Planning your visit or stay at Bumrungrad

At Bumrungrad International Hospital, we understand that navigating to another country for medical care can be daunting. To make your medical travel experience as comfortable as possible, we have gathered helpful travel information in one place for you.


Safety and Security  

The Kingdom of Thailand continues to attract thousands of tourists from around the world. With stunning landscapes, authentic cuisines and rich traditions, Bangkok is a popular travel destination in Asia. While most days are relatively calm and quiet, it is important to be well-informed about the current political climate and safety tips in Thailand. 


Political Situation in Thailand 

The government structure of Thailand is known as a constitutional monarchy, currently under King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who ascended the throne in December 2016 following the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2016. 


Since 2005, Thailand has experienced many instances of political turmoil, including a military coup d’état in 2006. The event resulted in the removal of then-Prime Minister Thaksin Chinawat, which was followed by anti-government protests and conflicts between competing political factions for several years. In August 2014, the Royal Thai Army General Prayut Chan-ocha was appointed Prime Minister, following another coup d’état a few months before. 


Today, the political situation in most of Thailand is relatively calm, with the new constitution having been signed in April 2017. However, the Southern region of the country continues to experience unrest and violence due to ethnic and nationalist insurgents. The officials continue to advise tourists and residents to exercise caution when traveling to these areas and to always stay informed of the current political climate. 


Thailand has a healthy and fairly consistent system of information and journalism, where the most current political events and realities are covered both in English and Thai. One such outlet is Thailand Business News.  


On the Road in Thailand 

Traveling within Thailand is relatively simple with a wide range of transportation options, making it simple and easy to get around. This includes taxis, motorcycles, private cars and an extensive subway system connect the entire city. For those who choose to drive in Thailand, there are some important points to consider regarding the laws and regulations that govern driving in Thailand. The website Driving in Thailand provides a comprehensive guide to all the rules, regulations and expectations that you need to be aware of. 


Entry Requirements  

Prior to confirming your appointment at Bumrungrad International Hospital, you should consider the entry requirements of Thailand. You may need to get vaccinated or apply for a visa in order to enter the Kingdom of Thailand. 


Health and Vaccinations 

As with traveling to most other countries, health authorities advise all travelers to always make sure that they have an up-to-date vaccination record. Recommended vaccines include the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, the chickenpox vaccine, the polio vaccine, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and your regular flu vaccine. If you have any questions regarding specific vaccination requirements, please contact our medical travel team. 



Who Needs It?


Japanese Encephalitis

Some travelers who may be staying in Thailand for a long time, or planning to travel around the country

There have been reports of transmissions in Northern Thailand, as well as the coastal areas of Southern Thailand.


Most travelers , especially those planning to travel to rural areas or are adventurous eaters

There is a risk of contamination through food or water.

Hepatitis A

Most travelers.

There is a high risk of contamination through food or water.


Some travelers , especially those who will come into contact with a lot of animals

Although rabies is not a major risk in Thailand, it can be found in some animals, especially street dogs and cats.

Hepatitis B

Some travelers , especially those who plan to get tattoos or piercings while traveling in Thailand

Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact, as well as through contaminated needles and other blood products.


Some travelers

There is a risk for contamination through food or water, especially in areas where there is an active transmission.

Yellow Fever

Only people who are traveling from countries with a risk of yellow fever contamination.

There is no risk of yellow fever contamination in Thailand. However, the government of Thailand requires proof of vaccination against yellow fever from all travelers who are coming from countries that have a risk of contamination. To determine if you are one of these travelers, please see this list from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Malaria:  When traveling in Thailand, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. Areas of Thailand with risk of malaria: Primarily in provinces that border Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, and Laos and the provinces of Kalasin, Krabi (Plai Phraya district), Nakhon Si Thammarat,

Narathiwat, Pattani, Phang Nga (including Phang Nga City), Rayong, Sakon Nakhon, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Yala, especially the rural forest and forest fringe areas of these provinces. Rare to few cases in other parts of Thailand, including other parts of Krabi Province and the cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Phuket.

None in the islands of Krabi Province (Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai, and Ko Lanta) and Pattaya City. See more detailed information about (LINK) malaria in Thailand

Thai Visas 

Bangkok, often referred to as the Land of Smiles, is a popular destination for leisure travelers and medical tourists from around the world. When you enter the Kingdom of Thailand, depending on your country of origin, there are some specific immigration requirements you need to be aware of. 


When visiting Thailand as a leisure traveler or medical tourist, you may need to obtain a tourist visa either upon arrival or prior to your arrival. This largely depends on your country of origin or the passport that you hold. In most cases, tourist visas grant a standard stay of 15 or 30 days with the possibility of an extension. For a complete list of immigration requirements that travelers must meet upon arrival in Thailand, click here. 

Immigration and Customs 

The entry requirements to enter Thailand may vary depending on your country of origin. For more specific information that applies to you directly, it is recommended that you contact your own state department of immigration. Click here to be redirected to Tourism Authority of Thailand to learn more about entry requirements.  


Travel Advice and Support 

Once you’ve decided to travel to Bangkok, you may want to learn more about Thailand and how you can make the most out of your trip. The best place to start your research would be the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website, which covers a wide range of topics such as: 

Travel Checklist 

Once your appointment at Bumrungrad International Hospital has been confirmed, our medical travel team will send you a packet of important information you need to know before traveling. To help you better prepare your medical travel itinerary, please take a look at this travel checklist. 


What do I need to prepare for my medical travel? 

  1. Check if your passport is valid and if you need a visa to travel to the destination country. 

  1. Decide how you will finance your medical payment, such as cash or credit card, and make sure additional cash in the local currency. Call your bank or card insurer to forewarn them that you may process a large payment abroad. This is to prevent banks from treating the transaction as suspicious and blocking your account. 

  1. Ensure that you have contact information to your clinic, transport provider and patient assistant. 

  1. Inform your employer about your absence at work due to medical travel. 

  1. Check the weather forecast for Bangkok and prepare yourself. 

  1. Arrange assistance at home when you are abroad. 

  1. Check if it is necessary for you to get certain vaccinations. 

  1. Remember to make your appointment at the clinic and pay the reservation fee if needed. Double check the dates. 

  1. Purchase appropriate flight tickets. Make sure someone will pick you up from the airport. 

  1. Remove any nail polish as the color of your nail plate may help indicate your health condition. 


What should I take with me? 

  1. Mobile phone with a charger 

  1. Personal documents such as ID card, passport and visa 

  1. Credit/debit card and some additional cash in the correct local currency 

  1. Medical records, including current diagnosis, films (X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound), biopsy results and your contact information 

  1. Daily medication, if any, in original packaging; any type of information regarding any chronic diseases that you may have  

  1. Items for leisure and entertainment purposes during your medical travel; for instance, books, magazines and music players 

  1. Comfortable pajamas and bathrobe if your medical procedure requires overnight stays; for instance, it is recommended that you wear shorts instead of long trousers if you have a knee surgery scheduled; for a shoulder operation, you may consider bringing a zip-up blazer  

  1. Comfortable undergarments and socks 

  1. Shoes to walk around the clinic – if you are undergoing plastic or another upper-body surgery, then you may take slippers. In the case of the orthopedic procedure, please bear in mind that you need some more stable footwear – trainers. 

  1. A basic set of toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, comb, sanitary napkins, shaving kit, hair band, lip balm and face wash 

  1. Towels 

  1. A set of clothes for your physiotherapy and rehabilitation, if it is required after surgery; this may include tracksuit and a pair of sneakers 

  1. Largely depends on the purpose of your medical travel, you may consider visiting sightseeing destinations; if that is the case, bring casual clothes and comfortable shoes; however, if you may undergo procedures that affect mobility, such as a hip replacement, you should consider bringing comfortable loose trousers, blazer and elastic shorts 

  1. Sleep essentials such as earplugs, pajamas and your favorite small pillow