Thais are from nature very calm and friendly people which may explain why Bangkok has a relatively moderate crime rate when compared to urban counterparts around the world.
Bangkok’s streets are safe to walk alone during the day, as during the nighttime. Attacks or violence used on tourists are rare.
Although the crime threat in Bangkok is relatively low, non-confrontational crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and credit card fraud occur with frequency.
Other major safety concerns are traffic accidents and political unrest. Bangkok has a very high rate of traffic accidents, and political unrest has been reoccurring intermittently over the past few years.
Crime & theft
Thailand is a very friendly and welcoming country and crime rates are low. However, you always should exercise caution when dealing with strangers.
Pickpocket is the most common theft in Thailand, especially in crowded tourist areas, buses and trains. Always have an eye on your belongings. Leave unnecessary valued goods such as watches, jewelry, and passports in your hotel safe and only carry a small amount of money with you.
Visit this interesting site regarding crimes in Bangkok to find out more about rates and statistics.
Fraud & scams
Beware of taxi and tuk tuk drivers – or any other stranger – that offer rides or recommend shops such as gem and jewelry, silk or souvenir shops. The goods are fake and overpriced, and belong to a scamming scheme known as the “gem and jewelry scam”.
Penalties for drug offences are very sever, even for “soft drugs”. Always pack your own baggage and keep an eye on it. Never take any packages trough Customs for anyone.
No inoculations or vaccinations are required to enter the Kingdom of Thailand, unless you are traveling from an area infected with yellow fever. However, many doctors recommend vaccinating against hepatitis A and B, polio, typhus, tetanus and rabies.
There are several diseases which you should pay attention to while traveling to Thailand:
Diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites contaminated in dirty food or water. There is no cause to worry as it is not a serious disease. When diarrhea strikes, it is important to guard against dehydration by drinking lots of fluids such as weak tea or rehydration salts dissolved in water.
It is common for visitors to Thailand to get diarrhea due to the spices used in Thai food.
All cities in Thailand are malaria-free and no special precautions against this mosquito-borne disease are necessary. However, risks remain in mountainous and border regions. If visiting these areas, it is advised to take general precautions against mosquito bites. Prevent them by sleeping under a mosquito net; wearing long sleeved shirts and pants and apply a sufficient amount of mosquito repellent.
Malaria is a preventable infection that can be fatal if left untreated. Prevent infection by taking anti-malarial drugs and protecting yourself against mosquito bites.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever
These viral diseases are endemic in Southeast Asia and are transmitted by the “aedes” mosquito which is active during the daytime.
Dengue infections often result in fever with bleeding from the skin and other organs (dengue hemorrhagic fever) that can be fatal. They are most common during the rain season (May to September) when the ‘aedes’ mosquito is abundant.
Unfortunately, there is NO vaccine against this disease. Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, sleeping under a mosquito net, and applying mosquito repellent day and night.
Remarks: Avoid taking aspirin as it increases the risk of hemorrhaging. Anyone who gets sick with dengue-like symptoms should seek medical consultation immediately.
Typhoid is very rare in Thailand but precautions against this food and water-borne disease should still be taken. General preventive measures against diarrhea are effective against typhoid.
Vaccinations or oral medication can be administered prior to departure. Booster vaccinations are easy to get at hospitals and clinics throughout Thailand.
Thailand has been working towards the elimination of rabies and considerable progress has been made. However, travelers should take preventive measures if bitten by an animal by seeking prompt medical attention. The post-exposure vaccine is usually effective if administered without delay.
There are two major groups of viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) which differ in the way they are transmitted.
Hepatitis A and E, spread by contaminated food and water, are endemic in many parts of Asia.
General preventive measures against diarrhea are effective against hepatitis A and E. Vaccination against the disease is also possible.
Hepatitis B, C and D are contracted through contaminated blood (such as transfusions and the use of non-sterile needles), sexual contact or from infected mothers to their babies.
The mode of transmission is very similar to HIV/AIDS and the risk of infection can be greatly diminished if precautions are taken. Hepatitis B is generally more severe than hepatitis A and long-term liver damage and even cancer may result.
An effective vaccination against hepatitis B is available at most medical facilities.
HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sexual contact of any description, contaminated needles, blood transfusion and even acupuncture, tattooing or body piercing.
HIV/AIDS is spreading rapidly in most Asian countries due to unprotected sexual contacts and intravenous drug use.
The best protection against HIV/AIDS that is transmitted through sexual contact is by using a reliable condom.
STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Urethritis remains the most common treatable sexually transmitted disease among tourists to Asia.
Nowadays, syphilis has declined in prevalence but gonorrhea and herpes are still quite common and often drug resistant.
The only sure way of preventing STDs is abstinence from sexual intercourse. The use of latex condoms also offers effective but not total protection.
Further notices and precautions
You may experience diarrhea issues during the first few days of your journey. This is mostly because your body is not used to spicy food.
Ask a pharmacist for Imodium or a similar drug that will keep the symptom under control until the discomfort passes.
Avoid uncooked meat and raw vegetables as they are the primary source for several diseases and infections (read more above).
Drinking water directly form the tab is not recommended. Buy a bottle of water from a grocery store (7/11, Family Mart, 108 Shop) or from the hotel bar.