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Travel Vaccines and Advice for Thailand

Passport Health offers a variety of options for travelers throughout the world.

Thailand is a popular destination with its tropical climate, food, culture and beaches.

Thai is the official language of Thailand. But, other smaller languages spoken in rural areas. The primary religion of Thailand is Buddhism and is prevalent in many aspects of culture throughout Thailand. Islam is also practiced in Southern provinces.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is also the largest city in the country. Bangkok is highly populated with congested streets, modern buildings and temples. It is most known for its nightlife.

Thailand’s other major cities include Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai.

On This Page: Do I Need Vaccines for Thailand? Other Ways to Stay Healthy in Thailand Do I Need a Visa or Passport for Thailand? What Is the Climate Like in Thailand? How Safe Is Thailand? Temples in Thailand What Should I Take to Thailand? U.S. Embassy in Thailand

Do I Need Vaccines for Thailand?

Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Thailand. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Thailand: typhoid , cholera , hepatitis A , polio , yellow fever , Japanese encephalitis , chikungunya , rabies , hepatitis B , influenza , COVID-19 , pneumonia , meningitis , chickenpox , shingles , Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) .

See the bullets below to learn more about some of these key immunizations:

  • Typhoid – Food & Water – Shot lasts 2 years. Oral vaccine lasts 5 years, must be able to swallow pills. Oral doses must be kept in refrigerator.
  • Cholera – Food & Water – Cholera is rare, but present in Thailand. Vaccination is recommended for travelers at increased risk or visiting areas with active transmission.
  • Hepatitis A – Food & Water – Recommended for most travelers.
  • Polio – Food & Water – Due to an increase in cases globally, an additional adult booster is recommended for most travelers to any destination.
  • Yellow Fever – Mosquito – Required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Japanese Encephalitis – Mosquito – Recommended depending on itinerary and activities. Recommended for extended travel, recurrent travelers and travel to rural areas. Present throughout country, especially northern regions. Most cases from May to October.
  • Chikungunya – Mosquito – Thailand is a higher risk region. Vaccination is recommended.
  • Rabies – Saliva of Infected Animals – High risk country. Vaccine recommended for long-term travelers and those who may come in contact with animals.
  • Hepatitis B – Blood & Body Fluids – Recommended for travelers to most regions.
  • Influenza – Airborne – Vaccine components change annually.
  • COVID-19 – Airborne – Recommended for travel to all regions, both foreign and domestic.
  • Pneumonia – Airborne – Two vaccines given separately. All 65+ or immunocompromised should receive both.
  • Meningitis – Direct Contact & Airborne – Given to anyone unvaccinated or at an increased risk, especially students.
  • Chickenpox – Direct Contact & Airborne – Given to those unvaccinated that did not have chickenpox.
  • Shingles – Direct Contact – Vaccine can still be given if you have had shingles.
  • Polio – Food & Water – Considered a routine vaccination for most travel itineraries. Single adult booster recommended.
  • TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis) – Wounds & Airborne – Only one adult booster of pertussis required.
  • Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) – Various Vectors – Given to anyone unvaccinated and/or born after 1957. One time adult booster recommended.

See the table below for more information:

Specific Vaccine Information

  • Typhoid – Typhoid, caused by Salmonella Typhi, spreads via contaminated food and water, especially in areas with poor sanitation. Protect yourself by practicing good hygiene and safe food habits. Vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of typhoid infection, especially when traveling to endemic areas.
  • Hepatitis A – Be sure to protect yourself from hepatitis A, a contagious liver infection caused by HAV, through vaccination. The virus spreads through contaminated food, water, and close contact. Along with vaccination, maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding undercooked shellfish are essential for prevention.
  • Japanese Encephalitis – Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-spread viral disease that affects the central nervous system. Prevention is achieved through protective attire and vaccination.
  • Chikungunya – Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus, can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites and reducing breeding sites. The chikungunya vaccine provides the best protection.
  • Rabies – Rabies is a deadly viral illness transmitted mainly through animal bites. Vaccination is pivotal, with pre-exposure and post-exposure options available to protect against this potentially fatal disease.
  • Hepatitis B – The hepatitis B virus leads to liver infection through contact with infected fluids. The most effective safeguard is the hepatitis B vaccine, administered in a series of shots that stimulate the body to produce antibodies, providing long-term immunity. It is crucial for infants and those at an increased risk of exposure.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) – Measles, mumps, and rubella are viral infections that can spread through close contact and respiratory droplets. Vaccination is the most effective way to halt their transmission. The MMR vaccine, given in two doses, strengthens immunity, reducing the chances of contracting and spreading these diseases.

Malaria in Thailand

Malaria in Thailand is primarily found in border provinces near Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. Rare cases occur in other regions. Chloroquine resistance is present in the country. Atovaquone, doxycycline, mefloquine and tafenoquine are suggested as antimalarials if traveling to the region. Consult with a travel health specialist on which antimalarial will best fit your needs.

Japanese encephalitis vaccines are mandatory for those living in rural areas, hiking or camping. Those that plan to stay longer than a month should consider getting vaccinated.

Various mosquito-borne diseases are present in Thailand. Malaria poses a threat to travelers to some regions of the country. Make sure you are protected with antimalarials.

Medical treatment is adequate and common in urban areas. Healthcare is also available in rural areas, though the health care providers may not speak English.

To find out more about these vaccines, see our vaccinations page . Ready to travel safely? Book your appointment either call or start booking online now .

Other Ways to Stay Healthy in Thailand

Prevent bug bites in thailand.

Safeguard against bug bites by dressing appropriately and using EPA-registered repellents with DEET, picaridin, or OLE. If bitten, cleanse the area, refrain from scratching, and mitigate discomfort with OTC treatments. Seek medical aid for serious reactions.

Food and Water Safety in Thailand

When traveling, ensure food safety by adhering to CDC recommendations, which include eating fully cooked foods, avoiding raw seafood, and selecting reputable dining places. Safely drink bottled beverages, avoiding ice in uncertain water sources, and consume alcohol in moderation. Prevent travelers’ diarrhea through hand hygiene and avoiding street food in unsanitary areas.

Altitude Sickness in Thailand

Altitude sickness, characterized by symptoms like headache and nausea stemming from oxygen deprivation at high elevations, can be prevented through gradual ascent, hydration, and medication like acetazolamide. Should AMS symptoms arise, immediate descent to lower altitudes, rest and seek medical attention.

Infections To Be Aware of in Thailand

  • Avian/Bird Flu – Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is a contagious virus that affects birds and can spread to humans. Preventing it involves vaccination of poultry, strict biosecurity on farms, safe handling and cooking of poultry, surveillance for outbreaks, and raising public awareness.
  • Dengue – Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness with symptoms ranging from mild to severe, including high fever and pain. The CDC emphasizes prevention through avoiding mosquito bites by using repellents and removing standing water. Treatment focuses on symptom relief and hydration, avoiding certain pain relievers that can worsen bleeding risks.
  • Leishmaniasis – Leishmaniasis is transmitted by sand flies’ bites. To prevent its spread, individuals should use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved clothing and limit outdoor activities during sand fly activity periods. Eliminating breeding sites and early diagnosis are crucial for effective prevention.
  • Zika – Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, can cause mild to severe symptoms and poses significant risks during pregnancy. Prevention strategies include using insect repellent, safe sex practices, and avoiding travel to affected areas.

Do I Need a Visa or Passport for Thailand?

U.S. citizens staying in Thailand for 30 days or less do not need a visa. But, their passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.

Sources: Embassy of Thailand and U.S. State Department

Always carry your passport and visa with you to avoid arrest in Thailand.

What Is the Climate Like in Thailand?

Thailand is a country with a tropical climate that is hot and humid throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius during the day. The weather can be different depending on where you are in Thailand. Here are some popular tourist destinations:

  • Bangkok : Bangkok is hot and humid all year round. It rains a lot, especially between May and October.
  • Phuket : Phuket is a tropical place. It can rain a lot from May to October. The temperature is usually between 75 and 90 degrees.
  • Chiang Mai : Chiang Mai has a tropical climate with three different seasons: cool, hot, and rainy. The cool season runs from November to February, the hot season from March to May, and the rainy season from June to October.
  • Pattaya : Pattaya is hot and humid all year round. It rains a lot, especially between May and October.
  • Koh Samui : Koh Samui is an island that has two different seasons: dry and rainy. The dry season runs from December to April, and the rainy season from May to November.

Remember that weather can change, so always check the forecast before you travel.

How Safe Is Thailand?

In the past few years, there have been periodic terrorist attacks at popular tourist attractions in Thailand,. This remains a high-concern today. There is an ongoing risk of terrorist attacks in Thailand.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has placed strict restrictions on media and have banned political gatherings. Tourists may be detained by the military for openly criticizing the NCPO.

Pick-pocketing is common in Thailand as is sexual violence in bars and isolated areas.

Do not use your passport as collateral. Many rental places are scams.

In Southern Thailand (Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla), martial law is still prevalent. Tourists are cautioned against traveling to these areas.

Temples in Thailand

Avoid mosquitoes and other bugs, insect-borne disease are a threat throughout the world., keep the bugs away with passport health’s repellent options .

There are over 40,000 temples in Thailand, making them popular tourist attractions. These temples range in age and architecture and many are still in use today.

Wat Pho, located in Bangkok, is one of the most popular due to its size and attractions within. It is one of the largest complexes in the country, holding many buildings. Wat Pho houses the largest reclining Buddha and largest collection of Buddha images.

The site is also headquarters for the teaching and preservation of Thai medicine. There, tourists can find two massage schools and pavilions.

You must take off your shoes to enter and you purchase coins to put into bowls for good luck. All the money goes towards renovating and up-keeping the site.

What Should I Take to Thailand?

Thailand is a hot and humid country, it’s important to pack lightweight and comfortable clothing. You should bring comfortable shoes for walking, sun protection like sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to avoid the strong sun rays. Mosquitoes are common in Thailand, so it’s important to bring insect repellent to avoid bites.

Thailand uses different types of electrical outlets, so it’s recommended to bring a universal adapter. It’s also recommended to pack any prescription medication and over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, and motion sickness medication.

Thailand is a cash-based society, so it’s important to bring cash and credit cards. If you plan to visit the beaches or go swimming, don’t forget to pack swimwear and a beach towel. When visiting temples or other religious sites, make sure to dress respectfully, covering your shoulders and knees, and avoid wearing revealing clothing in public places.

Don’t forget to bring your passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, and any other important travel documents.

U.S. Embassy in Thailand

All Americans visiting Tunisia should register online with the U.S. Department of State before departure. This will inform the office of your travel plans within the country and will allow them to reach out in the case of an emergency or evacuation.

Once in Thailand, the information for the U.S. Embassy is:

U.S. Embassy Bangkok 95 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330 Thailand Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand) Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand) Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand) Email: [email protected]

If you have any questions about traveling to Thailand or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, schedule an appointment with your local Passport Health travel medicine clinic. Call us at or book online now! and protect yourself today.

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travel vaccines in thailand

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 1669 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

  • the latest information on vaccinations and health risks in TravelHealthPro’s Thailand guide
  • where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Health risks in Thailand include:

  • dengue fever

See the ‘Other risks’ section of the TravelHealthPro Thailand guide for more on health risks .

To avoid mosquito-borne viruses, such as dengue fever and Zika virus, take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Air quality

There can be high levels of air pollution in large cities. This includes Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which are also affected by seasonal regional smoke haze from the burning of trees. The high pollution and particulate count sometimes reach dangerous levels. This may worsen bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions.

Check air quality levels for many cities on the World Air Quality Index website .

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Hospitals and pharmacies across Thailand will usually accept UK prescriptions. Brand name medication can often be more expensive than locally produced medication.

Medication sold on the street may not be genuine or may have been stolen. Taking medication without medical advice or a prescription can have serious health consequences.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro . The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Healthcare facilities in Thailand

FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in Thailand . All hospitals require guarantee of payment before treating patients. Make sure you have adequate health insurance.

Private hospitals in Thailand are of a high standard but can be expensive. Public hospitals and clinics do not always meet UK standards, particularly outside Bangkok.

COVID-19 healthcare in Thailand

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 risk for Thailand on TravelHealthPro .If you have severe symptoms, or any questions related to COVID-19, while in Thailand, call the Thai COVID-19 Hotline on 1422. There is more information on the PR Thai Government Facebook page .

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

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travel vaccines in thailand

Latest Thailand Entry Requirements

Legal Advisor

After two years of dealing with Covid, international travel is returning to normal. To help welcome visitors back to the Land of Smiles, the Thai government lifted its final restrictions on July 1st, 2022.

From July 1st, the following changes have been implemented for all international travelers.

  • Foreigners do not need to show proof of Covid Insurance.
  • All mandatory hotel quarantine has been removed.
  • Thailand Pass is no longer required for foreign travelers entering Thailand.
  • Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination to Thai authorities before arriving.
  • Unvaccinated travelers (including children traveling with unvaccinated parents) will need to complete an RT-PCR or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) 72 hours before departing for Thailand. Proof does not need to be uploaded before traveling.
  • Airlines and Thai Immigration will do random checks to confirm travelers meet Covid prevention requirements (vaccination or Covid test).

Below is a full list of what international travelers need before entering Thailand.

Travel to Thailand 2022

Required Documents for Travel to Thailand

Please have the following documents ready.

  • Passport with at least six month validity
  • Visa or visa exemption qualification
  • Buy Thailand Travel Insurance
  • Boarding pass to be presented at Passport Control
  • Hotel booking confirmation if asked by Immigration Officer
  • Note: Vaccination record no longer required

Incorrect documents will delay the entry screening by rules from the Thai immigration bureau and its Thai immigration officials.

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Passport Validity / Visas

The first thing to check before planning to travel to Thailand is the validity of your passport. International travel requires that your passport is not expiring within six months of your travel date. If you have less than six months left on your passport, you cannot enter Thailand.

If you are planning to travel in the future, check your passport early so you know if you need to apply for a new one or not. It is best to check with your local embassy about how long it will take to receive your new passport. As people look to travel again, passport departments are swamped with new applications and this is causing a backlog in many countries.

There are several visas available to foreigners who are planning to visit Thailand. The visa you need will depend on where you are from, your purpose of travel, and how long you intend to stay.

Visa Exemption

A foreign visitor may enter Thailand under the Visa Exemption Program . Nationalities under the Visa Exemption Program may enter Thailand without a visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate.

Upon arriving in Thailand, most nationalities who are part of the Visa Exemption Program may stay for up to 30 days. Certain nationalities can arrive as part of this program, but for a shorter time. It is best to check the country exemption list and confirm how long you can visit Thailand without needing to apply for a Visa.

Tourists arriving under visa exemption are eligible to extend their stay for up to a further 30 days by visiting a local Thai Immigration Office. The cost to extend is approximately 2000 baht.

There is often confusion about Visa Exemption and “Visa on Arrival”. Visa on Arrival is a 15-day visa for travelers from India,  China, and 16 other countries. If you do not find your country on the Visa Exemption list, it is best to check the Visa on Arrival list.

There are some important things to note for Visa on Arrival:

  • A passport must be valid for at least 30 days.
  • The purpose of the visit is strictly tourist.
  • A visitor must show an address in Thailand where they will be staying.
  • A traveler must have a confirmed return flight.
  • Must show proof of funds to the value of 10,000 baht per person or 20,000 baht for a family.
  • A fee of 2000 baht is paid on arrival. The fee must be paid in cash and in Thai baht.

Tourist Visa and Special Tourist Visa (STV)

Foreigners may also apply for a Tourist Visa from a Thai embassy or consulate. There is the normal 60-day tourist visa that can be extended for additional 30 days, or the 90-day Special Tourist Visa (STV), which can be extended for 90 days twice at a local immigration office. There are certain requirements needed for the STV, but it allows a visitor to potentially stay in Thailand for 9 months. The Special Tourist Visa is currently scheduled to halt applications in September.

Contact your local Thai Embassy to verify what documents are needed to complete the process. When your visa is approved, the Embassy will place a sticker on your passport, so allow time for potential postage.

For those entering Thailand for a different purpose of stay, they need to obtain a Thai visa from their local Thai Embassy or Consulate prior to coming to Thailand.

Non-Immigrant Visa

Foreigners may apply for a wide range of long-term non-immigrant visas:

  • Non-immigrant B Visa – for conducting business or employment
  • Non-immigrant O visa – for visiting Thai spouse and family
  • Non-immigrant ED visa – for students of recognized institutions in Thailand and their Parents or Legal guardian
  • Non-immigrant O retirement visa – for those who wish to retire in Thailand
  • Non-immigrant OA and OX visa – for those who wish to obtain a Thailand retirement visa for a long stay (it differs from type O visa)

The above visas can be organized at a local Thai Embassy or Consulate. The paperwork can be quite involved, but there are companies that can help.

Siam Legal International is a reputable company in Thailand that has offered visa assistance to foreign visitors for years. They are well versed in Thai immigration policies and processes. If you would like to streamline your long-term stay in Thailand, it is worth contacting them.

Thai Elite Visa

If you wish to make Thailand easily accessible for many years to come or are perhaps thinking of relocating permanently, it is worth having a look at the Thai Elite Visa.

The Thai Elite Visa allows foreign citizens to live in Thailand for 5, 10, or even 20 years. Thai Elite members do not need to worry about some of the eligibility criteria that are needed when applying for other long-term visas.

The Thai Elite visa is an exclusive visa that offers a host of benefits to holders. If you want to enjoy “Thai life” for the long term, you can read more about the Thai Elite Visa .

Thailand Elite Visa eBook

Proof of Vaccine or Testing

How a visitor enters Thailand will still depend on their vaccination status.

Vaccinated Travelers

Vaccinated travelers do not need to provide proof of vaccination to Thai authorities before arriving. A vaccinated traveler will need to have a copy of their vaccination certificate either printed or on a digital device and be able to present it if asked.

Thailand does not require visitors to have had a third booster shot. 2 shots (1 shot for Jansen) is considered fully vaccinated and accepted.

Unvaccinated Travelers

Unvaccinated travelers will need to complete an RT-PCR test or Professional Antigen Test (Pro-ATK) within 72 hours before boarding a flight in their departure country. They will need to have a copy of the test result and be able to present it if asked.

The RT-PCR and Pro-ATK test must be completed by a medical professional and a test report received. The home ATK (RAT) self-test is not acceptable for entering Thailand.

Vaccination and Testing for Children

The testing requirement for children under 18 depends on the vaccination status of their parents. Children traveling with vaccinated parents do not need to complete any RT-PCR or Pro-ATK test before entering Thailand. Children traveling with unvaccinated parents will need to complete the same test as their parents within 72 hours of departing their home country.

It is important to note that many airlines are still asking for proof of vaccination or a Covid test before boarding flights. If you cannot produce one of these documents, you might not board the flight.

Though foreigners no longer need to provide evidence of testing or vaccination prior to arriving in Thailand, they are still required. Thai authorities are conducting random checks of international passengers and if a vaccination certificate or test result cannot be shown, a visitor will not be allowed to enter Thailand.

Insurance has become a dirty word during Covid. Seasoned travelers have always understood the importance of having comprehensive Travel Insurance when traveling abroad. Travel insurance protected travelers from unexpected incidents like:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Personal injury & accidents
  • Missed or delayed flights
  • Damage to belongings
  • Lost luggage

It was one of those things that people hoped they would never need but regretted not having when needed.

During the Pandemic, proof of insurance became mandatory when visiting countries like Thailand. Over time, people stopped referring to insurance as “Travel Insurance” and always referred to it as “Covid Insurance”. Because you had to have it, it was another hoop to jump through.

The good news is that you no longer need to provide proof of “Covid Insurance” to enter Thailand. But it is recommended because all the things listed above can still happen, and Covid has not disappeared completely.

Foreign visitors are not eligible for free medical care in Thailand if something should happen. Whether it be an accident or personal injury, if a visitor needs medical help, or has a canceled flight, they will need to cover any expenses themselves. Depending on the severity, this could be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Buying good Travel Insurance shouldn’t break the bank. Protecting yourself is cheaper than medical bills, new flights, and replacing lost luggage.

You can buy Travel Insurance from many companies. But if you are looking for coverage that is designed for Thailand, is trusted by Thai authorities and medical institutions, and offers a helpline with people who speak the local language and know the country’s procedures, it is worth checking out AXA Thailand .

Their policies are well priced, straightforward, offer many benefits to its customers, and can be approved in minutes.

Get your travel insurance here: https://u.axa.co.th/Sawasdee_Siamlegal

COVID Travel Insurance Thailand

Hotel and Proof of Address Updates

Previously, a foreign visitor would complete an Arrival Card (TM6) before entering Thailand. This requirement has been temporarily removed as part of a new initiative by the Thai government.

A visitor no longer needs to provide proof of a hotel booking before departing their country, but will still need to provide an address when passing through Passport Control in Thailand. This address can be a hotel, home, or friend’s address.

This is especially true with people arriving on a pre-approved visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate.

From July 1, travelers are no longer required to book a SHA+ hotel and undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival. Most hotels have removed their SHA+ quarantine packages, but you will still see the SHA+ badge displayed on hotels.

It is recommended to browse hotels in Thailand on Agoda.com before arriving as it is easier to organize transport to your first night’s rest if pre-booked.

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Thailand Pass

From July 1st, 2022, foreign travelers no longer need to apply for a Thailand Pass before entering Thailand. The system is still in place but is now a platform where visitors can notify the Thai authorities and medical facilities if they are diagnosed positive for Covid during their stay.

If you need to access the Thailand Pass system while in Thailand, please visit https://tp.consular.go.th/ and register by filling in your personal details on the Thailand Pass registration page.

International Arrivals

Travelers do not need to provide any proof of flights before leaving their home country.

There is a lot of discussion about whether a return flight needs to be booked when entering Thailand. Technically, all visitors should have a return flight booked. However, you will not always be asked to present evidence of a return flight.

If a visitor is entering Thailand with a pre-approved visa, or Visa on Arrival, they will often be asked to present details of their exit flight. Sometimes a visitor did not have a return flight and had to book a flight on the spot before being processed through Passport Control. To avoid this, it is best to book an exit flight that can be changed. You can always change your plans once in Thailand.

Domestic flights

There are no longer any restrictions on domestic flights and travel. When entering Thailand at an international terminal, a traveler is free to transit to a domestic flight right away. “Sealed” flights have been removed.

Domestic airlines will not always ask for proof, but it is best to have your vaccination certificate or Covid test result on hand in case you are asked to show it.

Siam Legal has received reports from potential clients that some hospitals are creating difficulties for them until full payment is made for their medical expenses. Also, foreigners have allegedly been threatened with lawsuits for not settling their medical bills before being discharged. Using out-of-country policies can be problematic. We recommend using insurance providers headquartered inside Thailand with a proper cover to avoid any undesirable outcomes.

Siam Legal International, a premier law firm in Thailand, recommends purchasing the proper insurance and so endorses AXA Insurance for your travel to Thailand insurance needs.

HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT POINTS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • Please review the details of any insurance before purchasing to understand if the policy has adequate cover. Cheap policies with inadequate levels of cover can lead to significant personal liability, and scenarios where policy holders incur hundreds of thousands of baht in out-of-pocket medical expenses have been reported. There are significant financial risks to being underinsured during your stay in Thailand.
  • These policies do not cover medical costs from accidents (like motorcycle accidents) or common unexpected illnesses (common fever or food poisoning). Best to pay a few baht more for the peace of mind that comes from having proper coverage.
  • AXA covers medical expenses (outpatient and inpatient) for accidents and illnesses, including COVID-19. Other insurance coverage might not.
  • AXA also covers telemedicine and teleconsultation, which may be required during the quarantine period of any traveler.

Thai hospital staff are familiar with AXA cover, which should prevent any inconvenience during hospital admission or medical treatment from your hotel room. AXA Thailand also offers 24/7 local support during your stay in Thailand.

You can buy your Thailand Travel insurance today at:

https://u.axa.co.th/Sawasdee_Siamlegal

List of approved covid-19 vaccines.

As of December 1, the MoPH has approved the following vaccines:

  • Pfizer–BioNTech or Comirnaty
  • Janssen or Janssen/Ad26.COV2.S
  • AstraZeneca or Covishield
  • Sinopharm or COVILO
  • CoronaVac or SinoVac
  • Sputnik Lite

How to Obtain Travel Insurance

Though COVID-19 insurance is no longer mandatory for entry to Thailand, it is recommended to have comprehensive Travel insurance for the duration of your stay. Good travel insurance covers not only medical expenses relating to Covid but also accident cover, personal damage, loss of possessions, and missed or delayed flights.

It is best to purchase insurance before you travel. The easiest way to buy your policy is online through a reputable insurance provider. The insurance company will provide you with the all-important certificate of cover that you can present to authorities or medical professionals if you need to make a claim.

You may also be asked to present this certificate to the airline before they will allow you to onboard. It’s quick and easy to do online. You can choose your length of policy from 7, 15, 30, 60 days, and 180 days. Just make sure that the policy covers your entire period of stay in Thailand as foreigners are not eligible for free medical care in Thailand and insurance companies will not cover claims for existing conditions.

You may purchase AXA COVID-19 travel insurance within a few minutes. Check them below.

You can buy budget insurance here: https://www.siam-legal.com/axa-insurance

AXA Travel Insurance Thailand

How to Open a Bank Account in Thailand

Siam Legal offers and provides aid for a smooth and hassle-free way to open up a Thai bank account.

  • You will receive help in opening a savings/current bank account
  • You will receive a Bankbook and a debit/ATM card
  • Online Banking (Thai mobile number is required)

Requirements

  • Guarantee letter (to be provided by Siam Legal)
  • The applicant may book our service online.
  • Our staff will prepare the application and necessary documents for the bank and arrange an appointment with the applicant.
  • The applicant will collect the application form and documents from the Siam Legal Bangkok office and proceed to the specific bank branch. Opening the account at the bank takes 1 to 2 hours.

Service Fee

Our service fee is 150 USD for opening a Thai savings account in Bangkok.

City Travel Guide

  • How to Travel to Bangkok
  • How to Travel to Phuket
  • How to Travel to Pattaya
  • How to Travel to Chiang Mai
  • How to Travel to Samui
  • How to Travel to Hua Hin

Useful Links

  • Best COVID-19 Insurance for Foreigners  
  • Thailand Elite Visa – long term visa option for Thailand
  • How to Travel to Thailand in 2022 – Your Ultimate Guide

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COVID-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand

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Bangkok, Updated on 28 June, 2022.

List of approved COVID-19 vaccines in Thailand

  • CoronaVac (Sinovac) – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 2-4 weeks;
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, Covishield) – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 4-12 weeks;
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, Tozinameran (INN)) – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 3 week;
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – 1 dose needed;
  • Moderna (Spikevax) – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 4 weeks);
  • COVILO (Sinopharm, Hayat-Vax) – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 3-4 weeks);
  • Sputnik V – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 3 weeks);
  • Covaxin – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 4 weeks;
  • Novavax (Nuvaxovid) / Covovax – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 3 weeks);
  • Medigen – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 4 weeks;
  • TURKOVAC / ERUCOV-VAC – 2 doses needed / 2nd dose after 4 weeks;
  • Sputnik Light – 1 dose needed;
  • CansinoBio (Ad5-nCov / Convidecia) – 1 dose needed.

Have you been fully vaccinated?

According to the MoPH, travellers are considered fully vaccinated if:

  • They get their second dose of a 2-dose vaccine no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • They get a single-dose vaccine no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • In case of mix-and-match vaccines, travellers should get their second dose of a different vaccine within the recommended interval of the first vaccine no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.

Requirements for the ‘Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination’

The travellers’ Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination should contain the following details:

  • Given name and last name;
  • Date of Birth;   
  • Nationality;
  • Passport or Identification No.;
  • Name of the COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Vaccination dates;
  • Vaccine manufacturer and lot/batch number;
  • Authorised organisation in the country of origin.

Who need to be vaccinated to enter Thailand?

  • Everyone 18 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling to Thailand.
  • Travellers 5-17 years of age travelling to Thailand unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least 1 dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before travelling to Thailand. Those travelling with parents are exempt from this requirement.

Guidelines for travellers who have previously been infected with COVID-19

  • Those previously infected with COVID-19 are considered fully vaccinated if they have received a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any time after their recovery. They are required to submit proof or medical record of COVID-19 recovery alongside the single-dose vaccination certificate.
  • Those fully vaccinated before contracting COVID-19 are still considered to be fully vaccinated.
  • Those recovered from COVID-19 within 3 months before travelling to Thailand must present a valid medical certificate certifying the full recovery (within 3 months but no less than 14 days before travelling) or that they are asymptomatic in case the COVID-19 RT-PCR – or professional ATK – test shows a positive result.

In addition to being fully vaccinated, international travellers should have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. For more information:  https://www.tatnews.org .

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Thai Destination

Update to Covid-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand

The tourism authority of thailand (tat) on monday provided an update to guide to covid-19 vaccines for international travellers to thailand effective from december 16, 2021..

International travellers, including returning Thais and foreign residents, who are above 18 years of age should get fully vaccinated for Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date.

Travellers 12-17 years of age, travelling with parents under the Test & Go entry scheme and Sandbox Programme, are not required to be vaccinated but must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling. Those unaccompanied must get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine and must have a negative RT-PCR test result.

Travellers 6-11 years of age, travelling with parents under the Test & Go entry scheme and Sandbox Programme, must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling.

Travellers under 6 years of age, travelling with parents with a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours before travelling, are not required to have a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR test result and can have saliva test when entering the Kingdom.

Travellers previously infected within 3 months before travelling must have a medical certificate of recovery or get vaccinated with at least one dose of an approved vaccine for an unspecified period of time before travelling.

List of approved Covid-19 vaccines

Currently, the MoPH has approved the following manufacturers and vaccines:

  • CoronaVac by Sinovac Biotech Ltd – 2 doses needed / 2-4-week interval;
  • AstraZeneca or Covishield by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, SK Bioscience (South Korea), Siam Bioscience, and Serum Institute of India (Covishield) – 2 doses needed / 4-12-week interval;
  • Pfizer–BioNTech or Comirnaty by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech 2 doses needed / 3-week interval;
  • Janssen or Janssen/Ad26.COV2.S by Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. – 1 dose needed;
  • Moderna by Moderna Inc. – 2 doses needed / 4-week interval);
  • Sinopharm or COVILO by Sinopharm Co., Ltd. – 2 doses needed / 3-4-week interval);
  • Sputnik V by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology – 2 doses needed – 3-week interval).

Meanwhile, the WHO’s guidance on the Covid-19 vaccines is available  here .

Have you been fully vaccinated?

According to the MoPH, travellers are considered fully vaccinated if:

  • They get their second dose of a 2-dose vaccine; such as, the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines, no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • They get a single-dose vaccine; such as, Janssen vaccine, no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand.
  • In case of mix-and-match vaccines, travellers should get their second dose of a different vaccine within the recommended interval of the first vaccine no less than 14 days before their travel date to Thailand. For example, if the first vaccine is CoronaVac from Sinovac Biotech and the second vaccine is AstraZeneca, the time between the two doses is 2-4 weeks.

Travellers who do not meet these criteria may be denied entry into Thailand.

Requirements for the ‘Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination’

The travellers’ Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination should contain the following details:

  • Given name and last name;
  • Date of Birth;  
  • Nationality;
  • Passport or Identification No.;
  • Name of the Covid-19 vaccine;
  • Vaccination dates;
  • Vaccine manufacturer and lot/batch number;
  • Authorised organisation in the country of origin.

In addition to being fully vaccinated, international travellers should have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. For more information on Thailand’s reopening programmes, see:  https://www.tatnews.org/thailand-reopening/ .

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Thailand Travel Requirements & Vaccinations

Thailand is a country located in Southeast Asia on the Indochinese peninsula. Officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, it was formerly known as Siam. Thai is the official language of Thailand with English being spoken in most of the larger cities and tourist destinations. Thailand is home to some of the most popular and luxurious resorts in Asia.

The terrain of Thailand varies greatly and ranges from mountainous regions in the north, to plateaus in the east and river valleys in much of the interior. Despite the geographical variations, most of Thailand experiences a tropical wet and dry (savanna) climate which is comprised of three distinct seasons:

  • Summer or pre-monsoon season lasts from mid-February to mid-May and is characterized by warm, dry temperatures.
  • Rainy or southwest monsoon season lasts from mid-May to mid-October and is defined by an abundance of rain.
  • Winter or northeast monsoon season is mid-October through mid-February and comes with dry, mild weather conditions.

Thailand has a vast array of attractions and activities to offer visitors, including:

  • Bangkok and the many historical, natural and cultural sights it has to offer
  • Trekking and adventure travel in the forested mountain regions
  • Archaeological sites, Buddhist temples and museums
  • Clear blue/green shallow waters on sandy beaches along the coast
  • A diverse wildlife system

Recommended Vaccinations for Thailand Travel

  • Hepatitis A
  • Japanese encephalitis

*Rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for very high risk travelers given that it is completely preventable if medical attention is received within 7 – 10 days of an animal bite.

Travelers may also be advised to ensure they have received the routine vaccinations listed below. Some adults may need to receive a booster for some of these diseases:

  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)

Older adults or those with certain medical conditions may also want to ask about being vaccinated for shingles and/or pneumonia.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a travel medicine professional. Not all of the vaccines listed here will be necessary for every individual.

Talk to the experts at UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health to determine how each member of your family can obtain maximum protection against illness, disease and injury while traveling, based on age, health, medical history and travel itinerary.

Make an Appointment

To schedule a pre-travel consultation call, 216-844-8500 .

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Travel Advisory July 24, 2023

Thailand - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Thailand. Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla provinces due to  civil unrest associated with ongoing insurgent activities.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Thailand.

If you decide to travel to Thailand:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.   
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .   
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Thailand.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla Provinces – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Periodic violence directed mostly at Thai government interests by a domestic insurgency continues to affect security in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. In Songkhla, the insurgency is most active in the districts of Chana, Thepha, Nathawat, and Saba Yoi. U.S. citizens are at risk of death or injury due to the possibility of indiscriminate attacks in public places.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these provinces as U.S government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these provinces.

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

6 months from date of entry required

One page is required per entry stamp; please note endorsement pages are not considered blank passport page

No, if your stay is less than 30 days

Yellow fever may be required if arriving from certain countries with yellow fever

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bangkok 95 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330 Thailand Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand) Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand) Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand) Email:   [email protected]

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai 387 Witchayanond Road Chiang Mai 50300 Thailand Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand) Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand) Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand) Email:   [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Royal Thai Embassy website for the most current visa information.

  • U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa.
  • We strongly recommend that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in Thailand to avoid possible denied entry.
  • Thai immigration officials or airline staff may ask for your onward/return ticket.
  • Business travelers, U.S. government employees travelling on official business, teachers, retirees, and those planning to stay longer than 30 days should check with the  Royal Thai Embassy about visa requirements .
  • If you overstay your visa, you will be fined. Depending on the length of overstay, you may also be arrested, detained, deported at your own expense, and banned from re-entering Thailand.

We strongly recommend you carry a copy of your U.S. passport identification page and current Thai visa to help avoid detention by the Thai immigration police.

Thailand’s entry/exit information is subject to change without notice. For the most current information, please see  The Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau .

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the  CDC website . 

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Thailand. However, these restrictions are generally not enforced. Please verify this information with the Royal Thai Embassy before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

COVID-19 Requirements: There are no COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens. 

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern.  In August 2019, several small explosions and related arson events occurred in various locations throughout Bangkok resulting in no deaths but some injuries and minor property damage. Several small-scale bombings occurred near some tourist locations in the far Southern provinces in August 2016 and December 2018. In August 2015, an explosion near the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100. The U.S. Department of State assesses there is a continued risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including in Thailand.

If a protest or demonstration is expected to pass near the U.S. Embassy or Consulate facilities,  Embassy and Consulate entrances and functions may be restricted. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s  website ,  Facebook,  and  Twitter  sites and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai’s  website ,  Facebook , and  Twitter  sites post information about local events that may affect Embassy functions. Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive security and safety messages.

Far Southern Thailand:  Periodic violence directed mostly at Thai government interests by a domestic insurgency continues to affect security in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. U.S. citizens are at risk of death or injury due to the possibility of indiscriminate attacks in public places. Martial law is in force in this region.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these provinces. Travel to this region by U.S government employees must be reviewed and approved in advance. For more information on terrorist threats against U.S. citizens worldwide and steps to take as a result of these threats, please see the  Worldwide Caution .

  • Crimes of opportunity,  such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching, and burglary, occur in Thailand.
  • Violent crimes  against foreigners are relatively rare. However, murders, rapes, and assaults against foreigners do occur.
  • Sexually motivated violence,  committed by either Thai citizens or foreigners, is most likely to occur after time spent at bars, clubs, and parties, on beaches, or in remote/isolated areas. The Thai police response will differ from an investigation in the United States; investigating officials have publicly discredited people who have reported being the victim of crimes . In addition to making a report at the police jurisdiction in which the crime occurred, we advise contacting the Embassy and engaging a local attorney if you are a victim of an assault.
  • When traveling alone,  exercise caution, stay near other travelers, and ensure friends or family know how to contact you.
  • Taxi and “tuk-tuk”  drivers may attempt to charge excessive fares or refuse passengers. You should either request the driver use the meter or agree on the fare beforehand.
  • At the airport  use only public transportation from the airport’s official pick-up area, cars from the limousine counters, or a car from your hotel.
  • Rental scams  do occur in Thailand. Many rental motorbike, jet ski, and car companies will hold your passport until you pay for real or fictitious damages. We advise against using your passport as collateral.
  • Exorbitant bar tab scams  occur in Thailand. Some bars and entertainment venues will charge exorbitant prices for drinks or unadvertised cover charges and threaten violence if you don’t pay.
  • Other scams  involving gems, city tours, entertainment venues, and credit cards are common, especially in tourist areas.

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information.

Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Thailand. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:

  • Romance/Online dating
  • Money transfers
  • Grandparent/Relative targeting
  • Free Trip/Luggage
  • Work permits/job offers

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Report crimes to the local police by calling 191 or the Tourist Police at 1155 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +66 (0) 2-205-4049 or Consulate at +(66) (53) 107-777. Remember that only local officials have the authority to investigate and to prosecute a crime.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. Report crimes to the local police by calling 191 or the Tourist Police at 1155 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +66 (0) 2-205-4049 or Consulate at +(66) (53) 107-777. Remember that only local officials have the authority to investigate and to prosecute a crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on  insurance providers for overseas coverage . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Conditions at the Bangkok Immigration Detention Center (IDC):  Conditions in immigration detention centers (IDCs) where authorities detain foreign nationals who violate immigration laws remain poor and most are overcrowded. IDCs, administered by the Immigration Police Bureau, which reports to the Royal Thai Police (RTP), are not subject to many of the regulations that govern the regular prison system. U.S. citizen detainees often complain of stark, austere living conditions, overcrowding, and unhealthy conditions. Personal security is poor. In addition, the main IDC in Bangkok does not dependably provide adequate medical or mental health care. In 2019, two U.S. citizens died while in custody at the Bangkok IDC. Deportations are self-funded and it may take up to two weeks for Thai authorities to process a case before deportation. Detainees must have funds to purchase a phone card and do not have access to the internet. Prior approval and a security escort are required to visit a Western Union or an ATM machine.

  • Please see the  Immigration Act B.E. 1979  for more information about Thai Immigration violations.
  • Please see the  Department of State’s Report on Human Rights Practices for Thailand  for further information.

Lèse majesté (Royal Insult):  Thais hold the monarchy in the highest regard. Making a critical or defamatory comment about the royal family is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years per offense. As an example, purposely tearing Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, may be considered a lèse majesté offense.

  • Prostitution is illegal in Thailand.  Serious consequences include criminal conviction and imprisonment, particularly in the case of child prostitution. 
  • Commercial surrogacy is banned.
  • Personal use of even non-lethal military equipment, such as protective vests and night vision scopes, is prohibited.
  • Illegal drugs  carry severe penalties. Expect long jail sentences under harsh conditions, heavy fines, or even execution for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs.
  • Shoplifting  can result in large fines and lengthy detention followed by deportation.
  • Domestic Issues:  Local police are reluctant to become involved in domestic issues. You may call the Family Services Emergency hotline by dialing 1300 from any Thai phone.
  • Possessing counterfeit or pirated goods is a crime in Thailand.  For more information see the  intellectual property section of the U.S. Department of Justice website .

Customs  may enforce strict regulations on Buddha images, firearms, bullets and/or bullet casings, bullet-proof vests, night vision devices and other para-military type equipment, explosives, drugs, radios, books, and recordings, which might be cultural property and/or considered harmful to the public interest.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers: There are no known legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Thailand. However, LGBTI groups report that in the case of sexual crimes, police tend to downplay sexual abuse claims from LGBTI victims.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. Sidewalks and street crossings are not suitable for travelers with mobility issues. Newly constructed buildings, facilities, and transportation equipment should be accessible by law for persons with mobility issues. However, enforcement of these provisions is not uniform.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers: Some victims of sexual assault or domestic violence find that Thai authorities do not handle such cases with as much sensitivity or consideration for privacy as they would expect in the United States. See our travel tips for Women Travelers .

Ambulance services are:

  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except for Bangkok and other major cities.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

Medical treatment  is generally adequate in Thailand’s urban areas. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya, good facilities exist for routine, long-term, and emergency health care. Basic medical care is available in rural areas, but English-speaking providers are rare.

Medical tourism  is an established and rapidly growing industry. You should consult with your local physician before traveling and also  refer to information on medical tourism from CDC.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medicine for personal use  is allowed as long as the amount does not exceed a 30-day supply and you bring the medicine with you. Do not mail medicine to Thailand without first confirming it will be allowed into the country.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with  Thailand Customs  and the  Thailand Food and Drug Administration  to ensure the medication is legal in Thailand. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are present:

  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Tuberculosis:
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Melioidosis         

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Air Quality:  The air quality in Thailand varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons, but seasonal smog is a problem. In recent years the air quality in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Lampang, Nan, and Samut Sakhon have exceeded Thai and U.S. government daily standards for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) for a portion of the year. In Chiang Mai and other northern provinces, annual agricultural burning, approximately February through late April, and forest fires cause days with unhealthy to hazardous air quality based on the U.S. index. In Bangkok environs, airborne dust and auto pollutants are prevalent in the cooler, dry period (December-February). Anyone who travels where pollution levels are high is at risk. People at the greatest risk from air pollution exposure include:

  • Infants, children, and teens
  • People over 65 years of age
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema;
  • People with heart disease
  • People who work or are active outdoors

For Bangkok and Chiang Mai, U.S. Mission Thailand is reporting the U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) calculated from PM2.5 data captured by monitors owned and maintained by the Royal Thai Government. The information and advice on health protection measures to take is available

Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Bangkok and other major cities but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Hospitals and doctors require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always available.
  • Medical staff at public hospitals may speak little or no English.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery:

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Thailand.
  • Although Thailand has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo surgery in Thailand, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.

Pharmaceuticals:

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:

  • If you are considering traveling to Thailand to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .
  • Surrogacy is illegal for foreigners in Thailand, subject to complex local regulation. For additional information, visit the Government of Thailand’s website for information on foreigner surrogacy.
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in Thailand via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship. Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution.

Water Quality:

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.

Adventure Travel:

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .

COVID-19 Testing: For the most current list of COVID-19 testing locations in Thailand approved by the Ministry of Public Health, please visit:  http://service.dmsc.moph.go.th/labscovid19 .  Testing is paid for by U.S. citizens.

The Ministry of Public Health provides a list of 44 laboratories approved to conduct COVID-19 testing found  here .

Please Note : Same-day Covid-19 testing is available at most private hospitals throughout Thailand.  Please reference this list of testing locations and contact the provider directly to inquire about COVID-19 testing options, scheduling, cost, and other information.

COVID-19 Vaccines:  The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in Thailand.   According to Thai authorities, both private and public hospitals are providing COVID-19 vaccines. More information on a list of hospitals in Thailand is available  here .

The Bang Rak Vaccination and Health Center, the Institute of Dermatology, and the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute are currently providing free bivalent vaccines to non-Thai citizens on a walk-in basis.

Visit the FDA's website to  learn more about FDA-approved vaccines  in the United States.  

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Traffic accidents are common in Thailand.  According to the  World Health Organization , in 2018, Thailand had one of the world’s highest traffic-related fatality rates. Bangkok and some parts of Chiang Mai have heavy traffic.
  • Reckless driving:  Speeding, reckless passing, and failure to obey other traffic laws are common in all regions of Thailand. Traffic moves on the left. Some drivers move illegally against the traffic. Scooters and motorbikes commonly drive on the sidewalks during rush hour and other periods of heavy traffic. Commercial drivers commonly consume alcohol, amphetamines, and other stimulants.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles can be deadly . Riders may incur serious injuries when they are not wearing helmets or proper clothing and footwear. According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, 74 percent of traffic fatalities involved riders of 2-and 3-wheeled vehicles. Use of motorcycle helmets is mandatory, but this law is sporadically enforced. 
  • Use a pedestrian bridge  to cross the road where one is available, including in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wireless Road and on Sukhumvit Road, where many pedestrians have been killed and several U.S. citizens seriously injured. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk. 
  • If you have a traffic accident,  you should contact your insurance company for guidance in dealing with the other party and the police.
  • Emergency vehicles:  Congested roads and a scarcity of ambulances can make it difficult for accident victims to receive timely medical attention

Traffic Laws:

  • Driving under influence is punishable by law . If you are found to be intoxicated, you could be jailed for a minimum of two years and subject to a fine.
  • Bribes are illegal.  If you are found guilty, you could be imprisoned up to five years, face severe fines, or both.
  • Lack of ID.
  • Not obeying traffic laws and traffic signals.
  • Driving slowly in regular lanes of traffic.
  • If you are involved in a traffic accident, you should contact your auto insurance company for guidance . 

Public Transportation:

  • Mass transit:  In Bangkok, the BTS elevated "Skytrain," “Airport Rail Link” mass transit, and the underground MRT systems are reliable, inexpensive, air conditioned, and often faster than Bangkok traffic.
  • Bus system:  Bangkok also has an extensive bus system, but buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety.
  • For hire vehicles:  Cities outside of Bangkok typically have only rudimentary public transportation and usually do not have metered taxis. In many cases, motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks, bicycle-powered rickshaws, and pick-up trucks will be the only options available for travelers without their own transport.
  • Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle service  exist in Bangkok and other large cities. Those affiliated with registered taxis, such as Grab Taxi, Line Taxi, and All Thai Taxi are legal, but their affiliated car services are under legal review.

See our  Road Safety page  for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Thailand’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Thailand should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Thailand . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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For most standard tourists the usual recommended vaccinations for Thailand include cover against the childhood diseases (Tetanus and Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as well as cover against the food borne diseases of Typhoid and Hepatitis A. For those trekking in the Thai countryside or staying for longer periods then cover against Hepatitis B and Rabies should be considered.

All Travellers

Tetanus is contracted through contaminated cuts, bites and breaks in the skin. The vaccination provides cover for approximately 10 years in the majority of patients. It is frequently combined with cover against other diseases such as Poliomyelitis , Diphtheria and/or Pertussis .

Find out more about Tetanus

Hepatitis A is a common disease in many of the hotter regions of the world and usually contracted through contaminated food and water. Cover against Hepatitis A can be given alone or combined with protection against Hepatitis B. Once completed, the Hepatitis A vaccination ( given on two occasions 6 to 12 months apart ) provides cover for approximately 25 years in the majority of patients.

Find out more about Hepatitis A

Typhoid is a bacterial disease contracted through contaminated food and water. Once completed, the Typhoid vaccination given on one occasion provides cover for between 2 to 3 years in the majority of patients

Find out more about Typhoid

Hepatitis B is a viral disease which is usually transmitted in a very similar fashion to HIV/AIDS through contact with infected body fluids (eg blood exposure and sexually). This vaccine can be combined with cover against Hepatitis A. The standard schedule for Hepatitis B is to administer the vaccine on days 0, 28 and 180. A more rapid schedule can be used in cases where cover is needed more urgently and this is administered on days 0, 7, 21 to 28 and also 365. Following either course (and not before completion) a blood test can be taken to confirm sufficient antibody protection. Where the correct level of antibodies are showing (>10iu) the vaccination is recognised to provide  cover for life .

Find out more about Hepatitis B

Rabies is a viral disease which is usually transmitted through the bite, the lick or the scratch of any infected warm blooded animal. As per the current WHO guidance, the vaccine is usually administered on days 0 and between 7 and 28 . Once a course is completed, the vaccination provides life long ‘immune memory’ in the majority of patients BUT after any possible exposure the individual always needs further vaccination to boost antibody production

Find out more about Rabies

Meningococcal Meningitis is a bacterial disease which is usually transmitted through the respiratory route. The vaccine is given on one occasion and provides cover against four of the main forms of this disease. Once a course is completed the vaccination provides for over 10 years in the majority of patients.

Find out more about Meningococcal Meningitis

Cholera / E coli are both food / water borne diseases. This oral vaccine is given on two occasions between 1 to 6 weeks apart before travel. The second dose (frequently given one week after the initial one) should be administered 7 days before potential exposure . Once completed the cover against Cholera is expected to be for about 2 years . The cover against E coli is shorter and thought to be effective for between 3 to 4 months . In travellers who have completed an initial primary course within the past 2 years a single further dose is sufficient to maintain this cover.

Find out more about Cholera

Japanese Encephalitis is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Ixiaro vaccine is given on two occasions one month apart with a third dose at 12 months . Once completed the vaccine is thought to provide cover for between 2 to 3 years but possibly longer.

Find out more about Japanese Encephalitis

When travelling from Ireland to Thailand there are no compulsory vaccines required for entry into the country. Nevertheless if your passport shows that you have travelled via a yellow fever endemic country then the immigration authorities in Thailand will usually check to see that you have received adequate vaccination cover against that disease.

Most travellers should start their vaccines about 4 to 6 weeks before they leave Ireland. However those planning a longer visit, or where their planned trip is likely to bring them to more rural parts of Thailand, should attend earlier to ensure that they have sufficient time to complete the vaccine courses.

Malaria prophylaxis may need to be considered depending on the expected itinerary.

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Travel safely to Thailand with Passport Health's travel vaccinations and advice.

Travel Vaccines and Advice for Thailand

Passport Health offers a variety of options for travellers throughout the world.

Thailand is a popular destination with its tropical climate, food, culture and seasides.

Thai is the official language of Thailand. But, other smaller languages spoken in rural areas. The primary religion of Thailand is Buddhism and is prevalent in many aspects of culture throughout Thailand. Islam is also practiced in Southern provinces.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is also the largest city in the country. Bangkok is highly populated with congested streets, modern buildings and temples. It is most known for its nightlife.

Thailand’s other major cities include Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai.

Do I Need Vaccines for Thailand?

See the bullets below to learn more about some of these key immunisations:

  • Hepatitis A – Food & Water – Recommended for most travellers to the region, especially if unvaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B – Blood & Body Fluids – Recommended for travellers to most regions.
  • Tetanus – Wounds or Breaks in Skin – Recommended for travellers to most regions, especially if not previously vaccinated.
  • Typhoid – Food & Water – Jab lasts 3 years. Oral vaccine lasts 5 years, must be able to swallow pills. Oral doses must be kept in refrigerator.
  • Yellow Fever – Mosquito – Required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission
  • Japanese Encephalitis – Mosquito – Recommended depending on itinerary and activities. Recommended for extended travel, recurrent travellers and travel to rural areas. Present throughout country, especially northern regions. Most cases from May to October.
  • Rabies – Saliva of Infected Animals – High risk country. Vaccine recommended for long-stay travellers and those who may come in contact with animals.

See the tables below for more information:

Various mosquito-borne diseases are present in Thailand. Malaria poses a threat to travellers to some regions of the country. Ensure you are protected with antimalarials.

Dengue , Zika and chikungunya can also be found in Thailand. While there are no vaccines available for these diseases, there are steps you can take to prevent them. Be sure to use mosquito repellents, netting and wear proper clothing.

Medical treatment is adequate and common in urban areas. Healthcare is also available in rural areas, though the health care providers may not speak English.

To find out more about these vaccines, see our vaccinations page . Ready to travel safely? Book your appointment either ring or start booking online now .

Do I Need a Visa or Passport for Thailand?

No visa is required for stays under 30 days in Thailand if arriving by air for tourism purposes. Other types of travellers may require a visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required if you are travelling from a region where yellow fever is present.

Sources: Embassy of Thailand and GOV.UK

What is the Climate Like in Thailand?

Thailand has a tropical climate, warm and humid with temperatures are around 30.

There are three seasons in Thailand: the cool season (November-February); the hot season (March-May); and the rainy season (June-October).

The most popular tourist times are between November and March, when weather is mild and enjoyable.

How Safe is Thailand?

In the past few years, there have been periodic terrorist attacks at popular tourist attractions in Thailand,. This remains a high-concern today. There is an ongoing risk of terrorist attacks in Thailand.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has placed strict restrictions on media and have banned political gatherings. Tourists may be detained by the military for openly criticising the NCPO.

Pick-pocketing is common in Thailand as is sexual violence in bars and isolated areas.

Do not use your passport as collateral. Many rental places are scams.

In Southern Thailand (Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla), martial law is still prevalent. Tourists are cautioned against travelling to these areas.

Temples in Thailand

There are over 40,000 temples in Thailand, making them popular tourist attractions. These temples range in age and architecture and many are still in use today.

Wat Pho, located in Bangkok, is one of the most popular due to its size and attractions within. It is one of the largest complexes in the country, holding many buildings. Wat Pho houses the largest reclining Buddha and largest collection of Buddha images.

The site is also headquarters for the teaching and preservation of Thai medicine. There, tourists can find two massage schools and pavilions.

You must take off your shoes to enter and you purchase coins to put into bowls for good luck. All the money goes towards renovating and upkeeping the site.

What Should I Take To Thailand?

Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Thailand:

  • Slip-on Shoes are best, especially if you’re planning to travel to many temples. You will need to take your shoes off quite frequently.
  • Insect spray to ward off mosquitoes that could be carrying disease.
  • Shops in Thailand have sun cream, but your options are limited.
  • If you’re planning on visiting temples, buy clothing items that cover your shoulders, knees and ankles.

Embassy of the United Kingdom in Thailand

If you are in Thailand and have an emergency (for example, been attacked, arrested or someone has died) contact the nearest consular services. Contact the embassy before arrival if you have additional questions on entry requirements, safety concerns or are in need of assistance.

British Embassy Bangkok AIA Sathorn Tower, Floor 12A 11/1 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn Bangkok 10120 Thailand Telephone: +66 (0) 2 305 8333 Emergency Phone: +66(0)2 305 8333 Fax: +66 (0) 2 255 9278 Contact Form: Click Here

If you have any questions about travelling to Thailand or are wondering which jabs you may need for your trip, schedule an appointment with your local Passport Health travel medicine clinic. Ring us up at or book online now and protect yourself today.

On This Page: Do I Need Vaccines for Thailand? Do I Need a Visa or Passport for Thailand? What is the Climate Like in Thailand? How Safe is Thailand? Temples in Thailand What Should I Take To Thailand? Embassy of the United Kingdom in Thailand

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When it comes to travelling in Thailand and South East Asia in general, there are a few precautions that should be taken to protect against diseases and other incidents.

Thailand and medical tourism

Increasing numbers of Australians also travel to Thailand as medical tourists, and medical procedures in any foreign country carry their own set of risks. If you are planning on travelling to Thailand as a medical tourist you should speak to the Travel Vaccination Clinic about what you intend to have done and associated risks as well as any relevant vaccination advice provided below. Any medical or dental procedures you have done should occur in a sterile environment where all equipment is properly sanitised.

This website provides general advice on vaccinations for Thailand and is not a substitute for adequate medical advice from a Travel Vaccination Clinic doctor or your own doctor. You should consult a doctor about your own travel plans, including:

  • How up to date you are with the childhood immunization schedule
  • Your travel itinerary while in Thailand and elsewhere on your trip
  • Intended activities and style of accommodation
  • Your general health and well being ahead of travelling

Vaccinations required for Thailand

Travellers to Thailand should consider getting vaccinated against the following diseases, and should ensure they are fully up to date with the Australian childhood immunization schedule, which will protect against some common preventable diseases, including hepatitis A, occurring throughout Thailand.

Hepatitis A and Typhoid

Hepatitis A can be passed on through contaminated food or water in all parts of Thailand and it is recommended travellers get vaccinated against Hepatitis A before leaving Australia.

Typhoid is also present in Thailand and can be passed on through contaminated food or water. It is recommended to vaccinate against Typhoid in particular if you are travelling to rural areas, visiting friends or relatives in Thailand or if you are an adventurous eater.

Both Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations can be administered in one shot, and this lasts for a number of years once administered. You should speak to the Travel Vaccination Clinic about getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid, as well as taking food safety precautions and avoiding water that has not been boiled or treated (unless bottled).

Taking these precautions will also help protect you against other food and water borne illnesses such as Cholera.

Hepatitis B might be contracted if you meet a new partner in Thailand, get a tattoo or piercing or undergo cosmetic medical procedures. The disease can be contracted through sexual contact, or exposure to needles or bodily fluids so the vaccine is highly recommended for anyone who might undertake activities that put them at risk of contracting Hepatitis B.

Japanese Encephalitis in Thailand – should you get vaccinated?

Travellers to Thailand may be exposed to Japanese Encephalitis, and cases can be asymptomatic or cause severe vomiting or febrile illness with symptoms similar to those of meningitis. Cases are rare, but do occur occasionally.

Japanese Encephalitis takes up to two weeks to incubate in humans, and most reported cases occur in children. Vaccination is mainly necessary for longer stays in Thailand (of more than one month) but those doing a lot of outdoor activities, and visiting rural or remote areas even on shorter trips should also consider vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis.

Malaria and other mosquito borne illnesses in Thailand

Malaria is present in Thailand , however risk level depends on where you are going and what you are doing. There are precautions to take against mosquito bites such as using repellent, wearing long, loose clothing, using a mosquito net where appropriate and avoiding contact with insects and mosquitos. You should discuss these with the doctor during your appointment as other mosquito borne illnesses such as dengue fever and including Chikungunya Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and Filariasis are also present in Thailand.

The main area recommended for anti-malarial drugs is forested land that borders Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. There is little to no risk of Malaria recorded in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai or Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Phang Nga, and Phuket.

Rabies risk in Thailand is low but still present, so avoiding contact with dogs and other mammals is essential. In certain cases travellers should still take precautions as avoiding contact may not be enough where an animal initiates contact with a human, and especially a child, for example. Increased risk of exposure to rabies occurs with:

  • Those who intend doing outdoor/adventure activities such as caving or adventure travel where the risk of animal bites is increased
  • Those working with animals during their time in Thailand
  • Those travelling to remote areas for an extended period of time
  • Children who may not be as likely to report animal bites or contact with mammals

If you might fit into any of these categories you need to speak with the doctor about your situation and consider getting vaccinated. Australia remains one of only a few rabies-free countries in the world, so it is important to consider the risk before returning home.

Other precautions for travellers to Thailand

Generally it is advised not to get any temporary black henna tattoos while in Thailand, as the dye in them can severely irritate the skin.

There is also a high rate of HIV/Aids infections in Thailand, so those who may meet a new partner should use precautions.

Some areas of Thailand can experience smoke haze or increased pollution, especially during March and April each year. This can aggravate conditions such as asthma, sinus conditions or bronchial problems. Those experiencing any issues or symptoms should stay up to date with local meteorological warnings and take precautions when pollution is reported as high. Help can also be sought from local medical authorities.

Is Yellow Fever present in Thailand?

There is no risk of contracting Yellow Fever in Thailand, and you may be required to produce proof of Yellow Fever vaccination if you are arriving from a  country with risk of Yellow Fever infection  (but this does not often include short transits through the airport, for example). If you have any concerns about the destination you will be arriving from, speak to the doctor about them during your appointment.

Book your appointment now at our Sydney CBD clinic, get instant confirmation.

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Need travel vaccines? Plan ahead.

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International travel increases your chances of getting and spreading diseases that are rare or not found in United States. Find out which travel vaccines you may need to help you stay healthy on your trip.

Before Travel

Make sure you are up-to-date on all of your routine vaccines . Routine vaccinations protect you from infectious diseases such as measles that can spread quickly in groups of unvaccinated people. Many diseases prevented by routine vaccination are not common in the United States but are still common in other countries.

Check CDC’s destination pages for travel health information . Check CDC’s webpage for your destination to see what vaccines or medicines you may need and what diseases or health risks are a concern at your destination.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or a travel health specialist  that takes place at least one month before you leave. They can help you get destination-specific vaccines, medicines, and information. Discussing your health concerns, itinerary, and planned activities with your provider allows them to give more specific advice and recommendations.

Because some vaccines require multiple doses, it’s best to see your health care provider as soon as possible.

Medicines to prevent malaria are pills that you start to take before travel. Take recommended medicines as directed. If your health care provider prescribes medicine for you, take the medicine as directed before, during, and after travel. 

Where can I get travel vaccines?

You may be able to get some travel vaccines from your primary healthcare provider. If you or your healthcare provider need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit CDC’s Find a Clinic page.

If yellow fever vaccine is recommended or required for your destination, you’ll need to go to a vaccine center authorized to give yellow fever vaccinations. Many yellow fever vaccine centers also provide other pre-travel health care services. Find an  authorized US yellow fever vaccine center .

Examples of Vaccines

Here is a list of possible vaccines that you may need to get for the first time or boosters before you travel.

  • Cholera 
  • Flu (Influenza)
  • Hepatitis A   
  • Hepatitis B   
  • Japanese encephalitis   
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • Meningococcal   
  • Pneumococcal   
  • Polio   
  • Rabies   
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
  • Typhoid   
  • Yellow fever

More Information

CDC Yellow Book: Travel Vaccine Summary Table

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Thailand travel advice

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Last updated: May 23, 2024 08:00 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, thailand - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to ongoing political tensions and sporadic demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.

Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala - Avoid all travel

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Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala

Separatist insurgents periodically perpetrate criminally and politically motivated attacks in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala.

These deadly attacks include shootings, bombings and arson, and are usually directed at military, government and security buildings and personnel. They have also occurred in a variety of public places.

Martial law and heavily enhanced security measures are in place in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Sadao District in Songkhla.

Increased enforcement powers allow authorities to:

  • detain suspects without charge
  • conduct searches
  • seize objects or documents
  • impose curfews

You risk becoming a collateral victim of an attack if you travel in these provinces.

Myanmar border areas in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak

Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to the Thailand–Myanmar border areas in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak.

Occasional violence, banditry and clashes between government forces and drug traffickers occur.

Border crossing points may be closed without notice. Cross at designated border crossing points only, with the required travel documentation.

Preah Vihear Temple area and surrounding border region

Thailand and Cambodia have an ongoing border dispute in the region. There are reports of landmines in the Preah Vihear temple area.

Exercise a high degree of caution if you are travelling to any other Thai–Cambodian border areas.

Political tensions

Political instability in Thailand has created a volatile and unpredictable security environment throughout the country, particularly in Bangkok.

Legal provisions may allow the military to retain and exercise sweeping powers that could include the right to:

  • prevent public gatherings
  • censor media
  • set up checkpoints
  • restrict movement
  • search for weapons
  • exercise force in response to violence

Such measures could be enforced at any time. Some television, radio stations and web sites may be unavailable, and access to social media services may be intermittently suspended.

Petty crime, such as purse snatching, pickpocketing and theft, is common. Thieves sometimes use razors to cut purses and bags open to remove their contents.

  • Don’t leave bags unattended
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and travel documents, are secure at all times, especially in tourist areas, crowded markets and bus or train stations
  • Avoid walking in dark alleys or isolated areas

Thefts occur on cross-country buses and vans. Personal belongings, including passports, have been stolen from luggage compartments under buses, especially on long-distance journeys. Use only reputable transportation companies.

Break-ins occur at budget guesthouses, sometimes while guests are asleep in their rooms.

Be careful at night in entertainment areas throughout the country, including in Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao, particularly during full moon parties, Songkran, and other events in popular tourist locations. Robberies and assaults (including sexual assaults) can occur during these events. Passport thefts and losses are common.

Violent crime against foreigners occurs occasionally.

You should report all criminal incidents to the Thai police in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred before leaving Thailand.

Many Canadians fall victim to a variety of scams while visiting Thailand. You should report all incidents to the tourist police.

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Rental scams

Rental companies have at times accused renters of causing damage upon return of the equipment. In some cases, renters who refused to pay were harassed and threatened, and their passports (left as collateral) were withheld. Some companies have also stolen the motorcycle and then claimed compensation from the renter.

Before renting a motorcycle or personal watercraft, read all rental contracts thoroughly to ensure that the vehicle is insured to cover damage and theft. Take photos of existing damage on rented vehicles as proof of pre-existing damage.

You must never use your Canadian passport as collateral for rental. If your passport is inaccessible or stolen because of such a situation, you may be subject to investigation by Passport Canada and may receive limited passport services.

Only rent from reputable companies.

Entertainment venues

Some bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues may try to charge exorbitant prices. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence.

  • Confirm the prices before consumption
  • Avoid running a tab
  • Avoid leaving your credit card with bar or restaurant staff

Travel agencies

When dealing with travel agencies, ensure that the company is a reputable tour organization before providing payment.

Investment fraud

If you plan on buying property or making other investments in Thailand seek legal advice in Canada and Thailand. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.

Gems and jewellery purchases

In scams involving gems and jewellery, merchants sell lower-quality items at inflated prices with promises that the items can be resold at a profit. The guarantees that merchants offer are not always honoured.

Carefully consider all purchases if you are not knowledgeable about gems and jewellery. The Government of Canada cannot assist in obtaining refunds for purchases made.

Overseas fraud

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you have been drugged.

Women’s safety

Sexual assaults against foreign women have occurred. Be particularly vigilant during full moon parties, Songkran, and other events in popular tourist locations.

If you are victim of a sexual assault, you should seek medical attention and report the situation immediately to local authorities and the nearest Canadian office.

Advice for women travellers

There is a threat of terrorism in Thailand. Although infrequent outside of the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala, small-scale bomb attacks have occurred in public places. Further attacks are possible.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Demonstrations

Large demonstrations are taking place regularly in Bangkok and across the country. There are social tensions, and demonstrations are likely to continue.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also disrupt traffic and public transportation when they block major roads and intersections and may cause the closure of mass transit stations.

Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Demonstration sites in Bangkok include:

  • the areas around the Victory Monument
  • Thammasat University
  • the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre
  • the Democracy Monument
  • Ratchaprasong intersection

Other areas of the city may also be affected by protests and associated movements. Demonstrations have also taken place in other cities.

  • Avoid military installations and concentrations of security personnel
  • Expect a heightened security presence in several areas
  • Carry identification documents at all time
  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Deaths have occurred due to contact with poisonous jellyfish off Koh Lanta, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket.

Riptides in coastal areas can be strong, including in the popular destinations of Cha-am/Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Phuket and Rayong. There have been several deaths due to drowning.

Diving schools and rescue services may not adhere to international standards.

  • Rent water sports equipment only from operators affiliated with major international training organizations
  • Exercise extreme caution when swimming or practising water activities
  • Heed flag warnings and don’t swim when a red flag is displayed
  • If stung by a jellyfish, seek immediate medical assistance

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

If you undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining, rock climbing, speleology, elephant trekking or parasailing, choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, don’t use them. Ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose.

If engaging in adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone
  • always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • don’t venture off marked trails
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Chemical pesticide poisoning

There have been cases of poisoning linked to the use of chemical pesticides, including phosphine. Seek immediate medical assistance if you believe that you have been exposed to a chemical pesticide and are experiencing unusual symptoms.

Seek information on whether or not chemical pesticides are used in your accommodations.

Road safety

Accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are extremely frequent in Thailand.

Hazardous road conditions, adverse weather conditions, local disregard for traffic laws and drunk driving result in frequent accidents.

Some vehicles may drive against the flow of traffic and on the sidewalks, particularly motorcycles.

Drunk driving and accidents are much more frequent around the western New Year (January 1) and Thai New Year (Songkran, mid-April). Be particularly vigilant when driving during these holiday periods.

Slow-moving trucks limit speed and visibility. Avoid driving on mountain roads at night, especially during the rainy season (June to October). Paved roads connect major cities, but most have only two lanes. Some roads can become impassable, particularly during the rainy season.

Pedestrians and cyclists should be particularly careful. You should always use elevated walkways/pedestrian bridges whenever possible, especially in Bangkok.

Motorcycles

Motorcycle accidents are common and are responsible for the majority of road deaths. Rental scooters and motorcycles are often poorly maintained, making them unsafe to their riders and others on the road.

Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle riders (including passengers), but many helmets don’t meet international safety standards.

Insurance claims could be denied if you were driving without a motorcycle licence.

Avoid driving or riding motorcycles in Thailand, even if you are an experienced motorcyclist

Public transportation

Use licensed taxis from official taxi stands, limousine services or a trusted ride-sharing app.

If arriving by air, arrange to be picked up by hotel shuttle services, use a trusted ride-sharing app, the airport rail-link service or official airport buses.

Unlicensed vehicles (bearing black and white licence plates) are not correctly insured to carry passengers and may not use meters. Many taxis may not be equipped with backseat seatbelts.

Don’t share a taxi with strangers.

Disputes with taxis operators, tuk-tuks (motorized rickshaws), etc., occur and have occasionally resulted in violence or intimidation. Should a dispute occur and you feel threatened, seek local police's assistance to settle the matter.

Marine transportation

Passenger boats accidents have occurred due to overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels. Vessels often lack adequate safety equipment.

Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

In the past, rail lines in the far south have been the targets of sabotage and armed attacks.

Train accidents in recent years have caused injuries and deaths.

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report  - International Maritime Bureau

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Thai authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months upon entry into Thailand.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 30 days  Business visa: required  Student visa: required  Working visa: required

If you’re travelling to Thailand for tourism with a regular Canadian passport, you can obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival.

If you obtain a multiple-entry tourist visa, you can stay for up to 60 days. The visa is valid for 6 months and must be obtained before travelling.

If you wish to stay longer than 60 days or work or study in Thailand, you must obtain the appropriate visa from a Thai embassy or consulate. Local authorities are actively monitoring and enforcing compliance with visa regulations.

Those applying for non-immigrant visas of category "O-A" need to show proof of a valid health insurance meeting specific criteria.

Guidelines Non-Immigrant Visa (O-A) - Thai General Insurance Association

Other entry requirements

Thai Border officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

If you are unable to do so, you may be denied entry.

Entry stamp

You must get an entry stamp from an immigration officer at the point of entry into Thailand. Don’t get your visa, visa extension or entry stamp from visa shops or travel agents in Thailand.

A passport that has been altered or that contains counterfeit visas, and entry/exit stamps is deemed invalid. Offenders can expect jail sentences, fines and deportation, and may also be prohibited from entering Thailand in the future.

Length of stay

The date indicated on your Thai entry stamp determines how long you may stay in the country, even if your visa shows a different date.

All foreigners staying in Thailand longer than 3 months must notify Thailand’s immigration bureau of their residence every 90 days.

The Royal Thai Police perform random visa checks and strict penalties are enforced for overstaying. Canadians overstaying their visa have been arrested and detained until deportation. Deportation procedures are at the foreigner’s own expense and can be lengthy. Detention conditions in immigration detention centres are poor.

If you overstay, regardless of whether you leave Thailand voluntarily or are deported, you may be banned from re-entering Thailand for 1 to 10 years.

Notification of stay longer than 90 days - Thailand’s immigration bureau

Dual citizenship

If you are a dual citizen, you must enter and exit Thailand with the same nationality passport.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Excellent healthcare is available in major cities, particularly in private hospitals and clinics. Quality of care varies significantly in rural areas.

Establishments may require confirmation of health insurance coverage, a guarantee of payment or an upfront deposit before admitting patients.

Psychiatric or psychological facilities and services in Thailand may not meet international standards. Canadians with mental illness have been committed to state facilities, detained and deported.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Overview of the criminal law system in Thailand

Identification

You must carry identification at all times. Carry a photocopy of your passport bio-data page and Thai visa or entry stamp.

Police may still require that you produce the original document. If you fail to do so, you could be detained.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, including cannabis, are very severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, jail sentences or even the death penalty.

Police regularly perform spot checks to search for illegal drugs, particularly in and around entertainment venues. Uniformed or undercover police may conduct physical searches and may screen your belongings. You may be asked to provide a urine sample.

If you carry prescription drugs or other medicines, keep them in clearly marked, original packaging.

Certain prescription drugs are frequently sold without prescription in entertainment areas and coastal resorts, including on the street. You should never buy controlled drugs without prescription or on the street. These may be counterfeit or could contain illegal substances. If you purchase these drugs, you could be subject to scrutiny or detained.

The legal drinking age in Thailand is 20.

It is illegal to promote the consumption of alcohol. You could be fined or taken to court for posting on social media any pictures that include alcoholic beverages or people consuming alcohol.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

It is prohibited to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers, e-baraku (e-hashish) and their refills. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail sentences of up to 10 years.

A smoking ban is in effect on several beaches across the country and is punishable by a 100,000-baht fine and up to 1 year in prison.

Check with local authorities and look for no-smoking signs before smoking on a beach.

Gambling, with some exceptions, is illegal.

Lèse-majesté

Actions or words that are considered offensive or insulting to the king or the royal family are illegal and may result in criminal prosecution and lengthy prison sentences.

Don’t make any public statement, including online, that could be perceived as critical of:

  • the monarchy
  • the political situation in Thailand
  • the Royal Thai Army

Restricted goods

There are strict regulations regarding the importation and exportation of images of the Buddha, counterfeit goods, pornographic material and other items.

Consult the complete list of restricted and prohibited items before travelling.

Restricted goods - Thai Customs

Feeding fish

Feeding fish in the ocean is illegal and punishable by a 100000-baht fine and up to 1 year in prison.

Do not feed fish in the ocean and avoid boat tour operators who encourage tourists to do so.

Traffic drives on the left.

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Thailand.

You must carry an international driving permit or a Thai driver’s licence to drive in Thailand.

It is illegal to operate a motorcycle without a valid Thai motorcycle licence or an international driving permit with a motorcycle endorsement.

Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle riders (including passengers), but many helmets do not meet international safety standards.

Carry your identification card, driver’s licence and vehicle registration book at all times.

International Driving Permit

Housing foreign citizens

All hosts, including hotel staff and homeowners, must notify local authorities that they are housing foreign citizens within 24 hours of the arrival of these foreigners.

Commercial surrogacy

Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Thailand.

If you’re planning to visit Thailand for the purpose of commissioning surrogacy arrangements, you should consider the potential challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy and seek specialist legal advice on Thai and Canadian laws prior to making any arrangements.

It is also recommended that you consult with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on current policies regarding citizenship through descent and the issuance of Canadian travel documents.

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Thailand.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Thailand, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

Compulsory military service

Male Thai citizens are subject to compulsory military service when they reach the age of 21. If you’re a dual Canadian–Thai citizen, you may be subject to this requirement.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Thailand.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Thailand by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Thailand to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

The currency of Thailand is the Thai baht (THB).

Seismic activity

Thailand is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.

In case of an earthquake or a tsunami alert, follow the instructions of local authorities.

Tsunami alerts  - U.S. Tsunami Warning System

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to October. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

Jungle treks are not advisable during the rainy season due to the possibility of mudslides. Flash flooding in caves has caused fatalities.

  • Weather warnings - Thai Meteorological department
  • Mekong river levels - Mekong River Commission
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons

Air pollution

Air pollution fluctuates greatly and can be hazardous in urban areas, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Seasonal smog during the dry season is recurrent. In the northern provinces, including Chiang Mai, air quality can also be affected by agricultural burning.

You should monitor air pollution levels, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Local authorities recommend that children, seniors and pregnant women wear anti-pollution masks, and minimize outdoor activities, when air pollution levels are high.

Air pollution in Thailand – World Air Quality Index

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 191
  • tourist police: 1155
  • medical assistance: 1669
  • firefighters: 199

General services

The Tourism Authority of Thailand offers general advice for tourists. Dial 1672 and press 9 for English.

Consular assistance

Online appointment requests

Thailand, Cambodia, Laos

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Thailand, in Bangkok, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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  • Vaccinations needed for Thailand

Some vaccinations for Thailand are recommended and some are mandatory in certain circumstances. It’s important to know which vaccinations or injections for Thailand you need to get before you leave home.

Posted: 22/1/2022 | By Amanda Duffy

Female doctor smiling and talking to an elderly female patient

Thailand is a hugely popular destination for British holidaymakers, with over a million people travelling there annually. It has a tropical monsoon climate and a hugely diverse geography, including a long coastline, dense rainforest, paddy fields and high mountain ranges. Unfortunately, it also has a few health risks that we don’t have in Britain, and that means it’s vital that you take sensible  medical precautions before you travel .

Some  vaccinations for Thailand  are recommended, and some are mandatory in certain circumstances, so it’s important to know what vaccinations or injections for Thailand you need to get before you leave home.

If you're planning a trip to Thailand, consider a Post Office travel insurance policy.

What vaccinations do i need for thailand.

Check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Thailand, which includes entry requirements such as vaccinations. It’s recommended that travellers to Thailand have jabs for tetanus and hepatitis A, possibly for yellow fever too, and they should also take additional precautions depending on which regions they’re visiting and the activities they plan to do.

Contracted through the contamination of cuts, burns and wounds, is a potential issue across the region, and in places where medical care is limited. An infection can be an unpleasant experience causing a tightening of the muscles in the body, which can than affect swallowing and breathing. A total of five injection doses of the tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK and boosters are recommended if you haven’t had one for ten years.

Hepatitis A

A liver infection spread through contaminated water and food that causes high temperatures, joint pain, nausea, jaundice and itchy skin among other symptoms. It is prevalent anywhere sanitation is poor and has no specific treatment. Jabs for hepatitis A can be given in one dose.

Yellow fever

Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for all travellers over nine months of age arriving from any  countries with a risk of yellow fever  – even if they’ve only transited (for more than 12 hours) through the airport. Remember to double-check your full travel itinerary before you leave and carry your certificate to prove you’ve been vaccinated.

Is there a risk of malaria in Thailand?

Mosquitoes are an ongoing problem in Thailand, especially for anyone spending any time in rural areas and lowland paddy fields where they breed. Malaria is the most well known and serious condition spread by mosquitoes, causing severe fever and sometimes even proving fatal – with some symptoms developing as long as a year after exposure.

In  areas where malaria is a risk  you should avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers, especially after sunset, use insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. A course of antimalarial tablets such as Atovaquone, Proguanil or Doxycycline is also advised for anyone spending significant time in any affected regions.

What about other diseases?

Other mosquito borne viruses present in Thailand include  Dengue Fever , which causes fever, headache, severe joint and muscular pain, and the  Zika virus , which is relatively mild but can have serious side effects for pregnant women. Both diseases are more common in urban areas than rural, and there is no effective vaccination or jab for either – with the best method of prevention to try and avoid being bitten.

Mosquitoes also spread the brain disease Japanese encephalitis and, though unlikely, vaccination should be considered for anyone spending a long period in any of Thailand’s mosquito hotspots. Cholera may also be an issue, and this can be vaccinated against too if you’re planning on spending any serious amount of time in the rural areas.

Thailand market with various people walking around and trikes driving around

How do I get vaccinations for Thailand?

Anyone requiring injections for Thailand should visit their GP six to eight weeks before they leave. They should also check for any medical updates on the  official government website .

Many  travel vaccinations are free on the NHS , including those for tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera so be sure to take advantage of this and get your free travel jabs.

High street chains like Boots and Superdrug also offer vaccination services but the costs can vary greatly.  The International Society of Travel Medicine  has clinics in 90 countries and provides pre-travel immunisation and counseling.

It’s important to be aware that not having the required inoculations could invalidate a  travel insurance policy

Stay #TravelAware

Thailand is one of the UK's favourite travel destinations but which of these items can you not take into the country?

Did you correctly guess which item isn't allowed into Thailand?

Want to learn about more local laws for any country across the world? Visit  www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice  to stay in the loop with travel advice.

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travel vaccines in thailand

Latest update

Exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand overall due to security and safety risks. 

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Thailand map November 2023

Thailand (PDF 998.61 KB)

Asia (PDF 2.21 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 1669 for medical emergencies and rescue services.

Call 1724 for an ambulance in Bangkok. 1669 Nationwide.

Call 191 for police.

Call 1155 for the tourist police.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution  in Thailand overall due to security and safety risks.

Reconsider your need to travel  to Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces.

Reconsider your need to travel  to:

  • Yala province,
  • Pattani province, and 
  • Narathiwat province

due to ongoing risks of low-level insurgent activity, including terrorism.

See  Safety .

  • Road accidents are a significant cause of injury. Be alert at all times on the roads.
  • Floods and severe weather can disrupt essential services during the wet season (June to November). Follow the advice of local officials.
  • Scams, credit card fraud and ATM fraud are common.
  • Sexual assault, assault, robbery and drink spiking can happen to tourists. Never leave your drink unattended. Stay with people you trust at parties, in bars, nightclubs and taxis.
  • Anti-government protests have previously occurred in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand. The security environment can be unpredictable and turn violent. Those attending protests can face arrest or other legal consequences. Monitor local media for information on protest locations and avoid public gatherings. Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • There's an ongoing risk of terrorist attack in Thailand. Popular tourist areas may be the target of terrorist attacks. Thai authorities have warned of possible bombings on symbolic dates or holidays. Be alert to possible threats. Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Reconsider your need to travel to the 3 most southern provinces of the Thailand-Malaysia border: Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Low-level insurgent activity continues to occur in these areas.  
  • Border areas near Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia are dangerous due to violence, armed conflict and landmines. Pay close attention to your personal security.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Travellers have been arrested for carrying medicine they bought at a Thai pharmacy without a prescription. Get medical advice before buying medicine.
  • Insect-borne diseases include malaria, Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and filariasis. Use insect repellent. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof as possible. 
  • Animals in parts of Thailand can carry rabies. Don't ever feed, pat or tease monkeys. If you're bitten or scratched by a dog, monkey or other animal, get treatment immediately.
  • Thailand has high levels of air pollution. Air pollution can make bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions worse. Check air quality levels on the World Air Quality Index .
  • Medical tourism is common. Avoid discount and uncertified medical establishments. Their standards can be poor. Research medical service providers and choose with care.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty.
  • Commercial surrogacy is illegal. E-cigarettes, e-baraku, vaporisers and refills are illegal. Smoking on some beaches is illegal. Travel without carrying identification is illegal.
  • Penalties for breaking the law can apply to anyone aged under 18 years. Penalties for children can include detention in a juvenile or adult prison.
  • Thailand has the death penalty for serious crimes, including murder, attempted murder and rape. Crimes against the state and offences against the monarchy can also attract the death penalty. Take care not to cause offence about the monarchy, including on social media.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

You can get a visa exemption for up to 30 days on arrival (restricted to 2 entries per calendar year). The visa exemption is strictly for tourism purposes only. If your travel is not for tourism purposes, contact the nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to apply for the appropriate visa.

  • You may be subject to biometric screening at points of entry, and restrictions may change at short notice. Check with your airline, the  International Air Transport Association (IATA)  or the nearest Thai Embassy for the latest information. 
  • You can transit between international flights in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport . Ensure that your connecting flight is booked on the same itinerary and ticket. You must remain in the transiting area in the airport.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  tells you what the Australian Government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the  Australian Embassy, Bangkok , or the  Australian Consulate-General, Phuket .
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Civil unrest and political tension, security situation .

The security situation can be unpredictable in Thailand. Large protests have occurred in Bangkok and other areas. In previous years, large political protests and government crowd control operations have resulted in violence.

More incidents are possible.

To stay safe during periods of unrest:

  • avoid demonstrations, processions and public gatherings
  • follow media and other sources
  • take official warnings seriously
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • If you see a suspicious package, stay clear and report it to Police

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Thailand-Cambodia border

Thailand and Cambodia have an ongoing border dispute. There's a risk of landmines and unexploded weapons near the Thai-Cambodian border area.

Be extra careful at tourist areas, including:

  • the Preah Vihear temple - Khao Pra Viharn in Thailand
  • the Ta Kwai temple - Ta Krabei in Cambodia
  • the Ta Muen Thom temple - Ta Moan in Cambodia

Tourist attractions and border crossings in this area may close with little or no notice.

Thailand-Myanmar border

Fighting and armed theft can occur along the Thai-Myanmar border. This includes:

  • fighting between the Burmese military and armed ethnic opposition groups
  • clashes between Thai security forces and armed criminal groups, such as drug traffickers

Armed clashes between the military and opposition groups inside Myanmar may lead to border closures.

If you try to cross the border illegally, you may be detained and deported.

Bandits may target you if you travel through national parks in this border region.

If you travel to this region:

  • monitor the news
  • watch out for other signs of unrest
  • pay close attention to your personal security

Thailand-Malaysia border

Reconsider your need to travel to or from the three most southern provinces:

Violence includes attacks and bombings, with deaths and injuries. Since 2004, over 6500 people have been killed and many more injured in these provinces.

Bombings are often coordinated to target people who respond to the first explosion.

Over the past few years, multiple coordinated explosions have occurred in the southern border provinces, and low-level insurgent activity continues.  

If you travel to or stay in these provinces, you could get caught up in violence directed at others.

Attacks can happen at any time.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Attacks, including bombings and shootings, are possible anytime. They can happen anywhere, including Bangkok and Phuket.

Popular tourist areas may be the target of terrorist attacks.

Thai authorities have warned of possible bombings on symbolic dates or holidays.

Possible targets for future attacks include:

  • shopping malls, markets and banks
  • hotels and beach resorts
  • restaurants, bars and nightclubs
  • schools and places of worship
  • outdoor recreation events

Other targets include public buildings, public transport, airports and sea ports.

To reduce your risk of being involved in a terrorist attack: 

  • have a clear exit plan in case there's a security incident
  • be alert to possible threats
  • report suspicious activity or items to police
  • monitor the media for threats

If there is an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.

Gun-related violence can occur at any time. On 3 October 2023, 3 people were killed and 4 injured in a shooting at the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok. On 6 October 2022, 36 people were killed in a shooting and stabbing incident in Nong Bua Lamphu province. 

Sexual assault and violent crime

Travellers may experience  sexual assault , other  assault  and  robbery .

Be extra careful in tourist spots such as Khao San Road in Bangkok and the night-time entertainment zones in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.

Be aware of drink-spiking. Don't drink homemade or local cocktails. They can contain narcotics or poison. You're at higher risk of sexual assault and theft if you get drugged.

Never leave your drink unattended.

Stay with people you trust at parties, in bars, nightclubs and taxis.

Get urgent medical attention if you think you or someone else has been drugged.

If you're a victim of violent crime, including rape, get immediate medical attention.

Under Thai law, courts will only accept the results of a medical examination from some government hospitals. After you've been examined by a government hospital, you can receive medical attention at a private hospital. Please contact the Australian Embassy Bangkok, Consulate-General Phuket, or Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra for assistance.

  • Partying safely

Petty crime

Money and passports have been stolen from budget hotel and hostel rooms, and from bags on public transport. Thieves also target luggage stored on trains and below buses.

Bags have been snatched by thieves on motorcycles or sliced open with razor blades. 

To reduce your risk of theft:

  • don't leave valuables in luggage stowed under buses or away from you on trains
  • be wary of motorcycles approaching from behind as you walk on the footpath
  • hold bags and backpacks in front of you

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

More information: 

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Kidnapping 

Kidnapping can happen anywhere, anytime, including in destinations that are typically at lower risk.  

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers. 

  • Kidnapping  

Tours and adventure activities

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes for:

  • scuba diving
  • elephant safaris
  • bungee jumping

If you plan to do an  adventure activity :

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

Climate and natural disasters

Thailand experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather , including:

  • earthquakes

Severe weather events are likely to disrupt transport, electricity and communications.

To stay safe during severe weather:

  • check media and weather reports
  • check in with your tour operator
  • don't enter areas affected by flooding or landslides

If there is a natural disaster:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof place
  • keep in contact with friends and family
  • monitor the media and other local sources of information
  • Register with the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  to receive alerts on major disasters.

Storms and floods

Severe storms and widespread seasonal flooding can occur without warning. This includes flash floods.

The wet season in north and central Thailand is from May to October.

In Koh Samui and the south-east of the peninsula, the wet season is from November to March.

  • Thai Meteorological Department
  • Mekong River Commission  — flood levels for the Mekong River

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Earthquakes occur in Thailand.

Tsunamis are more likely in Thailand because of the risk of earthquakes. 

Check with the  US Tsunami Warning Centre  for updates on seismic activity and tsunamis.

If you're near the coast, move to high ground straight away if advised, or if you:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
  • feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Don't wait for official warnings such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave.

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers, including in terms of health and travel disruptions
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Thailand. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Get medical advice before buying medicine in Thailand. Travellers have been arrested for carrying medicine they bought at a Thai pharmacy without a prescription.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use
  • Medications

Health risks

Insect-borne illnesses.

Zika virus  is a risk in Thailand. If you are pregnant, defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Speak to your doctor before you travel. Several cases have been reported, including in Bangkok.

The Department of Health and Aged Care's  Zika virus bulletin  has advice for all travellers on how to reduce Zika virus risks. There's no vaccine for Zika virus.

Malaria  is a risk throughout the year in rural areas. The worst affected areas are near the borders with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. 

Dengue  occurs in Thailand. It's common during the rainy season:

  • November to March in Koh Samui and the south-east of Thailand
  • May to October in the rest of Thailand, including Phuket

Dengue peaks in July and August although it is prevalent throughout the year. There's no vaccine or specific treatment for dengue.

Other insect-borne diseases include:

  • chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis

To protect yourself from disease:

  • make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
  • get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis
  • Infectious diseases

Animals in parts of Thailand can carry  rabies .

Rabies is deadly. Humans can get rabies from mammals, such as:

  • other animals

Don't ever feed, pat or tease monkeys, even if you're encouraged to.

If you're bitten or scratched by a dog, monkey or other animal, get treatment as soon as possible.

Smoke haze and air pollution

Thailand has high levels of air pollution. It can reach hazardous levels. Bangkok and Chiang Mai can be particularly bad. 

Air pollution can make bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions worse. 

Smoke haze is an issue across the north and north-east of Thailand from March to April.

Check air quality levels on the  World Air Quality Index .

Get advice from your doctor before you travel. 

Medical care

Medical facilities.

The standard of medical facilities varies. 

In an emergency, we recommend you contact an ambulance on 1669.

Private hospitals in major cities have high standards of medical care. Services can be limited in other areas.

Hospitals and doctors often need to confirm your insurance before they'll treat you, even in an emergency. Otherwise you may need to pay cash up-front. Costs can be very high.

Hospitals in Bangkok and other large cities can treat serious illnesses and accidents. In other areas, you may need to be moved to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

Decompression chambers are located near popular dive sites in:

Medical tourism

Medical tourism , including for cosmetic and sex-change operations, is common.

Standards at discount and uncertified medical establishments can be poor. Serious and life-threatening complications can result.

Some hospitals and clinics have refused to compensate patients:

  • who aren't satisfied with the results of cosmetic surgery
  • who are harmed during surgery
  • who die during surgery

Do your research. Choose your medical service providers with care.

Don't use discount or uncertified medical service providers.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed , the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty.

Possession of even small quantities of drugs for recreational purposes can lead to long jail sentences and deportation.

Thai authorities may conduct spot-checks for illegal drugs in tourist areas.

Travellers have been targeted for narcotic tests. Under Thai law, authorities have the right to demand urine samples from people suspected of taking illegal drugs.

If you're asked to submit a urine sample, ask to do it at a police station. You can also ask to contact the Tourist Police. Call 1155 for English-speaking officers.

Private recreational use of cannabis is legal if the THC content is below 0.2% in weight. Cannabis use in public places remains illegal, and smoking outside is considered a public nuisance, and offenders risk fines and arrest. It is still illegal to sell or supply any extracts of cannabis containing more than 0.2% of THC.

While cannabis is decriminalised in Thailand, be aware of the next destination you are travelling to, where it may be illegal, including when transiting. This may include residual amounts of illicit drugs in your system (such as in your blood or saliva) or on items you are carrying.

Follow directions from local authorities.

  • Carrying or using drugs

Surrogacy laws

Commercial surrogacy is illegal.

  • Going overseas for international surrogacy
  • Going overseas to adopt a child

E-cigarettes

E-cigarettes, e-baraku, and other related vaporisers, including refills, are prohibited. You can't import or transfer them through Thailand, even for personal use.

Producing or selling these items is illegal. You face either 10 years of imprisonment or a fine up to THB1 million, or both.

Penalties for breaking the law can be severe.

These penalties can also apply to anyone aged under 18 years who is subject to Thai juvenile judicial processes. Penalties can include detention in a juvenile or adult prison.

The death penalty can apply to:

  • attempted murder
  • crimes against the state, including treason
  • some offences against the monarchy

Insulting the monarchy, or defacing images of the monarchy - including on a bank note bearing the King's image - can lead to prison terms of up to 15 years.

Take care not to cause offence when posting, commenting or liking items about the monarchy, including on social media.

In Thailand, it's illegal to:

  • travel without carrying identification
  • gamble - other than at a few major race tracks
  • make a false statement to police, including about an insurance claim

It is also illegal to smoke on beaches in tourist areas, including:

  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Songkhla 

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Thai-Australian dual nationals may be liable to complete military conscription.

If you're a dual national, contact the nearest  embassy or consulate of Thailand  before you travel.

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Respect local customs and take care to not offend. Deliberately ignoring local customs can cause grave offence.

Do not show the soles of your feet or touch the top of a person's head. These are insulting in Thai culture.

If in doubt, ask for local advice.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or consulate of Thailand, the  Royal Thai Embassy Canberra  or Royal Thai Consulate-General Sydney . See  the official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand  for the latest details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.

Visas overstays

If you overstay your visa, you'll need to pay a fine before you can leave. You can also be:

  • banned from re-entering Thailand

Thai authorities can blacklist you, which means you can never return to Thailand.

Penalties for not paying the fine include long prison sentences. Conditions at Immigration Detention Centres are harsh.

  • Thai Immigration Bureau

Border measures

International passengers can transit Suvarnabhumi Airport , Bangkok.

You may be subject to biometric screening at points of entry. Clarify entry requirements with your airline,  International Air Transport Association (IATA)  or your nearest Thai Embassy. 

Departure from Thailand

Travellers should refer to the relevant airline or travel provider for information about departing Thailand. 

  • Royal Thai Embassy , Canberra
  • Thai government's Facebook page

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

Don't give your passport to third parties - like a jet ski or motorcycle rental businesses - as a guarantee. Companies may hold on to the passport and ask for payment for damages.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier 

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

The currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB).

You can convert Australian dollars for THB in tourist areas, major cities and towns.

ATMs are available in cities and regional centres.

Most hotels, restaurants and higher-end shops accept international credit cards.

Card skimming occurs. See  Safety

Local travel

Driver's permit.

To drive a car or motorcycle in Thailand, you'll need a valid Australian driver's licence for the type of vehicle you're using.

To drive a motorbike, you'll need a valid motorcycle licence. Some rental companies will tell you otherwise.

You are required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Don't drive any vehicles not covered by your Australian licence.

The  Department of Land Transport  issues Thai driver’s licences. Contact them to confirm:

  • your eligibility
  • what documents you need to apply

The legal driving age in Thailand is 18.

Road travel

Thailand has one of the highest traffic-related fatality rates in the world. Motorcyclists are most at risk.

Road accidents are common, including in resort areas such as Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui. 

Driving in Thailand is dangerous due to:

  • reckless passing
  • ignoring traffic laws

Be extra careful during holidays, such as Songkran (Thai New Year). Alcohol use and congestion are worse during these times.

Don't drink and drive.

If you're walking, use overhead walkways. Look in both directions before crossing streets, even at marked crossways.

  • Driving or riding

Motorcycles

Under Thai law, motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet. However, hire companies or motorcycle taxis rarely provide helmets. You may need to shop around to hire a helmet.

Australians are regularly injured or die in motorbike accidents in Thailand. Alcohol is often involved.

If you're in an accident, police may detain or arrest you until compensation is agreed. This can often cost thousands of dollars.

Many vehicle hire companies don't have insurance.

If you have a motorcycle accident, you could be responsible for any damages, loss or costs associated with injury to others. The embassy can't help you negotiate on compensation demands.

Lawyers who can represent you are available from:

  • Australian Embassy and Consulates-General in Thailand
  • the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra

If you plan to hire a motorbike, make sure:

  • your insurance policy covers it
  • you have a valid motorcycle licence
  • the hiring company has comprehensive and third-party insurance
  • you know the excess you would need to pay if you have an accident
  • you always wear a helmet

Don't drink and drive, or drink and ride.

Never give your passport as a deposit or guarantee.

Taxis, tuktuks and motorcycle taxis

Official, metered taxis are generally safe and convenient. Be alert to possible  scams  and safety risks.

Be aware of apparently friendly taxi or tuktuk drivers who offer you cheap tours. They will take you to shops where they receive a commission. You may be overcharged or sold worthless goods or gems.

Before you get in an unmetered taxi, tuktuk or motorcycle taxi, agree on the fare and the route.

Make sure your bags are secure when you're travelling in a tuktuk or motorcycle taxi.

Never put yourself in danger by confronting a taxi, tuktuk or motorcycle taxi driver. Call the Tourist Police on 1155 if you need help. 

Be careful when opening taxi doors. Look out for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Ferry and speedboat travel can be dangerous. Serious incidents involving tourists have occurred and people have died.

If you plan on  travelling by boat  or ferry:

  • check safety standards are in place
  • check there is enough safety equipment for everyone
  • wear your life jacket at all times
  • avoid travelling after dark
  • don't get on overcrowded boats

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  Thailand's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.

Emergencies

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Call 1724 for an ambulance in Bangkok.

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australian Embassy, Bangkok

181 Wireless Road Lumphini, Pathumwan Bangkok, Thailand. 10330 Phone: (+66 2) 344 6300 Fax: (+66 2) 344 6593 Website:  thailand.embassy.gov.au   Email: [email protected]   Facebook:  Australia in Thailand X:  @AusAmbBKK

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

Australian Consulate-General, Phuket

6th Floor CCM Complex 77/77 Chalermprakiat Rama 9 Road (Bypass Road) Muang Phuket, Thailand, 83000 Phone: (+66 76) 317 700 Fax: (+66 76) 317 743 Website:  phuket.consulate.gov.au E-mail:  [email protected]

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia

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Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.

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  • Signs and Symptoms
  • How It Spreads
  • Areas with Risk
  • Dengue in the United States
  • Dengue Print Resources
  • Dengue Vaccine
  • Clinical Features
  • Clinical Testing and Diagnosis
  • Dengue Clinical Care
  • Dengue Course

Areas with Risk of Dengue

  • Almost half of the world's population, about 4 billion people, live in areas with a risk of dengue.
  • Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with risk of dengue is at risk for infection.

Before you travel, find country-specific travel information to help you plan and pack.

Three people with suitcases looking at a plane in the sky.

Dengue around the world

Dengue is a common disease in many countries globally, including the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Almost half of the world's population, about 4 billion people, live in areas with a risk of dengue. Dengue is often a leading cause of febrile illness in areas with risk.

Dengue outbreaks are reported frequently in these regions, including many popular tourist destinations in:

  • the Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Pacific Islands

Map of areas with dengue risk in the world showing frequent dengue activity, sporadic dengue activity, and no evidence of dengue risk.

Dengue in the United States‎

Information for travelers.

Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with risk of dengue is at risk for infection. More detailed maps about dengue risk by region are available in the CDC Yellow Book .

This section lists countries in Africa by their level of dengue risk.

Frequent/continuous

  • Burkina Faso
  • United Republic of Tanzania

Sporadic/uncertain

  • Central African Republic
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan

This section lists countries in the Americas by their level of dengue risk.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Puerto RIco
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos
  • United States Virgin Islands

Risk varies based on region

This section lists countries in Asia by their level of dengue risk.

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Philippines
  • Timor-Leste
  • Afghanistan
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Korea (Republic of)
  • Saudi Arabia

This section lists countries in Europe by their level of dengue risk.

  • Madeira Islands

Oceania/Pacific Islands

This section lists countries in Oceania/Pacific Islands by their level of dengue risk.

Mosquitoes that can spread dengue usually live in places below 6,500 feet. The chances of getting dengue from mosquitoes living above that altitude are very low.

  • American Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • French Polynesia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • New Caledonia
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Solomon Islands
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Wallis and Futuna

Risk classification criteria

Level of risk assigned to a destination reflects the highest risk level identified within that destination.

  • Frequent/continuous risk: evidence of more than 10 dengue cases in at least 3 of the previous 10 years.
  • Sporadic/uncertain risk: evidence of at least 1 locally acquired dengue case during the last 10 years.

Learn about dengue viruses, how dengue spreads, how to prevent dengue, and the areas with risk of dengue.

For Everyone

Health care providers.

Flight turbulence is getting worse — what to know

Following the singapore airlines turbulence incident, climate and aviation experts provide insight into worsening turbulence trends..

The Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER airplane, which was headed to Singapore from London before making an emergency landing in Bangkok due to severe turbulence, is seen on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on May 22, 2024.

The Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER airplane, which was headed to Singapore from London before making an emergency landing in Bangkok due to severe turbulence, is seen on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on Wednesdsay.

LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/Getty

One person is dead, and 30 are injured after a Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence.

“We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER,” said SIA said in a statement . “There were a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew on board.”

Flight SQ321 departed from London’s Heathrow Airport on a Boeing 777-300ER on Monday and was supposed to land in Singapore, but instead was diverted to Thailand at 3:45 local time on Tuesday after requesting an emergency landing.

According to updates the airline posted on its Facebook page , the rest of the passengers, the majority of whom were from Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore, and the crew were being evaluated and treated as needed by medical personnel at the airport.

Turbulence is getting worse, and that trend is likely to continue because of climate change.

Here’s what climate and aviation experts said about the worsening turbulence trends.

What causes turbulence?

There are different kinds of turbulence, and they’re caused by different things:

  • Mountain wave turbulence, as the name suggests, happens when the wind hits a mountain and is forced upward off its blustery path. That’s why it’s common to hit some bumps when you’re flying over the Rockies on a transcontinental flight.
  • Convective turbulence is generally associated with storms and is caused by warm air rising.
  • Clear-air turbulence can be caused by a number of factors and is generally harder to predict than the other two types, but it is also the most likely kind to affect aircraft. And because it’s harder to predict, it can also be harder to avoid.

How clear-air turbulence occurs

Pockets created by jet streams traveling at different speeds and directions cause clear-air turbulence. The phenomenon often happens at 15,000 feet or higher, where clouds aren’t present to offer clues of the unstable air. Clear-air turbulence is also invisible on conventional radar.

Among three causes of turbulence, clear-air is the hardest to predict, and it’s the most likely to affect aircraft.

Is climate change making turbulence worse?

Yes, at least with clear-air turbulence.

According to Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading, there’s no clear data on how climate change is affecting mountain waves or convective turbulence, but clear-air turbulence is definitely becoming more frequent and intense.

“It’s going up because of climate change,” Williams told USA Today last year . “The atmosphere is getting more turbulent; there will be more severe turbulence in the atmosphere.”

Williams co-authored a 2023 study examining increases in clear-air turbulence, which intrigued Noboru Nakamura, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Chicago.

“Using different metrics, they looked at the observational data over the last 40 years, as well as computer simulations of the future, hypothetically warmer world with increased carbon dioxide,” said Nakamura, who is a faculty member in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences. “They found that the risk for the frequency and magnitude of clear-air turbulence have indeed increased observationally over the last four decades, and will continue to do so as the climate keeps warming.”

Although the research is ongoing, Nakamura described the theoretical underpinning as “very robust and reliable.”

Southern Illinois University aviation professor and safety officer Michael Robertson agreed that climate change affecting clear-air turbulence is a possibility.

“But we’re also seeing more and more flights,” he said. “It’s hard to compare the data coming from aircraft today versus 50 years ago because of the number of flights that we do daily. So, there’s going to be more chances that you’re going to run into [turbulence] just because there’s more traffic.”

  • More than 2 million Illinois residents to travel Memorial Day weekend

How many deaths has turbulence caused?

Deaths from turbulence are extremely rare.

In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration reported 163 passengers and crew have been seriously injured by turbulence between 2009 and 2022.

Can planes withstand turbulence?

Yes, planes are designed to withstand even extreme turbulence, so it may be uncomfortable for passengers, but it almost never puts the plane itself in physical danger, according to Guinn.

Even with the potential increase in clear-air turbulence, experts say the likelihood of encountering the condition is still very small, and passengers should not be overly concerned, as long as they buckle up when instructed.

“You might be flying along and hit this pocket of air where you encounter some type of downdraft or updraft, and if you’re not belted in, you could have some injury,” Robertson said. “That’s why they’re always saying, even when you’re seated, still wear your belt. ... I wouldn’t want this to increase everybody’s fear about the safety of flying because it’s the still one of the safest forms of travel.”

The bigger problems, Guinn said, are the other operational complications turbulence can cause.

“If you can climb above it or go below it, that fixes things, but that costs a lot of fuel,” Guinn said. “Prolonged exposure to turbulence for a pilot is fatiguing. Pilots are going to have to deal with that as well.”

Robertson said technology, such as aircraft automation, can help pilots combat stress and fatigue. He also said they can ask air traffic controllers for alternate altitudes upon encountering turbulence.

But that can add to the workload of the air traffic controllers, according to Williams.

Despite these concerns, Robertson said he doesn’t think people will be deterred from becoming pilots. He cited increases in starting pay and engaging with students early in their college careers as solutions to pilot shortages.

“You’re always going to have that population that has a passion for aviation that wants to pursue it,” he said.

Contributing: Stephen J. Beard and Ramon Padilla, USA Today; and Erica Thompson, Chicago Sun-Times

@el_matzu_001_-5.jpeg

COMMENTS

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  8. Thailand Travel Requirements & Vaccinations

    Thailand Travel Requirements & Vaccinations . Thailand is a country located in Southeast Asia on the Indochinese peninsula. Officially known as the Kingdom of Thailand, it was formerly known as Siam. Thai is the official language of Thailand with English being spoken in most of the larger cities and tourist destinations. Thailand is home to ...

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    Last updated: May 17, 2023. The CDC's Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is no longer in effect. For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

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  24. Areas with Risk of Dengue

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