Is Thailand a safe country to visit?

Generally, yes: Thailand is safe.

Thailand is a safe country for tourists. tourism is a mainstay of the economy, so the country has a vested interest in keeping things safe for you. Plus, Thais are, as a rule, an easy-going, friendly lot.

Sure, pickpockets abound anywhere there are tourists (especially major sights, markets, and on public transportation), but keep your wits about you—and your valuables in a moneybelt under your clothes (pockets and purses can be surreptitiously slashed)—and you should be fine. Not that this is not a Thailand problem; it's a traveling-anywhere problem, and I would give the same advice if you were going to Italy or, you know, Canada.

Also avoid fishy-sounding invitations and shifty characters. Even if they're not out to rob you, they are probably out to fleece you.

You will be offered an alarming number of opportunities to buy drugs and prostitutes in Thailand. My advice? Do not indulge. Rule of thumb: if you think something might be illegal, it probably is—and if you are caught, your local consulate will not be inclined to do much more than provide a list of local lawyers and maybe contact your family on your behalf to let them know you're in a Thai prison.

The political unrest of 2006–2010 has pretty much died down—and even then, the protests were unbelievably peaceful for months and months on end, and the only real adverse affect on tourists was that sometimes sit-ins shut down the airport, and at the height of the protests, the government imposed a curfew. Monstrously inconvenient, but not dangerous. That said, there have been a few isolated grenade attacks in Bangkok since, but it all seems to be politically directed.

There have been several minor incidents of terrorism and separatist car bombings, nearly all confined to the southernmost provinces near the Malaysia border (well south of where most tourists go).

For the past three years, Thai and Cambodian troops have been sporadically firing at each other along a small section of their shared border in an ongoing argument over which side of that border the Preah Vehear temple happens to fall. I imagine they each want the tourism income from visitors to the temple, but guys? What you're doing is actually keeping everyone away in droves.

To get the latest government "travel warning" scare sheets detailing every dark nuance that might be frightening in Thailand, see the U.S. State Department (—but please also check out the same intel from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (, as its reports tend to be much more even-handed, less overreactive, and generally focus more on what's important to know rather than just what sounds scary.

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

Related Articles


Thai tours

This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in April 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

about | contact | faq

Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.