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Is Thailand Safe to Visit in 2024? (Expert Opinion)

Is Thailand Safe to Visit in 2024? (Expert Opinion)

Is Thailand safe to visit in 2024?

Thailand beckons with its beauty and culture, and for the most part, it’s safe for visitors. Just be vigilant against petty theft and drink spiking, avoid unrest areas, and stay clear of southern conflict zones.

The country of Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2019, nearly 40 million people visited the country, and many chose to stay as digital nomads.

Look at a picture of Thailand, and it’s easy to see why so many people flock here. The country has beautiful beaches and coastal landscapes, such as the island of Phuket. Inland, you can visit the bustling city of Bangkok, the elegant Chiang Mai, and the many tropical landscapes of the highlands.

Of course, all throughout Thailand, visitors are welcomed with delicious Thai food and wonderful hospitality. But while this storied country is rich in history, culture, and amazing food, is Thailand safe to visit? Here’s our take.

Is Thailand Safe to Visit?

People in Bangkok pictured walking in a market for a guide to whether Thailand is Safe

Bangkok, Thailand – January 12, 2021 : Crowd of people walking on the market in Chinatown/Brostock/Shutterstock

Yes. Thailand is mostly a safe country to visit. Some regions of the country are not very safe due to the risk of civil unrest and other political tension, but the vast majority of the country is safe.

It does have a moderately high crime rate, including very high rates of petty theft, which can affect you anywhere. Most countries issue comprehensive travel advisories for Thailand that can help you evaluate if the country is safe to visit.

In general, their advice agrees that it is safe to visit Thailand, although visitors may want to take some precautions. The United States actually places most of the country under a Level One travel advisory, the lowest possible level, with the exception of some regions.

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Other countries, such as New Zealand, are slightly more cautious about their travel advice for Thailand. New Zealand advises its citizens to exercise increased caution due to the risk of civil unrest and terrorism.

Civil unrest is a risk in the country. In 2020 and 2021, there were widespread protests, mostly led by students dissatisfied with the military coup of a few years back and even the monarchy, calling for democratization in the country.

By the end of 2021, the protests had mostly petered out throughout the country (largely due to government suppression and targeting of pro-democracy activists). However, protests can still happen.

It’s best to avoid any demonstrations in Thailand, not just because of the risk of violence erupting but also because the authorities do not look kindly at foreigners seen as interfering in Thai politics, and dissidents are often punished.

The U.S. Embassy in Thailand usually issues alerts when protests are announced. One place where unrest hasn’t calmed down is the south. The conflict in some of Thailand’s southern provinces has been ongoing for decades as militants in the largely Malay Muslim area fight the Thai state.

Due to the ongoing conflict, it’s not the best idea to travel to Thailand’s deep south. One problem that is more likely to affect your trip is crime.

Common crimes tourists can experience include:

  • Pickpocketing
  • Bag snatching
  • Scams
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Terrorism

Most crimes affecting tourists in the country are non-violent, but it’s still a good idea to take precautions to protect yourself from crime while you are in town.

Like in many places around the world, there is a risk of terrorism in Thailand. The Australian government warns about the risk of terrorism in its official travel advisory for Thailand, as terrorist attacks have targeted popular tourist destinations in the past.

Most attacks in the past have been small IEDs or bombs with some injuries and the occasional death. Be careful in crowded areas, especially during important dates for Thai politics and culture.

Try to stick to the edges of crowds so you can get away if something feels suspicious. Follow the news to see if the Thai government warns about a terrorist threat. Keep in mind that Thailand is a tropical country, which means more than beautiful beach weather.

It means that the country is vulnerable to natural disasters that are typical for countries in its region. Thailand is vulnerable to typhoons, heavy storms that often cause deadly flooding. Typhoon season is from June to December, although it is strongest in September, October, and November.

Although Thailand isn’t as vulnerable to cyclones and typhoons as other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, these storms can still cause damage. If you are traveling during typhoon season, make sure that you follow the forecast closely in case a storm is predicted.

Crime in Thailand

People walking around in an open-air market in Chiang Mai for a guide titled Is Thailand Safe to Visit


Thailand has a low to moderate crime rate. Most people feel safe in Thailand, although they acknowledge that crime exists in the country.

According to Numbeo, which collects survey data from people visiting and residing in Thailand, the country scores 38.27 out of 100 on the crime index, which is a low value. However, people report slightly elevated rates of petty crime, such as drug abuse and petty theft.

According to official crime statistics for Thailand, the violent crime rate is 17 incidents per 100,000 people. Violent crime rate makes up less than 25% of total crimes committed, which is still a very high proportion.

Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Asia, and that shows in the violent crime rate. According to World Bank data, the homicide rate in Thailand is 4.81 incidents per 100,000 people. The property crime rate is significantly higher, at 52 incidents per 100,000 people.

This crime rate is likely higher, as many incidents of petty theft go unreported. Still, it shows that the majority of crimes that are committed in Thailand are non-violent property crimes.

Petty Theft

Many people stereotypically associate Thailand with pickpockets. However, this stereotype is rooted in some truth. It is true that Thailand has a very high rate of petty theft, including street crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching.

Many countries even include this information in their travel advisories for people considering travel to Thailand. The Canadian government warns about the risk of theft in its travel advisory for the country. It states that there is a high risk of pickpocketing, purse snatching, and theft of all types.

Thieves use creative methods, such as slitting bags with razor blades, to steal from victims. You will need to keep a close eye on your valuables at all times, just as you do in any other country.

Make sure that you put your money, credit cards, phone, and ID in a secure place, such as a money belt, or zipped, RFID-proof cross-body bag. Don’t attract attention to yourself by flashing expensive valuables, as that singles you out as a target.

Thieves tend to operate in crowded places popular with tourists, such as:

  • Markets
  • Nightlife districts
  • Bus terminals
  • Public transportation

Buses, in particular, are hotspots for theft as thieves sometimes take bags stored in luggage compartments and overhead bins.

Always keep your valuables on your person while traveling (and make sure to hold onto your bag, even while asleep). Research the bus company ahead of time to see if it has a good reputation in terms of safety.


While violent crime against tourists in Thailand is not as common as theft, it sadly can still happen. One of the most common violent crimes tourists experience in the country is assault, including sexual assault.

The Australian government warns tourists about the risk of assault, including sexual assault; these usually happen at night. They are concentrated around nightlife districts, such as Khao San Road in Bangkok or full moon parties.

Many cases of assault in Thailand occur with the use of drink spiking. The United Kingdom and several other governments mention the risk of this problem in their travel advisories for Thailand.

Both male and female tourists have had their drinks spiked and then have been robbed or assaulted. One of the most important precautions you can take to limit your risk of assault is to keep a close eye on your drinks.

Never leave drinks unattended or accept drinks, gum, or other edible or drinkable products from strangers. Although you can have fun while in Thailand, make sure that you maintain your wits about you, as there’s nothing fun about being the victim of a crime.

Limit your alcohol intake, as drinks are often stronger than those you may be used to at home. Avoid checking out the nightlife on your own, and don’t walk home alone at night.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Photo of several colorful boats on the water in one of the Thai areas to avoid, the Narathiwat Province

19 JULY 2020 : Kolae boat of local fisherman at Narathiwat Province Southern of Thailand/SOD.KS/Shutterstock

There are certain parts of Thailand that are too dangerous to visit. Most governments advise their citizens to avoid the southern provinces due to the risk of armed struggle and terrorism. These provinces are:

  • Yara
  • Narathiwat
  • Pattani
  • Songkhla

Avoid Thailand’s land borders with Cambodia and Myanmar due to the risk of banditry and armed tension.


Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous strawberry plantation with mist on the horizon just over the rolling green hillside for a guide titled Is Thailand Safe to Visit

Kim Wutimet/Shutterstock

Here are a few other questions that people visiting Thailand have asked before:

Are tourists safe in Thailand?

Generally, tourists are safe in Thailand. However, you can be the victim of a crime while in Thailand, ranging from petty theft to more serious crimes such as assault.

Is Thailand safer than Europe?

Europe is a vast continent with countries that differ in terms of their safety. Thailand is safer than some countries in Europe, such as Ukraine and Russia, which are currently at war. However, its crime rate is higher than that of most European countries.

Is Thailand safe to travel as a girl?

Many female travelers visit Thailand each year with no problems. However, women are at additional risk in Thailand, especially of assault. Avoid going to bars and clubs alone as a woman or walking alone at night. Be prepared for street harassment, such as catcalling.

Is Bangkok safe for tourists right now?

Bangkok is safe for tourists right now, but it’s good to check the news ahead of time to see if there are any demonstrations announced. As the capital, Bangkok is often the site of protests.

How safe is Phuket?

Phuket, one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, is fairly safe for travelers. However, be careful in popular clubs and nightlife areas as there are higher risks of crime.

So, Should You Visit Thailand?

Thailand is a country that you can visit safely, but only if you take the right precautions. Avoid parts of the country embroiled in unrest. Wherever you go, make sure you keep a firm grasp on your valuables (and your common sense), and you should have a good time. Happy travels!