First, let me say, Thailand is one of the world’s safest countries. Particularly for women.
But, just like anywhere else, it is also better to be safe than sorry when traveling around Thailand on vacation if you are a woman traveling alone or with a female friend.
In fact, for women planning on taking a vacation in Thailand, whether with others or alone, there are some basic safety tips for women in Thailand you should follow to ensure you have a carefree and problem-free vacation.
Don’t Walk Alone on a Thai Beach at Night – It’s a beautiful evening, it’s cool, balmy and the ocean is calling your name. In fact, you would love to take a short stroll – alone. Don’t.
Over the last few years there have been a few incidences of western women being attacked, mugged or raped on Thai beaches. In the last three years, there have even been a couple of western women murdered, their bodies found on the beach the following morning.
Of course, compared to the tens of thousands of western women who come to Thailand every year, these incidences are extremely rare – to the point where they make international news when they do happen.
But, to be safe, don’t take that stroll on the beach alone at night. Or with a guy you have just met for that matter.
Don’t Go Topless on Thai Beaches – Too many western women go topless on Thai beaches. Not only is Thailand a conservative country and being topless is against the law, it is also offensive to Thais and will attract the type of male attention you definitely do not want.
As Thai women are very modest, many Thai men don’t understand why western women are topless on their beaches and often equate it to them being ‘loose women’ and so they act accordingly.
Bikinis, of course, are fine. Just bikini bottoms are not. So wear your top and you will find yourself much safer at other times too.
Wear a Bra -Again, Thailand is a conservative country and Thais don’t understand why some western women walk around without wearing a bra.
To avoid unwanted attention or the label of a ‘good time girl’, put your bra on. You can still wear a tank top or spaghetti strap top over it. Just make sure your bra is on underneath.
Be Careful of Your Bags on Trains and Buses – A lot of women traveling around Thailand take trains and buses around the country. Some of the journeys are overnight and, at some point, you will probably want to sleep.
Before you fall asleep, make sure your bags are locked securely and preferably firmly underneath your seat with your legs in front of them, or somehow attached to your body. Bags (with passports and money inside them) have been known to disappear on Thai trains and buses while women are sleeping.
Be careful of yours, and yours won’t.
Taking Taxis Alone – In the decade I have lived in Thailand, I have never once had a problem with a Thai taxi driver, and I take taxis several times a day.
During the day especially you are never likely to have a problem with a Thai taxi driver and, even at night, it is so rare I don’t know any woman in Thailand that has.
However, one tip for taxi safety a Thai female friend gave me and I do sometimes follow is this.
When you get in a taxi at night, after you have told the driver where you are going, make a call on your cell phone and give a friend the taxi number. Apparently, Thai girls do this all the time, and it may prevent any problems with the driver.
Plus, you don’t even really need to make a call. It is just important the driver thinks you did.
To be completely safe, if you do sense you are going to have problems with the taxi driver (and can I stress again, it is highly highly unlikely), don’t argue, don’t confront, just ask him to stop, get out and find another taxi.
Don’t Drink Too Much – If I had a penny for every western girl I have seen falling down drunk in Thailand, I would be richer than J.K. Rowling (She wrote Harry Potter. She’s loaded).
Sure, booze is cheap and it is fun to go out and drink it. But in a foreign country and, particularly if you are a woman traveling alone, be careful how much you drink.
Just that one extra beer or cocktail can impair your judgment and cause you to do things you regret in the morning. Have a couple of drinks, enjoy yourself, but know when to stop.
It is safer that way. Really.
Don’t Hitchhike – Hitchhiking is rarely done in Thailand and never by women. Hitchhiking in Thailand, again, is probably safe but why take the chance?
After all, as Thai women never hitchhike and, outside Bangkok, you are likely to be picked up by someone who speaks little or no English, problems could ensue that threaten your safety.
Take a bus or a van. They are cheap, you will be with other people and you are much less likely to have any safety issues.
Overall, women will love traveling around Thailand as it is a beautiful country, Thais are the nicest, most welcoming, most friendly people, and it is possible to see a lot in just a couple of weeks.
Following these few basic safety tips though can make your vacation in Thailand so perfect, you will be desperate to come back again as soon as you possibly can.