While Thailand remains, on the whole, a relatively safe destination for tourists, current changes in political and civil norms, and the all-too-obvious dangers resulting from the establishment of martial law, have brought about some unsettling events that have altered the face of Thailand, and, in particular, the capital, Bangkok.
Being prepared, and taking all precautions to ensure you stay healthy during your trip should be your first concern. We strongly recommend that you contact our Travel Vaccination Clinic, at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure so we may advise you on the medicines and vaccinations you will need to keep you healthy while you are visiting Bangkok. During your visit to our clinic, we will review your last immunisations on:
Travel Vaccinations needed for Thailand
Make sure that you are up-to-date with your routine travel vaccinations prior to travelling to Thailand, including Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio as well as Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Most travellers to Thailand will also require to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
If you are just visiting Bangkok, you will not be at risk for Malaria, however, if you have plans to visit any jungle areas, particularly those near the borders of Burma, Cambodia, or Laos, the risk can be high. There is no cure for malaria, but there is prevention. Depending on your planned activities, you might wish to begin a course of anti-malarial pills 2 weeks in advance of your departure, and continue taking them during your journey. The best prevention is to avoid being bitten. Use liberal amounts of insecticide and wear clothing that covers arms and legs. In certain regions, you can also get Dengue Fever from a mosquito bite, and there is no treatment, so you must be protected at all times.
Other Travel Health Risks in Bangkok
The seasoned traveller knows that, with all the excitement and fascinating new experiences that lay in store on a journey to any far away land, there is always a downside. It’s unavoidable, of course, since you are leaving your environment, embarking on a rigorous series of demanding schedules, time changes, long haul flights, unfamiliar foods, and any number of specific risks to your possessions and your health.
Pollution is relatively high in the capital, and should you suffer from any respiratory illness, you face the risk of complications. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids can help alleviate the discomfort to some extent.
Heat and dehydration
Heat and dehydration are important concerns for tourists unaccustomed to the climate in Thailand. When out walking, touring, visiting markets and shopping areas, wear a hat, seek shade wherever possible, and carry bottled water with you at all times.
The water is not safe to drink…use only bottled water at all times, and avoid ice cubes. Drink water directly from the bottle.
Street vendors are, quite literally, everywhere you look, and they’re only too happy to offer you a taste of one exotic treat or another, but take care. First, ask about the food you’re thinking of tasting, and, next, take a look around at the cart, and the equipment being used, for signs of sloppiness or poor hygiene. There is a recognized syndrome known as “Bangkok Belly”, and it’s something you very much want to avoid.
Pick-pockets/scammers/street crime are major concerns in Bangkok, day and night. Staying safe and protecting your valuables is all about common sense. Carry credit cards separately from cash; never let anyone in a shop walk away with your credit card; shield your card, and PIN when using an ATM. Don’t agree to “deals”, special purchases on “gems”, with strangers anywhere, and don’t let any stranger buy you a drink, no matter how respectable the establishment seems to be. Drink and Food spiking is commonplace in the capital and in resort areas. When walking, hold onto your bag, and don’t let it hang loosely from your shoulder, as “bag snatchers” on motorcycles can make it disappear in seconds if you are careless.
Before Departure to Thailand
Before departure, contact your insurance provider to make sure that your Medical and Travel insurance policy will cover you in Thailand. Some providers rescind coverage in countries under Martial Law. Contact either of our Travel Clinics in London prior to your departure.