Travel to the Malaysia border region is not advised due to a high threat of terrorism.
The Ta Krabey and Preah Vihear temples and their surroundings are also to be avoided
as there is periodic fighting. Check the FCO
website for up-to-date information on the safety situation.
Political demonstrations occur frequently in Bangkok, and can escalate rapidly, with the use of weapons and explosives. Be especially cautious during the run-up to elections, and avoid Lumpini Park, where protesters congregate. Thai authorities operate several “Tourist’s Friend Centres” around the airports and Skytrain stations to provide information and assistance – they’re worth using.
Legally, you must carry your passport at all times, or face arrest. It’s worth getting a concealed money belt to keep it safe.
Assaults and robberies do occur – mainly in crowded island resorts such as Haad Rin on Koh Pha Ngan and Chaweng on Koh Samui. Incidents increase during Full Moon Parties, and late at night. Keep an eye on your drink, and avoid walking around alone.
Reduce the risk of credit card fraud by using ATMs within banks and not letting your card out of your sight during transactions.
Be careful with bags and carry them away from the roadside – there have been reports of thieves on motorbikes or tuk tuks snatching items. Take extra precautions on buses as well.
The number of people killed on the roads is incredibly high – around four times as many as in the UK. There is a much higher risk if you travel at night, and 70 per cent of road deaths involve motorcycles – so think twice before assuming this is the most efficient way to travel.
Take care not to travel on overcrowded boats – especially speedboats – and always request a lifejacket, particularly if travelling In Thailand with kids. Rough seas can cause accidents.
Take great care if swimming off the coast in monsoon season, as people have drowned in riptides.
Pay attention to red flags, and read up on how to survive a rip tide
– it’s information that could easily save your life. Also look out for warnings about jellyfish close to shore,
particularly during rainy season. Some have fatal stings.
Being caught in possession of even the smallest amount of drugs, including marijuana, carries a lengthy prison sentence.
Criticising any member of the royal family is known as Lèse Majesté and carries a prison sentence of 3-15 years. This applies to tourists as well as Thais – foreign nationals have been convicted of this crime.