Health in Thailand
Stay Healthy During Vacation

What about your health in Thailand?

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Pattaya is all about fun - as is the Land of Smiles.

That being said it's important to make sure you stay as healthy (and sane) as possible.

You'll definitely have a great time as you know that you're in good health.

So what are some simple things you can do to keep yourself in good shape?

Here are just 7+ things you can begin doing today.

Let's start with THE most important one.

Drink and Have Access To Drinking Water

Buying and drinking bottled water seems to be the most convenient and 'logical' way.  However, there is a tremendous side effect and that is the environmental pollution that plastic bottles create.  This is not a only huge problem limited to Thailand...

...but has become a problem all around the world (even in lovely Pattaya). 

So what can you do to make sure your water is clean?

Do Reverse Osmosis and Ultraviolet Filtration On Your Water

drinking water for your health in thailand

You can buy water purified by reverse osmosis and ultraviolet filtration at vending machines here in Pattaya.

Like in this picture you can fill your empty bottles (preferably glass bottles) for 1 baht a liter. Fill 1, 5, or 10 liter bottles at these machines.

Use glass containers whenever possible since the effect of the chemicals in plastic bottles on the human body is still a controversial scientific discussion.

Scientists claim that there's "some concern" about the potential negative health effects of BPA on infants and children and calls for more research to determine just what the risks of BPA exposure might be.

Canada is now considering banning baby bottles containing bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in consumer plastic products.

Take That Extra Step With Your Water

Most people probably won't do this, or they are staying in hotels and it is near impossible, but boiling tap water is the recommended method.

Bringing water to a vigorous boil (1 minute boil) is efficient to make it safe for drinking. Boiled water may contain harmless sediment when cooling but this can be removed by decanting.

So besides keeping your water and health in Thailand as clean as possible - what else can you do?

Watch Out For The Sun

'Sunburn' is a very common problem in the tropics for foreigners (particularly for the blond and fair skinned foreigners)

It is associated with

 • fever

 • headaches

 • peeling of the skin

 • and great discomfort

Avoid exposing yourself to the sun for too long and limit your time sunbathing.

Use sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) which is widely available in local stores nationwide. Start with a SPF of 15 and lower its rating as your skin gets more accustomed to the sun. Protect children and in particular babies with Hats, Sunscreen, and beach umbrellas.

So we've looked at the water you drink and staying out in the sun - what next?

Watch What You Eat

Fresh Fruits

Oranges For Vitamin C

Chili Peppers

Thai cuisine is delicious, exotic, and famous for its varied tastes. There are a few guidelines when eating out in Thailand.

  • Eat at restaurants and food stalls which are busy and frequented by Thai locals.
  • Eat food that is cooked freshly only. Freshly prepared, cooked, and served hot.
  • Eat raw salads in well established restaurants only.
  • Seafood should not be eaten raw or not completely cooked. Thorough cooking will destroy parasites in fish, shellfish, and all other seafoods.
  • When purchasing dairy products check the expiration date on the package.
  • Meat and Poultry should be eaten well done and hot.

Health in Thailand and Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is less tolerated by the body in the tropics than it is in colder climates. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages causes dehydration, salt loss, and reduces ones tolerance to heat, physical activity and stress.

Check For Parasitic Infestation

In the tropics it's common to catch a few nasty bugs inside you.  This isn't a pleasant reality but it's one you have to accept.  Rest easy - it's simple and painless to stay clean.

When you leave, before you go to the airport stop by the pharmacy.  Pick up the drug Albendazole and Mebendazole. One of each is fine.  Take one on one day and the other on the next day.  This will kill most things you might have acccidentally infected yourself with.

Okay...moving on!

Watch Out For 'Pepper Bottom'

Pepper bottom is a condition caused by eating Spicy foods (some Thai people have this as well), dishes loaded with Chili pepper. The Chili oil irritates the digestive system and anal region, and can cause abdominal cramps, loose stool, and anal burning. This is a harmless condition but if symptoms persists you may want to consult a doctor.

Be Careful About The Airconditioning

Air Conditioned hotel rooms and even the 7-eleven at the corner can seem to be an oasis in the tropics. I don't know about 7-eleven but the banks and other public places but many hotels do not change the filters in their ductless air-conditioning systems in the hotel rooms.

Sometimes people complain about coughs and other cold-like symptoms after nights of sleeping in air-con rooms. Bring a little can of disinfection spray on your next trip, and spray and disinfect the air-con system, if you can not sleep with a fan only.

Care For The Sex Tourism And STDs in Thailand

Prostitution is oftentimes called the oldest trade in the world. South East Asia including Thailand, and in particular Thailand's tourist destinations, have seen a tremendous growth in prostitution since the Vietnam war.

Prostitution is not new to Thailand, it has just grown with world wide travel and tourism, and almost every town and city in Thailand has brothels in many guises, catering to a large Thai clientele. Consider reading this infamous book 'Private Danver'.

Condom use during casual sex should be considered mandatory. Reduce the risk of getting a STD by using condoms (properly). Most STD's are preventable by using condoms and the use of common sense should be mandatory as well.

Buy condoms in your Home country if you can since Thai condoms (or condoms in Asia for that matter) may be shorter and of a smaller diameter.

Last but not least...

Watch Out For Traffic

Health in Thailand can not only be threatened by diseases.

Driving and traffic in Thailand is a very real danger and threat, too. Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Thailand. According to an ADB-ASEAN report released in March 2004, the average economic cost of one traffic accident death is about 2.85 million baht. Ouch...

Did You Know? Top 10 Health Risk Factors in Thailand

The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand has stated that the ten major health risk factors for the Thai population are;

  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • unsafe sex
  • drug abuse
  • arteriosclerosis
  • high blood pressure
  • occupational injuries
  • non-use of motorcycle helmets
  • obesity (hard to believe that one)
  • under-consumption of fruit and vegetables

Stay Safe and Watch Your Health in Thailand

Wherever you are and whatever you do - be sure to keep your health in check.  This is a reality that we don't accept until something happens...and by then most times it's too late.

Make sure you stay alert while you tour this beautiful country and you'll have a great time.

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