Thailand Vacation Advisor

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Health

Thailand is a safe country to visit from both the health and personal safety aspects. The following notes can help you prepare but we do recommend a visit to your doctor if you are in any doubt

Before you travel

Evaluate whether you are fit to travel.
Check to see if your inoculations are up to date and visit a doctor if you are either unsure or in need of booster "jabs".
It is a good idea to consult your doctor as to his recommendations on anti-malaria pills although only a few of the most remote border areas are considered malaria zones by local health authorities.

What to tell the doctor

You should inform your doctor of the following'

allergies to drugs, etc.)
pregnancy
medication (disclose everything but esp. important are steroids and anticoagulants
chronic illness
HIV infection.
Special precautions may be necessary for these travellers and for children.

Sexually active visitors should always practice safe-sex and use condoms whether their partner is local or a fellow traveller.

Most expatriates or over five years do not take any special anti-malaria precautions unless they choose to work in remote jungle areas.

Health care is surprisingly good in the country and many medical staff in the major cities such as Chiang Mai have been trained in the US or the UK. Dentist and specialist doctors are skilled and very good value. Some people even use their holiday experiences to brush up on their dental care!

Food & Drinks

Ice is best avoided in smaller foodstalls unless it is cylindrical with a central whole which should mean it is manufactured to government controlled standards and therefore safe to drink. Shaved ice and other stall specialities, though delicious, are probably OK but better to leave them in case of contamination.

Eating is a delight in the country with more meal choices and styles in each region (see the food section for more details). Stall eating is generally OK and some of the best food in the country can be found at inexpensive market carts. Check the tables, eating utensils, the hands (as well as the personal hygiene of the cook) to determine if the place pays enough regard to cleanliness. If they are clean then there is a good chance that it is safe to eat there.

Avoid food that has been left out in the sun for long periods of time, especially fish. Most Thai food is cooked at very high temperatures which kills bacteria.

Fruit should be peeled before eaten and vegetables thoroughly washed before consumption to remove any pesticide residue.

Local beer is fine as is tea and coffee practically everywhere. If you are paranoid about eating outside then any 2 star + hotel should have a selection to keep you nourished. Those adventurous enough to try stall food are sure to find an amazing array of choice and some delicious experiences.