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Thai laws, how to stay out of jail in Thailand | VIDEO




Thailand has plenty of laws, some of them applied more vigorously than others. Some not at all. But the ones they do apply can get you in hot water or, at worst, in a Thai jail. You DON’T want to end up there. Here’s a few of the better and lesser known Thai laws from The Thaiger. You can visit all our videos, and subscribe to our channel HERE.


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  1. Avatar

    Al Capone was a god

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    As my thai friends tell me, “jail is for poor people” soooo… don’t be poor and you’re free to do whatever you want.

    As long as you’re not hurting anyone, its unlikely you will catch the attention of authorities.

    The best way to avoid jail is to stay as far as humanly possible from USA.

    • Avatar


      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 7:45 pm

      Damn straight

    • Avatar


      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Best way to stay alive is to stay away from the USA

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    You a need a motorcycle license (not just an auto license) to operate a motorcycle above 50cc. The rental shops never ask but the police will, especially if you’re a foreigner, they usually let you go after paying 500 baht ‘tea’ money. Also after 90 days in Thailand your foreign drivers license is no good, not even your international permit. You must have a Thai license to be legal.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 8:14 am

      That’s right, normally an international driving licence is only valid for 90 days after you enter Thailand. But in many many years trafic police has never asked me when i arrived in Thailand. They are always only looking for the expiration date of the international driving licence. So an international driving licence is perfectly enough for me, no need to bother about Thai driving licence.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Simple, to stay out of jail in Thailand, be a policeman, a government official, or a member of the government on the political ruling party.
    Or make a large donation to the ruling political party.
    Plus just bribe the police to drop the charges.

  4. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    An anecdotal story is the incident of a resident farang caught in a “ defamation” involving himself, a prostitute, a resident building manager and the prostitutes foreign customer.

    It went something like this: the resident observed what he assumed was a sex transaction going on in the lobby of his building. He asked the front desk manager if she would not allow open prostitution in the building. He described the building as family oriented.

    According to the resident the manager seemed to be renting out rooms to prostitutes on a short term basis. He also complained that the manager was renting out the swimming pool to backpackers from a near by hostel. He felt his home building was becoming less secure and less livable. The prostitutes customer got spooked.

    The manager and the prostitute quickly became hostile. The prostitute complained that she had rights and didn’t like to be named as a prostitute publicly. The manager didn’t like being exposed as cheating the condo owners by renting out their rooms to prostitutes and pool without their knowledge.

    A security guard was dispatched to call a policeman stationed across the street. Within an hour the resident was summoned to the police station where he was told that you can’t call a prostitute a prostitute as that impugns her reputation. Instead prostitutes are legally referred to as “ good girls”.

    The manager also demanded that her reputation had been sullied. And the end of the story was the resident being fined B5000 for “ defaming” the good reputation of a prostitute and a brothel manager. Result, the resident moved and assumes that the business in his residential building remains active.

    Moral of the story; Farang will pay regardless.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:28 am

      Snitches get stitches

      • Avatar

        J West

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 1:13 pm

        Anyone who lives by the prison-mentality credo ” snitches get stitches” deserves immediate deportation.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 3:36 am

      To me the moral is “Mind your own business”.

      • Avatar

        J West

        Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:51 pm

        If you’re fine with sleaze and scum, I’m all for you choosing who to socialize with.

        My building was quiet and crime free for years until a property manager change. The Thai moved out and the building became a primarily farang toilet. My area became popularized online and turned into a sewer.

        The Thai who kept quiet in my building and didn’t resist the change now find themselves with a crime infested building and condos they can’t rent or sell. It’s now listed as “avoid”. Karma. Sometimes ” minding your own business does no one any good”.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Same story everywhere in SE Asia with some differences. In Vietnam tourists are generally left alone when driving a motorbike without papers. I asked my Vietnamese friends why that is. Some told me it’s because police doesn’t speak any English at all, not even understand basic words. Others said police are instructed from higher up not to make any difficulties for tourists so the country gets a good reputation.

  6. Avatar

    Jan Schauseil

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Being in possession of or safekeeping the Chanote, land title deed, of another person is illegal.

  7. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Avoid having even a single small beer before driving if you have an International driving licence as Thai law allows a much lower alcohol limit than a person with a Thai driving licence.

    I know first hand that just one beer puts you over the limit and it takes a quick secretive passing of 20,000 baht into a policeman’s back pocked to completely solve the situation on the spot.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      This isn’t as applicable to tourists as some of the others mentioned, (and perhaps not as fun a story) but I’ve built several small homes for myself and family in Thailand and the laws and enforcement (or lack thereof) is… interesting. The laws regarding building permits, in particular, require some patience and consideration. Thais generally avoid filing for building permits if they think they can get away with it, but then later, you run the risk of someone holding this over your head when they want to get you on something else. (Famous cases with politicians abound.)

      Interestingly, it took me a number of trips to get the government official to even accept my application for a building permit because they felt that I could get away without one. (Telling them you need a separate building number for separate electricity bill seems to be the statement that got things moving.) After that, the process was quick, inexpensive, and simple.

      Eventually, I looked up the law for myself. For residential properties, if you put anything permanent into the ground (i.e. pilings), you legally need a permit. So tents, trailer homes, and floating houses are fine without. For anything else, get the permit.

      • Avatar

        James R

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:46 pm


        I had a house built in Rayon last year. Three bed, three bathroom detached, about 140 sq metres internal space.

        The dealings with the land office, the planning, building, getting an address, electricity meter, all straightforward.

        But I did have an educated Thai who dealt with the various offices so that probably helped.

        It did cost extra in ”back-pocket money” to get it done quickly.

  8. Avatar

    James Pate

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:30 am

    Don’t write bad hotel reviews. Don’t publish anything that would “tarnish” any Thai’s reputation. Don’t litter. Don’t spread fake news. Don’t do drugs. Don’t play with endangered species. Never insert yourself in a dispute. Never ignore a police officer or resist arrest. Never say anything about You Know Who. Looks easy to me.

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:59 am

      “Don’t litter. Don’t spread fake news. Don’t do drugs. Don’t play with endangered species. Never insert yourself in a dispute. Never ignore a police officer or resist arrest.” All those would be common sense anywhere in the world, yes?

      • Avatar

        James Pate

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 3:52 am

        Yes. That’s the point.

    • Avatar

      Edgar Krattiger

      Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      DONT LITTER?!?!?! Hahaha..sorry..55555…I when driving with my motobike around here in Thailand, at the left and right side of the streets, there are plenty of plastictrash which smells like cadavers..and shure not from farangs….

  9. Avatar

    Les Coles

    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Interesting how The Thaiger skirted the entire topic of sex–age of consent, prostitution–which some types of visitor are more likely to run afoul of than, say, displaying images of the Buddha in their hotel room.

    • Avatar

      J West

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:54 am

      I knew an actor who told me this story. He met a girl in a bar and was in his room about to “close the deal”, There was a knock at the door and a voice calling out. The “bar girl” told him “ It’s my sister”. He opened the door and sure enough there was a young girl , hand on crotch, dancing from one foot to the other. “ She has to pee”, says the bar girl. “ Let her use the toilet”. Our guy foolishly let her in and she dashed into the bathroom. One minute later another knock on the door, it’s the police and they’re coming in. At the same time an obviously underage naked young girl comes out of the bathroom. Troubles ensued for the Farang.

      • Avatar

        James R

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10:41 pm

        J West

        Well that was the farangs side of the story, now we need to hear the girls and the police side of the story!

  10. Avatar


    Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    Most of these laws are never enforced. Everyone litters, nobody carries their passport, I’ve never seen anyone’s ID checked for drinks on Khao San Rd or any island filled with young European backpackers, and no one gets in trouble for skimpy clothes. They will make women cover up for temples but that is it. Men walk around shirtless all the time. The police will fine drunk driving foreigners but not Thais because the Thais may just say they don’t have any money. Even a bit of public nudity is ok if you are on a tourist island and in a secluded area. I have seen it all. Everyone has been mooned and flashed by some girl in Pattaya before, especially around Soi 6, step in a bar and plenty of nudity flashing goes on.

    The only series crimes are insulting the king or the government, getting caught with drugs or overstaying your visa by a long time (a few days overstay is not a big deal, you just pay a fine). However if you are going to make comments that may be risque, do it anonymously by using some sort of anonymizer online and not any of your real accounts.

  11. Avatar


    Monday, January 18, 2021 at 5:54 am

    Never point your feet at a Thai person or Buddha

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