Health and Safety

Malaria is very rare but not unheard of in Thailand's southeast. Health authorities have done a great job controlling mosquitoes in and around the southern resorts, but you'll still need a good supply of repellent.

Be careful at the beach, as the sun is stronger than you think. Wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Protective clothing while diving or snorkeling is a good idea, as accidentally brushing against or stepping on coral can be painful. Keep an eye out for sea urchins and even more dangerous creatures like jellyfish, especially during the monsoon season. If you are stung, seek medical attention immediately.

Strong undertows often develop during monsoon season, especially along the west coast. Pay attention to posted warnings and listen if locals tell you not to swim.

Condoms are available in southern Thailand; not all brands are equally reliable, so it may be simpler to bring any you'll need.

Take the same safety precautions you would in any other location. When traveling to isolated spots, let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be away, and be aware of strangers you encounter along the way. Though rare, serious incidents involving tourists have taken place on the southern gulf islands, including two murders and the suspicious deaths of several others.

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Fodor's Essential Thailand: with Cambodia & Laos

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