Thailand prides itself on some of the most wondrous natural tourist destinations in the world. Comprised of lush jungles, white sand beaches, diving resorts filled with vibrant corals while keeping the prices cheap and affordable; Thailand is definitely a country to behold. Other than the natural tourist spots that Thailand has to offer, the country also boasts some of the best and most engaging party spots.
However, just like every other place that you’re going to be traveling to, it’s important to ask this question first: Is this a safe place for traveling? When we’re traveling, it’s easy to pass everyone as being friendly and approachable. But when we are venturing towards places that we don’t really know much about besides the travel guides and articles that we are reading, then it’s only rational that we take precautionary measures on keeping ourselves safe.
As such, we’ll be looking into some tips and tricks in keeping yourself safe. But before we get into that, we have to ask ourselves what are some safety tips to keep us secure. We have to first paint a picture of what traveling in Thailand is really like.
Is Thailand Safe?
Right off the bat, we want to let you know that Thailand is considered one of the safest travel destinations in Asia. If you’re a solo backpacker, you won’t have any problem in keeping your belongings safe. But like every other country, it’s still recommended that you don’t go to uncommon areas outside your travel itinerary.
Since most tourists won’t really know what the average cost of living is in a particular country or area, they tend to overestimate how much they’ll be spending on transportation and food. While it’s true that Thailand is secure and safe for most travelers, tourists will still need to be alert for individuals who are trying to swindle you out of a good deal.
While most crimes that tourists encounter are petty and are non-threatening, it’s still important that you can spot a scam from a taxi that’s blowing its rates out of proportion, or identity thieves who are trying to make copies of your personal documents.
The best way to keep yourself safe from these petty crimes is to have a set number of people that you can trust from a given area. If you’ve known these people from a travel agency and have the necessary accreditations, then there’s a good chance that you can trust them. Moreover, it’s also paramount that we do our own research on the do’s and don’ts if we’re traveling to a certain area. Traveling in groups can help mitigate the chances of getting swindled out of a good deal.
While most Thais are quite laid back and relaxed, this shouldn’t lure you into a false sense of security. Here are some helpful tips to make sure that you’re with the right group of people when traveling.
Know Your Rates
Being a solo backpacker means that you’re a prime target for transports that will charge more than the usual. In most cases, transportation in Thailand is quite cheap. Your local buses will usually cost you around 8 – 10 THB which is around $0.25 USD for each trip. If you’re looking for a fast way around traffic and a quicker way of going around town, then you can get a metered taxi which will usually cost around 60 – 100 THB (3 – 7 USD).
If you’re looking for short-distance trips, you can always get a motorcycle taxi instead that will cost around 35 TBH or $1. Since these prices are not fixed, you can negotiate the price based on the distance and the luggage that you’ll be carrying.
Another good way of getting from one part of the country to another place is through trains. Trains are a sure way of getting from point A to point B without having to heckle for a price or having overpriced taxis trying to get a better rate from you.
All-in-all, most drivers in Thailand are quite friendly and as long as you stick to metered and legitimate vehicles, there won’t be a problem.
Don’t Be Too Flashy
It’s no problem with wearing jewelry, flashy clothes, and other expensive apparel when you’re traveling, but it’s apparent that we need to wear these on appropriate events and places. Being too flashy means that you’re getting the attention of petty thieves and other shady individuals who might want to take advantage of you.
Once you’ve found accommodation, you can leave your jewelry in a secure place on your luggage. Dressing in a smart and simple way can help deter any problems that might arise. Bringing only essentials with you such as your phone and your wallet is important.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
If something feels off or you’re not comfortable with how a certain transaction is going, then you should trust your gut instincts. If a taxi driver that you’re with seems suspicious, shady, or taking a long detour to a different place, then you should get off that ride. If the accommodation that you’re staying in doesn’t seem to fit the same impression that was originally advertised on their website or your application, then you should vacate the area as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a place to stay, looking at the reviews of certain hotels and Air BnB’s will give you a good impression of how the place will look like.
When you’re preparing for traveling, you can do the following to keep yourself safe.
Stick To A Schedule Or Have A Guide
Having a local guide that knows every nook and cranny of the place can give you useful tips and ways of keeping yourself safe. Additionally, if you’re traveling to a place that you’re not familiar with, you can contact points of interest ahead of time so you won’t have to heckle prices with people on-the-spot. Being well-aware of the cost of living in an area can help you save money.
Do Your Own Research
Again, doing your own research will let you know the plan ahead on where you want to visit. Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches and natural travel spots, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare. After all, if you’re going to travel to a different country, it’s all about experiencing the traditions and culture of the people.