfect spot. If you dream of tropical remote beaches far away from civilization – it can also be found in Thailand. The main problem is to choose the right resort, as all of them are so attractive and magnificent that you can have some difficulties in picking up. Above all, the absence of visa formalities greatly simplifies trip preparations.

SAFETY INDEX

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Is Thailand a Safe or Dangerous Country?

Thailand is the 91st safest country in the world, based on the safest and most dangerous countries ranking. Thailand is supposed to be the least dangerous country in the Southeast of Asia; however, an overall crime rate is quite high, but it mostly confined to the dangerous areas in the South, near the border with Malaysia and urban areas like Bangkok and Pattaya. Thailand is often making the headlines for terrorist attacks, but most of them have occurred in the Southern regions of the country because of the clashes with different religious groups. SafeAround recommends being vigilant while visiting Thailand at all times and follow the high safety cautions. Violent crimes against tourists are rare. Although, murders, assaults, and rapes may occur. Be aware of drink and food-spiking in the bars and try not to be separated from your traveling comrades. In terms of violent crimes, they are mostly common in Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and tourist areas in the Southern Thailand. It is worth mentioning sexual harassments; they are most likely to occur at clubs and beach parties like the “Full moon party” on the Island of Phangan. Our main recommendation is to be aware of your surroundings and to travel with your trusted friends. Stay in touch with your family members from time to time in order to report your location. Crimes such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and frauds with credit cards are common. It’s worth to be especially vigilant while walking in overcrowded markets, buses and train stations. In Thailand common a way of pickpocketing, when thieves cut bags with a razor and remove valuables imperceptibly. Across Thailand, thieves also operate on a long distance bus and train routes. Below we compiled the most common schemes of scams in Thailand: A scam that involves the rental of motorbikes and jet skis are common. There have been numerous situations reported of renters that have been charged for damage of a motorbike or a jet ski, even if the renter has caused no visible damage. Safe Around advises examining the vehicle on the subject of the existing damage and take photos before signing the rental agreement. Most entertainment venues operate honestly; however, some, notably in the red light district, try to overcharge tourists for drinks. Additionally, there are known cases of drugging people in order to rob them. Even casual acquaintances you meet in the bar or overnight train may be dangerous. There are scams exist with fake police officers. After the conspirator seduces the tourist to participate in something illegal, the “fake police officer” turns out and threatens to arrest unless he or she pays a bribe. Do not participate in any illegal activity that would put you in an unsafe position. Mainly this kind of scam is common in Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya. According to the statistics, the following places are the safest in Thailand: Phang Nga – is very safe and known for diving and incredibly amazing bay. Kanchanaburi – has a high safety level and very famous for its flora and fauna. Chiang Rai – is full of historical religious sites. Apart from the other part of the Thailand, you are not likely to find night clubs in this area. With its unique markets, Chiang Rai will provide a really authentically Thai experience. Koh Samui – is an ideally calm and safe place for a family vacation. Krabi – has secluded beaches in this balanced and least risky place in the whole country. Chiang Mai – is perfect if you want to fill urban Thailand, but afraid of the crime risks in Bangkok. For additional information, see city specific advices and articles.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : HIGH

Thailand is a safe country on average – some parts are very safe, others are very dangerous. It is ranked 91st out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

As a frequently visited tourist destination with more than 24 million visits yearly, it’s not surprising that pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common in Thai. Excessive vigilance in all public place is recommended.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

Thailand is a place where an occurrence of kidnappings is low, but it’s likely, especially in the National Parks in the area close to Myanmar (Burma) border where bandit groups operate. Mugging is rare, but it’s possible, notably in the remote neighbourhoods and outskirts of the big urban areas.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

There are lots of scammers, fake police officers, and tuk-tuk drivers trying to take advantage of tourists, particularly in Bangkok and Pattaya. Be aware of a scam that involves the rental of motorbikes and jet skis, as well as the occasional overcharge for drinks in clubs and bars. There are known situations of people being drugged in bars and clubs in order to rob them. There is an equal high probability of credit card scams in Thailand as anywhere else in the world. Criminals steal credit card credentials and pin codes at some ATMs.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH

In Thailand, tourists may encounter road conditions that are completely different from those they are used to. Traffic accidents occur very often in Thailand, especially those involving motorcycles. Risks while using the services of Tuk-tuks are high because, generally, you will be 100% ripped off. Public transport is a place with a high density of pickpockets. SafeAround recommends being vigilant and look after your wallet when using public transportation -mainly while getting on. Across Thailand, thieves also operate on a long distance bus and train routes. There are high chances of food and drink spiking; thus, we recommend always keeping an eye on your drinks and never accept food or drinks from strangers.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

Severe storms can occur in Thailand. Earthquakes are common and there are numerous tsunamis. For getting the latest meteorological information, you can visit Thailand Meteorological Department website.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

The far south regions of Thailand, such as Yala, Pattani, and Songkhla have frequently experienced violence in the form of small bomb attacks and shootings. All governments and SafeAround recommends refraining from visiting this area of the country. The situation in Thailand’s main cities has been assessed as a medium-threat location for terrorist activity.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH

While Thailand is generally safe for women, constant prudence is highly recommended.

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Useful Information

If you are a United States citizen and you intend to spend less than 30 days in the country, you do not require a visa. Be sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. Thai immigration officials may ask for your onward/return ticket. For more information concerning tourist or business visa in Thailand, you can visit the following website.
The official currency of Thailand is the Thai BAHT.  In order to receive the best exchange rate possible, do not buy any Thai currency until you arrive in Thailand. Usually, Kasikom Bank and Siam Commercial Bank have the best exchange rates. You can use this link to get an idea about the more competitive rates. All banknotes and coins in Thailand bear a portrait of King Dhumibol Adukyadej. With this in mind, don’t ever step on the coin, do not throw a banknote or a coin towards another person, and do not tear or burn it, because it shows disrespect to the royal family.
Thailand has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity all over the year. Thailand is best visited between November and February.
The main international airports are in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, and Pattaya. For further information about the airports in Thailand, you can visit the official website.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page