Many first-time travelers to Thailand are concerned about many different things, and many are concerned with hygiene and safety. Food poisoning, various febrile illnesses like malaria and accidents scare travelers to Bangkok and the rest of Thailand. Many also recall the experiences of travelers twenty years ago, but Thailand has changed, tidied up, and modernized in many ways, and there are really no worries promised to those who are aware of the dangers and know the rules of the game. In fact, Bangkok is in many ways much more developed than Europe’s major cities, and many there marvel at the high level of technology and the cleanliness of the restaurants.
The biggest dangers in Bangkok are humid heat, traffic, pollution, possible floods during the summer monsoon season, the unrest in some areas like Khao San Road, and certain types of scams that include inexpensive gems and other valuables. Boarding and leaving canal and river boats also poses their own dangers, and in Bangkok it is best to move well with footwear and not, for example, flip-flops on foot.
The sun and mosquitoes cause feverish diseases
In the tropics, the sun rises rapidly near the law point of the sky, and it reindeeres hot and scorching from there until ten in the afternoon until three in the afternoon. The only protection against it is clouds, which usually appear during the afternoon, but the clouds usually do not lower the temperature per se but remain the same. Bangkok is one of the hottest capitals in the world, which is also very humid, but there are plenty of air-conditioned facilities and mid-winter is a time when the heat is not quite constant.
You should protect yourself from the sun with some kind of headgear, and using strong sunscreen, even for those who don’t actually stay in the sun, is more than worthwhile. 50+ sunscreen is the best and can be bought at an affordable price from, for example, 7-Eleven stores and pharmacies. You can also protect yourself from the sun as well as mosquitoes, i.e. by wearing long pants and a shirt, and they are good to be loose and thin. There are few mosquitoes in Bangkok during the winter season, but mosquitoes that spread dengue fever from May to October are at least some kind of threat.
The biggest concern on site is the humid heat, which doesn’t really leave you alone for a moment and can only escape to air-conditioned spaces. The sun illuminates the cover of the sky all day, and on cloudy days the humidity percentage can be higher than on sunny days. Bangkok is not quite as hot as it is in midsummer in southern Europe, for example, but it can be 38-40 degrees in March and April. However, the humidity percentage is quite high, but during the travel season from November to March it is at its lowest (66–72%). During the rainy season, from May to October, the humidity is 75 to 80 percent, and it makes touring the city sweaty.
It is best to ensure that the accommodation is air-conditioned, and it is better for the most sensitive to avoid moving outdoors or in the sun at noon, at least initially. However, some people think that air conditioning should not be kept on at night, and when you are a little used to the heat, you should try to sleep only with a fan. Moist heat also brings in larger amounts of laundry than normal, and sensitive skin can get allergies or other skin symptoms from sweating. You should take a shower at least once a day quickly, and the locals often wash twice a day. For those who have just arrived in Bangkok, it is only worth spending a short time in the sun and going into this air-conditioned space, which includes large shopping malls, subway stations and many Western-style cafes.
One important thing is to drink water, and water should be drunk in liters every day. Water can be bought everywhere, it is inexpensive and it is best to carry a separate, washable water bottle that can be filled from larger water bottles.
Traffic, pollution and road crossings
Traffic is perhaps the biggest danger and problem in Bangkok. There are a lot of accidents there, especially at night, and there is no way to ride a scooter or rent a car. Tuk-tuk rides, which are overpriced and aimed at tourists, are the most dangerous, as the consequences in the event of an accident are extremely bad. Pollution is also a problem when riding a Tuk log, and it does not make sense for it to travel long distances, at least. The best are air-conditioned taxis, where driving is affordable (if you understand asking drivers to put on the meter), and while some drivers rampage and ride carelessly, they are professional drivers and rarely have an accident.
Mainly due to heavy traffic, Bangkok is one of the most polluted cities in the world for part of the year. The particular pollution there traditionally is during the dry season, from December to March, and the particular pollution is usually in February. Today, however, the entire period from early December to late March is polluted time, and accurate information can be obtained from the Air Quality Index. It is noteworthy, however, that the situation is not as bad everywhere in Bangkok, and for example, a person traveling by boat on the river can breathe clean air and in many other places the air is cleaner. The most polluted are near busy roads, and places like Sukhumvit, Victory Monument, Phaya Thai, Pratunam and Siam Square are more polluted areas than normal.
Crossing the roads is dangerous, and while many locals cross you bravely, they shouldn’t be imitated, at least at the beginning of the trip. You should use overpasses, which are available in many places, and you should always plan your route so that you do not have to cross busy roads. There are traffic lights at many intersections in Banglamphu, for example, but they should not be blindly trusted. When crossing a normal street, it is always worth looking many times in both directions, as a completely moped can suddenly become a moped, and otherwise in Bangkok, flexibility and speed are more important than traffic rules.
Theft and crime in general
Many fear for their money and valuables, but there are very few such concerns on the ground. There are some areas in Bangkok, such as Pratunam Market, which is crowded and where you can try to grab something from your pockets. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep a wallet unnecessarily careless, especially in the back pocket, and it does not make sense to keep a wallet with all the money and cards in the front pocket as well. You might want to keep a wallet or other mass with spending money in one pocket and more money and a card in the other, more hidden. A couple of cards, a passport and some cash should be left in the hotel room, but should not be left visible. It is best to put your passport, another payment card and possibly cash in a locked suitcase or other lockable place for security. You should keep a copy of your passport with you.
If you want to carry an official identity card, an identity card issued by the police goes to money exchange points, for example, and losing it is not as bad a setback as a passport.
There are very few robberies or violent crime in Bangkok, but at night in some areas like Sukhumvit and around Khao San Road it is not worth wandering in vain. It is advisable to avoid moving in the dark in dim places or in areas where there is hardly anyone. In the evenings, a taxi is a good way to move from place to place, and for example, a place to spend the evening is best to be a short walk from the accommodation.