Vaccinations for Thailand Travel: Health Tips

Thailand is a very popular destination for tourists. With its tropical climate, the country offers wonderful beach holidays. A stay in this tropical paradise requires good planning and especially with regard to medical care. What vaccinations are mandatory or advisable for traveling to Thailand?

Vaccinations for Thailand Travel: Health Tips

Mandatory Vaccinations for Thailand

There is currently no compulsory vaccination in Thailand unless you are traveling from yellow fever endemic area. However, numerous vaccinations are advisable if you want to go on holiday in Thailand.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is not found in Thailand. However, the confirmation of yellow fever vaccination (1 dose per 10 years) may be required on arrival from high-risk areas where yellow fever is found (Africa and South America). The requirement also applies if you have been in transit at an airport in a country with yellow fever. We recommend travelers from endemic areas of yellow fever to verify the information at the relevant consulate or embassy before traveling to their destination country. This vaccination is not required on arrival from Europe (or more than 6 days after leaving the yellow fever endemic area).

Countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission

Following are the countries that are declared Yellow Fever Infected Areas: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Congo Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French-Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay.

Basic Vaccinations

If you have just a few days’ vacation in Thailand and stick to the main tourist destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and Pattaya, vaccinations may not be needed. However, if you are going on a backpacking holiday and planning trekking trips far from the cities, getting some vaccines before your trip to Thailand may be a good idea. The following types of vaccinations are recommended for all travelers in general, regardless of the destination:

Jaundice A + B (hepatitis)

If you are hesitant about which type to choose, then Hepatitis Type A is more common. It is transmitted via dirty hands, drinks, food, unwashed fruits or vegetables. It is also transmitted through direct contact with humans. Hepatitis Type A can be vaccinated separately in two doses with a minimum interval of 6 months, protection is long-term.

Hepatitis Type B is less common. You can get infected, for example, in a hospital with poor hygiene, with tattoos, or unprotected sexual intercourse. Thailand is popular for getting beautiful and cheap tattoos as there are tattoo parlors in many places. If you have a plan to get a new tattoo in mind, you might wish to complete your vaccination beforehand. Hepatitis B can be vaccinated alone with three doses or with a combined vaccine against types A and B with three doses. After three doses, the protection is long-lasting.


Typhoid fever is a life-threatening infectious disease occurring mainly in countries with warmer climates, where hygiene conditions are poor. You can become infected by drinking contaminated water or contaminated food. Vaccination for typhoid fever is given with one vaccine, which provides protection for 3 years. Revaccination is carried out only if necessary.


Tetanus infection usually occurs when the skin is injured and the spores of the disease are inserted into the wound. Revaccination is performed after 10 - 15 years, for persons over 60 years of age after 10 years.

Other Possible Health Risks in Thailand


Diarrhea is one of the most common inconveniences of tourists when traveling to countries with warm climate and poorer hygiene. In Thailand, you can only drink the bottled water as you shouldn’t drink tap water. It is also advisable to consume fruits that can be peeled and food that is well-cooked.


Cholera does not occur in Thailand, but it is a country with a lower hygienic standard so travelers can have some unpleasant digestive problems. It may be advisable to take a cholera vaccination if your sensitivity is particularly high. The basic prevention is to drink only bottled water, use only bottled water to wash fruits, brush teeth and make ice.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Thailand is famous for sex tourism. HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are no exception. It is therefore strongly recommended to follow the principles of safe sex.


Rabies is a deadly disease that is transmitted through saliva when you are bitten by an infected animal. The most common carriers are dogs, foxes, monkeys. Especially monkeys are very aggressive in some places frequented by tourists. This vaccination is recommended especially when staying in remote areas or in rural areas, while taking a trip to explore the caves or in the longer-term stays. The basic vaccination is carried out in three doses and should be done in good time before departure.


The disease is usually transmitted by mosquitoes in the evening. The risk of malaria is low in Thailand and only in some areas depending on the time of year. The capital Bangkok and the typical tourist destinations such as Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya are considered malaria-free. However, Malaria is mentioned as a little risk in the border areas towards Myanmar, and in the eastern part of the country in the border areas towards the northern part of Cambodia and the southern part of Laos such as the Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai, Tak, Ubon Ratchathani, Mae Hong Sorn, Ranong, Kanchanaburi, etc. This also applies to the islands of Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Phi Phi, especially during the rainy season. It may be necessary to take measures if you are planning to camp in forest and hill areas.

Dengue fever

The Dengue fever is a disease that occurs very frequently throughout Thailand, including in the cities, especially during the rainy season from May to October. However, this is not as widespread as, for example, in neighboring Malaysia. The fever is transmitted by mosquitoes that fly mainly during the day. So far vaccination is not possible so it is advisable for travelers to protect with a mosquito repellent, use a mosquito net when sleeping outdoors in rural areas. At best, cover your skin with light, long clothes.

Japanese Encephalitis

The Japanese Encephalitis is currently represented only in the Asian continent especially when staying in the countryside or in more remote areas e.g. during trekking. It is a classic virus infection that is transmitted by being bitten by an infected mosquito. The infection causes inflammation of the brain and is very serious. Vaccination is recommended for longer stays in rural areas.

Medical care in Thailand

Basically, medical care in the country has high standard. All major cities in Thailand such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket have main government hospitals, private hospitals and also many international medical clinics. There are also private hospitals and clinics on smaller islands, so basic care is definitely available everywhere.

The pharmacies in Thailand sell almost all medicines over the counter and they can be easily purchased. The prescription rules are not very strict. For little things, you don't have to go to a doctor.

It is no problem to bring regular medicine on your trip to Thailand. However, if you are using strong painkillers or other specific medications, you will probably need a special certificate from your doctor.

International Health / Travel Insurance

We are strongly recommending you to have a health or travel insurance when travelling abroad so that you definitely don't have to worry about your health if something wrong happen. The costs are determined based on the countries you visit, duration of the trip and your age.

Medical services are generally not expensive in Thailand, but the bill can be very high if you go to a private hospital. Bills from doctors and hospitals in Thailand must be paid immediately in cash or by credit card. You can then get the costs reimbursed in most cases if you have appropriate insurance cover for abroad. Also, make sure that your insurance covers you as well in the event of an accident.

To make your trip worry-free, get your travel insurance from AXA Thailand that is offering a special insurance for travelers to Thailand: Sawasdee Thailand


Please consider the recommendations described above for information only. For more information about health risks and vaccinations in Thailand, it is strongly advisable to consult with your doctor, who will compile an individual vaccination plan and advise you on the protection of your health before traveling to Thailand.