While Thailand is generally really safe for women, you should never let your guard down completely. So, here are a few tips for solo female travelers to keep in mind.
Drive-by Bag Snatching in Thailand
More accurately ride-by bag snatching, is becoming increasingly common. A motorbike zooms by very close, the passenger on the back grabs your handbag from your shoulder and you‘ve lost everything.
Alarmingly, slipping one arm through the bag loop and the other over your head is not much of a deterrent anymore. They drag you and the bag until the handle breaks or they’ll slash the handle with a blade. Either way the risk of injuring yourself is growing.
But there are a few simple precautions you can take to protect yourself and your valuables.
- Walk as far as possible away from the roadside, keep your bag on the side of your body away from the traffic.
- This isn’t foolproof, at some stage your bag will be vulnerable. The best option is to keep your valuables back in a safe at the hotel.
- Only cary enough cash that you’ll need for the day.
- Leave credit cards, passports and tickets back at the hotel.
- Keep your camera or phone in your pocket, not in the bag.
- Remember, if there’s nothing of value in your bag, it’ll be easy to let the thieves have it and avoid confrontation or injury.
Are Thai Streets Safe for Women
Especially late at night or through the back lanes or streets. That‘s as silly here as it is in your home town – except here you don‘t instinctively know the bad areas.
Don‘t walk alone on a beach at night, and that includes Sunrise Beach where they hold the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangang.
What to Wear in Thailand
Just because there are thousands of scantily-clad bar girls, doesn’t mean you should dress the same.
For all it’s openness and acceptance, Thailand is still pretty conservative. So cover-up appropriately, don’t go topless on the beach, and don’t stray too far from the beach in your bikini. It’s handy to always carry a loose fitting dress in your beach bag, just in case you choose to duck off to the markets.
Do Women Get Harassed in Thailand?
You know all those western men who think all Thai girls are “up for it“? Lots of Thai men feel the same way about western women.
Thai men can often mis-read signals from the way western women dress. If you’re sexually assaulted, although it’s illegal, the old “she was asking for it” argument will most likely crop up.
Thai society is hierarchical, and feminism hasn’t reached to a level the playing field… yet.
Did You Know – Women Should Not Touch Monks?
Don’t touch a monk, or give anything directly to them, instead set it on the ground in front of them or give it to a man to hand to them.
Also don’t sit next to monks on transport and watch-out for the monk-only areas in waiting rooms. Women are not welcome in some temples – check the signs.