Thailand Nightlife: 3 Essential Travel Tips to Stay Safe

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Thailand's nightlife is legendary. But it's not always safe or kind to travelers. Find out how to stay safe with these tips.


Nightlife in Thailand Photo © iStock/gionnixxx

Beware of the bucket drinks

Lined up in neat rows, filled with shiny bottles of Thai whiskey, vodka, gin and M150 (The Thai equivalent of Red Bull), they sit innocently gleaming at street stalls waiting for you. But buyer beware! The bucket is the deadliest of all concoctions in South East Asia and a drink that is not to be taken lightly – particularly at a full moon party!

After just one or two of these notorious buckets – chances are things will get blurry! Share one between friends if you must. Take it easy and drink responsibly.

How to avoid getting robbed in Thailand

Thailand is famous for its red light districts. From Bangkok to Phuket to Pattaya, lots of people come here for the sex and the seediness of these areas. However, it's in these areas that most of the bad things in Thailand happen. From robberies to drugging and getting ripped off, everything happens here. If you want to avoid these things, avoid these areas but you‘ll also be avoiding a little bit of Thai adventure.

The best rule to go by is to just have some common sense, be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Dont leave your bag unattended, unzipped or hanging off your back. Put your wallet away after purchases and don‘t flash your money around.

Ladyboys in Thailand

Most people have heard a story about a happy-go-lucky young buck who traveled to Phuket, got friendly with an absolutely stunning Thai lady only to discover at the most pivotal moment, that he got a little bit more than he bargained for. A chance meeting with a Thai ladyboy or Sao Pra-phed Song (Transwoman)

Thailand, being a very inclusive and encouraging country, has made provisions to integrate ladyboys into Thai society, including school programs for emerging trans-gender children, exclusive toilet services for ladyboys in some places, and prominent inclusion in popular media including beauty pageants. In the big cities you will encounter ladyboys in every aspect of Thai life – from nightspots and bars right through to everyday jobs.

Ladyboys are a staple of Thailand‘s culture and entertainment and are considered by many travelers to be fun, good humoured, and very open about their life choice. But like any group of people, there are a few ‘bad eggs‘. These ladyboys are known to travel in packs and are likely to go up to single or small groups of men, be flirtatious and touchy-feely. It‘s important to be very cautious – big groups of ladyboys who are ‘hands on‘ tend to be after one thing: your wallet and anything else of value.

In bars and nightspots, its always a good idea to pay attention to your drinks. There have been reported cases of nasty ladyboys spiking farang‘s beverages with sedatives to get what they want; the contents of your pockets and other valuables.

As a visitor to the country, you should respect all walks of life. But be aware, if you verbally disrespect ladyboys or become intentionally antagonistic towards them, they can turn nasty. Some of them are also highly skilled Muay Thai fighters so you could end up having your butt kicked by high heels halfway up the street.

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