Bangkok is one of the easiest and most interesting cities in the world to explore, especially for first-time travellers who want to start an amazing Southeast Asian tour. Its vibrant streets, tasty and unique local cuisine and colourful culture are among the things that keep many tourists across the globe coming back. Indeed, travellers have a lot of reasons to smile when they visit this city in the Land of Smiles.
However, being scammed or getting sick in Bangkok is nothing to smile about. The Thai capital is notorious for various tourist scams. But this should not deter you from going there. All you need to do to ensure a safe travel is to research and read about your destination.
Here are some tips you need to know for a safe trip to Bangkok:
Join Reputable Tour Groups
If you’re going to visit Bangkok alone, consider joining a legit tour group. Travelling with a group allows you to blend with the crowd. With a tour group, you’ll also meet like-minded people with the same passion as yours.
But don’t be too trusting just yet. Get to know the background information of your new travel companions using a reliable people search website. This way, you know who among your co-travelers can be trusted and who you should avoid. Bangkok is a populous place. It’s better explored with fellow travellers, but make sure that you’ll be safe with them, too.
Secure Your Cash and Credit Cards
Bangkok is a charming place, but it’s also home to people who make a living out of scamming unsuspecting tourists.
When walking on crowded streets and markets, put your bag in front of you while holding the zipper tightly. Beware of pickpockets and secure your cash and credit cards, especially chip credit cards because they’re prone to identity theft.
Also, don’t be too flashy! Keep your phone in your bag and don’t take it out too often.
Never Give Your Passport Away
Some tuk-tuks and taxis will ask for your passport for their security. Don’t believe them! If they insist that you hand your passport to them, refuse and look for other rides to your destination. Make sure to haggle first before getting inside their vehicles.
Some tuk-tuk drivers will try to milk out money from you, especially if you don’t know the cost of getting to your destination. Make sure to know the routes to your destination before you head to Bangkok, so you can estimate how much you’re going to pay.
Eat Where the Locals Eat
Frequent visitors in Bangkok swear by the street food in Bangkok for tasting authentic and exotic Thai cuisine. I couldn’t agree more! The streets of Bangkok indeed have some delicious yet cheap food, some of which are actually better than food in fine dining restaurants.
Make sure to dine where the locals usually eat because the food there is probably better and fresher. Look for food stalls with long queues and those that cook their dishes right in front of the customers. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting fresh food.
Also, avoid drinking tap water and go for bottled water instead.
Stay Away from Drugs
You can find different kinds of drugs in Thailand, and sometimes, these might even be offered to you. It’s better to just avoid drugs rather than risk ruining your vacation and worse, your life.
Drug possession is illegal in Bangkok, and strict penalties apply to offenders. Sometimes, the drug dealer is the one who turns the poor tourist in and extorts a huge amount of money.
Keep yourself out of trouble by reading up on and observing the laws in Thailand.
Avoid Red Light Districts
Bangkok’s red light districts may be fascinating but can be risky, especially for first-time travellers. Be wary of lady boys who offer to have your photo taken with them, only to end up being charged a fee that’s higher than the price of an average Thai food. There are also those who give you a hug, and before you know it, your wallet is gone!
Also, avoid hooking up with prostitutes. A lot of them don’t practice safe sex, so it’s better to resist the temptation and just walk away.
Don’t Accept Drinks from Strangers
Free drinks from strangers mean only one thing: you have the target at your back. No, they’re not being nice because those “free drinks” are mixed with drugs. They will drug you so you’ll fall asleep, and they can easily rob you without fighting for your money and valuables.
Before you agree to do something in Bangkok, make sure to think twice. Assess the situation carefully to avoid getting fooled and putting yourself into trouble. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So, have you been to Bangkok? What other ways to stay safe there would you suggest?