COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Thailand travel advice
Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.
Last updated: ET
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- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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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
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
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
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.
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.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
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 upon entry into Thailand.
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 more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Global Measles Notice - 5 April, 2023
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 28 June, 2022
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 17 March, 2023
- Dengue : Advice for travellers - 24 April, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
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.
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 bed net.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling (see CATMAT Appendix 1). If recommended, you should start taking antimalarial medication prior to travel. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
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.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
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.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
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
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.
Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.
Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those:
- visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
- working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
- hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
- working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
- working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)
All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
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
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.
Overview of the criminal law system in Thailand
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gambling, with some exceptions, is illegal.
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.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Thailand.
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.
Travellers with dual citizenship
Compulsory military service
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
- Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
Air pollution fluctuates greatly and can be hazardous in urban areas, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Seasonal smog during the dry season is recurrent. In the northern provinces, including Chiang Mai, 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.
Local authorities recommend that children, seniors and pregnant women wear anti-pollution masks, and minimize outdoor activities, when air pollution levels are high.
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 - Honorary consul 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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