Chang Mai Warnings or Dangers
Chang Mai is not typically considered to be a dangerous city, but it is certainly still a big city that requires visitors to take care. Just as in any other major city throughout the world, there are a few things that visitors need to know while visiting.
Near Old Town, tourists have experienced lottery scams in which they were handed fake scratcher tickets that required them to come to a travel agency to claim a stay at a hotel. This could be a scam or bait and switch scheme. Not all of the people running this scam are Thai, so you may not initially realize that you are being hustled.
Dogs guard the Wat Phra That Dol Suthep temple. They tend to stick to themselves, but there are signs warning tourists not to touch the dogs. They can be unpredictable and even vicious if provoked. Locals recommend not even trying to pet the dogs.
Many taxi drivers in Chiang Mai do not want to use the meter, and if you ask them to use it they may not be willing to drive. They may overcharge tourists, so you may want to bargain for a cheaper taxi. Taxi drivers are not known to become aggressive, but it is often simpler to settle payment ahead of time rather than to be surprised and argue.
Even in the cool season from January to April, Chiang Mai is blanketed with smog and air pollution, often due to open burning of surrounding fields and exhaust-belching vehicles. Some people, even motorists and police officers, wear face masks until the rainy season begins. This air pollution even cuts down visibility, making it difficult and unsafe to be outside at certain times.
The warnings for Chang Mai are not much different from the warnings for other major cities in Thailand. Pay close attention to your surroundings and avoid unpopulated areas, especially at night.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Chiang Mai.