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Safety and Health in Thailand

Safety and Health in Thailand

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 31, 2022

Thailand is a safe country, so there is not much to worry about. However, no matter where we are traveling, it is a good idea to take some general precautions, to use common sense, and to gather some information that will come in handy during our trip.

Being safe must be your first concern.Be aware of overfriendly strangers, don’t believe those who offer you an exceptional bargain, and make thieves’ lives as hard as you can by taking good care of your personal belongings. To avoid health problems, take the usual precautions: Eat in clean places, drink bottled water, pack some basic medicines, avoid high-risk areas.

Quick Facts

  • It is relatively safe to travel in Thailand, but precautions are always a good idea.
  • Scams and thefts do happen, but in most cases common sense is enough to avoid them.
  • Check if you need vaccinations and bring some medicines with you.
  • Be prepared to protect yourself against mosquitoes and sun, especially when hiking in the wilderness.
  • Always sign on to a travel insurance when travelling.

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Safety in Thailand

As said, Thailand is a safe country, but small crimes like theft and scams do happen, especially to tourists. However, it is also easy to avoid them with just a few precautions: Do not trust strangers who promise great bargains; use reliable tour operators; only use official taxis and transport agencies; and always take care of your belongings.


Whenever you leave your room, be sure it is completely locked, and leave your most precious belongings (especially the passport) in a safe place. When travelling around, bring all your most important things in a safe place you can control and check.

It is better not to use credit cards directly linked to your bank account. Using a pre-paid card that you can recharge is the best option.

Scams & Touts

Being too secure will expose you to scams. Everyone can fall for a scam, so always be alert. In Bangkok it happens quite often that you meet a too friendly local that makes you think you are getting a bargain, but instead he/she is ripping you off. If strangers promise you free shopping or sightseeing help, just ignore them.

Pay attention to scams when buying suits, gems, and other expensive goods. You are never getting the bargain they are promising you, and the quality of the good can be lower than what you expected.

Touts are quite common. Someone will tell you that the place you want to visit is closed in the morning, or closed to foreigners, etc. This is almost always untrue. Their goal is to bring you somewhere else where you can purchase goods and they will get a commission out of it.

Border Crossing

Crossing the border to get in and out of Thailand is not an issue at all. However, you must be aware of a hot spot: Crossing at Sungai Kolok to get into Malaysia can be dangerous nowadays because of the ongoing violence in the very South. It is also a good idea to avoid provinces with a Muslim majority, like Yala or Pattani.

To be safe, check the website of your foreign ministry.

Health in Thailand

Health problems are quite common for travelers, and you will be glad to start your trip with the right preparations. Get the vaccinations you need, bring medicines for the most common diseases, and use common sense, especially during hot days or walking in rural areas. This way, you will avoid 90% of the problems you might encounter along the way.

Vaccinations & Medicines

There is just one vaccine required by international regulations: yellow fever. If you visit a yellow-fever zone within 6 days before going to Thailand, proof of vaccination might be required. Vaccines should be arranged about seven weeks before your departure. Consult your doctor to check if anything else is needed.

There are plenty of pharmacies all over Thailand, but it is always a good idea to pack some medicines before leaving. Antibiotic, antiseptic, DEET-based insect repellent, anti-inflammatory, flu tablets, and paracetamol are some of the medicines you should never miss in your luggage.

Mosquito Bites

Insect bites and stings are quite common, especially in rural areas. They are easily treated with an antihistamine. When hiking in the jungle it is possible to get bitten by a tick.If so, you will likely get a rash and, to prevent fever or muscle aches, use Doxycycline. To cure leech bites apply an iodine-based antiseptic.

To prevent mosquito bites, sleep under a mosquito net and wear long sleeves and trousers when possible. Use a DEET-containing insect repellent on exposed skin.


With the right precaution, heat won’t be a problem. Temperatures can get really high, especially during April and May. To prevent problems, drink plenty of water, wear something to protect your head, and take frequent rests in the shade. Pay particular attention to small kids and make sure they are hydrated and protected from the sun. Avoid walking or hiking during the hottest hours of the day.

Using a sunscreen is the best way to avoid sunburn (which can occur also during a cloudy day). If you swim, apply the sunscreen again after it. If you have a sunburn, avoid the sun until it gets better.

Food & Drinks

To minimize risks, eat only freshly cooked food in clean restaurants. If you want to get some street food, check the general hygienic condition of the place and how many people are eating there - the more, the better. When eating fruit, wash and peel everything before consuming.

Even if tap water is drinkable according to authorities, Thai people don’t drink it, and so you should avoid it as well. Drink water from sealed bottles.

Travelling with Children

Before leaving for Thailand, talk to your doctor to be sure your child can travel without problems. You can get a medical kit designed for kids, especially if your child cannot swallow tablets and he/she needs liquid medicines.

To treat bacterial diarrhea and other kinds of infections, Azithromycin is the ideal medicine for your kids.

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Women Travelers in Thailand

Ride-by bag snatching is more and more common, and it can be prevented by two simple precautions: 1) walk far away from the roadside and keep your bag away from the traffic; 2) only carry enough cash for the day and leave your most valuable objects in the hotel. If your bag doesn’t contain anything precious, just leave it to the thieves and avoid injuries.

Otherwise, Thai streets are safe for women, especially during the day. However, it can be dangerous to walk alone at night.Just follow the same precautions you would follow at home.

Pregnant women should be aware that the Zika virus was confirmed in Thailand, and that two cases with birth defects have been reported. To have a safe trip, check the International Association for Medical Assistance for Travelers for updates.

Thrush can be caused by heath and humidity, and it is treated with an antifungal cream and Clotrimazole.

Travel Insurance in Thailand

Having a travel insurance is always a good idea. It should cover theft, loss, and medical emergency. When signing an insurance, be aware of what is included.It should also cover ambulances and emergency flights back home. Most insurances don’t cover “dangerous activities”, which can be scuba diving, climbing, motorcycling, etc.

If you can choose, choose a policy that directly pays doctors and hospitals, rather than one that lets you pay first and give you back the money later. It’s easier and quicker.

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We know that, when traveling, the safety of your loved ones is the most important thing. Book with Asia Highlights for a hassle-free trip.We will help you craft your itinerary, provide guides, and rent private cars. Our staff will be available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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