Summary

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including:

  • Pattani
  • Yala
  • Narathiwat
  • Southern Songkhla province. Our advice against all but essential travel does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.

British nationals make over one million visits to Thailand every year. Most visits are trouble-free. But there have been attacks, sometimes violent, involving British people. See Crime

The Thai Meteorological Department continues to warn of heavy rain, high seas (Upper Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea) and the possibility of landslides and flash flooding. You should follow the advice of local authorities and monitor weather forecasts and information from the The Mekong River Commission in case of flood warnings.

If you’re visiting Thailand, make sure you research local laws and customs before you travel. Laws can be very different from the UK and penalties for offences can be severe. Penalties for possession, distribution or manufacture of drugs can include the death penalty. See Local laws and customs

You should avoid any protests, political gatherings, demonstrations or marches, and be wary of making political statements in public. You should also be aware that some people, including foreign nationals, have faced criminal charges as a result of sharing articles online that could be seen as portraying Thailand negatively or making accusations about individuals. Lèse-majesté, (criticism of the monarchy in any form) is a crime which can be broadly interpreted, and carries a long jail sentence. See Political situation

There are a high number of road traffic accidents in Thailand. Most involve motorcycles, but accidents involving other vehicles including cars, coaches and minibuses also occur. Under Thai law, you must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Make sure you have the correct licence and appropriate insurance if driving or using a motorcycle. If you use a motor vehicle without a licence valid in Thailand, this may invalidate your travel insurance in the event of injury arising from an accident. See Road travel

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Make sure your travel insurance covers you for any adventure activities you’ll be doing. Only use fully licensed and insured operators, and satisfy yourself that the company is using up-to-date equipment before taking part. See Adventurous activities and swimming

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. There were explosions in Bangkok in April and May 2017, multiple explosions and incidents in tourist areas across Thailand in August 2016, and a large explosion at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok in July 2015. Thai security authorities say they disrupted planned attacks in Bangkok in October 2016. The authorities have on a number of occasions warned of the possibility of attacks to coincide with symbolic dates or holidays. You should take care, particularly in public places, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media reports. See Terrorism

High levels of air pollution can occur in major urban areas, including in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, which is also affected by regional smoke haze (often in March and April). This may aggravate bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can check air quality levels for many cities in real time on the World Air Quality Index website. See Health

UK health authorities have classified Thailand as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand’s website and call centre (1672 - press ‘9’ for English) are able to provide some general advice to tourists in English.

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 1155 (tourist police) or 1669 (emergency medical services).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

If you are resident in Thailand or planning to stay for a longer period, you can find advice on our Living in Thailand page.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.