Public Services in Bangkok

Emergency services in Bangkok

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Emergency Contact Numbers for Thailand

Emergency Police, Ambulance, Fire




Fire Brigade


Tourist Police


Immigration Bureau

66 (0) 2287 3101-10

Rabies and Snake Bites (King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital)

02 256 4214

Safety in Thailand

As long as you stay around well-lit areas, Bangkok is a safe city. Always keep your wits about you as you would in any large city. Extra care should be taken with belongings and food and drink around tourist areas.

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Thailand for non-Thai citizens. Bottled water is very cheap and is available from all supermarkets and convenience stores. If you do not wish to buy bottled water, it is possible to install a water filter directly to your tap.

The rainy season in much of Thailand runs from May to October, with September and October being the height of the monsoon season. The rainy season in Koh Samui and the south east of the Thai peninsula runs from November to March. Heavy storms during the monsoon can cause disruption and damage including flooding and landslides. Lakes, caves and waterfalls are particularly prone to dangerous flash flooding during the rainy season. The Mekong River Commission posts official updates on the Mekong River on its website.

During March and April, there is often smoke haze which may result in poor air quality across parts of the north and northeast Thailand. This air pollution may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthmatic conditions. Keep up-to-date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions. Regular air quality reports for Thailand (and the ASEAN region) are available from the Singaporean National Environment Agency.

Foreign residents should ensure they abide by Thai laws. Even minor violations can result in a fine. For example, if you are caught dropping litter you can be fined 2000 baht. More serious violations can lead to a long-term prison sentence at the infamous Bangkok Hilton or even the death penalty. If you or a family member is arrested, please contact your embassy immediately.

Scams in Thailand

, and sadly foreign residents are often mistaken as tourists so every new resThailand is notorious for tourist scamsident to Bangkok should ensure they become well versed in such scams.

Common scams include:

  • The Grand Palace being closed but miraculously a famous gem store is open for one day only
  • Renting a cheap motor bike or jet ski on holiday only to be told you have damaged it upon return and must pay a hefty fine
  • Being conned into purchasing overpriced real estate
  • Someone telling you that you have a lucky face leading to them telling you your fortune and then demanding money.
  • Vendors selling fake IDs are numerous in Bangkok. It is illegal to present a false document as a real one, and it is also illegal to use the information from a false document on any official application. Using or relying on a professional certification - including teaching degree, law degree, medical license, accountant's certificate, etc. - is punishable by a minimum of two years imprisonment and/or a minimum four thousand Baht fine.

Terrorism in Thailand

There is a high threat from terrorism. Bomb and grenade attacks have been indiscriminate, including in places visited by expatriates and foreign travellers. There have been attacks in the main cities of Thailand, including in Chiang Mai in 2010 and in Bangkok in February 2012. You should remain vigilant and keep abreast of local security advice and media reports.

It is advisable to avoid public areas if known protests are staged. Thailand also has a range of penalties for anyone who instigates civil disobedience or supports oppositional groups. A foreigner was jailed and deported in 2010 for stirring violence in Bangkok and identifying himself with the "red shirts" group.

Since 2004, there have been almost daily attacks in the far south of the country, including arson, bombings and shootings. Targets have included civilians and members of the security forces, government offices, tourist hotels, discos, bars, shops, marketplaces, supermarkets, schools, transport infrastructure and trains. Over 3,500 people have been killed and several thousand more injured. No British nationals have been killed in these attacks, but some foreigners have been killed and injured.

Martial law remains in place in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and in the Sadao district of Songkhla province. The security authorities can detain suspects without charge, censor the media, conduct searches and seize documents. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

Refer to this information from the UK on protecting yourself from terrorism: .

Car Safety in Thailand

Unsurprisingly given the volume, traffic accidents are common in Bangkok. Note that when traveling by car, both the front seat passengers and driver must wear seat belts.

Motorbike drivers and their passengers are required by law to wear helmets. A survey conducted by the Thailand Accident Research Center in 2009 found that out of the 3,757 motorbike drivers and passengers surveyed, 15% were unaware that passengers must wear helmets and 32% did not wear helmets while riding as passengers.

Refer to our section on Transportation for options and safety.

Useful Telephone Numbers for Thailand

AIDS Access Foundation

02 372 2222

Alcoholics Anonymous

02 231 8300

Breast Cancer Support

02 256 4991 Ext. 1026

Samaritans of Thailand

02 713 6791

Thai Red Cross

02 252 8181-9

Update 15/09/2013

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