Safe Travel In Thailand
Thailand is known as ‘The Land of Smiles’ for good reason – the Thai people are among the friendliest & most helpful you will ever encounter on your travels.
As such, travelling in Thailand is not only easy but a lot of fun too. There are, however, some aspects of travelling in Thailand that you should consider in order to make your holiday not only memorable, but a safe and happy experience too.
General Precautions for your safety
Thailand is not a dangerous country to travel in, however, there are some minor annoyances which are quite common in certain places, especially Bangkok.
Tuk tuks: The drivers of these motorised, three wheel taxis are notorious for their tourist scams in Bangkok. Offering to take travellers on a 20 baht tour of Thailand, they will instead take you from one commissioned location to another – none of which will provide you with much in the way of either sightseeing or enjoyment. If you travel by tuk tuk, ensure you negotiate a price and a direct route to your destination before embarking on your journey.
Taxis: Use only metered, official taxis which are commonplace throughout Bangkok and some regional centres. In locations where metered taxis are not available, songtheows (covered pick up vehicles with two bench seats in the back) are the norm. If travelling by songtheow, negotiate the fare before embarking on your journey.
Money & valuables: Always ensure you keep your valuables in a safe place, either on your person or in the hotel safety deposit. Never leave valuables in your room while not present, or leave your luggage unattended.
Gems: Unless you know about gems, do not be tempted to purchase them in Thailand. The gem scam industry is well established and ready to prey on travellers who are looking for a good deal. If you really wish to purchase gems in Thailand, make sure you go to a reputable dealer.
Emergencies & Tourist Assistance
For English speaking assistance, during business hours phone the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) in the area you are staying in (check with your hotel or guidebook for contact numbers). After hours, check with your hotel staff or contact the Tourist Police or local police station. Most hospitals throughout Thailand have 24 hour emergency departments.
Before travelling to Thailand, please ensure you have taken out appropriate travel & medical insurance, including additional cover for any expensive or luxury items.
Please note: The following information is intended as a guide only. You should consult your medical practitioner before leaving home. If you feel ill while travelling in Thailand, please seek the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner immediately.
Immunization: There are no prerequisite immunizations required before travelling in Thailand, however many people choose to immunize against certain diseases. Check with your medical practitioner before leaving home.
Medical Supplies & First Aid: It is wise to travel with your own basic first aid kit, including any personal medication, pain killers, antiseptic, insect repellent, plasters and a thermometer.
Medical Treatment: Pharmacies throughout Thailand sell many medical drugs and treatments without the need for a prescription. It is recommended, however, that you seek advice from a medical practitioner at either a clinic or hospital if you require medical treatment. Hospitals will treat even minor ailments and consultations are usually inexpensive.
Heat: It can take a while to acclimatize to the heat and humidity in Thailand. In the first few days, try not to over exert yourself and drink plenty of bottled drinking water. Wear loose, light clothing, preferably made from cotton and avoid being outside in the hottest parts of the day.
Insect-borne Diseases: Some species of mosquitos in Thailand carry the malaria and dengue fever diseases. Symptoms include: fever, chills, aches and pains and nausea. To avoid being bitten by mosquitos, wear long sleeved, light coloured clothing, especially at dusk and dawn, spray liberally with insect repellent and use mosquito coils and mosquito nets when available. Anti-malarial medication is a personal choice. Some travellers take it, some don’t. If unsure, consult your medical practitioner before departing on your holiday.