Staying Safe in Pattaya
Your personal health and staying safe in Pattaya should be your priority at all times during your trip. Visiting a foreign country where you’re unable to speak the language can be a little daunting, especially if it’s your first trip to Thailand. Fortunately, a lot of the Thais in Pattaya speak some level of English. All the emergency services including doctors and dentists speak English, which makes communication easier. Some even speak other languages.
Staying safe in Pattaya should be at the forefront of everything you do, much like when you’re back home. Pattaya is a fantastic city which draws in countless visitors each year. However, it is a destination where often the typical social guidelines and laws are not always adhered to. Pattaya is typically much safer than many other worldwide destinations. It’s a place where single tourists, couples and families of all ages can feel safe. 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 Tourist Police are always on hand to help. They are often the very first point of contact for any issues. Always make contact with the Tourist Police rather than the local Thai Police and be aware that you may need to show them your passport if reporting a crime.
Like anywhere in the world, there are always people looking to generate an income from the unwary. Pick pocketing and theft are the most commonly reported incidents in Pattaya. As 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. Leave any large amounts of cash in your bank, or your hotel safe. Do not leave credit cards, valuables or large amounts of cash lying around in your hotel room. From time to time it has been reported that money or personal items have vanished from hotel rooms. Also, be wary if you are approached by a young woman who invites you for a drink. They are frequently the best pick pockets.
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. 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, 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 so they shouldn’t really have an issue with this. The hotel will only return it to them when they leave, once they verify with you that all is in order. Be sure to check that nothing is amiss from your room before sending your guest on their way.
If you have been out at night enjoying a few too many drinks, ask a taxi to take you back to your hotel. Or walk back with a group of friends. An individual on their own, heavy under the influence, can attract unwanted attention. You are putting yourself in a vulnerable position and at risk, so remember to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
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. Motorbike snatches of gold chains from peoples necks is not uncommon. Opt to leave any expensive items at home.
Make sure you take out travel insurance before you begin your holiday. The hospitals and dentists in both Pattaya and Bangkok are world class and have excellent facilities. Many of the hospitals attract health tourists from all over the world. If you have an accident during your stay and do not have the correct insurance cover, you’ll have to show money or a credit card before they will discharge you.
We hope that during your stay you’ll discover that most Thais are respectful and polite to tourists. There are, of course, always the odd few individuals who are looking for an argument. You should prevent at all expenses getting associated with any heated argument with a Thai male, woman, 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 because the end result will not be pretty. Instead, stay diplomatic about the situation. Many disputes can be solved in a friendly non aggressive way.
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 because the traffic is congested any time of the day. Opting for a motorbike would be a better idea. Better still, don’t 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. This will undoubtedly end up putting a real damper on your holiday. There are far better ways of getting around Pattaya which are much safer and more enjoyable for visitors. Why put yourself through the extra hassle when there are better alternatives.