Tag Archives: travel thailand

Ethical Elephants Thailand

Hopefully you found this Thailand blog post because you know that riding elephants is cruel and instead, you are looking for a way of helping elephants in Thailand. Please note this post is written in 2022, post covid pandemic and I visited the animal sanctuary recently.

To help elephants in Thailand, you have two options:

  • Visit an ethical elephant sanctuary Thailand
  • Head to a National Park to see wild elephants

Both are amazing experiences and I fully recommend seeing these incredible creatures. For a more intimate and upclose experience then consider a Thailand elephant sanctuary or for a real jungle trip and to see elephants where they truly belong then visit Khao Yai National Park, the best place in Thailand to see wild elephants.

For information about how to experience wild elephants in Thailand, click here.

This post will focus on one of the best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand and where you can actually experience a lot of Thailand’s wildlife. Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand has established an elephant sanctuary near Bangkok called I Love Phants Lodge.

I have visited this amazing rescue sanctuary multiple times and friends and I always recommend this Thailand animal sanctuary to visitors and fellow expats.

The elephant enclosure at I Love Phants, a humane elephant sanctuary near Bangkok

Where to stay to see elephants in Thailand?

Stay at the I Love Phants Lodge and wake up to the sounds of the elephants trumpeting and the gibbons calling. I feel this is the best jungle experience with a luxury twist (and that’s how I sold it to my Mum!). It has a swimming pool, various bungalow options and villas to choose from and offers frequent wildlife tours to see the rescue animals in Thailand. The accommodation on offer is fairly limited so be sure to book this humane elephant sanctuary in advance so you don’t miss out.

swim and watch the rescue elephants in Thailand
Sitting on the edge of the swimming pool and elephant spotting

Rescue Wildlife Thailand: Where do the rescued wildlife come from?

All the animals at the I Love Phants Lodge are rescue animals. The elephants you see here have been rescued from the entertainment industry and from poorly-run zoos. Many of the other rescue animals were rescued from Thailand’s dark pet trade, including gibbons, apes and primates. Many of their stories are incredibly sad but by supporting ethical animal experiences in Thailand we can all help to counteract the awful lives these animals have led before. This is therefore, the best  animal sanctuary in Thailand and, if you love animals, you’ll love your stay at the I Love Phants Lodge.

other rescue animals like gibbons at the rescue sanctuary
Gibbons (my favourite) at the animal rescue centre in Thailand

Ethical animal tourism Thailand

Unfortunately, during my years of living and travelling around Thailand, there is not much ethical animal tourism here. It was only 10-15 years ago where tourists could see elephants in Bangkok, a place where no jungle wildlife should be, let alone an animal that can feel vibrations through its feet. Luckily, along with ethical elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai, more and more tourists are calling for no riding elephant sanctuaries and I have seen first hand the impact this has had. When I first visited Thailand 10 years ago, there was ONE elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai that refused to give tourists rides. Now, almost every Thailand elephant sanctuary offers no-riding experiences which is definitely a win for these amazing creatures.

Elephant Reserve Thailand

The I Love Phants lodge feels more like an elephant reserve in Thailand. It has a huge, spacious central enclosure where elephants can roam freely, with the exception of the more aggressive bull elephants who have their own enclosures. You can view the elephants from the outdoor restaurant, from the swimming pool and from your hotel room window! There are many enclosures and the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand are constantly expanding as they rescue more and more animals from a life in the pet trade or entertainment industry.

Elephant Viewing Platform aka swimming pool

Elephants near Bangkok

This is the best Bangkok elephant sanctuary as it is found about 2-3 hours drive from central Bangkok. On my last trip, I combined it with a visit to the beach in Hua Hin, which was just a 1 hour drive from the elephant sanctuary.

Food at I love Phants: The humane elephant sanctuary

There is one restaurant and it is very reasonably priced, as well as a bar so you can enjoy your beer and watch the elephants. The buffet breakfast was included but I was disappointed not to see more vegetarian options for a rescue sanctuary! I hope this will improve over time.

Thailand Wildlife Tour

Several times a week, the foundation run a wildlife tour. You go in a small vehicle (like a long golf cart) and are shown all the enclosures in the sanctuary and told the stories about the different animals and how they were rescued and came to be at the Wildlife Friends Foundation.

This is the best place to see wildlife in Thailand because, in the jungle, you never know what you might see (or what you might not) and this is the best wildlife sanctuary to visit that means you experience the animals and support a much needed rescue centre in Thailand.

To book your stay, follow this link to see room options. Alternatively you can book on the website but I found they charged additional fees on my debit card (despite having a Thai bank account!) so I recommend going through Agoda to avoid this, click on the elephants below to compare room prices on Agoda!

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Koh Lipe Guide

Please note: I am currently updating my Thailand travel blog in line with visiting Thai islands post covid pandemic. A lot of things have changed in Thailand over the pandemic and at the time of writing all information about Koh Lipe attractions and Koh Lipe accommodation was valid for 2022.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Koh Lipe Guide

Not only is Koh Lipe among the top 10 islands in Thailand but it may actually be the best island in Thailand. I have visited here several times before, both as a solo female traveller in Thailand and with friends, so I feel this Koh Lipe review is very valid and I’ve been both pre-covid and post covid while living in Bangkok. It is a tiny island and everything is within walking distance including the 3 most popular beaches. There are very few vehicles on the island which is one of my favourite things about it!

During Koh Lipe covid times, the island was closed with no ferries and tourism started picking up again from late 2021. It felt wonderful to have an amazing Thailand island trip while also supporting the local economy and small businesses on the island. Many restaurants were still closed as of October 2021 and I hope that more will be able to open for my next trip there in August 2022.

Is Koh Lipe the most beautiful island in Thailand?

Koh Lipe is definitely one of  the most beautiful islands in Thailand, in my humble opinion. It has stunning, white sand beaches, turquoise crystal clear water. It is home to the best snorkelling sites in Thailand and, for most Thailand divers, the best scuba diving in Thailand.

Views of Sunrise beach from Castaway Resort Koh Lipe

Where is Koh Lipe Thailand?

Koh Lipe is one of the southern most islands in Thailand, near the Malaysian border and not far from Langkawi in Malaysia. Pre-covid, you could travel from Langkawi to Koh Lipe but, at the time of writing in 2022, this ferry is not available.

 Koh Lipe: Things to Do

Most of the best Koh Lipe activities involve the water:

Snorkelling

Scuba diving

The coral reefs are healthy and stunning and you can snorkel straight off the beach to see a variety of marine life. If you are interested in Koh Lipe diving then I strongly recommend checking out Koh Lipe dive sites which are among the top dive sites in Thailand. It is possible to see whale sharks and devil rays if you’re lucky. In 10 days of diving Koh Lipe, I saw frogfish, razorfish, octopuses, seahorses, nudibranchs, moray eels, cuttlefish, squid and the healthiest looking coral I’ve seen in Thailand.

Kayaking – another great way to explore the island. Please note this is not possible during low tide times to protect the reef

Stand Up Paddleboarding- I did this and also took my snorkel mask for a spot of SUP and snorkelling at the same time. The sea can be very calm which makes for great Koh Lipe paddleboarding. It is very cheap to rent a board (we rented from our Castaway accommodation) and, as with kayaking, this is not possible at low tides.

Koh Lipe Yoga – I really enjoyed yoga classes with Keira and would definitely recommend her. She was great at adapting her yoga classes to different abilities. For example, for me who has very low flexibility  and for my friend who was much better than me!

example of koh lipe activities
Fantastic yoga classes with Keira

When is the best time of year to travel to Koh Lipe?

Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Lipe has rainy season and dry season. The best time to visit is usually in Thailand’s dry season from October – May but as ever, the weather in Thailand is unpredictable.

How to get to Koh Lipe from Bangkok?

The fastest way to get to Koh Lipe from Bangkok is to fly to Hat Yai airport. From there, you can get a minivan to Pakbara pier (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes) and then a speedboat from Pakbara pier to Koh Lipe (approx. 1h30 or 2 hours). There are some alternative routes from Koh Lanta as well and I recommend contacting Koh Lipe agents about this. This facebook group is incredible helpful for visitors.

Where to stay on Koh Lipe?

Koh Lipe accommodation covers budget and mid-range options, although there are few high end luxury resorts. If you are interested in staying in Koh Lipe bungalows then I definitely can recommend Castaway Koh Lipe where I stayed previously. They are cute, wooden, fairly basic bungalows with a fan and cold showers right on Sunrise Beach with gorgeous beach views from the Castaway restaurant. It was a great location for me as it was a short walk up Sunrise Beach to get to my dive centre. A good friends stayed at Wapi resort and would recommend there so next time I am visiting and require AC instead of a fan room I will check out this Koh Lipe resort instead!

For more luxury Koh Lipe accommodation, check out Akira on Pattaya beach. I didn’t stay there but it offers two swimming pools and I enjoyed their beach happy hour as an outside guest!

My hammock outside my Koh Lipe bungalow

Koh Lipe beaches

The main beautiful beaches are Sunrise, Sunset and Pattaya beach. At different times of year these beaches can look very different and some are prone to a lot of trash washing up on them. The locals on Koh Lipe work hard to constantly clear the beaches of the litter and I found them very clean in October. This can change with the currents and tides that bring in ocean garbage.

Sunset Beach Views

Koh Lipe Restaurants and Koh Lipe Nightlife

Things to do in Koh Lipe also include eating delicious Koh Lipe food. My favourite restaurants quickly became the Italian, La Luna, Bombay Indian restaurant and local Thai restaurant Madam Yoohoo. (Who does actually shout yoohoo to encourage potential customers to walk in!). Through my diving package I also got food at Bennys on the Beach included for lunch which was vegetarian and delicious!

Koh Lipe Nightlife was very limited as the island was just opening up but we enjoyed drinks at Castaway, Zodiac at the end of the beach, Akira’s cocktail happy hour, OMG sports bar and Toey’s random corner bar at the corner by the sushi restaurant (I don’t believe it has a name but Toey is an island character and has many games and puzzles to surprise his customers with!).

Diving Koh Lipe: Thailand’s best dive sites

If you are a scuba diver then Koh Lipe is probably already on your bucket list as it is home to some of the best dive sites in Thailand where you can see the healthiest, most colourful coral in Thailand, alongside Thai marine life like whale sharks and devil rays along with macro life. The dive centre I did a Koh Lipe diving package with was Adang Sea Divers and they exceeded all my expectations. All the staff were fantastic from Keira and Lauren to Sunny, Aris and Joe. I spent most of my time diving with Sunny who has the BEST divemaster eyes and found so much marine life to show me! I can’t wait to dive with Adang Sea Divers again. Pear was incredibly helpful before I arrived and she helped to book my transfer and boat from Hat Yai airport and answered many of my questions before arriving on the island.

Amazing diving on Koh Lipe with Adang Sea Divers

Koh Lipe Island Hopping

It is a great Koh Lipe day trip to visit the nearby island of Adang and this is on my activities list for next time so watch this space.

Further reading about travel in Thailand

If you are looking for more beautiful islands in Thailand to visit then check out more of my Thailand travel blog

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Koh Mak Island Thailand

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I loved visiting the Thai island of Koh Mak. My friends and I couldn’t decide between Ko Mak or Koh Kood so we did both! We spent 4 nights on each during a week’s holiday from working in Bangkok in February 2022 so Thailand during covid times.

Is Koh Mak worth visiting?

Absolutely yes. I loved this tiny island full of beaches and chill island vibes. It has a long pier with a bar at the end, perfect for sunset and photos. Everyone was extremely friendly and it’s small enough to walk or cycle to most places, if you don’t mind a couple of hills! The only issue was the sandflies so I recommend not lying on the beach too much as they can be vicious and very itchy.

Where is Koh Mak?

Koh Mak is a tiny island near Koh Chang and Koh Kood and not far from the Cambodian border.

How to get to Koh Mak from Bangkok?

Boonsiri sell package tickets from Bangkok to Koh Mak from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which include a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Mak and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Mak from Bangkok was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Mak back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

How to travel from Koh Mak to Koh Kood?

At the time of writing (February 2022) there is a daily ferry between these two islands which takes approximately 45 minutes. You can book tickets easily through your accommodation and no need to book much in advance.

Where to stay on Koh Mak?

As a tiny island, doesn’t have loads of accommodation options but I would 100% recommend where I stayed which was By the Sea Koh Mak. Run by the friendly Silke, this Koh Mak hotel has a beautiful pool and a beach, and it was an absolute delight. I’m very obsessed with the interior design and it has a café with delicious food for breakfast, brunch or lunch. I have been recommending this place to all my friends and would definitely stay there again. In February 2022 the cost of a three person room was approximately 1500 per night making this perfect midrange accommodation. The staff were really friendly and helpful too.

The beautiful pool at By The Sea Koh Mak
The beautiful pool at By The Sea

What to do on Koh Mak?

Spend time at the beach, go snorkelling, rent bicycles or motorbikes and explore the island, go scuba diving, eat delicious food! There are plenty of things to do on Koh Mak for a small island.

Where to eat on Koh Mak?

Koh Mak restaurants that I love:

By the Sea Koh Mak: We loved the food at By the Sea as previously mentioned with smoothie bowls, granola and sandwiches.

Head in the Clouds: We enjoyed lunch here one day with ocean views

Thai Sabai – great Thai food on the beach

Riverside: Not actually next to a river but more of a big pond. Really delicious Thai food and also Italian food with an Italian chef!

Little Red Oven – a chain of pizzerias that are now all over Thailand, really great pizza, can get it delivered too

Food Art Hut – I had a great breakfast here with avocado and bread

Koh Mak bars: where to drink in Koh Mak

My absolute favourite place was Blue Pearl Bar at Cococape Resort. It’s a long pier so you basically are drinking in the middle of the ocean with amazing views and great Koh Mak sunsets.

Photo of the best bar in koh mak
Sunsets from Blue Pearl Bar Koh Mak

Best Beaches Koh Mak

One warning about the beaches on Koh Mak – the presence of sand flies. In February when I visited they were abundant and we all got bitten. Don’t lie on the beach for too long or consider a sunbed or water leggings.

Ao Soun Yai Beach – is one of the biggest stretches of beach and has Thai Sabai restaurant on it. I found this to be the best snorkelling with a reef just in front of Thai Sabai where I saw a lot of tropical fish, some healthy coral and a few string rays!

Koh Kham Beach – This is an island you can see from Ao Soun Yai beach. You can take a little boat to it and it has gorgeous white sand.

Ao Kao Beach Koh Kood – this is the beach in front of By the Sea and Head in the Clouds. It’s decent but I didn’t find any good snorkelling there.

Scuba Diving Koh Mak Island

I did two dives while I stayed there and both dives were in the marine national park nearby. The coral reef was healthy looking and I really enjoyed my dives even though the visibility was not great. I dived with Koh Mak divers who were great at communicating and I ended up with a private divemaster as the boat wasn’t busy.

Thinking about nearby islands? Also check out my post on visiting the nearby island of Koh Kood Thailand

Looking for more scuba diving in Thailand – read this post here about the best diving in Thailand.

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Koh Kood Island Thailand

My always honest Thailand island reviews. I wrote this Koh Kood review after visiting the island in February 2022 as I know this is important information to be aware of if you are visiting Thailand in the pandemic.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is Koh Kood worth visiting?

Absolutely. Koh Kood is worth visiting because it has some of the best beaches in Thailand and is a lovely, quiet island, not too far from Bangkok. You can pair visiting Koh Kood with Koh Chang or Koh Mak.

Koh Kood or Koh Kut? You will see various different spellings of English words in Thai as there is no standardised way of spelling words. Therefore you will sometime see the word for island as ‘ko’ or ‘koh’.

Where is Koh Kood?

Koh Kood is an island towards Cambodia, found near Koh Chang and Koh Mak.

How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok?

Boonsiri offer a package deal from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which includes a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Kood and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Kood was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Kood back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

There is also an airport at Trat which is the nearest airport to Koh Kood. However, I personally feel by the time you have flown it is the same time it takes to get on a bus and it’s better for the environment!

Koh Mak vs Koh Kood

I visited both these islands during a one week trip from Bangkok and recommend doing the same. Koh Mak is smaller and has more of a chilled, island vibe. Koh Kood is bigger, has more resorts and stunning beaches.

Is Koh Kood open?

Yes, as of 2022, Koh Kood in Thailand is open and ferries are running. Restaurants and bars are open but at the time of writing still closing early at 11pm. I visited Koh Kood in February 2022.

Where to stay in Koh Kood: Accommodation Koh kood

Koh Kood has resorts and hotels but few budget hostels. I stayed at mid-range accommodation and one of the best Koh Kood hotels at Pink Kangaroo Bungalows run by Dick and Wan and would definitely recommend staying there. I paid approximately 450 baht a night and this was a covid price in February 2022. They have clean, well equipped Koh Kood bungalows surrounded by a lot of nature. There was a mango tree just outside by terrace. I stayed at the one bedroom chalet and would definitely recommend as it had a kitchenette, fridge and outdoor seating area. Wan cooks a great breakfast (coconut pancakes anyone?) and Dick arranged a scooter for me and even gave me a mini lesson because he knew I was nervous.

My friends stayed at one of Koh Kood’s resorts Sunshine on the Rocks, which is a great Koh Kood beach resort as it has a stunning beach, Ao Phrao beach, just in front of it. This resort is also called Sunshine Koh Kood. I snorkelled there and spotted an octopus! I recommend getting a motorbike as the area is a little far from the more ‘central’ beaches and restaurants.

For luxury resorts on Koh Kood, consider Soneva Kiri in the North which is Koh Kood’s most expensive resort and probably the best resort in Koh Kood if you can afford it! Just check it out for some luxury travel inspiration if you are more into budget to mid-range accommodation like me!

Koh Kood Resort booking: I always use Agoda to book accommodation or I go directly with the hotel. I often compare with the hotel prices on Booking.com but find that Agoda is very often cheaper.

Where to eat: Koh Kood restaurants and bars

A lot of Koh Kood restaurants are on the road near Bangbao beach, also a few restaurants are near Peter Pan resort Koh Kood. I recommend eating at Black Banana which does yummy Thai food, beers and smoothies. I also had delicious Italian food at Heaven Sense and recommend their pizza and pasta. I also recommend Pizza and Pasta further in the North across the bridge. Both places are run by Italians. Ngamkho Restaurant did a really good fried rice and I stopped there on my surface interval when scuba diving nearby. Kood Vibes Bakery also does yummy bread and sandwiches. Viewpoint Café I would recommend for a drink with an ocean view and the waves just under your dangling feet. Please note at the time of writing (February 2022) many of the restaurants and bars near Viewpoint Café were closed.

Koh Kood restaurants on the beach

What to do in Koh Kood: Best beaches in Koh Kood

Does Koh Kood have the best beaches in Thailand? Yes, potentially. I went in February so dry season and the sand is white, the water pretty clear and calm.

Ao Phrao Beach Koh Kood – long stretch of beach, where the jungle meets the sand. Lovely and calm when I was there and had a snorkel. Bad visibility but I still spotted an octopus!

Bang Bao Beach Koh Kood – Definitely recommend this beach, a few restaurants and bars to eat and drink on it which is perfect. It’s still very green with white sand and clear water.

Million Beach Koh Kood – Million beach is a smaller beach with two resorts on it. At the time I went it was extremely quiet. It has a little pier and a small rock island nearby which has some decent snorkelling and you can dive a bit deeper. We had the best sunset view here.

Beach in front of Peter Pan resort near the river – lovely long stretch of beach and mangroves nearby, busy in the evening with people taking sunset photos

What to do in Koh Kood Thailand?

Visit some of the best beaches in Thailand, experience a quiet island, snorkel some nice reefs, go scuba diving, visit the waterfalls (I did not do this as it was dry season and they will always be better in rainy season!)

Scuba Diving in Koh Kood

I did two scuba dives with Koh Kood divers and really enjoyed the scuba diving experience. The reef was much healthier than I imagined (as someone who has seen a lot of dead and damaged coral reefs in Thailand). I saw a decent diversity of marine life and spotted the usual tropical fish, nudibranchs and was lucky enough to have a private dive instructor, Jessie! I strongly recommend diving with Koh Kood Divers as they really tailored the dives to me as an experienced diver.

Koh Kood Weather

Writing this in the year 2022, the weather in Koh Kood and also the weather in Thailand is being more unpredictable than usual. Usually we have a dry season from October – April and rainy season from May-September. However, it has still been raining in dry season in Bangkok lately and the same for some of the islands!

For a complete island guide, check out my quick summaries for each Thai island here

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Travelling Thailand: Your Health

Many travellers and backpackers can be concerned about their health when travelling to Thailand.  Having lived here for 3 and a half years I thought I would pass on some of my knowledge. Here is an assortment of health advice, travel tips and things to be careful about in Thailand.

Mosquitos in Thailand

Generally speaking Thailand is not a malaria area and there are risks only around the borders of Thailand with other countries. Most people do not need to take malaria tablets when visiting. However, dengue fever has been on the rise in recent years so I recommend covering up in the evening and using a strong DEET repellent. Buy before you travel here as it is hard to find strong DEET. I recommend this 50% one from Amazon.

Eating Street Food in Thailand

Street food is one of Thailand’s pleasures and I have never been sick from eating street food. It is cooked hot and fresh right in front of you. There are some stalls where cooked food sits around for a hours and I would definitely avoid these places, particularly if eating meat. If you get a bad stomach in Thailand, before reaching for the Immodium, I recommend trying charcoal pills from 7/11. They are not as strong and I find work much more effectively. I think it feels more natural and is less likely to bung you up for 3 days and then you continue to have the same problem later on. This is what the packet looks like and you can usually find them near the till in any 7/11. If you contract diarrhea in Thailand you will most likely become very dehydrated so I always use electrolytes from 7/11 and I swear by coconut water too. (Also useful for hangovers from buckets…see below!)

Having Ice in your Drinks in Thailand

I never had an issue for this, until it came to drinking 50 baht mojitos in Phuket…and then I was pretty ill for a week afterwards. Lesson learnt: if the alcohol is unreasonably cheap, so is the ice! Avoid things like this in Phuket. That said, I have been sick once from ice in 3 years here so I don’t think it is something to go fretting over.

Drinking Buckets in Thailand

From Khaosan Road to the Islands you will always find a cheap bucket of alcohol to drink. While some people might recommend avoiding drinking buckets in Thailand, if you want to lesson the hangover, stick with a spirit and a mixer in the bucket rather than any of the mysterious cocktail mixes that end up with you and your sister vomiting on the journey back to Bangkok (true story.)

Drinking Tap Water in Thailand

The tap water in Thailand is not drinkable. You can buy plastic bottles from 7/11 and refill them at drinking water stations for 1 baht. You can often find these on streets and in residential areas. That said, I always use the tap water to brush my teeth in Thailand and elsewhere and have never had any problems because of this. I’m probably wrong but I feel maybe it builds up some immunity??

Travel Sick in Thailand

If you are unfortunate enough to get travel sick like me, then I cannot recommend strongly enough these travel bands. I am not even sure how they work, I think they have a bead that presses on a  pressure point that is linked with nausea, but they really work. Whether travel sick in mountain roads like from Chiang Mai to Pai or seasick on a boat, these have really helped me. It might just be psychological but who cares if they stop you from vomiting right? Buy yours here. You can also buy seasick pills from most pharmacies in Thailand very cheaply as an extra back up.
Travel Thailand Tip: Ask to sit in the front of the minivan on long journeys. I also find I tend to get less travel sick on the big buses so I try to book them instead of a minivan if possible. You can book travel tickets using this website.

Colds in Thailand

Due to various establishments that blast the AC freezing cold in Thailand, I often find myself with a cold after staying in hostels or sleeping on night buses. Normally this isn’t a problem unless you want to go scuba diving and you cannot dive with a cold because you’ll be unable to equalize properly. Enter TIFFY tablets you can buy from any pharmacy or some 7/11s. They cost around 7 baht for 4 tablets and as these are not a strong tablet it’s no problem to combine with diving.
Night bus travel tip: Bring warm clothes. They really crank up the air-con over night and if you feel the cold easily you may feel freezing like me. For a complete packing list, follow this link here.

Vaccinations for Thailand

Do you need vaccinations to travel in Thailand? Before I came here, I was recommended to get Hep A, Hep B and typhoid. Every clinic seems to recommend different things but these are the ones that I got. I decided not to bother with the expensive rabies vaccine because if you get bitten you still have to go to the hospital, it just gives you more time and I figured I was never going to be that far away from an available clinic. I usually use the NHS website for advice about vaccinations in Asia.

Animals in Thailand

Stray dogs can cause alarm in Thailand and my best advice is to just stay calm and steer clear. Most dogs here I have found extremely chilled out and not remotely interested in humans. However, you always hear a few stories. I read it is best to not look threatening, to yawn and look relaxed and calmly walk past them. If you do get bitten by a stray dog, rabies is a concern here so immediately find a clinic. Even small islands like Koh Lan or Koh Lipe have doctor’s clinics who can administer the first round of PEP injections. After that you will need 5 more injections over the course of 6 weeks.

lopburi bangkok day trip
Monkeys in one of Lopburi’s temples. Watch out for monkeys as well. Some bite!

Pharmacies in Thailand

I have found many pharmacies in Thailand to be full of helpful, English speaking staff. You can generally find what you need and for very cheap prices. You can also buy antibiotics over the counter in Thailand but this is obviously a fairly controversial thing to do so read up about it first.

Hospitals and Healthcare in Thailand

Thailand has some fantastic international hospitals…and some less fantastic hospitals. As long as you have health insurance, I would always use an expensive international hospital. The staff there speak English (or will find you a translator) and have always dealt with me efficiently and swiftly.
Disclaimer 1: I’m a teacher, not a doctor.
Disclaimer 2: This page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase I may receive commission at no extra cost to you.