Safety and security in Thailand


What are the health risks in Thailand? Is it safe and where are the places with the highest crime rates?

The 10 best hotels in Thailand

Health risks

Healthcare in Thailand is of a high standard and the quality of medical facilities is good. Healthcare is less accessible in remote areas. In the event of an emergency injury, care will be provided even in military hospitals.

A big advantage is the availability of medicines in pharmacies. You can get medicines without a prescription and very cheaply, and the network of pharmacies is very dense even in the smallest towns.

However, you have to pay for medical services; there are no free services. We therefore recommend good travel insurance.

Drinking water

Mains water is not potable. We recommend drinking bottled water, which is commonly purchased in local shops.

Dangerous animals

Thailand lies in the tropics, has warm tropical seas and rainforests. This is one of the reasons why there are animals in Thailand that are dangerous to humans.

On the other hand, it should be mentioned that due to the high population density, tourists rarely encounter dangerous animals.

Sea creatures

You can theoretically encounter dangerous animals in the sea, but usually not in the shallows and certainly not at busy beaches.

  • The box jellyfish - a stinging and deadly jellyfish found in deeper waters, particularly around Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, is particularly active at night.
  • Red lionfish - This beautiful fish can sting and sting when disturbed, causing extreme pain, but is not deadly.
  • Sharks - there are many species of sharks in the deep seas around Thailand, but they rarely come to shallow seas near beaches and islands and shark attacks on humans are extremely rare in Thailand.

Snakes and poisonous spiders

There are no species of spiders in Thailand that pose a direct threat to humans. The exception is the black widow spider, whose bite can be potentially fatal to those with allergies, but these spiders are virtually non-existent in areas where people are present.

Of the venomous snakes, the most dangerous are cobras, which are abundant in jungles and far from dwellings in Thailand.

You won't encounter snakes in towns and resorts, but if you go hiking in the tropical jungle, be cautious and ideally don't step into tall grass.


Mosquitoes are responsible for the most deaths of any animal. They carry diseases such as dengue fever and the Zika virus.

However, large epicentres of these diseases are not common in Thailand, and life-threatening conditions are particularly common among the elderly.

The use of repellents when out of town is sufficient protection against mosquitoes.

Stray dogs

Potentially the greatest risk of injury to humans is not posed by venomous snakes, carnivores or sea creatures, but by domestic animals.

Free-roaming dogs are plentiful in Thailand. Some of them belong to specific people and guard their homes, while others are stray dogs that congregate in packs.

In general, homeless stray dogs are very little aggressive and are rather afraid of people. Also, there is not much danger from dogs in large cities and resorts because they are used to people.

However, if you are out in the countryside, you will come across many dogs protecting their territory and they can potentially be aggressive.

Rabies does occur in Thailand, although it has been on a marked decline in recent years.

Avoid contact with dogs, do not feed them or pet them. They are unlikely to take any notice of you.

Compulsory vaccinations

There are no compulsory vaccinations for Thailand. However, it is recommended to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A, B and typhoid.

You can safely leave your anti-malarials at home, the risk is minimal.

But it is necessary to protect yourself from mosquito bites with repellent, as the incidence of malaria is rarely recorded (especially when travelling to the border areas in the south and north of the country).


The crime rate is practically no different from comparable levels in other world capitals.

Take care to observe all normal precautions. It is not recommended to walk alone in quiet alleys or depopulated areas. Make sure all money, jewellery, tickets and passports are well stored. A healthy precaution is always in order.

Serious crime is not common in Thailand and certainly not in connection with tourism.

Scams and tourist traps

The tourist is most likely to encounter petty crime and the efforts of local crooks to make money out of the ignorance of foreigners.

For example, scooter rental scams are common, where they lend you a motorbike that has already been damaged and charge you high damage fees when you return it.

In tourist towns, highly inflated prices from tuk-tuk drivers are very common.

There are various scams in different locations, which are described in the individual guides.

If you have any problems, you can call the Tourist Police on 1155 to speak English.

Disaster risk

Due to Thailand's location, possible flooding and subsequent landslides associated with the monsoon season cannot be ruled out.

The rainy season is particularly heavy from late August to late October, when heavy downpours often occur.

There is no risk of typhoons or hurricanes in Thailand.

There is a risk of tsunamis due to undersea earthquakes, however, dangerous tsunamis are very rare in Thailand. In addition, an effective tsunami warning system has been developed in Thailand since 2004, when a devastating tsunami hit the whole of South Asia.

Important contacts

You should know the following telephone numbers when in Thailand.

  • Rescue Service - 1669
  • Tourist Police (deals primarily with problems of foreigners) - 1155
  • Police - 191
  • Fire brigade - 199

Thailand's international phone code is +66.

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