Is Phuket Safe?
What to know about safety in Phuket
…of Tsunamis, Crime, Thailand’s Deep South and more…
The island is has long been back to normal after 2004’s Boxing Day tsunami. Rest assured that tsunamis are relatively rare events and the island and Andaman Sea area now have an alarm system reputed to be the best in the region. Read about that HERE at the Asia Institute of Technology.
Thailand’s Deep South
It is easy to see news reports of problems in the deep south of Thailand in the three provinces that have significant Muslim populations. There, yes, significant problems exist and you should not travel to that area unless you have good reason and have someone who knows the area with you. But, the truth is that those three provinces are a hard day’s drive south of Phuket – and sit right on the border with Malaysia. What is happening there is not likely to affect Phuket.
Crime in General on Phuket
There is some crime on the island, though most of it seems to be criminal or “mafia” related crime where the bad buys are fighting it out with each other. There is also some theft and robbery. Be careful, as you would back home – but don’t be overly concerned.
When you exchange currency for Thai baht be sure carefully count your money and check it against the receipt the clerk will give you. The great majority of exchange clerks are completely honest but there are a few that will hope to take advantage of a jet-lagged tourist or perhaps on that has had a few too many drinks and you will discover your pile of cash is not as big as it should have been. Take your time and stay right in front of the window – where the camera can see you and then count your money before leaving. All is lost if you walk out of camera view and then claim to have been shorted. The two times I encountered this problem they quickly gave me my money as they knew the whole thing was being recorded on camera.