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Tips on how to stay safe in Bangkok
Bangkok, the lively capital of Thailand, is a central hotspot in Southeast Asia and one of the most visited cities in the world. For many, it is the first stop in Asia, as a large number of international flights stop in Bangkok and it is easy to find flights to pretty much anywhere in Asia from there. The friendliness of Thai people can (and most likely will) be experienced in Bangkok too, and the city is generally regarded as safe. That being said, it has a dark side. Whether you’re in Bangkok for a short vacation or studying for a longer time, safety tips are always handy. So, how do you keep yourself safe while in Bangkok?
To know the dangers and not-to-do’s in Bangkok will definitely help you keeping safe. Respect and politeness spiced with common sense will make your visit joyful, and your open-minded attitude will probably be met equally. Top that off with a smile and the mutual trust is formed. However, over-trusting friendly people approaching you and striking a conversation in good English might be the beginning of a scam. These are common things that happen in Bangkok for the unwary tourist, and how to stay safe:
1. Pickpocketing and robberies
As in any major city around Southeats Asia like Kuala Lumpur or Seoul, there is criminality evident also in Bangkok. It’s highly advisable to not keep valuables out of sight and to be mindful about your pockets or bags. Goes without saying that it’s not a good idea to walk alone in dark alleyways and wandering in sketchy neighborhoods.
2. Criticism of Thai monarchy
It’s illegal to speak in a negative manner of the royal family of Thailand. If caught, the violator might face jail-time. It has happened with tourists.
3. Taxi and tuk-tuk scams
It’s advisable to ask the chauffeur for meter when stepping in the taxi to ensure fair pricing. Ride prices for tuk-tuks can be negotiated before stepping in and knowing the approximate distance and price for the ride is beneficial for scam-avoidance.
You might also be interested in: 5 Unique Things You Cannot Miss in Bangkok
Dengue is a real threat in Bangkok, and mosquito repellant is a cheap prevention against it. Monkeys and street dogs are also inhabitants of the city, and seemingly cute or friendly they might give you rabies if they flip and bite you. Be careful!
5. Ridiculous traffic
Being a metropolis in Southeast Asia, Bangkok has traffic that seems like a chaos compared to rule-bound European or North-American countries. For a mindless pedestrian it is dangerous so being aware of the traffic is crucial, and pedestrian rights are not to be expected. If hesitation rises, find a local pedestrian and walk with them.
Laws concerning narcotics are intensely strict, and possession of illegal drugs may give you a death penalty. The conditions in Thai prisons are horrible and they have extremely notorious reputations for a reason.
All-in-all a smart mindset mixed with an adventurous attitude will make your visit successful. Learn basic small talk and greetings in Thai to make yourself understood to even those whose English isn’t as good as yours and you will ease your visit tremendously. Play it secure by checking the advisory travel of your embassy.
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This article was written by our marketing intern, Emil!