Is Thailand Safe to Visit Now?

I have a friend working with TAT, you may know him – he’s a well-known expat and writer. He’s been working with them to try to dispel the myth that Thailand is unsafe at the present time for visitors because of the political situation. He’s helping to create videos for them and marketing to Europeans, Japanese and everyone else that Thailand is safe for visitors as we start the regular visitor high season.

I’m a member of a few travel boards where people regularly ask questions about whether it’s safe to go here or there. Lately everyone is asking the same question – is Thailand safe to visit now?

Is Thailand safe for visitors now?

Here are a few reasons I think it’s safe enough for visitors:

1. I’m completely unaffected by anything happening in Bangkok. If people are dying in clashes there with police – that doesn’t have a trickle down effect causing the rest of the country to be unsafe. In fact, I’d say only if you’re taking part in the demonstration in Bangkok, are you at risk of injury or death. If you’re coming here to visit you’ll be OK. If you’re coming to revolt against the government and incite Thais to rioting on a mass scale, you might be in danger.

2. The entire country – outside of Bangkok is unaffected by anything happening in Bangkok. The rest of the country will continue to remain safe – even though Bangkok might get tense.

3. This is a Thai political problem. Thais have nothing against foreigners. They love you. They want you to come. They don’t want you to have problems once you get here. You will not be accosted to confess your political beliefs about the current system, Taksin, or anything else. You’re not involved in any way. This has nothing to do with the terrorists in the south.

4. Even at the height of the airport protests in the few major airports there really wasn’t a problem with violence at all. Airports were blocked. So, you extend a few days. That’s the extent of the issue in areas outside Bangkok. Nobody is going to throw a brick at your head if you go near the Phuket Airport during a demonstration. Thais are afraid of the police and military. As a group they very rarely get violent first, they have quite peaceful demonstrations.

Is Thailand safe to visit during this political instability?

Yes. That’s the right answer with a few qualifiers…

Don’t take part in demonstrations.

Don’t spend your vacation in Bangkok – get out and see the rest of the country which is infinitely more enjoyable than Bangkok’s crowded streets anyway.

Stay away from the deep south. Krabi, Lanta, Trang are all fine. Thais say that even down into Songkla is fine. I wouldn’t say that, but down to Trang is perfectly fine.

Recently 10 countries issued fresh warnings about traveling to Thailand during this time including UK, Sweden, Germany, Canada and others. (Not USA). I think you’re fine to come, AND bring your family. Mai pen rai the whole thing – it’s not affecting the country as a whole. If it does- then delay your trip. Right now – business as usual everywhere outside Bangkok.

If you’re really concerned about visiting or staying in Thailand long term – get the ultimate Thailand Guide:

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I created this site to focus on expats living in Thailand, and tourists visiting Thailand. Don't miss the blog - Thaipulse.com/blog/. I hope you come away with something positive as a result of visiting Thaipulse.com. Feel free to leave questions or comments at the contact form under Home | Contact above. All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+. Cheers!

22 thoughts on “Is Thailand Safe to Visit Now?

  • October 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm
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    Timely post, Vern. My husband’s from Bangkok and we’re living in the US now. We’ll be visiting Thailand for the first time in three years and looking forward to it. However, that’s where we’ll be for the most part — Bangkok. That’s where all his family is. We do, however, plan to go to the beach at some point during those three weeks, and I’d like to talk hubby into going to Ayuthaya for Loy Krathong.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2008 at 3:43 pm
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    Timely post, Vern. My husband’s from Bangkok and we’re living in the US now. We’ll be visiting Thailand for the first time in three years and looking forward to it. However, that’s where we’ll be for the most part — Bangkok. That’s where all his family is. We do, however, plan to go to the beach at some point during those three weeks, and I’d like to talk hubby into going to Ayuthaya for Loy Krathong.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm
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    I think you’ll be fine and I wouldn’t caution anyone I knew – even my family about the same trip. I would recommend you don’t go to Pattaya if you’re going to the beach, as Hua Hin is a nice boat ride away, or even Ko Tao if you want the ultimate in relaxation.

    Have fun!

    Reply
  • October 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm
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    I think you’ll be fine and I wouldn’t caution anyone I knew – even my family about the same trip. I would recommend you don’t go to Pattaya if you’re going to the beach, as Hua Hin is a nice boat ride away, or even Ko Tao if you want the ultimate in relaxation.

    Have fun!

    Reply
  • October 13, 2008 at 7:21 am
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    Thanks for the info. planned a trip to bangkok. Will be arriving on the 14th of october. planning to watch muay thai in lumpini stadium and visit platinum mall… also would like to visit Suam Loo. Heard that khao sarn road should be avoided… Please let me know if those areas that i would like to visit will be affected? am going there with my girlfriend for the first time.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2008 at 7:21 am
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    Thanks for the info. planned a trip to bangkok. Will be arriving on the 14th of october. planning to watch muay thai in lumpini stadium and visit platinum mall… also would like to visit Suam Loo. Heard that khao sarn road should be avoided… Please let me know if those areas that i would like to visit will be affected? am going there with my girlfriend for the first time.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm
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    Hi Samuel – maybe someone will write in about the proximity of those areas to areas frequently being demonstrated at. Personally I’ve spent a total of maybe 7 days in Bangkok and I don’t know the city at all.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2008 at 6:33 pm
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    Hi Samuel – maybe someone will write in about the proximity of those areas to areas frequently being demonstrated at. Personally I’ve spent a total of maybe 7 days in Bangkok and I don’t know the city at all.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm
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    Thailand has a long long history of massacres, coups etc etc. It has one of the highest road accident rates in the world and a much higher murder rate than every single Western nation.

    At the moment the political situation is very very tense and is slowly spilling out into the regions. The south and Bangkok support the violent right wing headcases, PAD, who are backed by Thailand’s elite, who are occupying the government. The poorer north and north east – the masses who elected the popular, though corrupt PPP party to government – are now lining up against the PAD. I have already heard of street fights in smaller towns around the country. Friends and families are splitting along political lines – everyone seems to be waiting for some bloodshed.

    Now this shouldn’t effect tourists directly – but you might find the airport occupied, street battles outside your hotel, homemade bombs going off in random places (this already happening on a small scale). You might also want to question why you’d want to holiday in a country where fascism could be one possible outcome of the present political crisis.

    I would imagine most of you could come here and not witness anything – but tourists should be aware of the present dangers. Dressing it up like Thailand is still some happy-clappy peaceful place is complete misinformation. The only people doing this are those (like many Thai tourism blogs such as this one) with a vested interest in tourists coming to Thailand.

    Most governments are very reticent to give warnings not to travel somewhere – they will need good reason to do this as they don’t like disrupting relations with a Western-friendly government like Thailand.

    The weird about this for long-term SE Asia visitors is that Cambodia is now more stable, safer and arguably (particularly if PAD get their way) more democratic than Thailand.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm
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    Thailand has a long long history of massacres, coups etc etc. It has one of the highest road accident rates in the world and a much higher murder rate than every single Western nation.

    At the moment the political situation is very very tense and is slowly spilling out into the regions. The south and Bangkok support the violent right wing headcases, PAD, who are backed by Thailand’s elite, who are occupying the government. The poorer north and north east – the masses who elected the popular, though corrupt PPP party to government – are now lining up against the PAD. I have already heard of street fights in smaller towns around the country. Friends and families are splitting along political lines – everyone seems to be waiting for some bloodshed.

    Now this shouldn’t effect tourists directly – but you might find the airport occupied, street battles outside your hotel, homemade bombs going off in random places (this already happening on a small scale). You might also want to question why you’d want to holiday in a country where fascism could be one possible outcome of the present political crisis.

    I would imagine most of you could come here and not witness anything – but tourists should be aware of the present dangers. Dressing it up like Thailand is still some happy-clappy peaceful place is complete misinformation. The only people doing this are those (like many Thai tourism blogs such as this one) with a vested interest in tourists coming to Thailand.

    Most governments are very reticent to give warnings not to travel somewhere – they will need good reason to do this as they don’t like disrupting relations with a Western-friendly government like Thailand.

    The weird about this for long-term SE Asia visitors is that Cambodia is now more stable, safer and arguably (particularly if PAD get their way) more democratic than Thailand.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm
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    Thailand is still a “happy-clappy peaceful place”.

    The murder rate, accident rate, coups, “massacres”, street fights about politics… these things affect Thais not foreign tourists for the most part. Yes, the accident rate for Thais is outrageous.

    For tourists too – the accident rate especially in Phuket and Pattaya is very high – most don’t know how to ride a motorbike when they rent them.

    Is Thailand safe to visit if you’re going to get drunk on SangSom and drive your motorbike? No.

    Is Thailand safe to visit if you’re going to be drug trafficking and perhaps be caught up in a shoot out in the streets like has happened in the past with police ‘cleaning house’? No.

    I don’t have a vested interest in tourists coming to Thailand – I don’t make any money off anyone visiting here.

    Things have gotten a tad worse than when I wrote this original article. Still, nothing that I’d be concerned about or want to warn anyone about. None of the expats I know here are fearing for their safety because of the political situation.

    It’s still quite possible and probable that by staying out of Bangkok except to land and get out again you’ll enjoy your Thailand vacation.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm
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    Thailand is still a “happy-clappy peaceful place”.

    The murder rate, accident rate, coups, “massacres”, street fights about politics… these things affect Thais not foreign tourists for the most part. Yes, the accident rate for Thais is outrageous.

    For tourists too – the accident rate especially in Phuket and Pattaya is very high – most don’t know how to ride a motorbike when they rent them.

    Is Thailand safe to visit if you’re going to get drunk on SangSom and drive your motorbike? No.

    Is Thailand safe to visit if you’re going to be drug trafficking and perhaps be caught up in a shoot out in the streets like has happened in the past with police ‘cleaning house’? No.

    I don’t have a vested interest in tourists coming to Thailand – I don’t make any money off anyone visiting here.

    Things have gotten a tad worse than when I wrote this original article. Still, nothing that I’d be concerned about or want to warn anyone about. None of the expats I know here are fearing for their safety because of the political situation.

    It’s still quite possible and probable that by staying out of Bangkok except to land and get out again you’ll enjoy your Thailand vacation.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm
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    The murder and accident rates for foreigners are very high – not just for locals. Something like 1000 Brits have died here in the last 4 years. The old Thai-authority spun adage that they were all ‘kee nok’ farang – drug takers and drunks – is spin on a terrible truth.

    Soon there is very likely to be some bad bloodshed. It won’t just be contained to BKK – whole areas of the country are very very pissed off about the present situation.

    As for your blog – don’t you make money from the advertising? Therefore you have an interest in promoting the image of the country.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2008 at 5:59 pm
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    The murder and accident rates for foreigners are very high – not just for locals. Something like 1000 Brits have died here in the last 4 years. The old Thai-authority spun adage that they were all ‘kee nok’ farang – drug takers and drunks – is spin on a terrible truth.

    Soon there is very likely to be some bad bloodshed. It won’t just be contained to BKK – whole areas of the country are very very pissed off about the present situation.

    As for your blog – don’t you make money from the advertising? Therefore you have an interest in promoting the image of the country.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2008 at 6:46 pm
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    The post above is by someone posing as Douglas Legless, maybe because some protesters lost their legs in recent demonstrations in Bangkok. Whatever the reason, his email is invalid and most people know that I don’t post many anonymous comments here. This will be his last here.

    The guy obviously has a twisted view of things. 1000 Brits have died in Thailand in 4 yrs. That’s 250 per year. That’s about 1 every day and a half. He doesn’t quote any source for his numbers but, lets assume it’s that high.

    The Brits, Europeans, Americans that come here – on average must be over 55 yrs old. I’ve seen plenty of 65 – 75 year old Brits here. Why do they come? What does Thailand offer these guys? A cheap way of life to continue doing what they can’t afford to do or can’t do any better than in Thailand. Where else can someone retire on $800 USD per month and live pretty well? Philippines. And they’re there too – I’d guess the death rate of Brits in PI is high as well.

    So, these guys drink themselves into comas, love themselves into ridiculous bargirl relationships, and often times come to Thailand JUST for the sole purpose of jumping off the balcony of their hotel room.

    Yeah, the death rate for tourists is high in Thailand – if you’re that kind of tourist. This blog’s focus isn’t on that group of people. If it were I’d be recommending they don’t come to Thailand and that they stick it out where they are and be miserable in their own damn country. Don’t come to Thailand and make it a worse country because of you.

    Soon there is likely to be some bad bloodshed he says… You’re a doomsdayer. I think most of the expats that live here wouldn’t agree with you. Thailand has been on some sort of ‘edge’ for a hell of a long time.

    If something does happen here you think they’ll start slaying tourists with machetes?

    Again, I reiterate – Thais don’t have a problem with visitors. Their issues are not with visitors. Bad bloodshed may occur, but primarily Thais against Thais and visitors only if they get caught within the vicinity of a bomb meant for other Thais.

    As for this blog I make less than $5.00 per day. Whether I promote the image of the country or not doesn’t change my income at all. How could it? I don’t understand what you’re saying… People coming here or not coming here has no effect whatsoever on my blog, on my $2 per day average income. In fact, most of my readers are OUTSIDE Thailand, not inside. Visitors aren’t reading my blog much when they arrive in the country, they’re out enjoying their vacation like you probably should be.

    Anonymous commenters rarely say anything worthwhile. You’ve contributed to that notion today and yesterday. Go on over to ThaiVisa and fill up their forums with your end of the world nonsense. That seems to be where like-minded Brits go to vegetate.

    Reply
  • October 22, 2008 at 6:46 pm
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    The post above is by someone posing as Douglas Legless, maybe because some protesters lost their legs in recent demonstrations in Bangkok. Whatever the reason, his email is invalid and most people know that I don’t post many anonymous comments here. This will be his last here.

    The guy obviously has a twisted view of things. 1000 Brits have died in Thailand in 4 yrs. That’s 250 per year. That’s about 1 every day and a half. He doesn’t quote any source for his numbers but, lets assume it’s that high.

    The Brits, Europeans, Americans that come here – on average must be over 55 yrs old. I’ve seen plenty of 65 – 75 year old Brits here. Why do they come? What does Thailand offer these guys? A cheap way of life to continue doing what they can’t afford to do or can’t do any better than in Thailand. Where else can someone retire on $800 USD per month and live pretty well? Philippines. And they’re there too – I’d guess the death rate of Brits in PI is high as well.

    So, these guys drink themselves into comas, love themselves into ridiculous bargirl relationships, and often times come to Thailand JUST for the sole purpose of jumping off the balcony of their hotel room.

    Yeah, the death rate for tourists is high in Thailand – if you’re that kind of tourist. This blog’s focus isn’t on that group of people. If it were I’d be recommending they don’t come to Thailand and that they stick it out where they are and be miserable in their own damn country. Don’t come to Thailand and make it a worse country because of you.

    Soon there is likely to be some bad bloodshed he says… You’re a doomsdayer. I think most of the expats that live here wouldn’t agree with you. Thailand has been on some sort of ‘edge’ for a hell of a long time.

    If something does happen here you think they’ll start slaying tourists with machetes?

    Again, I reiterate – Thais don’t have a problem with visitors. Their issues are not with visitors. Bad bloodshed may occur, but primarily Thais against Thais and visitors only if they get caught within the vicinity of a bomb meant for other Thais.

    As for this blog I make less than $5.00 per day. Whether I promote the image of the country or not doesn’t change my income at all. How could it? I don’t understand what you’re saying… People coming here or not coming here has no effect whatsoever on my blog, on my $2 per day average income. In fact, most of my readers are OUTSIDE Thailand, not inside. Visitors aren’t reading my blog much when they arrive in the country, they’re out enjoying their vacation like you probably should be.

    Anonymous commenters rarely say anything worthwhile. You’ve contributed to that notion today and yesterday. Go on over to ThaiVisa and fill up their forums with your end of the world nonsense. That seems to be where like-minded Brits go to vegetate.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2008 at 2:53 am
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    Thank you for writing this post. My wife and I are going to holiday in Thailand this Christmas with the hope of relaxation and the opportunity to re-create our honeymoon but with recent news have started to worry. You have thankfully set our minds at rest.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2008 at 2:53 am
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    Thank you for writing this post. My wife and I are going to holiday in Thailand this Christmas with the hope of relaxation and the opportunity to re-create our honeymoon but with recent news have started to worry. You have thankfully set our minds at rest.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2008 at 3:50 am
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    Hi Wolfie – re: safety in Thailand update. Today – people are still safe outside Bangkok except in the deep south. Avoid those two places and keep watching the NATION news and other blogs that keep up with the violence going on (bangkok2.com) is one or 2bangkok.com – can’t remember which. Have a nice visit!

    Reply
  • November 24, 2008 at 3:50 am
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    Hi Wolfie – re: safety in Thailand update. Today – people are still safe outside Bangkok except in the deep south. Avoid those two places and keep watching the NATION news and other blogs that keep up with the violence going on (bangkok2.com) is one or 2bangkok.com – can’t remember which. Have a nice visit!

    Reply
  • April 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm
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    hi i’m planning to visit bangkok in the 3rd week of may…how safe is it right now??..i was in bangkok last month 12th of april,it was full of red shirts and mbk and platinum mall were closed on a few day of my trip…but otherwise,as tourists we dint incur much problems..but i want to know exactly how safe is it going to be,is it a good idea to visit again the coming month??and what is the current scenario for tourists…. im only going to stay in bangkok for 3 nights.planing to go to chatuchak market…will be staying in the sukumvik area,soi 8.

    Thanks,

    Tanya

    Reply
  • April 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm
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    hi i’m planning to visit bangkok in the 3rd week of may…how safe is it right now??..i was in bangkok last month 12th of april,it was full of red shirts and mbk and platinum mall were closed on a few day of my trip…but otherwise,as tourists we dint incur much problems..but i want to know exactly how safe is it going to be,is it a good idea to visit again the coming month??and what is the current scenario for tourists…. im only going to stay in bangkok for 3 nights.planing to go to chatuchak market…will be staying in the sukumvik area,soi 8.

    Thanks,

    Tanya

    Reply

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