With postcard-worthy scenery, the crackling energy of city life, beautiful beaches, and fascinating temples, it’s no wonder that Thailand is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. In fact, Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, receives more tourists in an average year than Paris or London.
If you’ve been dreaming of a getaway to Thailand, you’re in luck. The country ended all COVID-19 restrictions on October 1, 2022, so you’re free to explore as you please. But first, one recommendation: Take the extra step to protect yourself from the uncertainties of international travel with travel medical insurance or travel insurance.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Thailand – FAQs
When you travel internationally, your domestic health insurance will be of little help if you get sick or injured and require medical treatment. You will likely be forced to pay the entire doctor or hospital bill yourself. To avoid having this happen and blowing your vacation budget, make the prudent decision to get travel medical insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Thailand?
After previously ending all requirements, Thailand has reintroduced insurance mandates for certain travelers as of January 9, 2023. Currently, any visitor to Thailand who is traveling onward to a country that requires a negative COVID-19 test for entry must provide proof of travel medical insurance covering COVID-19.
If you are not traveling onward to a country that requires a COVID test, insurance remains optional, but it is highly suggested.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Thailand?
The medical facilities available to you in Thailand may not be up to the standards you are used to. If you fall seriously sick or get severely injured, you may be required to be transported to Singapore or another location where adequate treatment can be given, which is astronomically expensive. In these cases, travel medical insurance providing coverage for emergency medical evacuation could be immensely helpful.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Thailand – FAQs
If you think you can simply get your money back for everything if you suddenly need to cancel your prepaid trip to Thailand, you may be in for a rude shock. The money you’ve spent on airfare, hotel rooms, and tickets to attractions usually isn’t fully refundable. To give yourself the opportunity to be reimbursed, you need trip cancellation insurance.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Thailand travel?
If you think trip cancellation insurance is an unnecessary expense because there’s no way you’ll cancel your trip, remember that certain things are out of your control. You cannot control getting sick and being unable to travel, or having a family member suddenly pass away. Similarly, there isn’t much you can do if a natural disaster or pandemic strikes and makes travel impossible.
Trip cancellation insurance is for these unexpected situations. It can allow you to be reimbursed for your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason.
What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for Thailand?
As we’ve touched on, trip cancellation coverage is an important component of Thailand travel insurance. However, depending upon the plan you choose, you can also receive coverage for things like:
Thailand’s Most Popular Places for Travel
Millions of tourists come to Thailand every year, and tourism is a large part of Thailand's economy. Here are just a few places tourists in Thailand should definitely check out.
Bangkok, the capital, is the most popular tourist destination in Thailand. It has many tourist attractions, such as the Wat Pho, which has a giant reclining Buddha statue. There are other temples such as Wat Arun, Wat Traimit (the Golden Buddha) and Wat Suthat. For those interested in history, the National Museum and Wang Na Palace are worth seeing.
Bangkok has many luxury hotels, budget hotels and everything in between. The nightlife here is world-renowned as well, so it should definitely be a part of your Thailand vacation.
The Grand Palace
While in Bangkok, make sure to pay a visit to the Grand Palace; the former home of the various Kings of Siam from 1782-1925. This opulent complex of buildings is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, and still plays host to numerous royal ceremonies and government functions annually.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is very interesting; they sell food and other items, and the vendors are aboard boats. Located about 60 miles from Bangkok, this market is extremely tourist-friendly, and gives visitors a glimpse into the way commerce and trade was once carried out throughout Thailand.
Pattaya is located on Thailand's eastern gulf coast. It is very well known for its beaches. Additionally, you can also visit the walking street, Sanctuary of Truth, which has an interesting teak structure. The Tiffany Cabaret show provides excellent entertainment. For nature lovers, there is Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, and Pattaya also has a floating market. Make sure to visit Wat Phra Khao Yai (Big Buddha Hill). For those traveling with kids, there are several water parks as well.
Phuket is an island at the southern tip of Thailand. It is mountainous and has a rainforest. Patong beach is very famous in Phuket. Phang Nga Bay will provide you an unforgettable experience as it has many limestone cliffs. Just like other places, it also has various temples, exciting nightlife, Buddha statues, cabaret shows and more.
Key Risks for Travelers in Thailand
Thailand is a warm and welcoming country for tourists, but that does not mean it is without its risks. Do your research, and keep the following in mind before you set off.
While visiting Thailand, the probability of getting a foodborne or waterborne illness is very high. This can come in the form of uncooked or undercooked food, unclean drinking water, or unsanitary food preparation. Visitors are encouraged to avoid restaurants with questionable hygiene, and stick to drinking bottled water.
Be aware that tropical cyclone season in the South Pacific Ocean runs from November 1 to April 30 each year. Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, could cause serious disruptions to your travel plans if you were to be caught off guard. As part of your preparation for your trip to Thailand, keep an eye on tropical storm forecasts, and understand the implications if one were to strike.
Tourist attractions are magnets for small-time thieves like pickpockets and bag-snatchers. They’ll brush up against you in a crowd, or try to point out that your dropped something, and the next thing you’ll know, all of your cash and cards will be gone. It is suggested to keep your currency and cards in a money belt instead of a wallet, and leave unnecessary valuables locked in your hotel room during the day.
You’ll find plenty of cabs outside popular hotels in Bangkok, but make sure they have a meter before you get inside. Drivers are known to try to negotiate artificially inflated fares to scam tourists. Avoid cabs without meters. If the driver says the meter is broken, choose another cab.
The “Closed Tourist Site” Scam
With this scam, a “helpful” local will inform you that the tourist attraction you’re attempting to see is closed. Instead, they’ll offer to take you to another tourist site that they claim is open, which usually ends up being a store that sells clothing or gems, and has a pushy proprietor. While local advice can be helpful, when it comes to the hours of tourist sites, trust what’s printed online or in your guidebook.
Before You Travel to Thailand – Do This
- Visit your doctor and make sure you’ve received all necessary vaccines for traveling to Thailand.
- Check the weather forecast, and pack accordingly.
- Consider the financial risk of a travel mishap, and purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance that can cover it.