Last year, I couldn’t believe it when the Moomikins randomly decided that we were going to take a family trip across the border to Thailand. Of course, I love travelling more than anything else in the world (except maybe pizza), so I was pretty excited. Couldn’t believe that we could simply drive from Malaysia to Thailand in just a few hours… but we did!
Thailand immediately stole my heart and allowed me to explore everything from temples to street food, but I soon realised that there are some things about Thailand that first-time travellers have to think about. So, if you are planning your first visit, here are 5 tips to keep you safe:
1) Be wary of the Tuk Tuk
When you travel to Venice, you have to take a ride on a Gondola – and when you travel to Thailand, you just have to travel in a Tuk Tuk. It’s just the way it works! However, Tuk Tuks aren’t the safest vehicles in the world. Some Tuk Tuk drivers take part in scams and crimes that involve taking you to different stores, where they will pressure you to buy things you do not want. To avoid this, be incredibly wary of Tuk Tuk drivers. If you feel unsafe or uneasy with any driver or vehicle, opt for a train – which is the safest way to travel around Thailand.
2) Do as the Thai people do
One of the easiest ways to keep safe during your first-time visit to Thailand is to blend in with their eclectic culture. Many companies and business owners will try to exploit those who stand out as tourists. By dressing appropriately and wearing traditional clothing, you will be able to show that you respect their culture and their social norms, and it will make you seem as if you know the destination inside and out. If you can, also try to learn simple Thai phrases or perfect the traditional wai – a prayer-like gesture that they use as a greeting, a thank you, or even an apology.
3) Keep your money and passport safe
Thievery is a real problem in Thailand, but that shouldn’t stop you from having an awesome first trip to the country. However, this does mean you have to be more wary about where you keep your money and passport. Before you leave for your Thailand adventure, it is best to take a photocopy of your passport that you can both print off and send to yourself via email. This way, you will always have a copy on you, which means you can leave your passport in the safe in your hotel room. It’s also a good idea to make a note of the address, phone number, and email of your foreign embassy in Thailand, if you ever need their advice.
4) Protect yourself from Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever is a hugely prominent viral disease in Thailand and is spread by those annoying mosquitoes that just love the taste of your blood. While the disease will not cause serious side effects, it may ruin your first-time visit and limit the time you have to explore – so you need to protect yourself. Mosquitoes that carry Dengue Fever are normally attracted to people who wear strong-smelling deodorant or perfume, as well as those who wear darker colours. So, wear light and loose fitting clothing that covers exposed skin, and cover yourself with insect repellent!
5) Never trust a stranger
Although we all like to think that every single person on this planet is as nice and friendly as we are, it’s just not the case. Most people in Thailand do simply want to be your friend, but there are others who have ulterior motives. It’s important to never fully trust a stranger. If you can, always travel with a buddy, don’t follow someone you don’t know who is offering discounted attraction tickets, and don’t take your eyes off your drink.
It’s best to stay safe during your first-time visit to Thailand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Do you have any more tips to keep travellers safe in Thailand? Share them with me below!