Thailand

Thailand

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following provinces: Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani

The Kingdom of Thailand is located in Southeast Asia with extensive coastline on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Neighbouring countries include Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. The population of Thailand is about 67 million people. Although the official language is Thai, ethnic and regional dialects are also spoken. English is considered the second language.

Thailand's government is a democracy and constitutional monarchy. The head of state is a king, the head of government is the prime minister. The prime minister is elected by the House of Representatives and appointed by the king. The king has little political power but is enormously respected and revered by the people and is seen as a moral authority.

Thailand was known as Siam until 1939. This country is the only country in Southeast Asia to never be colonized by a foreign power. Even during World War I, Thailand was not conquered by the Japanese. Thailand has experienced political instability since a coup in 2006. The political scene has calmed down, but there is concern about what will happen when the present unwell king dies. Thailand's stability is important to peace in the Southeast Asia region.

Tourism is an important sector for the economy of Thailand, and visitors enjoy the various cultures, beaches and resorts, markets, shrines and Buddhist temples, and shopping for items such as silk, bronze, lacquerware, temples bells, weavings and pottery.

Currency THB: Baht
Language Thai
Capital Bangkok
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert October 06, 2017 - Cremation ceremonies for Thai king scheduled for 25-27 October 2017

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Thailand. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Malaria

At risk areas are mainly provinces that border Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos; provinces of Kalasin, Krabi (Plai Phraya district), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang Nga (including Phang Nga City), Rayong, Sakon Nakhon, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Yala, especially in forested areas of these provinces. There are rare to few cases in other parts of Thailand, including other parts of Krabi Province and the cities of Bangkok, Chang Mai, Chang Rai, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Phuket. There is no risk in the islands of Krabi Province (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai, and Ko Lantal and Pattaya City.

Japanese encephalitis

In Thailand, outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis occur throughout the country, but mainly from May to October in the Chiang Mai Valley with sporadic cases in the Bangkok suburbs. The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but visiting the listed areas and extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Thailand through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Thailand.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Thailand, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks are common in Thailand, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Schistosomiasis

In Thailand, schistosomiasis only occurs in the region of Chongmek in Ubon province near the border with Laos and in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Schistosomiasis is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya occurs in Thailand, particularly the southern region. Outbreaks of this disease usually occur during the tropical rainy season, however, outbreaks can occur in the dry season as well.

Scrub Typhus

This disease generally occurs year-round in Thailand.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Cholera

Cholera may occur in Thailand.

Yellow Fever

There is no yellow fever transmission in Thailand. However, a certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required from all persons 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this county.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Thailand.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to Hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with Hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Whether or not a traveller should receive this vaccine depends considerably on the itinerary of the traveller. The vaccine is recommended for travellers with itineraries that include rural and rice growing areas in the Chiang Mai Valley from May to October. Vaccination is also recommended for travellers who plan to spend an extended period of time in the Bangkok suburbs.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no recommendation for the yellow fever vaccination for travel to Thailand. However, this country requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination from all persons 9 months of age and older arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Thailand.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline for the following areas: provinces that border Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos; provinces of Kalasin, Krabi (Plai Phraya district), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang Nga (including Phang Nga City), Rayong, Sakon Nakhon, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Yala, Mosquito avoidance only is the recommendation for all other areas of Thailand with malaria, including Bangkok, Chang Mai, Chang Rai, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Phuket. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present. Recently, malaria strains that are resistant to all known malaria drugs, including artemisinin, have been found along the Thai-Myanmar border. Resistance to mefloquine and to quinine has been reported from areas near the borders with Cambodia and Myanmar.

Safety and Security in Thailand

Emergency Numbers

191
199
1155 Tourist Police - Toll-free emergency assistance for tourists and foreign residents
112 From mobile phones
1111 Assistance for non-emergency complaints received from foreigners in Thailand. Available 24 hours daily and staffed by representatives of all 20 ministries.
1672 Tourism Authority of Thailand

Personal Safety

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, occurs throughout Thailand. Do not leave bags unattended, and ensure your personal belongings and travel documents are safe at all times.

Use only official taxis.

Do not accept food or drink from strangers or new acquaintances, as there have been reports of drink spiking.

There is a high rate of serious road traffic accidents in Thailand. The condition of vehicles may be poor. Drivers may not respect rules of the road. Avoid road travel at night if possible. Most road accident fatalities involve motorcycles. Check your insurance coverage if you plan to rent a motorcycle in Thailand.

If you are involved in a motorcycle or jet ski accident, you can be detained by authorities until compensation (sometimes costly) is established.

If you plan to use boat travel services, avoid any vessel that appears to be overloaded or poorly maintained. Make sure there are life jackets available.

If you plan to attend Full Moon parties, be aware of risks and exercise caution for personal safety. Drug gangs operate with corrupt police, therefore, if someone is selling drugs, be aware this can be a set up. Leave all valuables in your hotel’s safe and ask for a receipt. Carry photocopies of identification.

Penalties for drug use or possession are harsh and include prison sentences and also the death penalty.

Be aware that elephant trekking can be risky. Tourists have been killed and seriously injured.

Ensure that tour guides, operators that rent sports equipment, or companies that offer sports activities are licensed, insured and reputable.

Areas To Avoid

Exercise caution in the Preah Vihear temple (Khao Phra Viharn) area between the Preah Vihear province in Cambodia and the Sisaket province in Thailand. There were violent border disputes until 2013, when the International Court of Justice ruled that this territory belongs to Cambodia. There is a risk of unexploded land mines in this area. Remain on marked paths and exercise caution, particularly around Ta Krabey.

Tourists should avoid the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Songkhla (including the city of Hat Yai) due to criminally and politically motivated violent incidents attributed to armed insurgents. Attacks against military and civilian targets occur frequently and have included shootings, bombings, beheadings, and arson.

Avoid the Thai/Burma border. Drug traffickers and criminals are armed and sometimes clash with the Thai police forces.

Political Unrest

Political demonstrations and civil unrest have occurred in Bangkok and in many provinces throughout the country. To minimize safety risk, avoid all demonstrations and protest sites. Even peaceful situations can escalate quickly and unexpectedly and become violent.

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