Thailand, the Asian paradise and popular vacation destination for visitors from all over the world, is not the safest country to visit according to recent reports. Despite the welcoming people and the stunning scenery, Thailand offers various risks that young travelers in particular often fall victim to. The Australian foreign affairs and trade department said recently that Thailand is the most dangerous country for Australians, with 403 deaths occurring between 2006 and 2011 and a large number of injuries. And there were 296 deaths of UK visitors in just one year.

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The importance of travel insurance for visiting Thailand cannot be underestimated. Alongside the cases of fatalities and serious injuries are countless incidents of illness and injury that require medical treatment. Without travel insurance the medical bills (tourists are often treated at private hospitals) can be large. In particular, if a traveler needs to be medically evacuated back to Australia the cost can be upwards of AU$200,000.

Road accidents are of particular concern in Thailand. Auto and moped accidents are very common. Travelers frequently hire moped or motorbikes to get around but a combination of difficult traffic conditions and different road rules increase the likelihood of accidents. Not wearing a helmet also increases the injury risk dramatically.

Young travelers are attracted to Thailand’s easy-going nature and the number of parties, clubs and beaches. These attractions can bring risks, particularly when alcohol and drugs are involved. Visitors are advised to look at the information regarding safe travel in Thailand before setting out on their trip and to take it seriously. Travelers are also told not to take unnecessary risks when on vacation and to moderate drinking, avoiding drugs. Buying travel insurance is important before any overseas trip, and is essential for travelers taking a vacation or a gap year break in Thailand.