Pattaya Warnings and Dangers
What Not to Do in Pattaya
Avoid fraud artists, thieves, and the night scene while traveling in “Thailand’s Murder Capital” by keeping your visit short, sticking to the big hotels and nearby markets, and keeping with groups.
Take precautions when enjoying Pattaya’s night scene, which is not family-friendly. There are more than 1,000 bars catering to adult tourists. Pattaya is better for singles and couples than for families.
Take care not to offend the locals. Don’t put your feet up on a table or point them in the direction of others. Always take off your shoes before entering a dwelling with a Buddha image. Avoid passing anything over someone’s head, or rubbing anyone’s head. That includes the Buddha statues.
Drivers tend to avoid the rules of the road in Pattaya, causing many accidents. Be careful when driving or crossing roads.
Locals try to sell you services and products wherever you go. A simple “no, thank you” gets them to move on quickly.
Areas to skip
Beaches in Pattaya remain polluted due to open sewers that do not prevent sludge from entering the bay. Many tourists swim here, however, unaware the waters are polluted. Consider traveling 15 minutes to Jomtein instead, where there are clean beaches.
Open sewage systems in Pattaya cause many problems, including sewer stench at the markets and pools of sewage that allow dengue- and Malaria-carrying mosquitos to collect, posing a risk to tourists.
Stay back at the hotel to avoid the dangerous streets at night.
Pattaya Warnings and Dangers
Pattaya is a major tourist destination in Thailand. With any large, foreign, international destination, there are new dangers you may not be use to. This is what to be on the look out for if you are traveling to Pattaya.
Watch Out for Club Raids
Generally speaking, the police leave clubs alone. After all, it isn’t good business to constantly have the police entering the clubs, shutting down the locations and leaving it closed throughout the duration of the search. However, it is something to keep in mind. The biggest reason a club is raided is in a search for drugs.
Drugs, really of any kind, are illegal in Pattay. While that may be the case in most other countries, the penalties for not only using drugs but for having drugs on you may be punishable by up to death. So don’t consider using drugs, don’t bring drugs in and avoid being around people who are using drugs. You may be detained for simply being around those who are using drugs, and you probably don’t want to spend time in a Thai prison. So, if you see any kind of drug use, it is best to just leave and avoid this problem all together.
As one of the “red light” districts, just about anything you want can be found here. While that might be great for some, it also means the police know you can find anything here too. Walking down the streets, having a girl tell you about a “Thail Massage” is common. However, in Pattaya, it often implies more than that. If this is something you are considering make sure the price is firm. Some will try to bump the price up as you go. Some may even increase the price after it has started while others may fake a police raid during a massage (you are not doing anything illegal as massages are perfect fine in Thailand). Others may force you into paying far more to be allowed to leave. This is something that can be difficult to avoid, so just keep it in mind that it is more likely to happen at a “massage” parlor in Pattaya than other locations in the country.
Getting a Taxi or Tuktuk
You can have an incredible time while visiting Pattaya. You just need to make sure and play it safe and be smart while visiting. For starters, before going to any destination via a taxi or tuktuk, make sure they know where you want to go and give you a firm price. If they can’t, don’t take them. Also, if they say the location is closed, it likely is not, they are just scamming you. When using a taxi, only use a taxi with a meter. This is something you need to keep in mind anywhere you go in Thailand.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Pattaya Things to Do – Attractions & Must See
- Pattaya Nightlife – Clubs, Bars & Nightlife Tips
- Getting Around Thailand: Transportation Tips
Don't Miss: Top Tours in Pattaya
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid and dangers in Pattaya, Thailand.