Dangers for tourists in Thailand - what should be feared?

Dangers for tourists in Thailand - what should be feared?

Thailand, the land of smiles and sunshine, is considered one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia in terms of crime. Particularly if you compare it with neighboring Burma, Laos or Cambodia. Thailand has a strong royal power, which, on the one hand, is trying to make the country more civilized, and on the other hand, is trying to control crime with the help of police authorities and strict laws. However, it should be noted that this control does not extend beyond the tourist areas and major cities.

A tourist in Thailand is unlikely to encounter outright criminality if he is not particularly eager. Unless, of course, he goes on his own journey to the northern mountains, as did the main character of Joyce Graham's famous book "Smoking the Poppy". For tourists, the dangers in Thailand are represented mainly by petty fraud and deception on the part of Thais, as well as the troubles that may arise due to the specifics of the Thai climate and nature.

Dangers in Thailand


Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind for any tourist going to Thailand when he begins to think about the dangers of the region is the tsunami. Many people remember the images of 2004 when the entire Andaman coast, including the islands, was simply washed into the sea.

tsunami in thailand

But it should be noted that destructive tsunamis of such strength are a rare phenomenon. It is known that the previous one occurred more than 120 years before what happened in 2004. Today the country has a system of state monitoring and rescue in the event of natural disasters. There are still many questions to its effectiveness and usefulness. But, nevertheless, the preparedness and coherence of people in a critical situation allows the majority of vacationers to stay alive.


The tropical climate has a positive effect on all living things, including various bacteria, viruses, and their carriers. For this reason, for example, wounds here take a very long time to heal, and it is advisable to treat any cut with antiseptics and reparative agents.

dengue fever

Mosquitoes are carriers of viral diseases. Most of them - for example, the common Dengue fever - are successfully treated. Nevertheless, the Pacific region occasionally experiences epidemic situations of poorly known viruses. For example, the Zika virus, which peaked in 2014-2015, was carried to the South American mainland from the islands of Oceania by mosquitoes. The fact that they flew to the northeast and not to the northwest was a matter of chance.

The Sun

Tourists go to Thailand for the sun. But to date, studies have proven that ultraviolet light received by the skin is a carcinogenic factor. One of the negative manifestations of this exposure is an increase in the number of moles, changes in pigmentation. While in Thailand, be sure to use creams that reduce the amount of ultraviolet light received by the skin.

Dangers on land

Life in Thailand is diverse. It may knock on your window, crawl into your bag, or snatch a banana out of your hand. On rare occasions, members of the animal kingdom can be aggressive. Some snakes and spiders are extremely poisonous. At the same time, they can be found in tourist areas, in places of accumulation and residence of people. Visiting the jungle carries a multiplied danger. Blood-sucking insects carrying diseases and various parasites are the most harmless of the dangers. An encounter with a wild elephant, despite its apparent serenity, may not end too well for humans.


Among the dangers of Thailand, the issue of poisoning is quite acute for tourists. High air temperature increases the activity of bacteria, which means that the food spoils faster. Pay attention to the quality of the food you are served. Try to avoid very cheap places to eat.

Water in Thailand must always be boiled.

Most poisonings are caused by unwashed hands. Since it is not always possible to wash your hands before eating in Thailand, you should be careful, especially for children, who, because of their behavior, are at great risk for rotavirus intestinal infection. The consumption of unwashed vegetables and cooked food also increases the likelihood of poisoning.

Dangers in the water

Dangers for tourists, which lurks in the seashore of Thailand, include:

  • Underwater currents directed from the shore into the sea, especially when the sea is rough;
  • sharp coral reefs;
  • often a rocky bottom;
  • jellyfish, poisonous mollusks and snakes, sea urchins.

Most tourists are not faced with all this, as in the tourist areas - sandy beaches, no reefs and sea urchins. Nevertheless, with a certain wind direction to the shore can bring jellyfish, and they in these parts are large and extremely stinging. The traditional and easiest way to reduce the pain of a jellyfish burn is to pee on the spot.

poisonous jellyfish

Just as on land, venomous marine animals are usually colorful. Therefore, you should not pick up marine life, no matter how interesting it may seem.

Theft in Thailand

Sometimes you can hear the opinion that theft is rampant in Thailand: allegedly, they steal in hotels and even safes do not save. All this is very exaggerated. They steal everywhere, and Thailand in this regard is no exception. If you have a habit of walking around Thai neighborhoods at night, of course, you run the risk of being robbed. If you pay with a contactless credit card that doesn't require you to enter a pin code, that's not exactly the right behavior either. Rumors spread very quickly in this country, and there are a lot of people who want easy profits.


Theft in Thailand in hotels is rather a force majeure circumstance. Such cases are occasionally reported. However, if you do not keep a large amount of cash in a drawer on the bedside table, the probability of being stolen is minimal. The stardom of the hotel makes not much difference in this respect: if something is lost, the staff is usually guilty. Nevertheless, Thais are law-abiding people. It would be unfair to suspect them of a propensity to steal.

Fraud in Thailand

If theft is not at all in the spirit of Thais, then petty deception and fraud is something that is inherent in most of them. Nothing serious: just, for example, you are misinformed, and then they say that you misunderstood everything. Or they convince you that they'll change the product you bought if you don't like it, but then they say they know nothing: what you bought can't be returned. Cab drivers call an arbitrary amount of fare because he "forgot" to turn on the meter. "Waiting for a bus?" - "So there are no buses, I'll take you." In fact, the bus will be here in five minutes.

cab in thai

There are also legalized forms of fraud. For example, a restaurant menu may not specify the weight of a portion, the price seems to be small, but when you pay the bill will be significantly higher. In some establishments, prices may not be specified at all. In bars you should always pay by the fact, otherwise the bill may contain "false" lines. It is impossible to prove your position: there will always be witnesses who will confirm the correctness of the other side.

Never take anything from unfamiliar Thais. Even if they hand you a banana to feed the monkey, it is not free, and then you will be asked to pay.

And if you refuse, there will be a police officer who will definitely not be on your side. Fraud in Thailand is a way of interacting with foreigners to get money from them for something they do not need.

So here are some tips:

  • don't "lose" your head;
  • Always be clear about what you want to get out of an interaction with a Thai, don't let yourself be led away from your goal;
  • Don't fall for fairy tale suggestions;
  • don't look for easy ways.

Other Dangers of Thailand

When a situation is not obvious, the police almost never take the side of the farang. Moreover, police representatives are very often in collusion with civilians who provoke these situations. The most common cases are, of course, drug purchases. Everything related to drugs is strictly prohibited in Thailand: the sale can be executed here, and for the use - imprisoned or fined a large sum of money. Nevertheless, drugs are sold, and it's more like a semi-illegal market, run by the police. For the latter it is a way to get money from a farang, who always prefers to pay him off on the spot. Meanwhile, bribery is also a crime. In general, it is better to stay away from all this in Thailand, or at least not to contact strangers.

Thailand's fame as a sex tourism mecca creates in many foreigners an image of a country where everything is possible. In reality, this is not the case. Prostitution is forbidden here, although it flourishes everywhere. Because of this duality, the situation can theoretically be turned against a foreigner: a girl or boy, for example, may be under the age of 18. Relationships with minors, even consensual ones (which may still need to be proven), are severely punished. Most likely, the case will not go forward, but they will extort money.

In Thailand you should not take something that does not belong to you, even if it is lying around. First of all, nobody's property is just lying on the road, especially since the population of this country is generally poor. Secondly, there are known cases when such situations unfolded in a fundamentally different way and were interpreted by law enforcement officials as theft. We cannot say that the situations described are the rule for Thailand. On the contrary, they are quite rare. Nevertheless, the tourist should be aware of the dangers that may await him on vacation.

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