Pattaya, Thailand

Stay Safe



Like most of Thailand, Pattaya is generally a safe destination for tourists. Violent crimes such as muggings or robberies are unusual here with the exception of jewellery and bag snatching (usually with the thieves on motorcycles) which is endemic. As a precaution against bag snatching, walk away from the edge of the roadside and against the flow of vehicle traffic. Furthermore, carry your bag on your side that is furthest from the traffic and don't wear jewellery openly.

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Swindles are commonly encountered by tourists. It is very inadvisable to tell anyone that it is your first visit to Thailand, since you will then be marked down as an "easy prey", especially if you are being approached. Beware of lady boys (transvestites) approaching and being overtly friendly with you and asking questions such as "where you from?". She and/or her friend may try to kiss you or draw away your attention and later find your valuables such as wallet missing.

Pickpockets are a problem, especially in crowded areas such as Walking Street at night (despite the Tourist Police patrolling the area at night). If you must carry your valuables, they should be securely concealed. If you have been pick pocketed and then you actually spot the likely pickpocket departing, do not follow. You could be mistaken and you almost certainly will be accused of being mistaken. Just put it down to experience and leave the immediate area.

 Walking Street at night by Rak-Tai

Visitors should not visit entertainment venues that do not display a long-standing fixed sign outside or which appear to be very poorly lit inside. Also, one or two of the hundreds of seemingly bright and established venues may actually be operating as a "clip joint". These joints offer free admission and then refuse visitors to leave until they pay for non-existent drinks. Again, it is wise to simply pay, leave and put it down to experience.

Never pick a fight in any circumstance, no matter how much you have had to drink. Never try to intervene, even verbally, in an argument between two or more Thai people. You will eventually be outnumbered and it could be a trap. No matter how much you are being pestered, just smile and walk on. When making cash payments, disputes over the value of notes and the amount of change can be avoided by carrying smaller notes and trying to give near enough the exact amount.

Street in Pattaya by Nandu forever

As always, travellers should take extra care in all poorly lit or remote areas and staying out very late at night. This is especially the case if one has had too much to drink. Gambling is illegal in Thailand and the local press reports Pattaya Police as having a "zero tolerance" policy for gambling offences. The penalties for drug possession in Thailand are very harsh and its distribution can even lead to the death penalty.

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