Hi, my husband and I visit bangkok/thailand often and we have never experienced any issues with the Thai people, I find the Thai people quite pleasant and helpful. I find that if you keep to yourself, you can pretty much do as you please.
WALKING IN THE CITY :We have decided to walk a little instead of taking a taxi or tuk tuk and have gotten horribly lost but not run into problems and this was late at night.
MONEY WALLETS AND HANDBAGS: Handbags and carry bags could be stolen, snatched/grabbed or even cut open, so don't take your wallet in a handbag, my advise is to keep your money in a front pocket of your trousers or keep it in a little pouch inside your shirt not visable. Don't take your passports travel docs with you, take a photo copy and carry that with you, leave your valuables and travel docs in a safe at the hotel. Also beware of the little kids in the market as they do tend to crowd around you, they tend to be a little touchy they aren't doing this to be cute generally they are trying to grab your wallet or go into your handbag. The kids are very cute but be careful. Don't talk to strange people who approach you out of the blue they are doing this generally to try distract you in order to steal or rob you. Try avoid talking to strangers in the streets, i know it sounds terrible but this way you will avoid getting mugged and robbed.
TAXIS AND TUK TUK'S: Sometimes the tuk tuk drivers can be a little pushy and try to offer you resturants, tailors etc but if you are firm they will gladly just take you to were you want to go. We have taken several of them and they are quite fun and generally ok. Make plans prior to leaving your hotel as the hotel staff know the area and are generally very helpful. As far as the taxi's go well they generally run on meters during the day however if you find yourself in a market or party area late at night, expect that they will want you to pay "their rates" and will switch off the meter. If this does happen never pay more than double your normal cab price. Some taxi drivers are honest and will still run their meter so if you dont have the double fee just simply carry on asking you will eventually find somebody honest.
MARKETS: The vendors in the markets sometimes try to swap things, take care to look at what you are getting from them make sure it is the size and quality you wanted in the first place.
CLUBS AND BARS and LADY BOYS: As far as the girly bars and lady boys, well they are all simply trying to make a living, don't put yourself into the position where you don't want to be and you will be fine. If your drunk and silly you will probably end up wandering into the streets and like any city you will run into trouble and probably get robbed. remember this happens at home too.....Boys be warned the lady boys are quite beautiful and do not look like boys, generally the boobs and heavy makeup with over the top behaviour is all the evidence you'll need, nobody is too drunk not to know the difference, some of them have the full sex change but you can generally tell by their over the top trying to be a lady ways, also they have huge feet and very masculine hands, where the thai girls are tiny and very petite. The lady boys can be a little pushy, don't take pictures with them as they are not for free and sometimes tend to be a little demanding and ***y....If you choose to see the ladyboys go to a show like Simons Caberiet, Tiffany Show, there you will see some very beautiful lady boys and the environment is a little more controlled.
THE BEACHES AT NIGHT: Don't stroll along the beach at night time, you will land up in trouble, many prostitutes and lady boys go and work there, also the party people end up drunk here and wonder why they wake up in the morning without anything......well it's not rocket science.
MASSAGE AND THERAPY: Any place that has a red light with girls in super short mini's, shorts and super small clothing are not there for any type of therapy session and the only massage you will get is one with a happy ending. However I get massages every day in thailand and the spa's are fantastic, generally any places which display the diagram of the foot and the girls are in uniforms are generally the places you go to for a proper therapy session. The girls are very nice and they are there to massage you in the proper manner without the happy ending, treat them with respect as they work hard and long hours and don't need every silly tourist going in asking for a "happy ending" as i have seen so many times over the years.
BOYS AND MEN: The Thai prostitutes are there to earn a living and look after their families, they are not going to fall in love with everyone stranger they meet and yes some will lie and cheat to get what they want. Remember they support their family and you are a job!
Bangkok is a city and you need to know your boundries,you are not in your own country, the rules aren't the same rules and if your out looking for trouble you will definately find it! In all the years of traveling to Thailand I have never experienced anything nasty, even the girls of the night can be sweet. Ladies they don't hit on your husband if he doesn't show interest. I have found that in all my years of traveling here the most trouble caused is the trouble caused by the tourists.
The Thai's are kind people, yes there are the odd ones that might crook you but it's not everyone. I have taken my kids there many times generally to the islands and they love it and we holiday here 3 times a year. Respect people and they will respect you back, don't do silly things and you wont land yourself in trouble. anything illegal in our home country is generally illegal in Thailand.
Explore and enjoy Thailand, the food, people and culture is amazing and go with open eyes you will have a wonderful time!!!!
Always stay in a reputed hotel and do not compromise on the price unless you know the place inside out or it is a recommended place by someone known or a fellow VTer. It could be dangerous for a first time visitor cause a small hotel will not take any responsibility for your belongings. It might be a good idea to have valuables stored in a safe. Reputed hotels will provide you with this service as in many countries. Language could be a problem at times and you might even get frustrated trying to explain your plight.
Having just arrived you may not be fully alert. Please watch your stuff, especially your wallet/purse. My boyfriend had his nicked. My bank had decided to leave Thailand off the countries that we were visiting. No money-very stressful. Tourist police at the airport were very helpfull.
People approach you and talk to you about anything that may lead them to ask you for a pen so they can write an address for you !
On two occasions in Bangkok we were subject to this. They are very smooth and nice people but they want you to open your bag for a pen. As soon as you look down to do this their accomplice walks past and tries to grab your bag, wallet or purse.
We were quick enough to smell a rat and closed the bag just as the accomplice was coming up to us, he quickly ran off along wioth his smooth talking friend!
When shopping at Pratunam market, hang on tight to yr wallet. Had my tote bag slit from behind and wallet removed. Lesson learnt! place all your cash your pocket. they work in groups. Did notice 3 midddle aged ladies blocking my path couple of times. No 4 must have been the smooth operator!
1. Bangkok has started to clamp down on the use of sharp instruments in Thailand’s fight against terrorism. So, tourists cannot find any scissors and knives on sale at plazas and stationery shops. The predominant stationery available are pens and just pens for pupils. Bangkok has possibly the largest pen sale concentration in Southeast Asia.
2. Never stroll in Bangkok’s outlying areas and areas far away from Bangkok metropolis. Ladies must be escorted. Ladies are encouraged to board ladies-only public air-conditioned buses if they travel alone. Please check with Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) for details.
3. It is safe for lone male budget travelers to walk along lanes and roads of Bangkok city center, but beware of your backpacks at crowded areas like Chatuchak Weekend Market and famous tourist attractions like Jim Thompson House and immediate areas outside the Royal Palace and National Museum, and in Khao San Road.
Never bring any handphone to shopping centres or cross overhead bridges in Bangkok if tourists are holding handphones. Thai-like tourists may be victims of poor teenage criminals envious about rich Thai youths that own handphones.
4. Say “mai4” in Thai (for “No”) to strangers (including taxi-drivers) offering to take you to a hotel that charges at a higher rate or to gem-stores after they told tourists that a tourist destination was not opened for tourists on a particular day.
5. There are tuk-tuk drivers that are young and are able to speak in good English better than meter taxi-drivers now, if you are fortunate. Bargain with them before you ride the tuk-tuks. Now, tuk-tuk drivers only accept 20 Baht per kilometre as minimum fare, not below 20 Baht. If they propose to take you to massage parlors and expensive hotels instead of riding you to your preferred destination, reject them.
6. Report to Tourist Police at 1155 or 1699 if you are harassed.
This is a horrible thing, which I have personally seen in Bangkok (and Bangkok only). Fake monks on the streets. These fakes love to steel money and make "illegal" business deals. Be careful, these people must be bad if that pick wearing a monk's robe as a disguise. I actually got a photo of a fake, and the signs were blatantly obvious, first of all the "monk" was smoking, which real monks don't do, and second of all he was hugging a woman, which monks don't do either (it is forbidden for monks to even touch women). Be aware and be careful, there are some bad people in Bangkok (but a lot of very good too!!).
pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and burglaries have become more common around tourist sites. Credit cards should be used only in reputable, established businesses, and the amount charged should be checked for accuracy. Don’t buy gems.
While we had no issues, I can see how there could have been problems.
Even though how safe it is, it is always advisable to keep your belongings with you at all times or in a safe place. And dont bring neone back to ur hotel room! I've heard of this married man from germany who, apparantly brought a girl back to his room and the next morning he was at the police station talking to my mate about how all his belongings were being robbed off! I found it quite a laugh becos he deserved it anyway for being a dirty bastard sex tourist.
ABOUT THE THIEVES
Watch out ! Like in any country, cash/cameras/travelers' cheques/passports/watches/jewels/rented vehicles/… are the main targets for thieves. And where are the thieves hidden ? Like in any country in : streets/trains/buses/hotel rooms/shopping malls/entertainment complexes/…
As soon as stolen, the goods (traded for cash) will usually end displayed on shelves in some local pawnshops or jewelry shops.
Will you feel better if I tell you that your 14K or 18K gold ornaments may not be on the thieves' list ? The good reason is that only 24K gold has a trade value in Thailand.
Anyway, I heartily advise you not to look too rich, not to show all the money you are carrying, otherwise you could be an easy target in the land of smiles…
As you all know, it is always wiser not to tempt Satan, isn't it ?
Beaware every where you go. I was robbed at Center Bar on Khoa San Road and I am a 6 foot 180 pound guy. Stay with friends and watch out for suspicious people who seem to be out of place. I recomend it.
**BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS**
The last time I went to bangkok,I was carrying a haversack on my back and all the Zips of my bag was unzipped by some pickpockets.Try to carry your haversack in front instead of at the back.If you're carrying side sling bags,bring it infront and adjust the straps to waist level where your hands can protect your bag.Try to bring durable bags because some evil pickpockets tend to use sharp tools like knives or penknives to slit open your bag at the side.
Beware of pickpockets and motorized bag/purse snatchers, beware of overenthusiastic tuk-tuk drivers, beware of the chaotic traffic, beware of people selling fake jewellery or antiques and beware of incompetent or sloppy tailors. Never make fun of the royal family. Remember to dress modestly when visiting venerated places and take off your shoes in holy places when requested. Never show disrespect to a monk. Remember that it is illegal to export ANY Buddha images. Drug offences are taken extremely seriously.
Be careful at the
Chatuchak Weekend Market.
It is known that they have
pick pockets working the grounds.