Worldcare offers a range of travel insurance policies for travel throughout Asia, including Thailand.
Exotic, hectic, colourful, relaxing – Thailand is a dream holiday destination for singles, couples and families. Beautiful white beaches with clear aqua water, luxurious resorts, adventure, wildlife and amazing food and shopping – there’s nothing like it for an adventure close to home.
Relax after hectic Bangkok on the island of Koh Lanta – not as well-known as Phuket but equally beautiful. The surfing, diving and snorkelling are spectacular and there are plenty of bars and restaurants along the beach to sip a cocktail and people-watch.
Koh Phi Phi (Phi Phi Island) is about an hour’s boat ride from Phuket. The beaches are postcard perfect and you can’t get a more iconic Thailand experience than snorkelling next to limestone cliffs that drop straight into the water. Take a day trip or stay on the island.
Kho Phi Phi
Silver Beach, Koh Samui is just a short ride from the more popular Lamai Beach and is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. You can still get a massage and bite to eat but it’s a lot less crowded than other beaches on Koh Samui. The water is calm so it’s great for swimming as well.
The Grand Palace, Bangkok is a complex of beautiful buildings that has been used by the royal family since 1782. It is still used for official events today, and also houses the famous Emerald Buddha.
Ayutthaya in its prime was the trading capital of Asia, and the largest city in the world. The ruins are now a UNESCO world heritage site full of mystery and interest.
Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai, also called ‘The White Temple’, is a contemporary temple built in the late 1990s and made entirely from white materials and glass. It has an unusual mix of traditional and modern art, plus there’s a wall mural that’s rumoured to contain Superman and Neo from The Matrix.
Chatuchak Weekend Markets in Bangkok are a shopaholic’s dream come true. Pick up anything from exotic batik, to an antique wood carving or a ‘genuine’ Fendi handbag.
Bangkok Floating Markets
5 useful phrases in Thai
1. Hello – Sah wàht dee
2. How are you? – Bpehn yahng ngi?
3. My name is… – Pom [male] cháhn [female] chûee…
4. What’s your name? – Kuhn chûee ah ri?
5. Thank you – Kòrp kuhn
For more useful words and phrases in Thai, visit the Insight Guides website.
Risks of travelling to Thailand
Crime and unrest
Smartraveller advises that you exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to and within Thailand, including Bangkok and Phuket, due to the possibility of civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack.
Since the military coup there have been a number of anti-coup demonstrations in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, including in areas frequented by tourists. Confrontations are potentially volatile.
Although domestic and international flights are operating normally, internal transport and infrastructure may be affected. Access to hotel and shopping districts may be restricted. There is also a continuing threat of terrorist attack.
Sexual assault, food and drink spiking, assault and robbery against foreigners occurs in Thailand, including in major tourist spots and cities.
Credit card and ATM fraud including skimming can occur.
Petty crime including theft from hotel rooms, pick-pocketing and bag snatching is common. Theft has also occurred via bags that have been sliced open with razor blades. Violent crime towards tourists and foreigners occurs from time to time.
If your passport is lost or stolen you are required to pay to have it replaced.
Weather and environment
Severe storms can occur in the wet season (May to October) and the Mekong River can flood during this time. Thailand is also subject to earthquakes.
Storms, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters can mean disruptions to your holiday and travel plans at best, and loss of your belongings, illness, injury or death at worst. So it’s wise to consider taking out travel insurance if you are planning to visit Thailand.
Stings from jellyfish and other marine life can be fatal.
Malaria, dengue fever, HIV/AIDS and rabies exist throughout the year in the regional areas. The World Health Organization has confirmed deaths from avian influenza (bird flu).
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis, leptospirosis and typhoid) are prevalent with outbreaks occurring from time to time.
There is also a risk of illness caused by ciguatera, scombroid (histamine fish poisoning) and toxins in shellfish.
The hospitals and medical facilities in Thailand are generally not as well-equipped as in Australia, and most places will not treat you unless you can prove you have travel insurance. The alternative is airlifting you back to Australia to receive treatment, which will be extremely expensive.
Visit your GP for the appropriate vaccinations and health precautions, and consider taking out travel insurance to cover you if you need medical treatment.
The cost of skipping travel insurance
In 2014, Worldcare helped 78 Australians who travelled to Thailand, ran into trouble and made a claim on their travel insurance policy.
Most of our total claims cost for Thailand last year was for luggage and personal effects (39%) and medical and hospital expenses (37%). Other common claims were for pick-pocketing (2%) and cancellation fees and lost deposits (2%).
If your luggage or personal effects are lost, stolen or delayed in Thailand, it could cost you an average of AUD $417 without insurance.
If you are injured or get sick while travelling in Thailand, you can expect to be out of pocket an average of AUD $426 without travel insurance.
Being pick-pocketed could cost you AUD $222 on average, and covering any cancellation fees and lost deposits could leave you AUD $300 out of pocket on average.
So it’s worth considering travel insurance, which is not expensive and may save you considerable cost and trouble.
Worldcare has a range of travel insurance options and inclusions to suit any Thailand holiday budget – even if yours is limited.
Before you travel to Thailand
As soon as adverse events such as civil unrest, bad weather, natural disasters and others that may affect your trip hit mass media, you are not covered unless you already have travel insurance, as it’s no longer ‘unforeseen’.
If you have your policy arranged well in advance of travelling, you are protected. So take it out before you leave and you should be eligible to claim.
Read more about travelling to Thailand on our blog
· Giving back in Thailand
· See the world for less: where to go and how to get there
· Exploring Buddhism in Asia