Thailand’s beaches may be beautiful, the clear pristine water is inviting, but don’t let this image of serenity lull you into a false sense of security. If you see a red flag, a red and yellow flag, a yellow flag, a black and white checkered flag or a green flag on any beach in Thailand, don’t assume a fisherman has left it there to dry, or that it means there is going to be a game of beach volleyball tonight. But do assume they are warning flags, they are there to warn you that swimming might not be a good idea, or you definitely bloody well should not be swimming here.
Take a look at the pictures below to see what the colour of each flag means, most importantly, remember red flag means danger. The most obvious hazards and dangers when swimming off any beach in Thailand are visible, it might be strong surf, rocks or deep water, but there are also hidden dangers, mainly in the form of rip currents, also known as rip tides.
Additionally, many beaches in Thailand are installing “vinegar stations” for the treatment of jellyfish stings, this is a fairly recent measure taken after the appearance of box jellyfish on many of Thailand’s beaches.