Crime and Personal Safety
Fear for your personal safety is not a big worry in Thailand, internationally recognized as it is as being a relatively safe environment.
Having said that, however, one should still adopt normal standards of safe practice; do not display large amounts of cash; ensure wallets and purses are tucked safely away from the easy reach of pick pockets , and make use, where available, of the hotel safe or a safety deposit box.
It is deemed relatively risk-free to walk around at night, even in fairly quiet areas, and finding yourself in a dangerous or threatening situation would be very unusual. Violent crime in particular is practically un-heard-of.
The biggest danger you will face in Thailand is that of traffic and road safety. Pedestrian crossings, although marked on all major roads, are seldom observed by drivers and it is down to the pedestrian to exercise caution when crossing. A watchful eye should be kept out for motorcycles too; these can appear without warning on the wrong side of the road; and although smaller than a car or bus they can still cause severe injury or worse.
Crossing the road
Always take care when crossing the roads in Bangkok.
Where possible, use the foot-bridges which span many of the busiest roads, even if it means adding distance to your journey. Bangkok’s roads are extremely busy, and should you have to cross one caution should be uppermost until you are safely across.
Do not assume that drivers will strictly adhere to the rules of the road; motorbikes often travel on the wrong side of the road and can pop up unexpectedly, and pedestrian crossings are not always observed by drivers so do not expect them to automatically stop for you – look in both directions before starting off and stay vigilant until you are at the other side.
On some of the busier roads there are fences between the two carriageways to prevent pedestrians trying to cross over the median strip, examples of this can be found in Sukhumvit and Silom.
When crossing a road, even if the lights are in your favour, proceed circumspectly.
In Part 2 we will explore Culture, Ethics and some basic health and safety issues.