Staying Healthy in Phuket
The most common health problem for visitors to Thailand is a stomach upset, sometimes referred to as “traveller’s diarrhoea”. This is quite often mild but can sometimes be debilitating and could ruin your holiday. Therefore, you should excercise some commonsense about what you eat and drink (see below).
Do not drink tap water. Bottled water is cheap and readily available (make sure the seal is intact). Be wary of ice at roadside stalls, especially if it’s chipped ice. This is usually made from large blocks that are not stored and transported hygienically. Cylindrical ice cubes with a hole through them are normally fine.
You will lose a lot of water in the heat, especially while sunbathing, so be sure to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, you shouldn’t wait until you are thirsty before taking some fluid. However, consuming alcohol will only make you more dehydrated.
As with most things, a little bit of commonsense should ensure you do not fall ill. If it smells spoiled, it probably is. Stick to meat and fish that have been well cooked and preferably served hot. Avoid food that has been reheated. Fruits and vegetables should be washed with clean water (not tap water), peeled or cooked whenever possible. Ice cream that has been melted and refrozen should be avoided. Extra care should also be taken with seafood and shellfish.
Travellers to Phuket do not normally need to get vaccinated. However, if you plan to travel to parts of Thailand outside of the tourist areas and major towns and cities, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, tetanus, tuberculosis, rabies and Japanese encephalitis immunisations are advisable. You should consult your doctor at least 6 weeks before your trip as as you may require more than one injection. See communicable diseases for more information.
If you are travelling abroad, its a good idea to make sure you have travel insurance. After all, its much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Even though quality medical care is much cheaper here than in the West, hospital bills can seriously mount up. Make sure you check what the policy covers, as not all policies are the same.
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