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Safety in Thailand Things to Know Before Your Trip [2023]

Safety in Thailand: Things to Know Before Your Trip [2023]

Tourism in Thailand is bouncing back. In fact, the Land of Smiles has had over 10 million international visitors in 2022. 

But the question is, is Thailand safe for travels? With health and safety issues as the main concerns of tourists when traveling here, we’ll explore the various measures that the Thai government takes to ensure the safety of its citizens and visitors.

We’ll also discuss in detail the most common crimes to be wary of and what places to avoid when touring Thailand. So, whether you’re a solo traveler or on a group tour, read on to discover our tips to ensure safety when traveling in this beautiful country.

Is Thailand safe for travels?

Thailand is generally safe for traveling foreigners and tourists. In fact, most people consider Thailand as one of the top ten safest countries to visit according to a survey by CNBC.

The Department of State of the US classified Thailand to be under Destination Level 1. This means that foreigners and tourists can safely visit the country as long as they observe diligence and regular precautions.

However, no country is perfect and there are still some places in this beautiful country that should be avoided.

Health Precautions in Thailand

Since October 2022, travelers and tourists can visit Thailand without any restrictions with regard to COVID-19 requirements. This means that a pre-departure COVID test or proof of vaccination is no longer needed when entering Thailand.

However, tourists should still check their flights as some countries they will be passing through in transit may require the said documents. 

Travelers to Thailand should also make sure that they have their passport, Thai visa, and proof of hotel accommodation with them when entering the country. Travel insurance is also advisable when traveling to Thailand or other foreign destinations.

It is also recommended to be vaccinated against common illnesses present in Thailand. These include vaccines against polio, malaria, Zika, and hepatitis A and B.

Common Crimes in Thailand

Common Crimes in Thailand

No country in the world has a zero crime rate and Thailand is no different. There are some common crimes and scams that travelers should be aware of to avoid falling victim to them.

Drink Spiking

Drink spiking can happen anywhere in the world but tourists become more prone to this kind of felony when they are out drinking at night. 

With Thailand’s bustling nightlife such as those in the pubs and clubs of Phuket, travelers should be extra vigilant against this crime.

Drink spiking can happen when someone “spikes” your drink with a drug or formula that will make you vulnerable to their advances or criminal attempts. 

To avoid getting your drink spiked, never drink beverages that are not bottled or those that come from unreliable sources. In addition, it is always best to drink with buddies or with friends.

Sexual Assault

Tourists should also be aware that Thailand isn’t immune from sexual assault crimes. Surprisingly, most of these sexual assaults can happen in public such as in schools, nightclubs, and even on public transportation. 

Drinking spiking can lead to sexual assault but tourists should be careful when they are out and about. It is still best to be mindful of your surroundings and to try to always observe the buddy system if you decide to walk around the city streets of Thailand.

Victims of sexual assault should immediately seek medical assistance and report the incident to the authorities as soon as possible. 

Other forms of Assault 

Sexual assault isn’t the only crime one may encounter when in Thailand. Physical assaults such as shoving, slapping, and bombings (particularly in Thailand’s borders) can happen and it’s best to be aware of these possibilities.

Most of these other forms of assaults happened when the parties were either intoxicated or drunk. As such, it is best to be mindful or wary of areas such as pubs and clubs.

In addition, foreigners are advised to immediately report other forms of physical assault to authorities instead of intervening. This is to avoid being involved in the incident and eventually becoming a victim as well.


Unfortunately, there are also reports of theft in Thailand specifically for tourists staying in cheap hotels and secluded rental places. While this is not exclusive to Thailand, it is always best to choose a reliable place to stay when traveling abroad.

Another tip to avoid theft is to ensure that you don’t leave your valuables if you feel like the hotel you’re staying in is unreliable or has had a history of theft on the property. It is also advisable to look for hotels that provide a sturdy safe for your valuables.

Lastly, ensure that you lock your hotel room doors when leaving for your next destination. This simple piece of advice could mean the difference between enjoying your Thailand tour or losing your valuables in a foreign country.


Sadly, robberies happen in Thailand in public and secluded areas. Some criminals in Thailand may try to snatch a handbag or mobile phone out in public.

On the other hand, there have been reports where tourists took a motorized moped or a “tuk tuk” and were then robbed by the driver himself after bringing them to a secluded area.

Once again, it is best to practice mindfulness when touring Thailand and to make sure that your valuables are secured and cannot be easily accessed or snatched by these robbers. It is also ideal to take public transportation with a friend or a companion.


Tourists across the globe can get scammed in any country. Thailand, though, has some unique scams that you can avoid if you know what to look for.

One very common scam in Thailand is the taxi and “tuk tuk” scam. These taxi drivers will usually offer a fixed rate to drive you around town.

To avoid this scam, just ask the driver to use the taxi’s official meter. If the driver declines,  simply leave and look for a different taxi willing to use its meter.

On the other hand, the tuk-tuk scam involves the tuk-tuk driver bringing the tourists to shady souvenir shops to get a “cut” out of the profits. To avoid this scam, use tuk-tuk services for short trips only.

Places to Avoid in Thailand

Places to Avoid in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country with a lot of amazing tourist spots to see and fantastic people to meet. However, that is not to say that the country doesn’t have its fair share  of places to avoid. Below are some of these places.

Thailand Borders

Borders defining the boundaries of countries can result in messy political conflict and general community unease. Thailand borders adversely affected by these disputes include the Malaysia, Myanmar, and Cambodia borders.

For the Thailand-Malaysia border, tourists are advised to specifically avoid the southernmost provinces of Songkhla, Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala. These provinces are prone to bombings and attacks and are best taken off anyone’s itinerary.

The Thailand-Myanmar border should also be avoided by travelers due to regular conflicts among Thai authorities, criminal groups, and armed ethnic groups. Those who illegally cross the border can also be deported after being detained.

Lastly, the Thailand-Cambodia border should not be considered by tourists owing to the  presence of unexploded weapons and landmines in the area. Specific locations to avoid include Ta Muen Thom temple, Ta Kwai temple, and Preah Vihear temple.

Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a spectacle of an area but it’s also seedy, dirty, and loud. Tourists who want to experience the best of what Thailand has to offer shouldn’t stay long in this area. However, we would still recommend that tourists pass by this road at least once.

This is because Khao San Road is home to some of the cheapest food items in the country. It also offers the cheapest Thai massage one can get in Thailand.

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi island was once a go-to destination for backpackers. Unfortunately, waste management problems along with overdevelopment greatly damaged the once beautiful landscape of this paradise.

Tourists can opt to visit Koh Phi Phi island but it is no longer at its peak in its current state.

Koh Samui

If you are a Muay Thai enthusiast, then Koh Samui is an island you may consider if you are in Thailand. Unfortunately, the island itself isn’t very enticing for most other tourists and foreigners.

Koh Samui has become the home of a tacky bar scene with a lot of retired men hanging out with their local wives. This island also offers over-priced accommodation and tourists looking for a better deal should consider staying somewhere else.


Pattaya is the center of Thailand’s sex industry so it’s no longer surprising that tourists generally avoid the said area. This part of the country definitely “ups” the definition of seedy and tacky.

If you are someone who wants to see old caucasian men walking the streets at night, taking a stroll down Walking Street in Pattaya may just be your cup of tea. Other travelers, though, should consider visiting other areas instead.

Hua Hin

While Hua hin is popular for its posh restaurants and golf courses, budget travelers should look elsewhere. Aside from being over-priced, this area of Thailand seems to be meant for old men looking for a peaceful retirement.

General Safety Tips in Thailand

General Safety Tips in Thailand

As mentioned earlier, Thailand is generally safe for travelers and tourists. However, they are also advised to observe some safety tips to ensure that their trip or travel to Thailand remains enjoyable and safe. 

1. Ensure that you are visible

Tourists, especially female travelers who are traveling alone, should try to make sure that they are always visible. 

As stated earlier, crimes and untoward incidents in Thailand and even in other countries in public and secluded areas. Hence, it is always better to have someone to help you just in case a problem presents itself.

2. Don’t show people your money

This is true not only in Thailand but also across other countries. Showing people in this country, though, is like asking for muggers and pickpockets to choose you as their next target.

It’s best to be discreet when you have to pay for something and to be careful who sees your money when out traveling.

3. Never give your passport to anyone

Some car rental services in Thailand may require that you temporarily leave your passport with them as a form of guarantee or collateral. Travelers are advised not to give their passports to these companies.

This is because this is the fastest way one can end up losing their passport. You wouldn’t want this especially when in a foreign country.

4. Stay with a group or at least a companion

As the saying goes, there is indeed safety in numbers. As such, try your best to travel with a companion or a group.

Traveling with companions will make a tourist less of a target and reduce their vulnerability against criminal elements.

5. Being personally responsible and mindful

While Thailand is considered the “land of a thousand smiles” with a bustling and energetic nightlife, this doesn’t mean that tourists should already let their guard down.

It is always advisable to be mindful of one’s surroundings and to be responsible for your safety. It is never a good idea to be intoxicated, alone, and a thousand miles from home.

6. Keep a backup cash plan

This is also equivalent to the saying “never put all your eggs in one basket”. If you happen to lose your main bank card or credit card, it is best to have some backup cash on you.

This ensures that you have enough funds while sorting out how to deal with your lost bank cards.

7. Make sure to have documents backed up

Hard copies of documents such as passports and boarding passes may get lost during your travels. Hence, it is always a good idea to back your documents up before leaving for your destination.

This could be via your mobile phone or the internet through cloud storage. Either way, it’s always advisable to keep an extra digital copy of your documents in case you need them.

8. Before acting, think about the consequences of your actions

Use common sense and logic when deciding what you should and shouldn’t do during your travels. If it’s something that makes you uncomfortable, then it’s probably best not to do it.

Solo Travelers Safety Tips in Thailand

Solo Travelers Safety Tips in Thailand

Traveling solo in Thailand is possible and can be an extremely enjoyable vacation if you follow these traveler safety tips.

1. Know the travel requirements

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain travel restrictions were put into place by governments around the world. Thailand also has these restrictions but they could change depending on the dates of one’s travel.

As such, it is always best to check your travel requirements before embarking on your next travel adventure. This may include your passport, other travel documents, health certificates, or proof of vaccination. 

2. Choose to stay in luxury hotels if possible

While Thailand is popular with backpackers,  it is also advisable for solo travelers to choose luxury hotels instead. This is to ensure that incidents of theft and other petty crimes are avoided.

Luxury hotels also offer an overall better experience for solo travelers due to the comfort and convenience they provide.

3. Participate in group activities and excursions

Earlier in the article, we discussed the importance of staying or traveling with a group. This applies here as well.

Solo travelers can opt to join other groups when they go on tours or when they schedule activities. Aside from offering increased safety and security, travelers can also make new friends through these group excursions.

4. Be aware of the danger spots

Before traveling to Thailand or any other country abroad, travelers should be aware of the dangerous areas in the country they are visiting.  For example, tourists should stay clear of borders as there can be armed conflict in these areas.

5. Familiarize yourself with the culture

You don’t have to perfect or master the Thai culture to be safe as a solo traveler. However, understanding the nuances of the community can help you avoid getting into awkward and troublesome situations with locals.

FAQs on Thailand Safety for Tourists

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