After the recent death of two British tourists traveling in Thailand, there’s been a lot of stuff said about Thailand and how safe it is as a country. Not that my opinion means anything, but I will give you my thoughts on how safe I think Thailand is.
Living in Thailand
For the last two years or so living in Thailand on and off, I have yet to come across any kind of trouble that has lead into an argument or worse. I’ve been out well over 50 times to various bars and clubs with friends, and not once have I been involved or even came close to coming into a fight. Does this mean Thailand is safe? Not exactly.
I spend most of my time at the following places:
- My condo
- Shopping malls
- Soapy and illicit massages
- Bars and clubs
- Visiting popular areas that are full of people
Each place listed has either a lot of security, or many people to deter people from causing trouble. I don’t go to the quieter parts of town or deep into the suburban areas of Bangkok, because I have no reason to. Everywhere I go is well protected with security and people, so the chances of me getting robbed of beaten up are low. Hence why me and many other Bangkok expats think this country is safe, and it is in places. When the truth is, most of them have no idea outside their own little bubble.
Safety of nightclubs in Thailand
Back home in England, I would see at least one fight break out every time I went out. In Thailand I have yet to see a single fight, and I’ve been out countless times. Having said that, if you visit nightclubs such as Insomnia AKA insanity, Spicy or Bossy the chances of seeing a fight rises dramatically as these are all clubs with working girls and westerns. Most Thai clubs such as Route 66 you won’t see that much trouble. I never visit Ratchada Soi 4, which is another clubbing and party area within Bangkok but known for a bit of violence and motorbike gangs. I haven’t been there so I am unable to comment, but I have had two friends who have been robbed in that area.
So is Thailand safe?
Just like any country, there’s going to be violence and robbery. Thailand is a country where the minimum wage is 300 baht a day($9), and any country that has such poverty will have crime and violence.
A problem with a lot of tourists is they are ignorant. For example, in England if a taxi driver gets lost or goes the wrong way, you’re not expected to pay any extra. In Thailand, if the driver gets lost you’re still expected to pay whatever the meter goes up to. Don’t argue or complain, as this is when shit gets real. My friend once got into a cab, then after a minute the driver said there’s too much traffic and for him to get out. The meter was 40baht (starts at 35 baht) and my friend refused to pay, and rightly so…but this is Thailand. So the driver gets out the cab and pulls a knife on him. Something as simple as not giving the driver $1.20 for a cab ride or being 50 baht short of the bill at a restaurant can lead to some serious trouble. This isn’t always the case and each situation is totally dependent on a lot of things.
My advice to anyone coming to Thailand is to use common sense, research on the Internet to see what the culture is like here, what you can do and more importantly what you can’t or shouldn’t do. There will be a 99% chance that you will have a great time on your holiday or extended stay, smash tons of Thai chicks and experience 0 problems or issues.