Is it safe to travel to Thailand?
This is perhaps the most frequently asked question by travelers, so i will answer: yes it is safe. However keep in mind that there is no place in the world 100% risk free.
Often, tourists worry when a coup is staged or there are rallies in Bangkok and other places in Thailand, and consequently many travellers cancel or postpone their trips or change their destinations, leading to a massive drop in arrivals to the Land of Smiles. Their reaction is perfectly understandable in the circumstances, especially for those who have never been in Thailand, with the exception of all those people who know about the country and the spirit of Thai hospitality.
Can i travel to Thailand during a military coup or protest?
Usually it’s safe to travel to Thailand during a military coup or when there are political rallies, even though there is the possibility that violence could escalate, especially in Bangkok.
Bangkok is a huge and large city with almost 13 million of inhabitants and around 50 km (31 miles) wide, so if there a protest in Asoke and you’re in Sukhumvit or another place in the city, you even won’t notice that there is a demonstration in Bangkok, excepting if you watch the news, of course.
Foreigners and tourists should stay away of protests, and not just for safety reasons. Be aware that any tourists caught protesting or joining rallies in Thailand could face deportation.
It’s very safe to travel to Thailand during a military coup indeed. You can stay safe with the presence of the Royal Thai Army. Based on my experience I can say that the Thai military are very kind and respectful, willing to help both, foreigners and Thais.
Just a negative point for tourists: the curfew. After a coup or in case of escalating violence, the military or the government impose a curfew which usually starts at 10:00 PM until 4:00 Am.
For any doubts before travelling, contact your embassy, warnings may vary from country. You are responsible for your personal safety abroad.
Thailand safety advices
Overall, Thailand is a safe country and Thai people is very friendly, however, since you’re a foreigner, you must follow some rules:
1. Respect Thai people and their culture. I’ve seen many “bumptious” and disrespectful tourists in Thailand. Thai people dislike this kind of individuals. If you respect Thai people they will respect you.
2. Don’t argue or tell someone off. Asian culture differ from western culture. It’s certainly difficult to see any Thais arguing or telling someone off. Don’t do it or otherwise you can get in trouble.
3. Pickpocketing. Pickpockets are not common in Thailand but they do exist. Don’t carry large amounts of money and don’t show how rich you are.
4. Scams. Most tourist destinations around the world have their scammers, and Thailand too. Don’t trust everyone who approaches you offering trips around Bangkok, gems and a variety of bargains. Avoid being ripped off by taxi drivers carrying fares without activating the taximeter and remember that fares always have to be bargained before to ride a tuk tuk. And don’t forget the infamous jet-ski scam. In Pattaya or Phuket, jet-ski operators could claim for non-existent damages and demand a payment up to 100,000 baht.
5. Transportation. Driving in Thailand is perhaps one of the most dangerous things in the country. Think twice before take a minivan or some buses. Drive yourself in Thailand is also dangerous.
Thailand is generally safe, but you must be aware of certain places that you should avoid.
Certain areas in Phuket island, and the resort city of Pattaya, and Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy, and Patpong in Bangkok aren’t safe as other places in the country.