Me and a friend (both 19 year old females) are looking to go travelling through Thailand for around a month in the summer of 2013. I was just wondering on how safe it is in Thailand for us to travel there on a small budget?
If any of you have been there before, what tips and advice you would give to staying safe in Thailand? Also if you could tell me your best experience/thing you did/thing you saw in Thailand, as we're hoping to do everything!
Thank you for any reply's!
Thailand is a relativelyl safe country for visitors, although you may be away that there have been several attacks on Westerners in recent months - only last week a British packpacker was shot dead on Ko Pha Ngam. On the whole, though, I don't think it's any less safe than other countries in SE Asia. With a few sensible precautions (for example, not fiddling around with a thousand dollar iPad in front of people who don't earn that in a year, not walking around with pockets stuffed full of cash, no wandering along deserted roads at night) you should be absolutely fine. Be aware that Thailand is pretty volatile politically and Bangkok can flare up - this has happened in the last few years.
Bear in mind that in some areas the cheapest hotels often double up as knocking-shops - probably not the best idea for a restful night's sleep!
Thailand is full of lovely places, although "undiscovered gems" are, I think, few and far between nowadays. There are lots of worthwhile places to go! Off the top of my head:
-Bangkok: amazing SE Asian metropolis. Temples, markets, extraordinary food
-Kanchanaburi: interesting WW2 past, pretty location
-Lopburi: lots of interesting temples if that's your thing
-islands and beaches: lots of these! Ko Chang, Ko Samet, Ko Tao (diving, somewhat overrun these days), Krabi (gorgeous karst landscape), Railay, Ko Yao Yai...they're hard to miss!
In a month you'd have time to visit Bangkok, visit some towns nearby (Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya), chill out on a beach...You might want to consider visiting the north of Thailand (I haven't been there although I get a bit fed up of people saying they're "doing the north" - a lot of the "hill tribes" tours you can do there are a circus-act) as well; most people do so from Chiang Mai.
Enjoy your trip!
Many women travel to Thailand alone. Even older pensioners manage to survive. When women get in trouble sometimes drinking too much alcohol often is part of the reason.
Since you are still in the planning stages settle on a return date. Buy a round trip ticket to Bangkok because it is usually cheaper than two one-way flights. If you intend to be in Thailand under 30 days, and you are from the right country, you will be able to enter free with a Visa Exemption stamp in your passport. Round trip tickets will fulfill a requirement for proof of onward travel. If you intend to stay longer than 30 days you will need a tourist visa you pay for.
Do a budget up and see how much per day you can afford for your holiday after your plane tickets are taken care of. Divide your available funds by the number of days in Thailand. This is your daily working budget - more or less. Staying fewer days in Thailand will increase your available money, maybe allowing you to stay in better hotels.
Any quick Google search will give you the things to "see and do" in Thailand. Start in Bangkok and end in Bangkok. Some cities are much more expensive than Bangkok - such as Phuket! Bangkok has good cheap transportation, once you leave Bangkok you have fewer hostels. But there are many cheap hotels and guest houses you can use. Know how much per night you want to spend on a hotel so you when you ask for hotel help any advice will fit your budget.
Wait until you get to Thailand to convert your money over to Thai baht for a better rate, most Western currencies get a better exchange rate in Thailand. If you intend to use a debit or credit card you must tell your bank ahead of time. Travelers checks are easy to cash in Thailand and some banks or credit unions issue them without commissions. The fee to cash a travelers check is 33 baht. The fee to withdraw cash from most ATM's is 150 baht. So take the most out at one time! Cash works too. Only bring the larger currencies, make sure they are not old, torn or have writing on them.
You have gotten good advice from both posters. As stated, most westerners get into trouble when alcohol is involved. You can make some bad decisions when drunk. Have a good time, but never allow yourself to get to the stupid stage. There have been some tragic events in Thailand concerning foreigners. Just keep your female radar on at all times and you should be OK. Just because you are on a beautiful beach does not mean all is well.
I suggest you get an undergarment pouch to carry your serious money, ATM cards, passport, etc. Carry your camera, phone, tablet in your day bag that you take on the bus, train, boat. Anything that goes into the luggage storage compartment should be stuff you can live w/o. You might consider pac safe. Yes, it is expensive, but can keep thieves out of your pack when out of sight. Cheap rooms in SEA are not safe. Do not leave anything you value in a dodgy room.
There are two types of buses in Tland. Tourist buses that the travel shops will put you on and the gov't buses the Thais use. I recommend you make the effort to get over to the bus station and use the buses the Thai people use. There is much less theft than on the tourist buses. Google bus crime and you will get an idea of the problem. Use the gov't buses. Good luck with your planning.
It looks like you have received some good advice here.
Although it's not paranoia to worry about luggage theft, it's probably best to put all your valuables in your carry-on luggage. It's your checked-in luggage, which you leave in others' care that is probably more of a concern. When travelling to Thailand, I would personally be more worried about what people might put into your bags without your knowledge. The last thing you want to worry about is your luggage being used for nasty muling operations. At the end of the day, I don't think anyone can stop a determined thief from breaking into your luggage, but it's important that you know your bag's been tampered with before going through Customs :-)
I can recommend -snip-
I use these all the time. They give you peace of mind, which is the important thing. Enjoy your travels, Thailand is a wonderful country to visit.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]