For many people around the world, an extended vacation to Thailand is a dream come true. Many American expats have fared well with long trips to the country where they can enjoy traveling from one hot tourist spot to another. For some, just a little relaxation off the beaten path in a quiet province where they can lounge at the beach or head out to explore the rainforest is akin to living a fantasy. Something that travelers need to consider when booking a trip to Thailand, just as one would when booking a trip to any country worldwide, is the best way to stay safe and secure by knowing where the safe zones and unsafe zones are in the country.

While you may be in search for the best city in the world, you’ll be happy to know that Thailand just happens to be at the top of the popularity list for American travelers. Millions of people are familiar with cities like Bangkok, and while this is well-known as the hottest city for tourists, it isn’t the only area that people flock to when they book a trip. Whether you are looking for a rental property to stay in for a while, or you prefer to skip around from one hostel to the next, here’s a little information to think about before you fly over the pond for your Thailand vacation.

Crimes to Be Aware Of

There are thankfully not too many unsafe zones in Thailand. As a matter of fact, you may find pickpockets or muggers lurking in rural areas or in areas less traveled, but if you stay in a busy zone where there are quite a few tourists and a heavier population, your chance of being mugged will decrease. It will not however, be erased completely. Purse snatching and other small crimes like that are common in tourist areas such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and other popular zones of the country.

It’s best to keep valuables and money out of site so possible thieves won’t be tempted. The crime situation varies greatly from one zone to the next in Thailand.

In the southernmost areas of Thailand in cities including Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala there have been reports of terroristic actions that include car bombs and even shootings. As a tourist, whether you are male or female, it is best to avoid traveling to the southern area of the country unless you have a guide who knows the way around. Americans are typically not allowed to vacation or travel through the southern points of Thailand due to the dangers that they may face while there.

The Best Areas for Travelers

Now that you’re aware of some of the dangers to watch out for, and where to keep your eyes and ears open, it’s time to think about the best areas for travelers who want to visit Thailand.

While pickpockets and small-time thieves may target tourists in the popular zones of the country, this does not mean that a vacation or even a temporary move to Thailand cannot be a great adventure. Here are two of the more popular areas for expats and tourists when they visit Thailand.

One of the best places for expats is Chiang Mai. This area has beautiful views of the mountains and is a very relaxed, laid back place that is only an hour away from Bangkok by plane. It’s easy to lose a day exploring one or more of the hundreds of Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai or even traipsing through one of the many gardens in the city. Westerners tend to like the fact that the local malls are designed with tourists in mind and it’s simple to find a wide array of souvenirs and necessities for an affordable amount of money.

Phuket is another area that tourists and expats seem to thoroughly enjoy when in Thailand. This is a zone where the beach is a lifestyle like none other. If you like fresh seafood, lounging on the sand or even picking up a board and surfing for a few hours each day, then Phuket is the place to be. It’s not difficult to find affordable housing and there are quite a few lovely townhomes scattered around Phuket that cater to the American lifestyle.

As with any place in the world, there are always dangers even in the quietest corners. To stay safe, be sure to be aware of things going on around you and do a little research on hotels, townhouses and places of business before you head out to explore. The best thing about Thailand is the people, and once you arrive, you’ll find the locals more than happy to show you around and guide you to the best businesses, places of entertainment and outings offered in each area of the country that you visit.

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