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Keeping Safe in Bangkok: 7 Tips

 
 

Whenever traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to keep your guard up. This is not always easy in Bangkok if you are not privy to the common tourist scams. But worry not--we are here to help. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind if you want to be safe during your trip to Bangkok.

1. Hide your money. Do not carry all of your cash around while exploring Bangkok. If you have a safety deposit box in your hotel, keep some of it there. Keep your money separated; put some in your wallet, and a few hundred Baht in your front pocket, and some emergency money somewhere unusual, like a hidden pocket on your belt or even in your socks. Never EVER put your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans or you'll look like a willing prey to pickpockets.

2. If you are joining a tour group, use legitimate travel agencies. Don’t try to set up tours with tuk-tuk or taxi drivers even if they insist their price is cheaper. They usually receive commissions from the shops they will take you to as a “side trip” during your city tour.

3. Always carry your passport. Incidents of random police clearances have been reported around Bangkok. Make sure you always have your passport in case you get singled out. Your passport will also help identify you in case you get into an accident.

4. Planning to meet ladies in bars and clubs? Then prepare to 'scrutinize.' There are hundreds of transgenders prowling the Bangkok nightlife, and many of them pose as females. If you don’t want to discover an unpleasant surprise, learn how to distinguish ladyboys or “Kathoey” from the real ladies. 

5. Look right, look left. Bangkok follows right-hand traffic, so before crossing the street, look to the right first before you look to the left. The drivers in Bangkok are quite aggressive; the traffic signal and pedestrian signage sometimes mean nothing. To be safe, try to cross the street with a crowd of people.

6. Don’t buy electronics from random shops. Not all mobile phones, MP3 players, and other electronics sold in Bangkok are fake, but the cheapest ones are.  Also, smaller shops may not offer warranties. Stick to authorized sellers.

7. Trust your gut feel. Bangkok is generally a safe place, but some tourists become victims to petty crimes like pickpocketing to trickery. Locals and even some foreigners may sell you fake gems and the like. If your gut says this is too good to be true or something doesn’t seem right, get out of the situation. Politely decline and head somewhere else if a stranger suddenly approaches you offering to take you to a shop.



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