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Thailand Travel Guide - with Wired Destinations
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Thailand Health – with Wired Destinations
Hygiene in Thailand
Thais place high value on personal hygiene and are aware of the dangers of germs and infections. Establishments catering to foreigners are generally careful with food and drink preparation. They do not, however, place such a high priority on keeping the environment clean.
Bangkok water is clean when it leaves the modern filtration plant; the pipes that carry it into the city are somewhat less than new, however, and visitors are advised to drink bottled water or soft drinks. Both are produced under strict supervision, as is the ice used in large Thailand hotels and restaurants. Most street side restaurants are clean; a quick glance should tell you which are and which are not.
Disease in Thailand
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
With its thriving Bangkok nightlife or Pattaya nightlife and transient population, Bangkok is a magnet for sexual diseases. The women (and men) in the sexual service industries are aware of the consequences of carelessness and of not insisting that their partners take precautions, but economic necessity, coupled with a Thai reluctance to offend anyone, means that there is a great risk of infection from unprotected intercourse.
Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases used to be not confined to "high risk" sections of the population in Thailand, and visitors were at risk from sex without condoms. Though the awareness of the general population has improved, caution is always good advice, so is using rubber insurance.
Malaria in Thailand
Malaria is still a high risk in some regions of Thailand. The best protection is to avoid being bitten. Mosquitoes are most active at night, so after dark, wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Hands and neck should be protected with an insect repellent, and you should sleep in rooms with mosquito screens on the windows and under a mosquito net.
If using anti-malarial tablets, remember that mosquitoes in many areas are resistant to many of the proprietary brands of medication. Seek advice from a tropical institute before your departure. Should you nonetheless contract malaria, there is a network of malaria centers and hospitals throughout Thailand.
It is important to remember that the most dangerous form of malaria often appears disguised as a heavy cold. If you contract what appears to be influenza, you should consult a doctor immediately. This also applies during the weeks after your return from the tropics.
Vaccinations in Thailand
Visitors are no longer required to show evidence of vaccination for smallpox or cholera. Cholera vaccination is of limited effectiveness and is no longer recommended for travelers. Before you leave home, be sure to check that your tetanus boosters are up to date. Dengue fever persists in rural areas. Birdflu cases are reported in the media, so following the news before going on your Thailand vacation is advisable.
Medical Services in Thailand
First-class Bangkok hotels, Chiang Mai hotels and Phuket hotels have doctors on call for medical emergencies. The hospitals in these three destinations are the equivalent of those in any major Western city. Intensive-care units are fully equipped and staffed by doctors to handle emergencies quickly and competently. Nursing care is generally superb because of a high staff-to-patient ratio. Many doctors have been trained in Western hospitals, and even those who haven’t speak good enough English.
Most small towns have clinics which treat minor ailments and accidents.
Hospital Addresses Outside Bangkok
Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital
110 Thanon Suthep. Tel:0 5322 1122, 0 5322 1075; fax; 0 5321 7144
Chiang Mai Ram Hospital
8 Thanon Boommuangrit, Tamboon Sripoom, Muang. Tel:0 5322 4850; emergency tel: 0 5389 5001; fax: 0 5322 4860
1 Thanon Sukkasem, off the super highway on the north side of town. Tel: 0 5335 7234; fax: 0 5340 8432
159 Moo 4, Thanon Chottana-Mae-rim. Tel: 0 5389 0755-64; fax: 0 5322 2152; www.nkp-hospital.go.th
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital
301 Moo 6, Thanon Sukhumvit, km 143, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150.
Tel/fax: 0 3825 9999
Pattaya International Hospital
Soi 4, Thanon Second. Tel: 0 3842 8374-5; fax: 0 3842 8373
328/1 Thanon Pattaya/Klaeng. Tel: 0 3842 9422-4, 0 3842 7751
Phyathai Siracha General
90 Thanon Si Racha Nakorn, Chonburi. Tel: 0 3877 0200; fax: 0 3877 0213.
2/1 Thanon Hongyok Utit, Phuket town. Tel: 0 7625 4425; emergencies: ext. 1060;
fax: 0 7625 4597
Thanon Sai Nam Yen, Patong Beach. Tel: 0 7634 0444, 0 7634 2633-4
Phuket International Hospital
44 Thanon Chalermprakiat. Tel: 0 7624 9400; emergencies: 0 7621 0935;
fax: 0 7621 0936
Medical Clinics in Thailand
For minor problems, there are numerous clinics in all major towns and cities. Most Thailand resort hotels also have an on-premises clinic or doctor on call.
Clinics along Thanon Ploenchit perform tests for sexually transmitted diseases; there are several similar clinics in Patpong.
Bangkok General Hospital
2 Soi Soonvijai, Thanon New Phetburi, tel: 0 2310 3344; www.bangkokhospital.com, is reputed to offer the most reliable tests for the presence of HIV, International Medical Center, tel: 0 2310 3102 and Anonymous Clinic run by Thai Red Cross at the "Snake Farm", on 1871 Thanon Rama IV, tel: 0 2256 4109. Open Mon–Fri noon-7pm, performs anonymous HIV tests and is a good source for HIV/AIDS information.
Pharmacies in Thailand
Pharmaceuticals in Thailand are produced to the highest standards, and pharmacies must have a registered pharmacist on the premises. Most pharmacy personnel in the shopping and business areas speak English. Many prescription drugs in other countries can be bought, legally, over the counter in Thailand.
Pharmacies are everywhere in Bangkok; look for the sign of the green cross. Two of the more common outlets, found in malls and districts frequented by foreigners, are Siam Drugs and Pharma Choice. In addition, many of the larger grocery stores have pharmacy counters with helpful personnel who generally speak passable English. Try branches of Foodland, Central or Robinson.
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