Staying Safe in Pattaya
Your health and staying safe in Pattaya during your visit is really important. When visiting a foreign country where you’re unable to speak the language and are not familiar with the local laws, everything can seem a little daunting and slightly scary. That’s why staying safe in Pattaya should be at the forefront of everything you do when you visit the city.
Pattaya is a fantastic city which draws in countless visitors each year. It is, however, a location where often the typical social guidelines and laws are not always adhered to. Pattaya is typically much safer than numerous other traveler locations all over the world and is safe for the single tourist, couples and families of all ages. Cases of attacks, rapes, muggings and other criminal activities are extremely unusual, however, visitors should follow some simple tips for staying safe in Pattaya. Should you require assistance when in the city, the local authorities and Tourist Police are always on hand as the very first point of contact in case of any issues.
The main point is that anyone who is walking around drunk at 1am in any city in the world is putting themselves at risk – remember to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Like anywhere in the world there are always people that are planning to generate income from the unwary. Pick pocketing and theft are the most commonly reported incidents in Pattaya. Being a holiday destination, thieves are attracted to the area and to the tourists who frequently come on holiday with plenty of money. To dramatically lower the chances of being targeted by thieves, only take out sufficient cash for your everyday requirements and leave any large amounts in your bank or your hotel safe. Do not leave credit cards, valuables or large amounts of cash lying around in your room – from time to time it is reported that money or personal items have vanished from their hotel rooms.
Remember that you are in a foreign country, therefore you may be required to show ID at some point. It is a legal requirement to carry your passport at all times, and you might be apprehended for failing to produce it to an officer. However, in the main tourist locations in Pattaya this check is seldom brought out. In case of any emergency though, always make contact with the Tourist Police first, opposed to the normal Thai Police.
Make sure you take travel insurance – the hospitals and dentists in both Pattaya and Bangkok are world class and attract health tourists from all over the world but if you are injured and you do not have adequate insurance you will have to show money or a credit card before they will treat you.
You will discover that most Thai individuals are respectful and polite to tourists. You should prevent at all expenses getting associated with any heated argument with a Thai male, woman, or lady-boy or getting in between 2 Thais. The outcome will be you being referred to as the person in the wrong, and you will end up as the loser. Loosing face or being confrontational to a Thai is considered as a weakness and should be avoided at all costs. Sometimes, even if you are not to blame, the best thing to do is to apologise and stay quiet. You wouldn’t want to create a situation which ends up out of your control – the end result would not be pretty. Instead, stay diplomatic about the situation. Many disputes can be solved in a friendly non aggressive way.
Staying safe in Pattaya often means taking preventative measures. Where possible always walk home with a friend, rather than making the journey on your own. This could prevent unwanted attention, especially in crowded places such as Walking Street.
Be wary if you are approached by a young woman who invites you for a drink – they are frequently the best pick pockets. Young western woman should avoid walking the beach alone late at night as it could attract unwanted attention. Instead, hop in a taxi with your friend instead, or walk back in a large group.
You should also be wary of “inviting” anyone back to your hotel – if you do make sure the hotel retains the ID of the person you invite back (legally every Thai has to carry their ID Card). The Hotel will only return it to them when they leave once they verify with you that all is in order
During your stay in Pattaya, you’d do well not to show indications of wealth, such as wearing gold chains or expensive watches. With so many low paid workers around the city, you could end up attracting the wrong attention and becoming a target. Their have been a number of motorbike snatches of gold chains from peoples necks. Instead, you should leave such expensive items at home.
Staying Safe on the Road
Driving practices in Thailand are careless by any requirements and drivers frequently overlook guidelines and road laws. Naturally this can cause confusion and chaos on the roads, especially if you are a westerner driving in Thailand for the first time. Driving a car through Pattaya is probably the slowest form of transport – you can easily get stuck in traffic any time of the day. Opting for a motorbike is a better idea, however, our suggestion would be to not drive at all and use the public transport instead. Driving in Pattaya can be a hairy experience and for many visitors it often results in an accident or two, which can end up putting a real damper on your holiday. There are far better ways of getting around Pattaya that are much safer and more enjoyable for visitors, so why put yourself through the extra hassle when there are better alternatives.