Is Bangkok dangerous in 2022? and in 2032? let’s make some predictions!

Excited to be going to Bangkok? Scared of the purported dangers? You’re not alone. I wrote more than one time about cities that are considered dangerous, especially in the south American continent.

You can find my blog post on Lima, the one on Bogotà, and another one on Quito. It’s clear that for many tourists the question of whether a city is dangerous or not is quite an important one and for this reason, in this post, I aim to provide an answer to the question “is Bangkok dangerous?”

Bangkok is often thought of as a dangerous city by the Westerners, but it really isn’t

With a population of more than nine million people, Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the world. This vibrant and exciting city also has an abundance of shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants complete with stunning architecture.

Is Bangkok dangerous? a statue in the temple of the Emerald Buddha.

It is not without its problems and the usual big-city crime does take place, however, the vast majority of visitors to Bangkok return home having encountered no crime at all. There are areas that should be avoided, particularly at night and if you want to get involved in drugs then that’s your choice, I would still love you, but you will probably end up in jail or worse.

The most common scams in Bangkok

Is Bangkok dangerous? did you say theft?

Pickpocketing is a common problem in Bangkok as in many world capital, so never carry your wallet in your back pocket and always keep bags zipped closed. Commonly stolen items include mobile phones, cameras and passports so don’t leave these lying around unattended.

Don’t be afraid to use ATMs during the day but try to avoid them at night or in dimly lit locations. If using one at night it is best to find a brightly lit location with people around (such as outside a bank). Also, be aware that some ATMs are fitted with false card readers which can record your card details and PIN number for subsequent use by the thieves who installed it. The best way to avoid this is to cover the keypad when typing in your PIN number.

Is Bangkok dangerous? Here the Thai flag near a temple near the national museum
Is Bangkok dangerous for tourists? Here is a Thai flag near a temple near the Royal Palace.

Is Bangkok dangerous? the cunning taylors and the usual suspect… the gems dealer

In Bangkok it’s best to avoid any tailor or gem shop that approaches you or calls you inside. You will most likely end up with a bad deal, or worse: they’ll ask for money first and then never finish your order. This is also true, as you can imagine, for any other store that uses aggressive sales tactics. Another way to put it is that despite what they tell you, on the street you will almost never find a very good deal.

Palazzo reale di Bangkok. Fonte Andy Marchand
Is Bangkok dangerous? The Grand Palace of Bangkok certainly not, apart from a possible heatstroke in the hot Thai sun. Photo by Andy Marchand

Bangkok violent? not really

The majority of violent crimes in Bangkok occur when people don’t take their safety seriously. These preventable crimes often occur because the victims become distracted and easy targets. Individual acts of violence are in any case rare and mainly happen to those involved in illegal substances or criminal activity – if you stay away from those things you will not have fun, but you will be fine (ok, it’s a joke, you can have fun anyway).

Bangkok di notte
Is Bangkok dangerous at night?not really. Photo di Mateusz Turbiński da Pexels

“Dangerous” district of Bangkok

The list that you find here is questionable but nonetheless is true that these districts are a little bit more dangerous than the others. Having said that if you are “street smart” and you are not looking for trouble, I see no problem in walking alone in these districts, even at night. Just remember to always pay attention to your surroundings.

Khlong Toei: Khlong Toei is a large, low-income district in the heart of Bangkok. The Khlong Toei area is where most newbie expats end up living. I too stayed there for quite some time. It’s not a bad place, but it’s far away from the main tourist areas (that could also be a positive thing if you are not in a hurry) and the part near the docks in the Chao Praya River is considered to be a little bit too shady for the common tourist.

Nana plaza and Patpong: I would advise you to avoid Nana Plaza and Patpong district in Bangkok. They’re famous for sex tourism and, although it’s perfectly safe during the day, if you’re walking around those areas at night, you’ll be harassed by touts who are trying to get you into the brothels (if you look like a tourist, they’ll assume you’re looking for sex).

Bangkok tuk tuk
Bangkok tuk tuk, photo di Martin Péchy da Pexels

Soy cowboy: Soy Cowboy is located on Sukhumvit Soi 23. In case you’re not familiar with how streets are numbered in Thailand, let me explain. The first number refers to the main road and the “soi” means side street, so Sukhumvit Soi 23 is Sukhumvit Road and side street number 23. Anyway, Soi Cowboy is a very touristy red-light district with lots of bars, but probably more “sleazy” than anything else. A little bit better than Patpong and Nana plaza but way too commercial if you are looking for cool places.

soy cowboy bangkok
Is Bangkok dangerous for tourists? Soy cowboy Bangkok, from wikipedia

Khao San Road: Khao San Road is mostly for young backpackers and travelers who want to party. I think most people don’t realize that Khao San Road is located in a neighborhood called Banglamphu, which actually has some amazing restaurants, cool bars and cafes. Some people will tell you to avoid Khao San Road as it’s too touristy, but I never had an issue when I stayed on Khao San Road (and I stayed there a few times).

Bangkok, Khao San road
Is Bangkok dangerous? here a photo of Khao San road in the old times. In 2020 – 2021 the city of Bangkok is supposed to implement a project for a complete renovation and pedonalization of the area.

Grand Palace and Wat Pho: well, you cannot avoid these areas, at least during the day. The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are in fact the main touristic attraction of Bangkok. In the morning you will find foreigners, tuk-tuk drivers, tout, tourist guides, groups of people going around and snatching photos like there’s no tomorrow. Obviously, at night things are much quieter and there’s really no reason to stay around here.

What are the best district to sleep in Bangkok?

For a bit, only for a bit, let’s leave the question “is Bangkok dangerous?” and let’s talk about my favorite districts. Because every district in Bangkok can be quite fun but some are super fun and really cool.

Sukhumvit Road

Sukhumvit Road has a mix of budget guesthouses, small boutique hotels and some of the city’s finest five-star hotels including The Conrad Bangkok and JW Marriott Bangkok. This area is particularly appealing to tourists who want easy access to shopping malls such as Terminal 21 and Emporium, less than a 10-minute walk from Phrom Phong Skytrain station. Sukhumvit also offers easy access to Bangkok’s nightlife at Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, which are located between Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 and Soi 23.

Bangkok Foto di Ingo Joseph da Pexels
A typical Bangkok Soi (alley)

Silom Road

Silom Road is home to Patpong Night Market and Silom Village, making it a popular destination for visitors looking for inexpensive souvenirs. Silom also offers easy access to some of Bangkok’s major tourist attractions such as Chinatown (Yaowarat), Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) and Wat Po.

Bangkok temples
Bangkok Wat Arun temple


Bangkok Chinatown is the largest Chinatown in the world, and you will find it filled with everything from Chinese temples to gold shops to street vendors selling some of the best food in Bangkok.

It’s not just a tourist attraction, but also home to many locals. And while it can get crowded at times, there are plenty of quiet spots where you can escape the crowds.

wat arun Bangkok
Bangkok, Wat Arun on the opposite side of the Chao Praya river from Chinatown. Photo di Alexandr Podvalny da Pexels

Chinatown is a great area to stay in Bangkok if you are short on time, want to be close to the river, or plan on spending a lot of your time shopping and eating. Plus there are some very cool bars in the area around Soi Nana (in Bangkok there are 2 Soi Nana, one here in Chinatown and another near Sukhumvit).

Is Bangkok dangerous? my conclusion

Bangkok is an incredibly safe city for a tourist, especially considering it’s a growing megacity with over 9 million people.

99% of Bangkok’s 9 million people are friendly, helpful, honest, and hardworking. I think the article makes it clear that as long as you are sensible and don’t put yourself in danger while you’re there, you should be completely fine. There is just no need to be paranoid about your safety because Bangkok is not a dangerous place, so let’s go and have fun!

The blog post “Is Bangkok dangerous?” is now finished. That’s all folks. If you have more time and you want to continue reading i leave here some links:

Is Lima dangerous?

Is really Bogotà a safe or a dangerous city?

Let’s travel to Armenia: the Debed gorge

Is Quito safe?

A journey to Jordan and to Petra, the forgotten Nabatean capital

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