Questions about health and safety

This page is for information purpose only (please read our disclaimer). Serious matters like health and safety should be verified with the relevant authorities before you travel.


Is there any required vaccination for visiting Thailand?

No specific vaccination is required, but you should ensure that your vaccination (including tetanus and polio) are kept up to date. Hepatitis A is also strongly recommended.

Fight the battle against mosquitoes!I’m concerned about malaria, is it a risk?

There is indeed a risk of malaria, but it is very limited. Bangkok and most provinces in the central region as well as major tourist resorts and large cities are free from malaria. Only rural areas, especially those in the mountainous and border areas are still at certain risks. But as anti-malaria treatments are not quite effective and have uncomfortable side effects, it is rather recommended to take precautions against mosquito bites, especially at night. You can use repellents, like skin spray and electrical plugs, sleep under a mosquito net, and wear long sleeved clothes.

Can I drink tap water?

No, it is not drinkable. Even if Bangkok tap water is supposed to be drinkable, nobody drinks it. You can find bottled water everywhere. Ice is made of drinkable water, so it is safe to have ice in your drinks.

  • For information about food, see our article about Thai food.


Thai security guard not quite vigilantIs Thailand a safe country?

Yes and no. Like many things in Thailand, it depends on how you look at it. Thailand gives the impression of being a very safe country, because you can get around easily and you hardly ever feel threatened. There are security guards everywhere (most of them looking very bored), and people still talk to each other. However, things can get hot very quickly. The murder rate is high, and the newspapers are always full of stories of people getting killed, sometimes for trifling matters.

So Thailand is safe provided you’re not looking for trouble. Provoking or humiliating a Thai is looking for trouble. Behaving like a moron in a bar is looking for trouble. So don’t switch off your brain at the boarding gate (!) and try not to take unnecessary risks. Thai men may look small and harmless, but they all know at least the basics of Thai boxing, and they don’t believe in the old-fashioned one to one duels, they will go ten to one against you.

What about the roads?

The roads are not safe, with more than 13,000 people dying every year (nearly three times as much as France, for about the same population). People drive recklessly and many of them don’t have a driving licence (and those who do haven’t been taught much about safety). There are campaigns every year against drunk driving, and a law has been passed to ban the use of mobile phones while driving, but it is still a slaughter every time there is a special occasion, like New Year holidays (in January and in April). As a tourist, at least make sure you wear a helmet if you ride a motorbike. We see too many tourists riding motorbikes with no helmet and bare-chested. We also see many of them with bandages or limping after an accident, and these are the lucky ones.

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