Thailand holidays: tips & advice from InsureandGo
Thailand is one of the most exotic South East Asian countries to explore, with thriving cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, stunning beaches like Phuket and Ko Samui and amazing natural regions filled with parks and rivers.
It is important that you avoid any unpleasant incidents and remain safe and sound during your Thai travels. To help you make the most of your trip, here are some essential tips:
Gastro & food poisoning
Gastro issues can be common in Thailand, especially since hygiene levels aren’t up to standard in many areas. To avoid falling ill:
- Avoid tap water (this includes ice) and stick to bottled water, even when cleaning your teeth
- Steer clear of street vendor food and any food that hasn’t been freshly cooked in front of you
- Common sense is important when choosing a restaurant – opt for places that serve fresh seafood, that look clean and are well maintained.
The sputter of a scooter is a common sound in Thailand and it’s a great way to travel around and see the sights! If you do plan to hire a scooter, you should:
- Wear a helmet while riding your scooter, even if most others or locals aren’t
- Obey road rules and the scooter hire rules at all times
- Don’t leave valuables or belongings with your scooter unless they can be safely locked away (if a theft occurs, you may not be able to make a claim)
- Ensure you have cover for medical, hospital and personal accident; these may become vital if a collision occurs
- Be aware of what you will need to do if you damage your scooter (excesses for scooters and motorcycles will not be covered by your insurance policy)
Scuba Diving, snorkelling & water activities
At InsureandGo, we provide cover for most water activities. It is essential that you check the terms and conditions for the specific activities you will be participating in while in Thailand to make sure you are covered. Special terms often apply to scuba divers. To keep your insurance valid, you must ensure that:
- You are a qualified scuba diver or that you only dive with a certified instructor
- You only dive to depths of up to 30 metres, no more
- You always scuba dive with at least one other person
Theft & pick-pocketing
Theft and pick-pocketing can be common in Thailand, so you should be careful with your belongings at all times:
- Keep a close eye on your belongings; even turning your back for a second can leave you open to theft
- At your hotel, lock your valuables away in a safe and don’t just leave them around the room
- When getting around, make sure you carry a bag that is fully closable and that can’t easily be pick-pocketed or snatched off your body; keeping documents and other valuables as close to your body as possible (travel wallet, bum bag) is recommended
- Keep your wits about you; be wary of “diversions” that could distract you from your bags, don’t flash your cash or valuables around and don’t keep your wallet or purse in your pocket where it can easily be swiped out
Respecting Thai customs
Thailand is tourist friendly, but there are some customs you should be aware of while travelling:
- Most temples will require both males and females to be covered, so long clothing on both top and bottom will be necessary; women should also avoid touching or giving/taking anything from monks
- Avoid engaging in any offensive or sacrilegious acts in relation to God, Buddha or Thai Royalty, as these can result in imprisonment
- Don’t touch Thai women unless they permit you to do so and avoid touching babies and children in general
- Do not touch any Thais (including children) on the head or hair, as the head is considered noble; if you do this by accident, apologise immediately
- Do not engage in excessive public displays of affection in Thailand
- If a local ‘wais’ you (bows and presses both hands together at the chest), you should wai them back, unless they are a child
- Try to use your right hand for most actions; this might be tricky for left-handers, but Thais consider the left hand “dirty”, so use your right hand when paying or handing things to someone; you should also avoid pointing, as this is thought of as rude
Ensuring Safety before you go
If you plan to travel to Thailand, it is imperative that you pay attention to the news and check Smartraveller on a regular basis to determine whether it is safe to travel. If you travel against government advice, it may mean your travel insurance with InsureandGo will be void.
Medical facilities can be few and far between in Thailand, particularly in remote areas. To ensure you receive the best medical coverage from InsureandGo, you should declare all of your pre-existing medical conditions when you apply for travel insurance with us. This includes any conditions/illnesses you’ve had in the past five years and also any conditions/illnesses you are suffering from currently.
The great news is that InsureandGo will consider all medical conditions. To learn more about pre-existing conditions, simply call us or use our online medical screening questionnaire to determine whether your condition is coverable.
With quotes starting from $27*, we make finding cheap travel insurance¹ for your next trip to Thailand quick and easy! Visit our quote page or phone 1300 401 177 to chat to our friendly InsureandGo team.
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