Travelling in Thailand is safer than most people think. As long as you follow some common sense rules then you shouldn’t have any problems during your holiday.

Some of the dangers faced by tourists are usually more annoyances than anything. These usually involve “gem scams” which despite being widely publicised still continue to exist. Gem scam stories usually start with: “We were walking to this temple/museum when a well-dressed English speaking man came up to us. He said that the place we were going was closed for a festival. After chatting for a while he offered to take us to a relatively unknown tourist attraction.” The story always has the same ending. The tourists are tricked into buying something triple the normal price. You have been warned!

In 1982, the Tourist Police was set up to coordinate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in providing safety for tourists. Its responsibilities are receiving and acknowledging claims and complaints; conduction investigation and acting as co-ordinator of tourist security protection. At present, some 500 tourist policemen are stationed in major tourist areas such as the Grand Palace, Patpong and Lumpini Park.Bi-lingual Tourist Police are attached to Tourism Authority of Thailand offices in Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket and Kanchanaburi to provide speedy assistance to visitors.

In case of emergency, contact the Tourist Police Centre (Section 4), Crime Suppression Division, 29/1 Unico House Building Soi Lung Suan Ploenchit Road Bangkok. Tel: 652 1721-6 ext. section 4 or call the TAT Helpline at Tel: 281 5051, 282 8129 Fax: 281 5051

The following “Cautions” have been issued by the Tourist Police in Thailand.

  • Never believe street touts. Promised jewelry bargains are scams.
  • Never purchase jewelry with the unrealistic expectation of reselling it for two or three times the original purchase price.
  • Never mail precious stones home.
  • Always exercise common sense. If something appears “too good to be true” it probably is “too good to be true”.
  • Please be aware the Thai government does not own, operate, subsidise or authorise any jewelry stores, except The Thailand Duty Free Shops.
  • Disregard all offers of shopping or sightseeing assistance from strangers. They invariably take a big commission on a high surcharged price.
  • Please avoid in any habit forming drugs and avoid being induced into any form of gambling, since the penalties in Thailand are very severe.
  • Always select reliable Tour operators and Travel agencies or Guides with official licenses issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • Please contact the bus terminal directly for your ticket. If you purchase the ticket from other agencies, please be sure to obtain all necessary information before using their services to avoid the subsequent problems.

If you have any problems contact the TOURIST POLICE immediately on 1155