Thailand

Thailand has an array of Buddhist temples
Thailand has an array of Buddhist temples

Thailand possesses an array of attractions, with Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho two significant Buddhist temples to visit.

The vast Lumphini Park and Railay Beach also provide memorable excursions for tourists.

FCO warning

All travel is advised against to the Preah Vihear temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border.

Popular tourist destination

Thailand is very popular with British tourists, with over 800,000 British nationals visiting Thailand every year. Given its 5,862-mile distance from the United Kingdom, Thailand is only accessible by airplane.

Flight time

Flight time from London to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, can take a minimum of just over 11 hours, but this can increase to between 14-15 hours depending on airlines and stop durations.

If you are unsure as to how best to stick to your medication schedule then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes specialist.

Time zone

Thailand is six hours ahead of British Summer Time and seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, which may require alterations as to how your manage your diabetes.

This should be planned for in advance with a member of your diabetes team.

Climate

The average temperature of Thailand remains at around 28°C all-year round.

Considerable heat can lead to enhanced insulin absorption and it is critical for insulin takers to check blood sugar levels scrupulously.

You could consider reducing dosages, especially before periods of physical activity, if you are worried about hypoglycemia.

Currency

The currency in Thailand is the Thailand Baht. Foreign Exchange booths are very common, while there are no charges for bringing home currency with you and exchanging it into baht.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Thailand, however some are recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.

All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.

Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies, which can be carried by dogs, bats and other mammals in Thailand.

Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis may also be recommended for travellers visiting remote areas of Thailand for more than a month, depending on what time of year you are travelling.

You should also talk to your doctor about how to prevent the contraction of malaria while travelling. Your doctor may prescribe you medication before, during and after your stay and will advise you on what to do to avoid getting malaria.

There is no risk of yellow fever in Thailand, although the government of Thailand requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of the disease.

Access to medication

UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Thailand. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment. You will need to carry your passport and insurance documents as identification to receive treatment.  

The emergency services telephone number to be called in Thailand is 1554.

It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Thailand if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.

Insulin

You should note which syringes are available in Thailand, with U-100, U-80 and U-40 syringes the most commonly used.

The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.

For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.

Diabetes associations

It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.

There is one diabetic association in Thailand that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The address of this association is:

  • Diabetes Association of Thailand,
    Royal Golden Jubilee Building, Floor 10,
    2 Soi Petchburi 47, Petchburi Road,
    Bangkapi, HuayKwang,
    10310 Bangkok,
    Thailand
    Tel: +662-7165412
    Email: dm.thai@diabassocthai.org

Questions

  • How is blood glucose measured in Thailand? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Thailand
  • What language is spoken in Thailand? Thai, although many locals, especially in a customer service environment, will have a grasp of English
  • Will I need an international driving license when driving in Thailand? Yes
  • If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
  • What sugar free drinks are available in Thailand? Mineral water, soda and canned soft drinks
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