International travel and COVID-19
- be sure to get vaccinated, and complete any additional recommended doses, at least 14 days before your departure
- review the travel health notice for COVID-19 and International Travel
If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.
Thailand travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Thailand - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Thailand due to ongoing political tensions and sporadic demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.
Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to and through the following southern provinces, due to the unpredictable security situation. Separatist insurgents periodically perpetrate violent attacks.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala
Separatist insurgents periodically perpetrate criminally and politically motivated attacks in the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala.
These deadly attacks include shootings, bombings and arson, and are usually directed at military, government and security buildings and personnel. They have also occurred in a variety of public places.
Martial law and heavily enhanced security measures are in place in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Sadao District in Songkhla.
Increased enforcement powers allow authorities to:
- detain suspects without charge
- conduct searches
- seize objects or documents
- impose curfews
You risk becoming a collateral victim of an attack if you travel in these provinces.
Myanmar border areas in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak
Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to the Thailand–Myanmar border areas in the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak.
Occasional violence, banditry and clashes between government forces and drug traffickers occur.
Border crossing points may be closed without notice. Cross at designated border crossing points only, with the required travel documentation.
Preah Vihear Temple area and surrounding border region
Thailand and Cambodia have an ongoing border dispute in the region. There are reports of landmines in the Preah Vihear temple area.
Exercise a high degree of caution if you are travelling to any other Thai–Cambodian border areas.
Political instability in Thailand has created a volatile and unpredictable security environment throughout the country, particularly in Bangkok.
Legal provisions may allow the military to retain and exercise sweeping powers that could include the right to:
- prevent public gatherings
- censor media
- impose curfews
- set up checkpoints
- restrict movement
- search for weapons
- exercise force in response to violence
Such measures could be enforced at any time. Some television, radio stations and web sites may be unavailable, and access to social media services may be intermittently suspended.
Petty crime, such as purse snatching, pickpocketing and theft, is common. Thieves sometimes use razors to cut purses and bags open to remove their contents.
- Don’t leave bags unattended
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and travel documents, are secure at all times, especially in tourist areas, crowded markets and bus or train stations
- Avoid walking in dark alleys or isolated areas
Thefts occur on cross-country buses and vans. Personal belongings, including passports, have been stolen from luggage compartments under buses, especially on long-distance journeys. Use only reputable transportation companies.
Break-ins occur at budget guesthouses, sometimes while guests are asleep in their rooms.
Be careful at night in entertainment areas throughout the country, including in Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao, particularly during full moon parties, Songkran, and other events in popular tourist locations. Robberies and assaults (including sexual assaults) can occur during these events. Passport thefts and losses are common.
Violent crime against foreigners occurs occasionally.
You should report all criminal incidents to the Thai police in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred before leaving Thailand.
Many Canadians fall victim to a variety of scams while visiting Thailand. You should report all incidents to the tourist police.
Credit card and ATM fraud
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Rental companies have at times accused renters of causing damage upon return of the equipment. In some cases, renters who refused to pay were harassed and threatened, and their passports (left as collateral) were withheld. Some companies have also stolen the motorcycle and then claimed compensation from the renter.
Before renting a motorcycle or personal watercraft, read all rental contracts thoroughly to ensure that the vehicle is insured to cover damage and theft. Take photos of existing damage on rented vehicles as proof of pre-existing damage.
You must never use your Canadian passport as collateral for rental. If your passport is inaccessible or stolen because of such a situation, you may be subject to investigation by Passport Canada and may receive limited passport services.
Only rent from reputable companies.
Some bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues may try to charge exorbitant prices. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence.
- Confirm the prices before consumption
- Avoid running a tab
- Avoid leaving your credit card with bar or restaurant staff
When dealing with travel agencies, ensure that the company is a reputable tour organization before providing payment.
If you plan on buying property or making other investments in Thailand seek legal advice in Canada and Thailand. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.
Gems and jewellery purchases
In scams involving gems and jewellery, merchants sell lower-quality items at inflated prices with promises that the items can be resold at a profit. The guarantees that merchants offer are not always honoured.
Carefully consider all purchases if you are not knowledgeable about gems and jewellery. The Government of Canada cannot assist in obtaining refunds for purchases made.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you have been drugged.
Sexual assaults against foreign women have occurred. Be particularly vigilant during full moon parties, Songkran, and other events in popular tourist locations.
If you are victim of a sexual assault, you should seek medical attention and report the situation immediately to local authorities and the nearest Canadian office.
There is a threat of terrorism in Thailand. Although infrequent outside of the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala, small-scale bomb attacks have occurred in public places. Further attacks are possible.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Large demonstrations are taking place regularly in Bangkok and across the country. There are social tensions, and demonstrations are likely to continue.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also disrupt traffic and public transportation when they block major roads and intersections and may cause the closure of mass transit stations.
Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.
Demonstration sites in Bangkok include:
- the areas around the Victory Monument
- Thammasat University
- the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre
- the Democracy Monument
- Ratchaprasong intersection
Other areas of the city may also be affected by protests and associated movements. Demonstrations have also taken place in other cities.
- Avoid military installations and concentrations of security personnel
- Expect a heightened security presence in several areas
- Carry identification documents at all time
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are extremely frequent in Thailand.
Hazardous road conditions, adverse weather conditions, local disregard for traffic laws and drunk driving result in frequent accidents.
Some vehicles may drive against the flow of traffic and on the sidewalks, particularly motorcycles.
Drunk driving and accidents are much more frequent around the western New Year (January 1) and Thai New Year (Songkran, mid-April). Be particularly vigilant when driving during these holiday periods.
Slow-moving trucks limit speed and visibility. Avoid driving on mountain roads at night, especially during the rainy season (June to October). Paved roads connect major cities, but most have only two lanes. Some roads can become impassable, particularly during the rainy season.
Pedestrians and cyclists should be particularly careful. You should always use elevated walkways/pedestrian bridges whenever possible, especially in Bangkok.
Motorcycle accidents are common and are responsible for the majority of road deaths. Rental scooters and motorcycles are often poorly maintained, making them unsafe to their riders and others on the road.
Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle riders (including passengers), but many helmets don’t meet international safety standards.
Insurance claims could be denied if you were driving without a motorcycle licence.
Avoid driving or riding motorcycles in Thailand, even if you are an experienced motorcyclist
Use licensed taxis from official taxi stands, limousine services or a trusted ride-sharing app.
If arriving by air, arrange to be picked up by hotel shuttle services, use a trusted ride-sharing app, the airport rail-link service or official airport buses.
Unlicensed vehicles (bearing black and white licence plates) are not correctly insured to carry passengers and may not use meters. Many taxis may not be equipped with backseat seatbelts.
Don’t share a taxi with strangers.
Disputes with taxis operators, tuk-tuks (motorized rickshaws), etc., occur and have occasionally resulted in violence or intimidation. Should a dispute occur and you feel threatened, seek local police's assistance to settle the matter.
Passenger boats accidents have occurred due to overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels. Vessels often lack adequate safety equipment.
Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.
In the past, rail lines in the far south have been the targets of sabotage and armed attacks.
Train accidents in recent years have caused injuries and deaths.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Swimming and water activities
Deaths have occurred due to contact with poisonous jellyfish off Koh Lanta, Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and Phuket.
Riptides in coastal areas can be strong, including in the popular destinations of Cha-am/Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Phuket and Rayong. There have been several deaths due to drowning.
Diving schools and rescue services may not adhere to international standards.
- Rent water sports equipment only from operators affiliated with major international training organizations
- Exercise extreme caution when swimming or practising water activities
- Heed flag warnings and don’t swim when a red flag is displayed
- If stung by a jellyfish, seek immediate medical assistance
If you undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining, rock climbing, speleology, elephant trekking or parasailing, choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.
Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, don’t use them. Ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose.
If engaging in adventure tourism:
- never do so alone
- always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- don’t venture off marked trails
- ensure that you’re properly equipped
- ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out
Chemical pesticide poisoning
There have been cases of poisoning linked to the use of chemical pesticides, including phosphine. Seek immediate medical assistance if you believe that you have been exposed to a chemical pesticide and are experiencing unusual symptoms.
Seek information on whether or not chemical pesticides are used in your accommodations.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Thai authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Thailand. Thai immigration is strict on the physical condition of the passport. If your passport has water stains, is ripped or has missing pages or scribbles, you might be refused entry.
Thai immigration is strict on the physical condition of the passport. If your passport has water stains, is ripped or has missing pages or scribbles, you might be refused entry.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays of up to 30 days
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Working visa: Required
If you’re travelling to Thailand for tourism with a regular Canadian passport, you can obtain a 30-day visa upon arrival.
If you obtain a multiple-entry tourist visa, you can stay for up to 60 days. The visa is valid for 6 months and must be obtained before travelling.
If you wish to stay longer than 60 days or work or study in Thailand, you must obtain the appropriate visa from a Thai embassy or consulate. Local authorities are actively monitoring and enforcing compliance with visa regulations.
Those applying for non-immigrant visas of category "O-A" need to show proof of a valid health insurance meeting specific criteria.
Guidelines Non-Immigrant Visa (O-A) - Thai General Insurance Association
Other entry requirements
Thai Border officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay.
If you are unable to do so, you may be denied entry.
You must get an entry stamp from an immigration officer at the point of entry into Thailand. Don’t get your visa, visa extension or entry stamp from visa shops or travel agents in Thailand.
A passport that has been altered or that contains counterfeit visas, and entry/exit stamps is deemed invalid. Offenders can expect jail sentences, fines and deportation, and may also be prohibited from entering Thailand in the future.
Length of stay
The date indicated on your Thai entry stamp determines how long you may stay in the country, even if your visa shows a different date.
All foreigners staying in Thailand longer than 3 months must notify Thailand’s immigration bureau of their residence every 90 days.
The Royal Thai Police perform random visa checks and strict penalties are enforced for overstaying. Canadians overstaying their visa have been arrested and detained until deportation. Deportation procedures are at the foreigner’s own expense and can be lengthy. Detention conditions in immigration detention centres are poor.
If you overstay, regardless of whether you leave Thailand voluntarily or are deported, you may be banned from re-entering Thailand for 1 to 10 years.
Notification of stay longer than 90 days- Thailand’s immigration bureau
If you are a dual citizen, you must enter and exit Thailand with the same nationality passport.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.
Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:
- travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
- making multiple trips to endemic areas
- staying for extended periods in rural areas
- visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
- engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children. Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Government of Thailand
Excellent healthcare is available in major cities, particularly in private hospitals and clinics. Quality of care varies significantly in rural areas.
Establishments may require confirmation of health insurance coverage, a guarantee of payment or an upfront deposit before admitting patients.
Psychiatric or psychological facilities and services in Thailand may not meet international standards. Canadians with mental illness have been committed to state facilities, detained and deported.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Consult the Overview of the criminal law system in Thailand for more information.
You must carry identification at all times. Carry a photocopy of your passport bio-data page and Thai visa or entry stamp.
Police may still require that you produce the original document. If you fail to do so, you could be detained.
Illegal or restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, including cannabis, are very severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, jail sentences or even the death penalty.
Police regularly perform spot checks to search for illegal drugs, particularly in and around entertainment venues. Uniformed or undercover police may conduct physical searches and may screen your belongings. You may be asked to provide a urine sample.
If you carry prescription drugs or other medicines, keep them in clearly marked, original packaging.
Certain prescription drugs are frequently sold without prescription in entertainment areas and coastal resorts, including on the street. You should never buy controlled drugs without prescription or on the street. These may be counterfeit or could contain illegal substances. If you purchase these drugs, you could be subject to scrutiny or detained.
It is prohibited to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers, e-baraku (e-hashish) and their refills. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail sentences of up to 10 years.
A smoking ban is in effect on several beaches across the country and is punishable by a 100,000-baht fine and up to 1 year in prison.
Check with local authorities and look for no-smoking signs before smoking on a beach.
Consumption and promotion of alcohol
The legal drinking age in Thailand is 20.
It is illegal to promote the consumption of alcohol. You could be fined or taken to court for posting on social media any pictures that include alcoholic beverages or people consuming alcohol.
Gambling, with some exceptions, is illegal.
Lèse-majesté (criticism of the monarchy)
Actions or words that are considered offensive or insulting to the king or the royal family are illegal and may result in criminal prosecution and lengthy prison sentences.
Don’t make any public statement, including online, that could be perceived as critical of:
- the monarchy
- the political situation in Thailand
- the Royal Thai Army
There are strict regulations regarding the importation and exportation of images of the Buddha, counterfeit goods, pornographic material and other items.
Consult the complete list of restricted and prohibited items before travelling.
Restricted goods - Thai Customs
Feeding fish in the ocean is illegal and punishable by a 100000-baht fine and up to 1 year in prison.
Do not feed fish in the ocean and avoid boat tour operators who encourage tourists to do so.
Traffic drives on the left.
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Thailand.
You must carry an international driving permit or a Thai driver’s licence to drive in Thailand.
It is illegal to operate a motorcycle without a valid Thai motorcycle licence or an international driving permit with a motorcycle endorsement.
Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle riders (including passengers), but many helmets do not meet international safety standards.
Carry your identification card, driver’s licence and vehicle registration book at all times.
Housing foreign citizens
All hosts, including hotel staff and homeowners, must notify local authorities that they are housing foreign citizens within 24 hours of the arrival of these foreigners.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in Thailand.
If you’re planning to visit Thailand for the purpose of commissioning surrogacy arrangements, you should consider the potential challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy and seek specialist legal advice on Thai and Canadian laws prior to making any arrangements.
It is also recommended that you consult with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on current policies regarding citizenship through descent and the issuance of Canadian travel documents.
The Embassy of Canada to Thailand can’t provide recommendations on surrogacy arrangements.
Thailand doesn’t legally recognize dual citizenship.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Thailand, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Male Thai citizens are subject to compulsory military service when they reach the age of 21. If you’re a dual Canadian–Thai citizen, you may be subject to this requirement.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Thailand.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Thailand by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Thailand to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
The currency of Thailand is the Thai baht (THB).
Natural disasters and climate
Thailand is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis.
In case of an earthquake or a tsunami alert, follow the instructions of local authorities.
Tsunami alerts - U.S. Tsunami Warning System
The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to October. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
Jungle treks are not advisable during the rainy season due to the possibility of mudslides. Flash flooding in caves has caused fatalities.
- Weather warnings - Thai Meteorological department
- Mekong river levels - Mekong River Commission
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be hazardous in urban areas, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In rural areas, air quality can also be affected by agricultural burning.
You should monitor air pollution levels, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Air pollution in Thailand – World Air Quality Index
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 191
- tourist police: 1155
- medical assistance: 1669
- firefighters: 199
The Tourism Authority of Thailand offers general advice for tourists. Dial 1672 and press 9 for English.
The Embassy of Canada to Thailand is currently providing consular services by appointment only.
Bangkok - Embassy of Canada
Thailand, Cambodia, LaosAppointment Book your appointment online
Chiang Mai - Consulate of Canada
Phuket - Consulate General of Australia
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Thailand and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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