Are you wondering if Is Bangkok Safe for Tourists? Get all the information you need to know about safety in this guide. Plan your trip with confidence!
When it comes to traveling to Bangkok, there are both positive and negative aspects to consider. Although we enjoy the city, it’s important to note that it has flaws.
It may take some time to adjust to the city’s chaos and understand its unique culture, but there’s plenty to appreciate beyond the typical tourist attractions.
As frequent visitors to Bangkok, my partner and I have spent considerable time here, including several months living in the city.
As a result, I feel confident in providing helpful advice for ensuring your safety during your travels, regardless of whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler.
Is Bangkok Safe for Tourists?
Yes, Bangkok is safe for tourists.
Bangkok is generally a safe city for tourists, with relatively low levels of violent crime and good healthcare facilities.
Bangkok, one of the busiest and most significant cities in the world, is surprisingly safe for tourists. Most visitors do not encounter any trouble during their stay.
However, it’s important to note that scams can happen in tourist destinations throughout Thailand. Some locals may try to overcharge foreigners for tours, transportation, or goods.
To avoid falling prey to scams, it’s best to research beforehand and know the average prices for things.
Safety concerns cannot be dismissed entirely (e.g., pickpocketing, scams).
Still, these can largely be avoided by following common-sense rules such as preventing showing valuable items and avoiding walking alone in isolated areas at night.
While walking along the streets of Bangkok is generally safe, pickpocketing is common in busy tourist areas such as Khao San Road.
Incidents of assault and mugging are low here.
It’s crucial to zip up your bag and never leave your belongings unattended. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
Tourists should also take caution if taking public transportation at night or in unfamiliar locations.
How to stay safe in Bangkok?
Bangkok, is it safe? To make your trip to Bangkok safer and worry-free, I will provide some valuable Safety Tips for Bangkok in this travel safety guide.
Implementing these simple tips can go a long way in ensuring your safety. Now, here are tips to help you stay safe in Bangkok:
1. Avoid giving your passport as a deposit
To ensure the safety and security of your passport, it is vital to avoid giving it as a deposit when staying at a hotel or renting a scooter or car in Thailand.
It is illegal for hotels and other businesses to hold onto a guest’s passport. Your passport is a valuable document that proves your identity and citizenship.
Losing or having it stolen can be a major inconvenience, especially in a foreign country.
It can take a lot of time and effort to replace it, and it can cause travel disruptions within Thailand or other countries.
Most hotels in Thailand offer alternative deposit options, such as charging a credit card or accepting a cash deposit.
If a hotel insists on holding your passport, it may be wise to consider staying elsewhere.
2. Carry a photocopy of your passport with you
When traveling overseas, it’s essential to always carry a photocopy of your passport with you.
Keep your passport secure in the lockbox provided by your hotel or hostel, and always carry a physical or digital copy with you.
Storing a digital copy on your phone or email is also a good idea.
3. Never leave your drink unattended.
Your drink can be spiked at any moment, so it’s essential to keep it close or hand it to someone you trust.
4. Avoid using or accepting recreational drugs
It is important to avoid using or accepting recreational drugs while in Thailand.
The country has a stringent policy against illegal substances, and anyone caught using or carrying them may be subject to imprisonment or, in rare cases, the death penalty.
5. Do not discuss the royal family in Thailand
It is essential not to discuss the royal family in Thailand due to the lèse majesté law. This law prohibits harmful speech or comments about the king and the royal family.
If caught breaking this law, one can face up to 15 years in prison.
While other countries may also have similar laws, Thailand’s enforcement is considered the strictest in the world.
Throughout time, there have been instances where individuals have been charged with lèse majesté for minor actions, such as:
- A woman wearing black on the king’s birthday.
- A man making fun of the king’s dog on the internet.
- People like Facebook posts related to the king.
It is of utmost importance that you refrain from discussing the king or royal family publicly or with locals, as it can lead to severe consequences that travel insurance cannot protect you from.
6. Avoid walking around while under the influence of alcohol
It is advisable to avoid walking around while under the influence of alcohol, especially at night, as it poses a risk to your safety.
This is particularly important in cities like Bangkok, which have a vibrant nightlife, and where it is common to find intoxicated individuals wandering around at night.
In such situations, people become easy targets for petty theft. If you do go out at night, it is recommended that you take a cab home to ensure your safety.
7. Purchase travel insurance before embarking on your trip
It’s essential to purchase travel insurance before embarking on your journey. While thinking about things going wrong is unpleasant, being prepared is critical.
I make it a point to buy travel insurance before every trip, and I highly recommend that you do the same.
This is especially crucial when traveling to countries where petty theft and scams are more prevalent. By taking this step, you can be a wise and responsible traveler.
8. Buy a SIM card
You should purchase a SIM card for your phone once you arrive in Thailand. You can obtain one at the airport, any shopping mall in Bangkok, or at one of the phone operators’ stores.
The two most well-known operators are AIS and TRUE. They both offer tourist SIM cards that range from budget options with only data to 3-month packages with internet and international calls.
Tourist SIM cards are easy to activate and have better coverage and reliability than international roaming plans offered by operators in your home country.
Using a local SIM card, you can use maps to navigate through Bangkok, essential in a fast-paced destination like this.
You can also call a taxi, order food, and post all your incredible photos and videos on social media in real-time.
8. Cautious when walking
It’s essential to be cautious when walking in Bangkok due to the chaotic traffic.
Motorbikes may run red lights or even drive on sidewalks, so it’s recommended to be alert when crossing streets and walking around town.
Always remember to look both ways and stay vigilant. Also, remember that they drive on the left side of the road, so pay attention and stay alert.
9. Your accommodation’s address is written in both Thai and English
When traveling to Bangkok, it’s essential to have your accommodation’s address written in both Thai and English.
This is particularly helpful when communicating with taxi drivers, tuk-tuk drivers, and local street vendors who may not be fluent in English.
Having the address written in Thai can prevent any misunderstandings and ensure that you arrive at your destination without any issues.
You can ask the hotel staff to write the address in Thai or use an online translation tool or app to do it yourself.
Remember to have a backup plan in case you’re unable to communicate the address, if Google Maps isn’t giving accurate directions, or if your phone battery dies.
Overall, having the address in Thai and English can make your travels in Bangkok much smoother.
10. Establish the price before boarding a tuk-tuk or taxi
It is essential to establish the price before boarding a tuk-tuk or taxi, no matter where you travel in Thailand.
11. Always carry mosquito repellent with you
In Thailand, some mosquitoes can transmit illnesses like Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Zika virus. To protect yourself from these diseases and the annoyance of constant itching, it’s important to take precautions.
If you’re allergic to insect bites, like me, always carry mosquito repellent with you. You could also try wearing mosquito-repellent bracelets, which some travelers find helpful.
Mosquito repellent can be found at any convenience store like 7-Eleven.
However, if you are traveling to smaller Thai islands, remote locations, or participating in outdoor activities, it’s best to bring your repellent.
Additionally, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and sleeping under a mosquito net can help avoid bites.
Choosing accommodations with window screens can also keep mosquitoes out. Stay safe and healthy!
12. Require Assistance from Tourist Police if needed
If you require assistance while in Bangkok, consider visiting the Tourist Police. They are trained to deal with the needs of tourists and possess knowledge about the city.
They can provide guidance and support on various issues, such as navigating to important landmarks, managing emergencies, and ensuring your safety.
How to Avoid Scams in Bangkok
Travelers and backpackers can generally feel safe in Bangkok, but the city is known for its frantic pace.
The most frequent crime that visitors encounter is petty theft, such as bag snatching.
Some individuals, including taxi drivers who refuse to use their meters, may also attempt to deceive you.
Using good judgment and remaining skeptical is essential to avoid falling victim to scams.
Here are two of the most prevalent scams in Bangkok that you should be aware of:
1. Against taxi scams
As a precaution against taxi scams, it’s advisable to research and know the estimated cost of your ride beforehand.
You can ask your hostel or hotel staff for information about reasonable rates. If a taxi driver quotes you an exorbitant price, it’s best to decline and find another taxi with a functional meter.
If the meter is running fast, request the driver to stop and alight immediately.
If you suspect your driver is taking a longer route than necessary, you can use Google Maps on your smartphone to track the quickest way to your destination.
You can show the driver the map and insist on taking that route. Always ensure you download a city map to use offline if you don’t have access to data.
If you have a terrible experience with a taxi driver, take a photo of their ID or registration number and report them to the Thailand tourism board.
Remember to only use official taxis to avoid potential scams.
2. The tourist location is “closed” Tuk-Tuk rider scam
When visiting popular tourist locations in Bangkok, such as Wat Phra Kaew, the Grand Palace, or Wat Arun, it’s essential to be aware of a common scam.
Someone may approach you and inform you that the location is closed for a special ceremony or lunch hour.
They may then offer to take you to other open locations. However, this is a ploy to take you to shops where they receive a commission.
To avoid falling for this scam, it’s best to politely decline their offer and find the main entrance or ticket counter yourself.
Additionally, most attractions don’t close for lunch but for the day.
It’s essential to research the operation hours beforehand and confirm whether the location is closed. This will help you avoid getting scammed and enjoy your visit to Bangkok without any issues.
Is the tap water in Bangkok safe?
The Bangkok Metropolitan Waterworks Authority assures that the city’s tap water is safe for consumption as it meets the World Health Organization’s standards.
However, due to the old and dirty pipes that the water flows through, it may get contaminated. The locals prefer to boil the water before drinking it or buy bottled water to ensure their safety.
Is street food in Bangkok safe?
Definitely! Bangkok is renowned as the global hub for street food, and you’ll come across plenty of stalls serving delicious local delicacies at every turn.
However, if a particular item appears or smells questionable, it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid it.
Nonetheless, street vendors with a loyal local following are typically reliable and safe.
Is it safe to take taxis in Bangkok?
Taxis are generally safe and affordable modes of transportation in the city.
However, there are instances where taxi drivers may try to scam passengers through meter or scenic route tricks.
As a precaution, ensuring that the taxi you board has a functional meter and agrees on the route before commencing the ride is advisable.
By doing so, you can avoid falling victim to such scams.
Is Bangkok safe for solo travelers?
Yes. Bangkok is safe for solo travelers. Bangkok is a safe option if you’re a solo traveler looking for a great first city to explore. I’ve visited the city regularly for the years and have had very few issues.
However, it’s important to note that certain areas in Bangkok are known for partying and drinking.
It’s best to avoid getting too intoxicated, as this can lead to dangerous situations.
Additionally, it’s crucial never to use illegal substances in Thailand, as the country has stringent drug laws. Getting caught with drugs can result in severe consequences.
Is Bangkok safe for solo female travelers?
Yes. As a solo female traveler, you can feel safe exploring Bangkok. It’s pretty simple to meet other female travelers while you’re there.
However, it’s essential to take some precautions and plan.
Always have a downloaded map and translation app to easily find your way back to your accommodations or ask for assistance.
It’s also wise to avoid flaunting valuable possessions and refrain from taking taxis yourself at night.
If you’re still feeling uneasy about venturing alone, consider asking to join a group at your hostel.
Traveling in a group decreases the likelihood of falling victim to scams or theft, and it can provide a sense of security and comfort.
Bangkok is a city full of vibrant energy, with abundant activities and sights that will keep you entertained.
My appreciation for the city grew once I ventured beyond the usual tourist hotspots like temples. I discovered hidden markets and street stalls that only locals frequented.
By making friends with residents and gaining a deeper understanding of Bangkok, I realized why it’s such a beloved destination.
As with any major city, Bangkok does have its fair share of scammers and reckless drivers.
However, by remaining vigilant, trusting your instincts, and following this safety guide, you can have an unforgettable time while staying safe.