Security in Thailand
Crime in Thailand
Thailand is a very safe country. Serious crimes such as murder, robbery and rape occur very rarely. Thais in General is one of the most friendly and peace-loving Nations, and tourists can feel quite comfortable and free even in the most remote and distant places. When one of the tourists says that he had problems with the locals, travelers, old-timers exclaim: "This is what is needed to be done, to have problems with Thais!"
But no matter what friendly they may be, among the hundreds of good are always a few bad guys. So, in Thailand, many "guest workers" from neighboring countries in South-East Asia and many tourists, among them bad people, too, abound. Some resorts have long been "successfully" living the Russian mafia, and often in the Thai criminal reports you can read about the showdown between the Russian-speaking citizens about frauds with real estate or detained citizen of Russia for drug trafficking. Have to say that between tourists and locals, though very rarely, but there are conflicts that sometimes end at fights or something stronger. They occur most often at popular resorts or big cities. Moreover, in such situations, local strongly support each other, and ready the whole crowd to stand up even for unfamiliar compatriot, while tourists wait for help from other tourists not worth it. The police are also ready to defend their own, especially if the foreigner is a little bit wrong. But, fortunately, such situations are very rare. And if you show respect for local traditions and customs, and in the event pre-conflict situations to maintain calm and restraint, the chance to be in such a situation is minimal.
Here is an example of a situation that occurred in August 2014 on the island of Koh Samui. The preliminary circumstances of the accident are: a German citizen and owner of the famous Samui bar came to the nightclub with his girlfriend secretly. When they came out of the night club, on a motorcycle the Germans sat a group of young Thais and had a beer. Verbal altercation ensued, which escalated into a fight. Young Thais beat the German to death, and then slit his throat with a broken bottle, then fled. Remember cases like this when you feel that you have a brewing conflict with the locals. Better to step over their principles and pride than to part with health or life.
Police in Thailand are poorly paid. Police salary is 6,000 baht (about $125, see money of Thailand exchange rate) per month. Hence, corruption in the police, "protection", sometimes dismissive attitude to the victims. However, the tourists here get special treatment, unless of course tourists behaving appropriately. For tourists there are special "tourist police", which deals with offences against foreigners or committed by foreigners. Although the actual investigation "tourist police" does not hold, at the initial stage it is better to apply it there. At least, there will be problems with the language barrier (English, of course).
Tips to avoid trouble in Thailand
With all the security of Thailand and the friendliness of its people should honestly say that Thailand is a police state. The influence of the military and police into politics and public life is quite high, and both categories are very respectable. Plus, strict laws and high corruption. All together, this can lead to problems with the law and the police, the tourists, who believe that they can do anything in this "rustic" country. Many times already there were cases with foreign tourists (not only from Russia), which, according to them, never was detained, thrown in jail without any reason, extorted money. It is difficult to assess the veracity of stories of tourists that they have none did peacefully and quietly rested, but at the same time naive to believe that with you nothing is ever to happen in Thailand and the police will protect you. In a conflict situation, the police often sides with the local population and fellow citizens, too, will stand up for their own. Keep this in mind and follow these guidelines to avoid trouble:
- Under Thai law, foreign citizens must always carry a passport. In practice, this rule, fortunately, is checked and is less strictly observed, but the fact of the matter is there is information that a tourist was arrested and fined because of the lack of a passport. At the very least, be sure to carry a photocopy.
- In Thailand, especially in honor of the King and the Royal family. Any offensive action, even images, can result in criminal punishment.
- Photographing is allowed virtually everywhere and free (it is strictly forbidden to photograph military installations). Where it is impossible to photograph, marked with crossed out photos or video camera. Without special permission you cannot use the camcorder in the Grand Royal Palace, it is impossible to photograph in the Temple of the emerald Buddha. Before you take a picture of a Thai, ask him permission.
- It is impossible to visit Buddhist temples in shorts, short skirts, bare shoulders and legs. As a rule, before entering the temples you will be able for free or for a nominal fee to rent clothes. Before entering the temple have to remove their shoes. Women, under any circumstances, should not touch the monk, to convey or take from him any thing. Each Buddha image, large or small, intact or destroyed in Thailand is perceived as a sacred object. You should not climb on these objects to be photographed, or to take actions that may be perceived as disrespectful to them.
- For Thais the head is the main and important part of the body. They believe that the human soul is in the head. Therefore, you should not touch a Thai person on the head, even if it is a friendly gesture. Also, do not Pat Thais on the shoulder.
- Roughness is considered to be an indication of a person or object with his foot.
- Always try to speak quietly, not to raise your voice. The man who speaks softly, gives Thais a sense of deep respect. The expression of anger and just loud talking are considered rude and bad manners. For those guests who remain calm and smile, all doors are open.
- In Thailand it is not customary to show a relationship between a man and a woman, passionately hugging and kissing in public.
- In Thailand are extremely strict laws against illegal drug trafficking. The person who discovered the drugs, could face punishment up to death penalty. Trafficking of narcotics through customs (smuggling) – the death penalty. Look for credibility before leaving the film "Bangkok Hilton" (the film, incidentally, is great).
- If you are arrested and charged with the offense, try to settle the matter peacefully. Otherwise, the police may, with the permission of the court to commit you to prison for up to 84 days (7 times in 12 days) during the investigation. After making a police report on the offense you can be released on bail (except for especially serious crimes, in which the court is entitled to refuse bail). While your passport remains with police and information about him stored in a database, and to the court of the country will not let you.
- Money, tickets, passports and valuables put into storage in the safe at reception or put in the safe in the room if he is there. Unfortunately, it does not guarantee 100% safety, and there has been quite a lot of cases, especially in cheap hotels, your money and passports from the safe. If the safe is in the reception and in the room, it is better to divide the money into two parts. In hotels that value their reputation, you can ask staff for a receipt (receipt) to the detailed list and value of deposited items. Read also the article about arrangements for security of money and documents while traveling.
- If you have a large cash amount, you can find and rent a safety Deposit box in a Bank or open a Bank account and put money there. In case of opening an account you will be given a plastic card and you will be able to use it for cash withdrawal or payment.
- Take a walk as much money as you plan to spend, not more.
- Try to have as less as possible cash, replacing them with plastic card or traveler's checks, but still enough to stretch to the end of the holiday, if something happens to the card or checks.
- Carry photocopies of passports just in case (passport in the safe). Even better to additionally place a scan of a passport and a Russian passport in their email, so that if necessary they can be printed.
- If you feel that you are trying to deceive, "to breed for money" and if it went any further, not skandalte. Say you don't understand or that there is no money. Do not provoke conflict.
- If renting a room, motorbike, car, taxi hire, etc., to stipulate the price in advance, or subsequently you can put unreasonable expense. Can write the price on paper, show it to the seller to verify the correctness and to keep up to date of calculation. If you say that you tell me the price then it is likely a fraud attempt.
- If you lose the documents you will need to obtain a "certificate of return to Russia". Go to the nearest branch of the Tourist police with photocopies of the missing documents. There you have all the details, write a statement describing the incident and to wait until the police officer will sign. A statement to the police a lost passport is most important document. Otherwise you will not be allowed to leave the country and your holiday will be delayed indefinitely. Next, you should contact the Consular section of the Embassy of Russia in Thailand with a police report and a report from the police, copy of passport and 2 photos. After 2-3 days you will be given a "Certificate of return to Russia". Next, with "Testimony," a copy of the passport, the original and the copy of the application, you go to the Department of Immigration. It is located near the Embassy. There you will put all the required stamps on the "Testimony." Then you can safely return home. Additional information in the article "What to do if lost/stolen passport abroad?"
- If you exceed the 30-day visa-free period of stay or period of validity of the visa, at check out you will be fined 500 baht for each day of delay but not exceeding 20 000 baht. If your stitching is not more than 21 days, there is a chance to get off just fine. If your delay is from 22 to 41 days, you will have a chance after paying a fine and still be in the chamber for some time, and you will be entered in the "black list". Well, if you exceed a period of more than 41 days, you are guaranteed to spend some time in the chamber for educational purposes, and will then be deported without the ability to continue to visit Thailand.
Even if you are in great shape and healthy, the insurance won't hurt, especially if you're travelling independently and for the long term.
There are a huge number of companies and a wide variety of insurance types. You can protect yourself from home, via the Internet, pay for the insurance using a credit card.
Some policies do not cover the occurrence of consequences from activities extreme sports like diving, riding a motorcycle, etc. Some policies require you to place paid for treatment and received compensation home. Others, however, provide a free referral for medical assistance on the spot. Various intricacies in the insurance lot, and if you decide to insure your stay, find out all the conditions and carefully review all the terms offered in the contract.
Safety on the road
First of all, you need to remember on the roads of Thailand drive on the left. When crossing the road you must look first to the right, as you would not want to look left out of habit in Russia.
Different points of view the situation on the roads of Thailand are considered very hard and dangerous, or calm and safe. Anyway, the objective facts are that local drivers tend to not really follow traffic rules in the absence of the sight of police officers or controllers, motobiker sometimes move like crazy on the sidewalks and wrong side to cut a path or to bypass traffic jams. Moreover, at the end of 2014, Thailand ranked second in the world in the number of fatalities per 1,000 people, second only to Namibia.
On the other, subjective side, according to our observations of accidents on the roads a little. Maybe this is certainly due to the fact that unlike our Thai accidents the accident quickly leaving and don't expect 10 hours of staff of GAI. And accidents can do little because the drivers are real pros, and depart from each other just inches.
While almost nobody follows the traffic rules, the roads go quite safe, the main thing to do is calmly and slowly. In the resort areas on the roads a lot of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, where you can carefully cross the roadway. Most importantly when crossing the road not to make any sudden movements from side to side, move slowly. View video about the red light in Thailand:
As for the car transport:
You can easily rent a Bicycle, motorbike (150-500 baht per day), car (from 700 to 1500 baht per day). For rent need only driving license (international), credit cards, passport or cash as collateral. Sometimes the bail can accept a copy of your passport.
Technical condition of vehicles is not perfect, so check everything carefully and take pictures of all the defects before you take the transport. Otherwise, when you return even for the smallest of defects that have been, you will have to pay at an inflated price. You can also become a victim of fraud when the owner of the leased vehicle itself organizes the theft of the rented bike or car (using his keys), and then extorts money.
Important phone numbers
- Phone police emergency - 191 or 123 (free call from any phone)
- Tourist police - 1155 (free call from any phone)
- Ambulance - 1554
Addresses and phone numbers of embassies here
In case of loss of credit cards and traveler's checks:
- 02 252 2212 Mastercard/Visa
- 02 233 5644 Diners Club
- 02 273 5296 American Express
- 02 256 2816 Thomas Cook
Health in Thailand, vaccinations
The medicine of Thailand is quite developed and the world-famous surgical sex change operations, the removal of the breast, etc. Medical care in Thailand is very expensive, so we strongly recommend at least Turisticheskaya medical insurance. Keep in mind that ordinary insurance will not cover treatment of injuries that you can get when you rent a motorcycle. Renting a bike by most insurance companies is equal to active sports.
Drugs in Thailand are available and sold everywhere. If you use any medication regularly, no forget to write their names in English. Be careful when buying drugs, check out whether the retention period.
Before you travel home, prepare a first aid kit of the tourist, including medications:
- From allergies to food, flowers, bites: "Suprastin", "Telfast", etc.
- Antipyretic and analgesic: aspirin, paracetamol or baralgin.
- Cough lozenges: you can use any type of candy "halls" and so forth.
- Against spasms: "But-shpa".
- From sunburn or jellyfish: "Panthenol".
- For stomach: activated carbon, festal, smectite, levomitsetin, Imodium.
- Motion sickness: "dramina", "Aeron", etc.
- Some disinfectant General and local actions, for example "Chlorhexidine".
- Bandages, band-AIDS, insect repellents against flies and mosquitoes.
- A balm for healing wounds: "Rescuer".
- Heart drugs. Comes in handy if you go to the mountains, with severe allergic reactions to insect bites, fish, snakes.
No mandatory vaccinations for arriving in Thailand, unless you are arriving from an infected region.
If you are very concerned about the health, plan ahead for your vaccinations: some of them require an initial injection, followed after the injection period, while some vaccinations cannot be conducted together. So take the medical advice at least six weeks before travel.
You may also want to vaccinate in Thailand at hospitals or private clinics.
Vaccinations that are recommended before departure to Thailand: tetanus and diphtheria; hepatitis B; hepatitis b; typhoid; rabies; Japanese encephalitis.
Recommendations for health maintenance:
- Never drink unboiled water. To buy bottled water in supermarkets and stores. On the street can sell a sealed water from the tap. Brush your teeth with tap water can.
- Try not to drink beverages in cafes and restaurants with ice, since ice can be made from tap water. If the ice is made in the form of cubes or cylinders with a hole in the middle, the ice factory and is safe.
- Be careful when sunbathing – you can be badly burned even in cloudy weather. In the early days you can get burned in 15 minutes. Always use sunblock. Thais as protection and treatment from the sun use coconut oil. It is sold everywhere in Thailand.
- In a tropical climate, you will be able to pick up any infection that exists on the planet. Be far-sighted. Observe personal hygiene, wash hands thoroughly, especially before eating.
Danger animals, plants, insects and natural phenomena. To take preventative measures or do not face such trouble, the enemy must know in person:
- Sea urchins. When bathing is likely to step on a sea urchin. They usually prefer stones, so pick bathing beaches with a minimum of stones. Needle sea urchins are a danger, they're all jagged and fragile. Of course it is best to consult a doctor. However, there is a popular recipe that can be resorted to only in extreme cases when you can't get help. First you need something solid to beat yourself on the place where he had got the needle. Thus, you break the needles into smaller pieces (this is a very painful procedure). Then this place is abundantly watered with lime or lemon juice. The acid in the juice should dissolve needle. You can apply a cloth soaked in juice. Dissolution takes much time, so ill place better to wrap the package and put it in the sun or put in hot water to make the reaction go faster. After 30 minutes of needle should dissolve and come out. After this the wound should be thoroughly disinfected.
- Jellyfish. From jellyfish stings helps fresh aloe. The beaches are a lot of sellers, including sellers of aloe.
- Sunburn. To treat mild sunburn and for protection from the sun you can use a popular Thai remedy – coconut oil. Can buy in a drugstore a way home, or already in Thailand, just showing sunburn. You will immediately recognize.