Thailand Safety, security and travel insurance

Safety And Security In Thailand 

Thailand, like many developed nations, works tirelessly to ensure the security of lives and properties within its borders. Therefore, while it may not be 100% safe, it is considered relatively secure. Offences such as grand theft, physical assault, and other crimes against the "person" are at an all-time low in the country.

Travellers are guaranteed a reasonable level of safety when they are up and about and doing, as you would expect in most developed nations. However, you must be mindful of your surroundings to prevent falling victim to petty theft or physical abuse. Apply caution before embarking on any journey within Thailand, and be vigilant while carrying out any activity.  

Personal Safety Recommendations 

While the authorities work to ensure the safety of citizens and tourists, here are some precautions you ought to take to protect yourself and your properties. 

Accommodation  

After you check into your hotel room, do a quick survey of your room. Inspect the bolt lock and the safety chain. Check if the windows can be opened from the outside and if they lock from the outside. Is there a fire alarm in the room? Can you see the emergency exit? Is there a peephole, and is it functional?

When you leave your room, endeavour to lock it at all times. Keep your valuables in a bag with a lock if you cannot carry them with you. Otherwise, take your valuables with you whenever you leave your room. Alternatively, you can keep your valuables, such as your passport, in the room safe of your room or the hotel safety box. Before opening your door for anyone, look into your door's peephole and apply the safety chain.  

Swimming And Adventures

When you go jungle trekking, endeavour to go with a certified tour guide. Be aware that activities such as elephant trekking can be dangerous, and some deaths and severe injuries have been recorded mainly when Elephants are maltreated.  Bungee jumping has been noted to be dangerous if outdated equipments are used or if appropriate safety measures are not upheld.

Take care when swimming in areas away from coastal waters, particularly during the monsoon period. Deaths by drowning have been recorded in Thailand among tourists, so take care to adhere to warning signs and to swim only on authorised beaches. In the rainy season, there may be giant riptides and currents that may cause drowning, so apply caution. During this season, also, Jellyfish have been noted to sting some persons because it swims close to the bank resulting in their death. To be on the safe side, take advice from the hotel staff or dive centres if you're unsure. 

The standards adhered to by some diving schools are not at par with those obtainable in the West. Therefore, inspect the credentials of every dive operator you intend to use and ensure that you're covered by insurance. If you're new to diving, determine from your operator the type of insurance cover they offer before starting their course.

Check that safety apparatus is present in the boat and that they're set out plans for evacuation in case of any emergency at sea. Avoid deserted beaches, especially at night in an emergency, and there'll be no one to come to your aid. Avoid swimming topless or dressing immodestly, as these are sanctioned in Thailand.  

Water Intake

The  safest source of drinking water in Thailand is bottled water. After you check into your hotel, go to a store and purchase enough bottled water to serve you throughout your stay. Because Thailand has a hot climate, take your bottle of water everywhere to prevent dehydration. 

Sun Protection

Sunlight  in Thailand can be scorching and oppressive. Therefore whenever you're outside between the hours of 10 am to 3 pm, endeavour to use sunscreen to prevent sunburns and other complications. In addition to sunscreen, you can use a hat or scarf to cover the sun-exposed areas of your skin.

All in all, try to limit the length of sun exposure by staying under shades after being exposed to the sun for a while.

Carrying Handbags 

There have been instances of bag snatching and pickpocketing among tourists. Hence, if you're going out with a handbag, clutch it tightly and be wary of people bumping into you on the streets. If possible, place your bag in front of you where you can see it at all times instead of at the side or your back.

Cash, Jewelry, Credit Card

Are you considering bringing your expensive pieces of jewellery to Thailand? Our best advice is that you don't carry it. Thieves have been known to snatch bits of jewellery from tourists. Even the locals can fall victim to this.  

Concerning cash, consider carrying only as much cash as you will need for any outing. In public, avoid being very obvious while bringing out your money. Exercise care with your purses or wallets containing cash. Credit Card fraud is a thing in Thailand as in many other places. When you purchase items with your card, never allow your card out of your site and crosscheck your receipt before leaving.

Clubs And Bars 

Because you're in an unfamiliar environment, try to watch your alcohol consumption to avoid overindulging and consequently getting drunk. Thieves may take advantage of your state to pilfer some items from you.  While having a drink, be alert at all times and guard your drink to avoid spiking of your drink. Do not accept a drink from a stranger or abandon your gadget or valuables where they can be stolen.

The use of and possession of illicit drugs is a crime punishable by law in Thailand. Therefore, do not accept or purchase any illicit drug as the consequences if caught are dire. 

Passport And Registration

According to Thai law, citizens and foreigners are expected to carry a proper means of identification at all times. For foreigners, the appropriate means of identification is your passport. However, because it is a very delicate item, make copies of it and carry the photocopied passport everywhere. Whenever the police request it, present it to them. Your original passport should be kept in a safe place in your room to avoid being stolen by thieves. 

Several countries' foreign affairs commissions offer online registration for trips abroad. Consider registering your journey with this commission so that your contact information can be sorted out in case of any emergency or accident. It is often free and serves only to benefit registered persons.

Healthcare And Medical Emergencies In Thailand For Tourists

The healthcare delivery system in Thailand takes on expat-conducive, foreigner-directed care much as everything else in Thailand. Health standard in this country is at par with its contemporaries in the West, especially in its capital city, Bangkok.

Several private hospitals in the country offer care in facilities that are designed resort-style, making Thailand increasingly become one of the top regions for medical tourism.  A great majority of health practitioners speak English, as several are foreign-trained. Despite the increasingly high standard of care in Thailand, healthcare in the country is very affordable compared to countries with equal quality of care. 

Affordable Care and Great Standard Of Care 

Healthcare care and prescription medications are very affordable in Thailand. Although you will receive as much care as that obtainable in developed countries, your fee will be way less. As Thailand continues to experience an increasing wave of medical tourism, some of the commonest reasons for medical tourism include dental care, cosmetic surgery, and eye surgery. 

What makes the quality of care in Thailand unique is that it is far easier to see a specialist than in other countries. This puts Thailand miles ahead of other top tourist destinations in the world, especially for those seeking cost-effective quality care. 

Best Option Of Care For Tourists

For tourists, we advise that you seek medical care in private healthcare facilities. This is because public healthcare facilities tend to provide lesser service in terms of long waiting times and poorer medical facilities. At private facilities, patients are guaranteed better healthcare delivery, although at a slightly higher but affordable price. However, if you opt for care in a public facility, visit the public facilities in urban areas like Bangkok, where you're likely to receive better care. 

Health Insurance In Thailand 

By Thai law, expats are expected to have medical insurance if they work in Thailand. Every legal worker is eligible for health insurance financed through monthly deductions from the worker's salary. Workers with social security are qualified to receive free consultations and drugs.

However, this consultation can only be brief, and the medications given are only generics. Expats can also access private health insurance, which creates access to several private health facilities. This allows expats to receive quality care at a minimum cost and strain. Tourists to Thailand are expected to have health insurance to the tune of $100,000. This amount is supposed to cover emergency medical care or any Coronona Virus-related treatment or at least for an amount equal to the length of stay

Hazards To Be Wary Of In Thailand

Although  Thailand offers a world-class standard of care, there are some diseases endemic to Thailand that you should be aware of. First of all, because Thailand has tropical weather, conditions such as Malaria are pretty common in the country. This tropical weather also makes it conducive for other mosquitoes to grow and transmit diseases such as Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever. 

Hence, while preparing to travel to Thailand, purchase mosquito repellants and antimalarial medications to protect yourself from these diseases. After checking into your hotel room, apply the mosquito repellant to your skin. Endeavour to apply this repellant every evening, and as soon as you get any flu-like symptoms, present to the nearest hospital.  

There's also a probability of contracting waterborne diseases such as Leptospirosis and cholera. This is because of poor hygiene and poor water treatment processes. To prevent these ailments, buy bottled water or purely filtered water to drink. If the area you're staying at experiences flooding periodically, carefully practise these protection methods to prevent illness.

Pharmacies In Thailand 

Pharmacies in Thailand have a mandatory green cross, green lettering, and white sign displayed at the front. This makes them very easy to spot on a street or any location. There are a plethora of pharmacies in Thailand, all selling great quality drugs, including those in rural areas.  Several of these pharmacies operate as independent stores, but a few of them are chain stores present in different provinces.

Unlike what is obtainable in Western countries, pharmacies in Thailand do not require a prescription to dispense medications. This has led to abuse of drugs leading to drug resistance in some individuals. Most hospitals have pharmacies that dispense medications after consultation. However, hospital pharmacies tend to be much more expensive than independent pharmacies.  

If you want to purchase drugs, you will find that several pharmacists understand English, so communication will not be a problem. Several of these pharmacies are open every day and hour of the week. Most pharmacies, however, are available for a few hours on Sundays. If I'll, please see a doctor first instead of going to a pharmacy.

Corona Virus Restrictions In Thailand 

Thailand’s borders are currently open to foreigners who have tested free of COVID-19. This country was one of the first Asian countries to reopen its borders to foreigners during the pandemic. However, only foreigners boarding semi-commercial flights are allowed into the country, and limited flights are permitted. Travellers should be aware that there are only a few airports allowed to bring passengers into the country. And this depends on your vaccination status.

Travellers not vaccinated are required to quarantine in Bangkok, while those vaccinated can choose to enter the country through Phuket, Bangkok, or Samui. Unvaccinated individuals are mandated to prebook a stay in one of the country’s Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) or hotels for a quarantine duration of ten days. Pending the end of their quarantine period, visitors are not allowed to move out of their lodgings. After these ten days, visitors can explore every region of Thailand. 

A negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours is required before entering Thailand. This hopes to confirm that you’re COVID-19 negative before you’re allowed to enter the country. Travellers must present a copy of their results together with other pertinent documents before they’re permitted into the country.

Some airports go a step further by asking for your proof of vaccination before you’re allowed to board the plane. These airports may also carry out a pre-paid test before you’re allowed into the country, notably the airports in Phuket and Samui.

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