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Visiting Thailand introduces you to a world like no other. Its incredible beaches, idyllic island settings, and fascinating culture delight and inspire travelers from around the globe. With friendly natives and a strong ex-pat community, Thailand is an inviting place to forge lifelong memories and discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Thailand. But as a developing country, it also presents unique risks depending on where you go. Infrastructure limitations can affect the quality of life in certain areas, while ongoing strife in southern regions poses a risk of violence. To make sure you get the best experience in your travels to the land of smiles, here are the 17 safest places in Thailand.
Top 17 Safest Places in Thailand in 2022
1. Hua Hin
Located two and a half hours south of Bangkok, Hua Hin has many of the amenities of a big city without the crime rate or overcrowding. It features one of Thailand’s cleanest beach communities, and a heavy Royal Thai police presence promotes a safe, crime-free environment. For many residents, corruption is the main issue they face in the seaside resort town, but the overall risks of violence and theft remain low.
A little over seven hours south of Hua Hin, moving toward Malaysia, is Krabi, a world-renowned destination on the Andaman Sea famous for its beautiful shorelines and water activities. The many beaches and islands off the shore give visitors tons of kayaking, rock climbing, and snorkeling opportunities in crystal clear waters.
Crime in the town of Krabi is low, with most reports being crimes of opportunity, such as pickpocketing. It’s critical to keep personal belongings in check, but the general risk of robbery is low.
Kanchanaburi is less than two hours west of Bangkok. Home to a rich history in its Buddhist temples and even richer scenery in its seven national parks, Kanchanaburi combines varied aspects of Thai culture in an intriguing and picturesque setting.
Crimes against tourists are rare, but there was a high-profile attack in 2022 when a local man assaulted two British tourists, killing one of them. The attack resulted from a disagreement that escalated to violence, and it’s not indicative of an overarching crime issue in the area. Like most tourist areas, petty theft is a persistent problem.
4. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is an island resort and ideal family destination located across the peninsula from Krabi. The third-largest island in Thailand boasts several modern-day amenities for travelers looking for the ultimate in relaxation. There are luxury hotels, spas, four hospitals, restaurants, golf courses, shopping centers, and even an international airport, not to mention its renowned beaches and lush tropical forests.
Corruption, bribery, and vice-related crimes are common concerns on the island, but theft and other personal threats are low. The most newsworthy crimes involve minor public offenses, such as illegal parties, unlicensed business operations, and drug use.
5. Chiang Rai
Sitting 11 hours north of Bangkok, Chiang Rai is the northernmost city in Thailand, far from the hustle, bustle, and associated dangers of its southern counterparts. Visitors can find some of the most remarkable photo ops in the country, from the spectacularly ornate White Temple to the dark artistry of the Black Temple.
Tourists in Chiang Rai benefit from low crime rates. Even drug use and corruption, which are prevalent across Thailand, are not seen as problematic in the semi-rural city.
6. Phang Nga
Only an hour’s drive up the coast from Krabi, Phang Nga is well-known for its bay and the incredible rock formations and limestone cliffs you can find there. The natural wonders have made it a popular destination for not only tourists but Hollywood movie-makers looking for otherworldly settings.
Crime rates are low in the soon-to-be UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour guides and locals are known for their warmth and hospitality, and there’s little risk of theft or violence.
7. Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is a city in the northeast region of Thailand. Full of sacred temples and lively public markets, the metropolitan area’s small-town appeal belies its large size. It may be one reason that the area is so safe.
Apart from the high incidence of corruption, there’s not much crime in Chiang Mai. The gun death rate is only 1.4 per 100,000 residents, and tourists are unlikely to fall victim to theft or assault.
Pai is a nearly three-hour drive northeast of Chiang Mai, pushing tourists even closer to the Myanmar border. The once-quiet area is now a thriving tourist hotspot, full of hot springs and exceptional views, an excellent stop for backpackers. The hippie haven may be known for some drug and alcohol use, but it’s a peaceful place to visit, far away from most of the country’s more crime-ridden areas.
Bangkok, or Krung Thep, is the most populated city in Thailand and an essential destination for first-time visitors to the country. There are countless temples to take you on a journey of Thai history as well as some of the more modern amenities you can find in the nation. It’s a world-class setting rich in art, heritage, and urban excitement.
Despite its size, Bangkok is one of the safest places to visit in Thailand. It’s a hotbed for petty crime, drug use, and corruption, but violence and robbery are surprisingly low. Overall, the city has enjoyed a trending decrease in major crimes, including homicide.
10. Phi Phi Islands
The six islands known as Phi Phi are located near the Malacca Strait off the coast of Krabi. The crystal clear waters and towering limestone cliffs offer visitors a magical experience, though many feel the area has been ruined by over-tourism and high-priced hotels. Fortunately, crime remains low in the area with the main concern being pickpocketing and other petty theft.
11. Khon Kaen
Khon Kaen is roughly six hours northeast of Bangkok, only three hours away from the border with Laos. Recent developments in the area have given Khon Kaen several new luxury hotels, shopping centers, and fun nightlife. It’s known as one of the best places to experience Songkran—the Thai New Year water festival.
Khon Kaen is not only cheaper to visit but also safer than Bangkok. Corruption and drug use are the most prevalent issues, but residents consider the latter to be a mild problem at worst.
12. Hat Yai
Hat Yai is a large city close to the Malaysian border. While not being the most picturesque stop on a tour of the country, the city has plenty to experience in its local markets, temples, and food scene.
Although violence has gripped much of the southern region during the 2000s, Hat Yai has surprisingly low crime rates. The incidence of theft and assault is nearly non-existent, and corruption—the most commonly reported crime—is only a moderate issue in the city.
13. Koh Lipe
Koh Lipe is a tropical island paradise in the Malacca Strait close to Malaysia. The island consists primarily of tourists, with three white-sand beaches and turquoise waters providing exceptional relaxation and snorkeling opportunities.
There’s very little crime on the sparsely populated island. It’s not the most popular island for tourists visiting Thailand, and you can get a good amount of space for yourself.
14. Koh Chang
Koh Chang is a large Thai island in the Gulf of Thailand off the country’s southeast shore. Full of thick jungle featuring hiking trails and waterfalls leading to beautiful beaches, the island is a natural wonderland for backpackers. The island has notably low crime rates, with few instances of theft or assault.
15. Koh Pha Ngan
Sitting just above Koh Samui, the island of Koh Pha Ngan shares many of the same landscape features and cultural aspects of its southern neighbor. With white-sand beaches, tons of places to kayak and snorkel, and a fantastic party scene, the island has gained popularity among knowledgeable visitors to the country. And like Koh Samui, the predominant crimes revolve around drug use and public offenses.
Phitsanulok is a historic city five hours north of Bangkok. Home to some of the most sacred temples in the country and the most well-known Buddha statue, Phitsanulok is perfect for taking in Thailand’s quintessential religious culture.
General crime levels are low to moderate, but most offenses involve corruption or drug use. Theft, destruction of property, and violence are low in the area.
17. Udon Thani
Udon Thani is located in northeastern Thailand, close to Laos. It’s a popular destination for English-speaking expats and is well-known for its spicy cuisine and impressive shopping districts.
The crime rate in Udon Thani is one of the lowest in the country. Corruption and bribery are the most prevalent crimes, while robbery, violence, and even drug use are rare offenses.
Staying Safe While Visiting Thailand
Thailand has many isolated beaches and solitary locations to have to yourself, but it’s always safer to stay visible to others. Muggings can happen anywhere in the country, so you need to be aware of your surroundings and remain in areas where you can seek help in case of an emergency.
Keep your cash, passport, and IDs on you at all times. Never leave valuables in your hotel room—even if the door is locked. Instead, try to keep them in a room safe or at the front desk’s lockup.
The Thai nightlife is an enormous draw for tourists, but it’s crucial to steer clear of seedy red-light districts where robbery is common. If you do go out to a bar, never leave your drinks unattended or do anything that might make you a target, such as flaunting cash or valuables.
Related Read: 10 Safest Cities in Europe (2022 Update)
Exotic locales like Thailand are mysterious and enticing, yet they can also gain poor reputations for high crime rates. But for most tourists, the country offers nothing more than incredible natural beauty, inspiring art and religious artifacts, and thrilling cultural festivities. By visiting any of these safe places in Thailand, you’ll be sure to get the most worthwhile experience possible.
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