It must be mentioned that Thailand is a comparatively safe country. Despite the political upheavals the country remains peaceful. While there is crime and violent crime, the vast majority of visitors to Thailand never have anything worse happen to them other than a nasty Thai whisky hangover, and perhaps a bad conscience for succumbing to the charms of a professional.
However, there are a few things you can do to stay safe at night in Pattaya. Here is a list of what you can do to stay safe at night in Pattaya:
1) Avoid walking around late at night alone. You are always a more attractive as a potential crime victim if you are seen wondering the streets alone. Walk home with friends or catch a taxi. Danger points include second road between soi 7 and soi 11. Another spot to be aware of is the pier at the end of Walking Street.
2) Be careful crossing roads when drunk. Drivers have right-of-way in Thailand. Nobody knows why there are pedestrian crossings in Thailand since drivers are not obliged to stop at them.
3) Always be reluctant to pick up freelance sex workers off the streets. While most are honest enough a few will take advantage of the fact that you have no idea of who they are or where they tend to stay and steal your wallet and valuables. This caricature is especially true of free lance ladyboys. They are often tough and sometimes are desperate for money for transgender ops and/or yabba. At least with the bar fine system you have a bar you can go back to in order to complain if anything goes missing.
4) Watch out walking up and down the main beach road after dark. There are pickpockets operating on the road.
5) Don’t wear expensive jewellery or carry an expensive bag. There are grab and run operators in Pattaya. Wear your handbag on the opposite shoulder to the road side. This will deter bag snatchers riding pillion on a motorbike.
6) Beware of drug dealers working the streets at night. You are occasionally offered drugs on the street. Best to politely say ‘Mai ao kap’ (no, thanks). They might sell you fake drugs; they might be working in cahoots with the police; and they might get busted and decide to throw you to the police as part of a deal.
7) Be polite and keep yourself to yourself when walking around at night. There are plenty of meat heads fuelled with booze roaming the streets looking to find someone who they don’t like the look of. Of course be polite to Thais. The men might look small but they all know Muay Thai; they nearly all have ‘face’ to keep; and they have a group of mates also ready to fight for one of their number’s pride.
That’s it for advice for staying safe when walking around Pattaya at night. If in doubt get a taxi home. Remember to negotiate a price before getting in the taxi. It is no bad idea to also bring a business card out with the name and address of your guesthouse or hotel. If you get really drunk you can show it to a bar tender and they can help organise a taxi back to your room.