General Travel Advisory Thailand

This is a personal travel advice based on personal opinion and personal experience while living & traveling in Thailand for more as 20 years. 

The golden rule of traveling safe : Act wisely as you would do in your home country!

 Disclaimer : All information is created in good faith and is an expression of fair comment. 

Latest update at 21 April 2021 !!!!

1. Safety

The most important thing when you are going on holiday is your safety. In general Thailand is just as safe or unsafe as any country in Western Europe. But there are a few differences.


1.1 The 4 most southern province of Thailand

We are talking about the provinces Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla. The general travel advice by many countries is : Only essential travel. Well holidays are not essential travel, so should you not go to any of the 4 southern provinces? And if I would not know more about that area I would fully agree and say "do not go".

One could say that there is a kind of civil war going on there, maybe to compare it with the old days of IRA in Ierland. And make no mistake since 2004 more as 6.000 people have died in this kind of civil war or terrorisme actions. But does that warrant such a strict travel advice for 4 provinces nowadays in 2018? Is it really so dangerous? In my personal opinion "No".

The conflict is very much local and mostly does not interfere with tourists. Most parts of the provinces are not dangerous at all. But there are some area's that I would indeed not travel without checking the current situation. But I have not been there for a long time. So my advice is based on the experience of reliable friends of mine traveling there or living there.

My personal advice : Travel all over south Thailand, but in the 4 most southern provinces check carefully in what area's you are going to travel and check the current status. For more information about traveling in southern Thailand read Exploring the Deep South of Thailand.


1.2. Traffic in Thailand

Lets be honest, traffic in Thailand is dangerous. Thailand is very high on the list of traffic deaths worldwide. Accidents happen here due to lack of good law enforcement, due to lack of traffic education, due to bad roads and people having faith in their karma. Speeding and drunk driving are the major reason for accidents in Thailand.

My personal advice : Enjoy traveling in Thailand but be very careful when on the road 
  • Do not drive / ride in the dark or with bad weather like rain or storm. 
  • Do not use bus or mini-van transport at night for long distances.
As I am a motorbike rider and did ride more as 90.000km in Thailand I would like to add the following :
  • Thailand is not a good country to learn to ride a scooter or motorbike. Be aware that a scooter is also a motorbike by law.
  • Always wear a helmet, preferable a good helmet. Rental shops mostly offer shitty helmets, if you are planning to ride many days / weeks the you might consider to buy a better helmet at Big-C or Tesco-Lotus. 
  • Do not ride & drink alchohol.
  • Always wear protective cloths (adjusted to circumstances).
  • Be aware that ALL people and animals use the road. Like dogs, chickens, tuk-tuk, bicycles, people walking, people who are half blind or deaf, trucks without brakes and drunk people
  • Thai roads are not always in good condition.
  • The road is not a race track.
  • When renting a scooter / motorbike it is probably not fully insured or not insured at all.
  • If you do not have a motorbike driver license your travel insurance probably does not pay your medical bills when you have a accident.
My personal advice : Only rent a scooter or motorbike if you have riding experience and a motorbike driving license.

    1.3. Transport
    • Domestic flights with domestic airlines are safe.
    • Trains are safe, but be aware of people trying to steal your luggage.
    • Busses are relatively safe, although personally I am against traveling over night by bus or traveling long distances (like more as 400 km).
    • Public Mini-van's are not really safe. Use them only for short distances (shorter as 50 km).
    • Boats can be safe but also unsafe. Check the weather, check the safety on the boat, check the number of people on the boat. If you not feel comfortabel do not use the boat.
    • Song-theauws are perfect for short distances but should not be used on the highway.
    My personal advice : For very short distances travel by motorbike taxi, samlor, song-theauw. A bit longer distances travel by mini-van or bus. But for longer distances travel by airplane or train.


    1.4. Natural disasters

    Thailand is not know for natural disasters like earthquakes, volcano eruptions, typhoons or hurricanes. But during the raining season from June to November heavy storms during the monsoon can cause disruption and damage including flooding and landslides. As a matter a fact in some places there will be flooding every year.

    My personal advice : Do not travel or go hiking in mountains during or soon after rain. 


    1.5. Crime

    Crime is in Thailand more or less as in any other country, although lack of law enforcement may encourage some people to commit a crime a bit more as in other countries. Also be aware that especially Thai male can be very easy upset and that people carrying a gun is not uncommon in the nightlife scene.

    My personal advice : Use common sense and also do not automatically trust fellow travellers. 

    Border areas are generally safe, although remote areas along the Thai -Myanmar / Lao / Cambodian border are famous for still being used by drugs traffickers and sporadic armed conflicts between Thai police / army and drugs traffickers do occur. And along the Thai-Cambodian border landmines are still found.

    My personal advice : Do not travel in remote border areas especially in Northern Thailand, especially not alone.

    2. Health

    As of COVID19 see Department of Disease Control Thailand and my postings about Corona in Thailand.

    2.1. Dengue and Malaria

    Thailand is not as Western Europe, Dengue and Malaria are still present in some parts of Thailand. For both are no medicine / vaccines that protect you 100%. As a matter a fact some malaria prophylaxis may be harmful to your health.

    My personal advice : Do not bother the medicines but bother about taking care that you have as less as possible chance of getting infected (like bitten by mosquitos). Don't walk around half naked.


    2.2. Other common diseases

    For other diseases common sense is the best protection. Some healthcare authorities might advice vaccinations for going to Thailand, some of this vaccinations are indeed useful but not only for traveling in Thailand. But for some of this vaccinations it is highly doubtful if they really work. Personally since living here now for almost 20 years I have never had any vaccination but I had some so called life-time vaccinations before moving to Thailand.

    My personal advice : Drink water from sealed bottles and eat in proper restaurants. Eat food that is cooked.


    2.3. The haze season in North Thailand

    During March & April there is smoke haze in North Thailand due to burning of farm fields & garbage. Known area's are Chiang Mai, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Nan. But make no mistake also the air in Bangkok or some places in North-East Thailand can be unhealthy for sensitive people. Check the air quality at World Air Quality Index.  

    My personal advice : During March & April do not travel in North Thailand!


    2.4. Medical emergencies 

    In case of medical emergencies there are good private hospitals almost everywhere, although upcountry significantly less. Not cheap for Thai standards but very good. But I assume you have of course a travel insurance. Because a private hospital wants to be sure you can pay your bill and they want to know that before they help you.

    My personal advice : In case of medical emergency have yourself transported to the nearest private hospital.

    3. The Law

    The law in Thailand is in general like in Western Europe, but there are again a few things you might not think of
    • Use of any kind of drugs is against the law and you could be jailed for it for many many years in a very unpleasant jail in Thailand. My personal advice : Do not do any kind of drugs in Thailand.
    • Insulting the monarchy of Thailand, any person or anything related to that is against the law and you can be jailed for 15 years for that. Make no mistake there are both Thai and foreigners in jail for breaking this law. My personal advice : Do not do / say anything that could be seen as insulting the monarchy. This also includes on internet, Facebook or any other computer media. Do not engage in any discussion with Thai people about this.
    • Importing, using or selling/buying of E-sigarets is against the law. My personal advice : Do not use / buy it in Thailand.
    • Thailand is since 2014 ruled by a military government that has banned political gatherings and placed restrictions on the media, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Security forces have additional powers, including the right to control movement, search for weapons or arrest people. Individuals, including foreigners, may be detained for publicly criticizing the current government or the monarchy. My personal advice : Do not engage in any discussion with anyone that could put you in danger of breaking the law.
    • Those small scooters are actually motorbikes, you will need a motorbike driver-license for it. If you do not have a motorbike driver-license and have a accident your travel insurance might not cover the costs. My personal advice : Get a motorbike driver license or do not ride a motorbike.
    • For the use of drones you need a license from the Thai government. And at many places you are not allowed to fly your drone (like National Parks).
    • Prostitution is against the law.
    • Being naked in public is against the law, that includes topless sunbathing. Also at the hotel swimming pool.
    • For drinking alchohol you have to be minimal 18 years old.
    • On some religious or national holidays it is against the law to consume alchohol in public.
    That all said also be aware of the lack of law enforcement. So yes you will probably see people using or offering drugs and the chance that police will ask for your driver license is very small. And you will see people flying a drone almost everywhere. You will see things that look like prostitution and you will see people topless sunbathing. But that still does not mean it is legal, that still means you can be arrested or fined for it.

    4. Common sense

    This sound stupid but many problems are actually very easy to prevent. Use your brain! Do not leave your brain in your home country. Thailand is not a kind of disneyland. For me personally that means :
    • Do not use any kind of drugs
    • Do not drink excessive alchohol 
    • Be in control of your behaviour
    • Do not offend other people
    • Respect the law
    • Although traveling alone can be great, but in some situations / places it is better not to be alone. So avoid that, unfortunately this must be said especially for females (because some males can not control themselves).

    Disclaimer : All information is created in good faith and is an expression of fair comment.

    Comments

    About this travel blog

    I made this non-commercial travel blog for the sheer love of traveling and to make off the beaten track places more accessible for English speaking tourists and people living in Thailand. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy! You do not have to become a (paid) member, there are no advertisements and you can use / copy all information from this travel blog as long it is not for commercial use and as long you refer to this travel blog.

    One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

    I belong to that race of men that don't fit in, a race that can't sit still, so they break the hearts of kith and kin and they roam the world at will. In 1985 I started to roam the world at will in Indonesia & Thailand and since then I did not stop. And now living in Thailand I am still roaming the world. If you have a question or need help in planning your holiday in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam ? Send me an email at Contact @ Traveling 2 Thailand

    Click here to search with labels

    Ao Krating AQI Art Asiatique Attapeu Ayutthaya Baan Phue Balcony Photos Ban Bo Luang Ban Dan Ban Doi Tio Ban Hia Ban Hua Laem Ban Huai Nam Dun Ban Huai Put Ban Khet Lang Ban Khok Ban Kiw Muang Ban Kong Ban Kwet Ban Luang Ban Muang Phrae Ban Na Wong Ban Phe Ban Phue Ban Pin Ban Rom Klao Ban Rong Khla Ban Sakad Ban Sakoen Ban San Charoen Ban Santisuk Ban Sapan Ban Sawang Ban Sop Mang Ban Wen Ban-Lung Bang-Saray Bangkok Bangkok-Airways Battambang Beach Ben Tre Bicycling BKK Bo Bia Bo Klua District Bo Suak Bo-Kluea Books Border Crossings Boutique Bridges Buddha Bueng Kan province Bung-Khan Buriram province Bus Stations Cambodia Camping Can Tho Cars Caves Cemeteries Central Thailand Chai Badan Chaiyaphum province Chantaburi Chanthaburi province Chao Phraya River Chiang Kham Chiang Khong Chiang Klang Chiang Mai province Chiang Muan Chiang Rai province Chiang Saen Chiang-Khan Chiang-Mai Chiang-Rai China Chonburi Chonburi province Chum-Phae Chumphon province Chun City Pillar Coffee Shop Corona Culture Da Nang Dan-Sai Den Chai Destination Guides Dinner DMK Doi Chang Doi Inthanon Doi Pha Tang Doi Phu Kha Doi-Ang-Khang Don Chai Don Chang Don Muang Airport Don-Dhet Don-Khong Dong Hoi DTGN Du Tai Eastern-Seaboard Europe Eva Airways Exchange Rate Faces-Of-Asia Farming FarmStay Festivals Flight MH370 Flowers Food FoodDrink Getting-Lost GoldenTriangle Guesthouse Halong Bay Hanoi Hat Ao Katiab Hat Ao Nang Hat Ao Phrao Hat Ao Yang Hat Chaolao Hat Chaweng Noi Hat Chaweng Yai Hat Krating Lai Hat Kung Wiman Hat Lamai Hat Nam Pua Hat Pattaya Hat Pha Kon Hat Pla Heang Hat Sai Keauw Hat Sam Roi Yot Hat Tub Kaek Hat Wong Amat Hat Yai Health Highways-In-Thailand Hill Tribes Hoi An Homestay Hongsa Hostel Hua Lamphong HuaHin Huai Kon Huai Paen Huay Xai Hue Indonesia Isaan Islands-In-Thailand Jomtien Jungle Markets Kalasin province Kamphaeng Phet Kampong-Cham Kampong-Chhnang Kampot Kanchanaburi Kanchanaburi province Kata Noi Kenthao Kep Khao Sok Khao-Kho Khao-Yai Khon Kaen province Khon-Kaen Khun Nan Khun Nan National Park Khun Sathan National Park KKC Klaeng Klong Phai Klong Suan Ko Proet Koh Kut Koh-Samet Koh-Samui Kong-Lor Krabi Krabi province Kratie Laem Sing Lakes-In-Thailand Lampang Lampang province Lamphun Laos Life of Traveller Loei Loei province Lomsak Long Lopburi Lopburi province Loy-Kratong Luang-Prabang Macau Mae Charim Mae Charim National Park Mae Hong Son Mae Klong Mae On Mae Sai Mae Salong Mae Sot Mae Yom National Park Maha Sarakham province Malacca Malaysia Manipruek Markets Massage MekongRiver MekongStory Mondulkiri Moonrise-Moonset Motorbike rental Motorbike Routes Motorbike-trips Mountains Muak-Lek Mukdahan Mukdahan province Murals Museums Myanmar Na Hua Bo Na Noi Na Sing Na Yung Na-Heao Nakhon Nayok province Nakhon Phanom province Nakhon Ratchasima province Nakhon Si Thammarat province Nakhon-Phanom Nakhon-Thai Naklua Nam Pat Nam-Nao Nan Nan Boat Race Nan Memories Nan Morning Martket Nan Nakhon Airport Nan National Museum Nan Province Nan River Nan Walking Street Nanthaburi National Park New Year Nha Trang Nightlife Ninh Binh NNT Nok-Air Nong Bua Nong Bua Lamphu Nong Khai province Nong-Khai North-Thailand Old-Buildings Old-Photos OTOP Pak Nai Pak-Lay Paknam Krachae Pakse Patong Pattaya Pet Friendly Petchabun Pha Klang Pha Tub Phan Thiet Phayao Phayao province Phetchabun province Phetchaburi Phetchaburi province Phi Phi Don Phi Ta Kon Phichai Phitsanulok Phitsanulok province Phnom-Penh Photography Phrae Phrae province Phrao Phu An Ma Phu Chi Fa Phu Fa Phu Langka Phu Phayak Phu Sang Phu-Hin-Rong-Khla Phu-Luang Phu-Ruea Phu-Thap-Boek Phuket Phuket province Pimai POI Pong Prachinburi province Prachuap Khiri Khan province Provinces Of Thailand Pua Pua River Puay Noi Pub Qui Nhon Rambong Ranong province Ratanakiri Rayong Rayong province Recommended Resort Restaurant Rice Field Photos Rivers Roi-Et province Rong Kwang Rooftop-Bars Route 1 Route 1001 Route 101 Route 1020 Route 1021 Route 1022 Route 1023 Route 1024 Route 1026 Route 103 Route 1035 Route 1041 Route 107 Route 1081 Route 1083 Route 1089 Route 109 Route 1091 Route 1093 Route 1097 Route 1098 Route 11 Route 1120 Route 1124 Route 1130 Route 1134 Route 1138 Route 1141 Route 1143 Route 1148 Route 1149 Route 1150 Route 1152 Route 1154 Route 1155 Route 1157 Route 1162 Route 1163 Route 1168 Route 1169 Route 117 Route 1170 Route 1171 Route 1174 Route 118 Route 1188 Route 1195 Route 12 Route 120 Route 1211 Route 1216 Route 1217 Route 1225 Route 1241 Route 1243 Route 1251 Route 1252 Route 1256 Route 1257 Route 1259 Route 1268 Route 1271 Route 1287 Route 1290 Route 1317 Route 1333 Route 1336 Route 1339 Route 1345 Route 1355 Route 1356 Route 2 Route 201 Route 2013 Route 2014 Route 203 Route 2034 Route 2041 Route 2046 Route 208 Route 21 Route 210 Route 2113 Route 212 Route 213 Route 2136 Route 2140 Route 216 Route 2195 Route 22 Route 2216 Route 222 Route 2258 Route 227 Route 2294 Route 2330 Route 2331 Route 2348 Route 2372 Route 2376 Route 2399 Route 3 Route 3005 Route 3037 Route 304 Route 311 Route 317 Route 3245 Route 331 Route 3377 Route 36 Route 4 Route 4005 Route 4010 Route 4017 Route 4018 Route 4020 Route 4022 Route 4029 Royal Projects Running Events Sa Kaeo province Sado Sai Yok Saigon Sakhon Nakhon Sakhon Nakhon province Samlors Samut Prakan Samut Prakan province Samut Songkram province Sangkhlaburi Sangkhom Santisuk Saraburi Saraburi province Satthahip Savanakhet Sawaeng-Deang-Din Sawankhalok Sayaboury Selfies Sen-Monorom Shanghai Shrines Si Satchanalai Si-Thep Sikhio Sila Phet Silverware Singapore Sirikit Lake Sisaket province Somdet Song Song Kwae Songkhla Songkhla province Songkran South Thailand Special Routes Spirits Sri Nan National Park Sri Racha Stars StayHome Staying Stories Sukhothai Sukhothai province Sukhumvit Road Sumon Therawat road Sunsets-And-Sunrises Surat Thani Surin Suvarnabhumi Airport Suwwanaphum Swimming Pool Tak Tak province Talay Mok Temples Tha Li Tha Mai Tha Ton Tha Wang Pha Thai Language Thai Lion Air Thailand Thailand-National-Parks ThaKhek Tham Phu Tub Forest Park Tham Sakoen National Park Thap-Lan That-Phanom Things To Do in Nan Things Typically Thailand Thung-Chang TIT Toilet Signs Tour Companies Thailand Tourist-Attractions Tours Train Stations Trains Trat Trat province Travel-Tips Traveling Trees TTD Ubolrate-Lake Ubon Ratchathani province Ubon-Ratchathani Udon Thani province Udon-Thani Uttaradit Uttaradit province Vang-Vieng Vientiane Vietnam Viewpoint Viewpoint Lan Du Dao Viewpoint1715 Visa Visiting Voor De Nederlanders Wa River Walking Wang Pho Wang-Nam-Keaw Wat Arun Wat Hia Wat Hua Khuang Wat Ming Muang Wat Na Wong Wat Nantaram Wat Noi Wat Nong Bua Wat Nong Deang Wat Pakor Wat Phasorn Kaew Wat Phaya Wat Wat Phra That Beng Sakat Wat Phra That Chae Haeng Wat Phra That Chae Kham Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng Wat Phra That Khao Noi Wat Phra That Nong Jep Wat Phra That Sila Laeng Wat Phuket Wat Phumin Wat Rong Ngae Wat Rung Khun Wat Si Phan Ton Wat Sri Mongkol Wat Suan Tan Wat Ton Laeng Waterfalls Weather What I Eat White Temple Wiang Pa Pao Wiang Sa Xaraboury Yasothon Yasothon province
    Show more