Drinking Water in Thailand: Can You Drink Tap Water?

If you want to go on holiday in Thailand for the first time, these are the things you should know about the drinking water in Thailand. Many people ask us whether you can safely drink tap water in Thailand or how is the quality of water here so we’ve decided to post a short but useful information on this topic.

Here are the most important things about drinking water in Thailand in brief:

Can you drink tap water in Thailand?

The first rule about consuming water in Thailand is that you should absolutely remember not to drink tap water. Tap water is not drinkable anywhere in Thailand. On the other hand, tap water is not drinkable even after boiling. The existing germs or bacteria are killed in the water after a while, but the heavy metals, nitrates and other substances still remain in the water. Some luxury hotels in Thailand even claim that it is safe to drink the water as they have filter systems that clean polluted tap water. However, we still not recommend doing it.

For the quality of tap water, it all depends on where you are in Thailand. In general, the water here is not free of mechanical impurities. It is not so much a bitten infection from water, but the water is not purified and not filtered to be suitable for regular consumption. There can be some small microparticles in it. Therefore, the tap water in Thailand is used only for cleaning, shower, watering plants or toilet flushing and other similar uses. It is normally fine to use tap water, when it comes to brushing your teeth or washing fruits and vegetables that you then eat as locals do. However, for those who are really concerned about hygiene, there is nothing wrong to use bottled water in these cases as well.

Water in rural areas of Thailand

In many rural places, the source of water is rainwater. The water is collected during the rainy season in large clay barrels, where it is kept in the dark and at the ideal temperature. The locals use it as drinking water. However, it is still better to drink the bottled water unless you have no choice.

If you are staying in an old guest house in the countryside, brushing your teeth with bottled water is recommended as water pipes collect a lot of dirt over times and brown muddy water can show up when you open the tap.

Bottled water in Thailand

The drinking water in Thailand is mainly bottled in plastic bottles and can be drunk without hesitation. However, you should make sure to only drink water from originally sealed bottles.

We are talking about the simply purified water that is suitable for human consumption. Such bottled water is available everywhere in supermarkets such as 7-Eleven, Family Mart, at the local markets and in shops on local streets on the entire cooling shelf. Many street vendors in Thailand also sell bottles of water to tourists.

There is a wide variety of packaging from 0.2 to 1.5-liter bottles. There are also 3-liter, 5-liter or 15-liter plastic water containers as well.

The well-known local drinking water manufacturers in Thailand are Nestle, Chang and Singha. Bottled water in Thailand is not expensive. Depending on the brand of water, small bottle of water in the supermarket costs starting from 5-10 THB. To have an idea about the price, we can tell you that 0.5 liters of water is about 7 THB, 0.75 liters of water is about 10 THB.

If you are looking for mineral water or the spring water from the natural source, you can also get it easy in supermarkets, but expect it to be more expensive. You will also find imported water bottles sold, the prices of which are significantly higher than of Thai brands.

Water dispensers

The locals usually get the drinking water for their daily needs from water dispensing machines. This is a budget and practical responsible tourism way when you are traveling in Thailand. There are countless water dispensers and you can fill water from them at low price. Water dispensers can usually be found along the street and almost all buildings of major shopping centers and public buildings set them. The typically cost of 1 liter of water is only 1 THB.

Water filters / Water purification

When you have a chance to visit a house of locals, you will find that many of them have multiple water filters at home, that are connected to their home water supply and the drinking water can be used from the tap.

There are countless companies selling water filters in Thailand, and there are many different models and quality levels available.

Ice cubes in Thailand

Many older travel guides advise against consuming ice in Thailand as the risk of getting diarrhea, it is not quite true. Normally, there are two quality levels of ice in Thailand: one for cooling food which is usually crushed ice and another one, which is usually in the form if ice cubes with a hole, used for consumption. These are made from sterile drinking water.

Ice cubes can be consumed easily and harmless in Thailand. You can buy ice cubes in a small bag in every supermarket, including 7/11 or FamilyMart. In normal restaurants, street food shops or bars, ice cubes are bought directly from ice cube manufacturers.

Tourists quite often get diarrhea from the ice in drinks, but this is often due to the tropic heat and drinking the ice-cold drinks too quickly. When the body is heated up by the hot climate and you take an ice-cold drink, the rapid temperature shock can happen.


Most of people have no problem when they accidentally drink tap water here, but not everyone is that lucky. Some people have mentioned to have health problems including cholera or typhus from drinking unclean tap water and using ice in Thailand.

In most of Thai restaurant, water is available to customers for free and you don't have to pay for it. In hotels, you also usually get bottled water for free. You can find the bottles either in the minibar or on the table in the guest room and refill it daily.

We advise you to always be well hydrated at all times during your trip in Thailand to avoid getting a heatstroke.