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Safety tips

Bangkok Overview | Bangkok hotels and travel guide

Bangkok, Thailand is a beautiful city. Full of rich, ancient history, fabulous food and historic sites. Like any city, however, you should take certain precautions. Many Westerners, not familiar with the city, fail to observe simple safety tips during their holiday in Bangkok. To make the most of your Thailand holiday, follow a few simple safety tips.

Most restaurants and hotels that accommodate tourists take bank cards such as Mastercard and Visa for payment. It is wise to bring one bankcard with you when you go out to eat, instead of converting all of your money into Bhat. Bhat is Thai currency and must be used in some instances, such as in the street market or to tip taxi or "tuk tuk" drivers. Carry a small amount of currency on you when you leave your hotel and keep the bulk of your money and other valuables in the safe provided by the hotel staff. It is never a good idea, when touring any large city, to carry around a lot of currency on you. Tourists are often targeted by pickpockets and other nefarious characters so keep the amount of currency in your wallet or purse to a minimum.

Speaking of Tuk-tuk drivers, one safety tip to remember when dealing with those who drive taxis is not to agree to allow them to be your "tour guide." Taxi fares are not enforced by any ordinance in Bangkok, so many of these drivers will hike up fares for European tourists. It is perfectly acceptable to 'barter' with your driver; they almost expect this. A short trip should only cost about 20 Bhat. Get to know the currency, be able to convert it in your head (or use a pocket currency converter) and use common sense. If you feel your driver is charging you too much, he probably is. Tell him that you will only pay a reasonable amount.

Another important safety tip when visiting Bangkok is not to eat any of the food made by outdoor vendors. While some sweets may be acceptable, be wary of anything that is cooked. The water in Thailand is not safe for consumption by Westerners and not all street vendors are hygienic. Drink only bottled drinks, unless in hotels, and do not eat food unless you are in a restaurant to avoid possible stomach pains or bacterial infections.

Bangkok is a beautiful city and a charming place to visit. Following a few simple safety tips can make your trip to this exotic, Eastern city one you will remember for years to come and long to relive.


Last Updated: 27 Feb 2008