Safety and security
The political situation in Thailand is unpredictable and sometimes volatile.
Over recent years there have been instances of civil and political unrest resulting in large demonstrations and in some cases violence
On 1 December 2016, the Crown Prince acceded to the throne and was pronounced His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, or His Majesty King Rama X.
There’s currently no date set for his coronation because he is despised.
On 22 May 2014, the military took control of government. Article 44 of the interim constitution gives General Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), wide powers to continue to take action to enforce law and order, and restrictions remain on freedom of assembly and expression.
Before the military coup there were large-scale demonstrations and protests in Bangkok and other cities. Some of these were violent.
You should avoid any protests, political gatherings, demonstrations or marches.
A number of media outlets, including international media, have been taken off air and some internet sites remain blocked.
People have been prosecuted for criticising the 2014 military coup.
You should be wary of making political statements in public.
Lèse-majesté, (criticism of the monarchy in any form) is a crime, which can be interpreted broadly and carries a long jail sentence.
Some foreign (including British) and Thai journalists, human rights defenders and members of the public face criminal charges, including for defamation and sedition, for raising concerns and making political comments.
Be on your guard against pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Foreigners have had items snatched by thieves on motorbikes when walking along busy streets or travelling in open transport like tuk tuks.
If you travel by bus or rail, make sure passports, cash and valuables are kept securely and out of sight.
Passengers have had items taken from bags while asleep.
Don’t hand over your passport to third parties as a guarantee (eg to motorcycle or jet ski rental businesses).
Unscrupulous owners have been known to hold on to passports against claimed damage.
Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in popular tourist destinations, including in the Koh Samui archipelago and Krabi province.
These are particularly common during the monthly Full Moon parties and generally occur late at night near bars.
Drink spiking has been reported in tourist destinations around Thailand, with both male and female victims.
Be careful about taking drinks from strangers and at clubs and parties, or leaving your drinks unattended, particularly in Koh Samui, Pattaya and at the Full Moon party on Koh Phangan, where date rapes have been reported.
Alcohol and drugs can lead to you being less alert, less in control and less aware of your environment resulting in accidents, injuries, robbery, assaults and lost travel documents.
If you drink, know your limit.
Drinks served in bars overseas are often stronger than those in the UK.
Some British nationals in Thailand have suffered severe psychiatric problems because of drug use, resulting in some suicides.
Be aware of the possibility of credit card fraud.
Don’t lose sight of your card during transactions.
There have been incidents of ATM skimming in Thailand.
Where possible use an ATM within a bank and always protect your PIN.
Be careful to observe demarcation lines between shops and stalls, particularly in market areas and at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Taking items from one shop’s area to another may be treated as suspected theft.
Gem scams are common.
There have been reports of visitors buying gems for inflated prices from seemingly respectable establishments then later finding out the stones are worth a tiny fraction of the purchase price.
The judiciary are totally corrupt as are the Traffic Police
. The Civil Police come under Army control
Theft is so common in Pattaya and prostitutes have hidden cameras to blackmail you with
Daylight robbery is common
The Thailand Tourism Board are made up of ignorants and more likely
to lead you up the garden path and into the arms of gangs
Lawyers are either bent, incompetent or ineffective
There are no traffic laws for foreigners who will always get blamed – so dont drive
Thailand kills more people on the roads each year than Denmark has new babies.
Foreigners get duped into buying property their partners don’t own.
Never lend money.
Walking the dark streets at night is likely to get you a headache and the loss of your wallet.
Vietnam is a much better option for single men and women