Jane and i were at a local restaurant yesterday talking to an ex pat Aussie that owns it, we were talking about our son and his 9 mates that are doing a trip here shortly and he gave us the following information sheet to give to the boys. Its some of the most useful information about travelling to Phuket and Thailand for that matter i have seen in many trips here. He is a volunteer liaison officer for the Phuket Police, not with the tourist police so this information is first hand. Here it is.
Staying safe while on vacation.
This information is prepared by the region 8 Volunteer Police Group in conjunction with the Kathu Police in Patong. Please read carefully.
Every country has its problems where people are on vacation. Thailand is the same, however there are ways to make your stay safer.
There is a lot of information and it will help you understand Thailand.
Here are a few tips.
Never give your passport to anyone as a security, keep it in your hotel safe and carry a photocopy. Use your phone and camera to take a picture of it.
Keep your credit card in sight at all times and do not let people see the number on the back. Put a sticker over the number.
After a transaction and you receive your money, you will be asked do you want to continue. A press of a button releases your card. Only use in well lit areas and not when intoxicated.
During the wet season and rough weather many underwater currents can form and many drowning occur, observe the flags on the beach which indicate safe conditions. Do not swim at night as you are probably being watched and your things will be stolen.
Guests in your Hotel Room.
Most hotels require you to register your guest and many charge and extra fee. It’s what happens when you sleep, keep valuables locked away. Use your own lock on the safe door and check who has access to the safe when you are out.
Behaviour in Public.
Don’t Shout and yell, swear or abuse people, taking things like drinking glasses and beer holders from a bar or restaurant is stealing. Observe dress standards, shirts after dark, appropriate clothing for temple and government buildings.
Negotiate the price before travelling, there are some set prices, but you can still negotiate. Do not put yourself in a bad situation over a few dollars. Forget the principle of it, or that you feel you have been over charged.
It’s safer to use a Taxi rather than hire, if you must hire a car or bike, take pictures. The driver must have an international drivers licence and you need a helmet for each person. Ignorance of the road rules is no excuse for a mistake.
The same as motorcycles, if it’s not necessary, don’t use them, check the internet before hireling. If you have a problem go to the Kathu Police Station for assistance.
Touts (people on the streets wanting to talk)
People selling everything from real estate to Go Go shows, if you want to waste your holiday time and your money, keep talking. The best thing to do is walk away and don’t look back.
Be polite, do not shout or get to close, speak slowly and with respect. Ask to speak with an international Volunteer. They will organise for a speaker of your language, do not tell a lie, it will become more difficult for you.
This is the internationally known Walking Street in the heart of Patong Beach, like anywhere else in the world there are some calculating people looking for an easy dollar. Use your common sense, ask the price of drinks and what is included, especially Go Go Bars. Pay for your drinks as you go rather than a tab, then you know how much you spend. Having your picture taken with a lizard or lady boy will cost you, again negotiate first.
Do not buy drugs, you may be set up by people saying they are police, and the police will catch you.
Walking the streets.
Everyone in Thailand is trying to make a living, don’t loose it because you are asked over and over, Tuk Tuk, Massage, you want a suit, or anything else. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere in the land of smiles. Walk safely, not on the busy road but on the walkways and footpaths and watch for the direction of the traffic.
Patong Hospital 076340444
Bangkok Hospital 24 hours 1719
The international Hospital 24 hours 076249400
The Watania Clinic. 076340690
All police 191 24 hours
Patong Police, Tourist assistance region 8, a list of names, countries and languages spoken is available from Bangala Police Box and Kathu Police Station.
Tourist Police 1155
Immigration Volunteers Hot Line 0901707360.