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Thailand
Official Name:

Kingdom of Thailand

Last Updated: January 12, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens


U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand

  • Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
  • Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
  • Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)
  • Email: acsbkk@state.gov

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STEP Enrollment
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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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6 months from date of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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No, if your stay is less than 30 days

VACCINATIONS:

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Yellow fever may be required if arriving from certain countries with yellow fever.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

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EMBASSY

U.S. Embassy Bangkok
95 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330
Thailand
Telephone: + (66) (2) 205-4049, 02-205-4049 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) (2) 205-4000, 02-205-4000 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (2) 205-4103, 02-205-4103 (within Thailand)|
Email: acsbkk@state.gov

CONSULATE 

U.S. Consulate General Chiang Mai
387 Witchayanond Road
Chiang Mai 50300
Thailand
Telephone: +(66) (53) 107-777, 053-107-777 (within Thailand)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(66) 81-881-1878, 081-881-1878 (within Thailand)
Fax: +(66) (53) 252-633, 053-252-633 (within Thailand)
Email: acschn@state.gov

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Thailand for additional information on U.S.-Thailand relations.

Visit the Royal Thai Embassy website for the most current visa information.

  • U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand.
  • Thai immigration officials may ask for your onward/return ticket.
  • Business travelers, teachers, retirees, and those planning to stay longer than 30 days should check with the Royal Thai Embassy about visa requirements.
  • If you overstay your visa, you will be fined.  You may also be arrested, detained, deported at your own expense, and banned from re-entering Thailand.

We strongly recommend that you carry a copy of your U.S. passport identification page and current Thai visa to help avoid detention by the Thai immigration police.

Thailand’s entry/exit information is subject to change without notice. For the most current information, please see the list of Thai embassies and consulates worldwide and The Royal Thai Police Immigration Bureau.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website

HIV/AIDS restrictions. Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Thailand. However, these restrictions are generally not enforced. Please verify with the Royal Thai Embassy before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern. Several small-scale bombings occurred near some tourist locations in the Southern provinces in August 2016. In August 2015, an explosion near the Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100. The State Department assesses that there is a continued risk of terrorism in Southeast Asia, including in Thailand.        

The ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has banned political gatherings and placed restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. U.S. citizens may encounter a heightened military presence throughout Thailand. Security forces have additional powers, including the right to control movement and search for weapons. Individuals—including foreigners—may be detained for publicly criticizing the NCPO or the monarchy. U.S. citizens are advised to stay alert, exercise caution, and monitor international and Thai media. Avoid areas where there are protest events, demonstrations, large gatherings, or security operations, and follow any instructions and restrictions that  local authorities Issue.

If a demonstration is expected to pass near the U.S. Embassy or Consulate facilities, Embassy and Consulate entrances and functions may be restricted. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai’s websiteFacebook, and Twitter sites post information about particular demonstrations. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security and safety messages.

Far Southern Thailand - Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla: Violence in these provinces has resulted in more than 6,500 deaths since 2004. Martial law is in force in this region. We prohibit our personnel from traveling to this region without prior approval.  We urge you to defer non-emergency travel there. If you must travel to these areas, you should exercise special caution.

For more information on terrorist threats against U.S. citizens worldwide and steps to take as a result of these threats, please see the Worldwide Caution.

Crime:

  • Crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, bag-snatching, and burglary occur in Thailand.
  • Violent crimes against foreigners are relatively rare. However, murders, rapes, and assaults against foreigners do occur.
  • Sexually motivated violence, committed by both Thai citizens and visitors, is most likely to occur at parties, bars, clubs, on beaches, or in other remote/isolated areas.
  • Traveling alone--Exercise caution, stay near other travelers and ensure that friends or family know how to contact you.
  • Taxi and “tuk-tuk” drivers may attempt to charge excessive fares or refuse passengers. You should either request that the driver use the meter or agree on the fare beforehand.
  • At the airport use only public transportation from the airport’s official pick-up area, cars from the limousine counters, or a car from your hotel.
  • Rental scams--Many rental motorbike, jet ski, and car companies will hold your passport until you pay for real or fictitious damages. We advise against using your passport as collateral.
  • Exorbitant bar tab scam--Some bars and entertainment venues will charge exorbitant prices for drinks or unadvertised cover charges and threaten violence if you don’t pay.
  • Other common scams--Scams involving gems, city tours, entertainment venues, and credit cards are common, especially in tourist areas.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by calling 191 or the Tourist Police at 1155 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +66 (0) 2-205-4000 or Consulate at +(66) (53) 107-777.  Remember that only local officials have the authority to investigate and to prosecute a crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

Medical treatment is generally adequate in Thailand’s urban areas. In Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Pattaya, good facilities exist for routine, long-term, and emergency health care. Basic medical care is available in rural areas, but English-speaking providers are rare.

Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. You should consult with your local physician before traveling and also refer to information on medical tourism from CDC.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept upfront payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medicine for personal use is allowed as long as the amount does not exceed a 30-day supply and you bring the medicine with you. Do not mail medicine to Thailand without first confirming it will be allowed into the country. You can find customs and permit information from Thailand Customs and the Thailand Food and Drug Administration. 

The following diseases are present:

  • Dengue
  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Zika
  • Tuberculosis:
  • Influenza A (H5N1): 
  • Malaria

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws when traveling abroad. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Lèse majesté- Thais hold the monarchy in the highest regard. Making a critical or defamatory comment about the royal family is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years per offense. As an example, purposely tearing Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, may be considered a lèse majesté offense.

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Serious consequences include criminal conviction and imprisonment, particularly in the case of child prostitution. 

Commercial surrogacy is banned.

Illegal drugs carry severe penalties. Expect long jail sentences under harsh conditions, heavy fines, or execution for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

Shoplifting can result in large fines and lengthy detention followed by deportation.

Domestic Issues--local police are reluctant to become involved. You may call the Family Services Emergency hotline by dialing 1300 from any Thai phone.

Political gatherings are banned. There are restrictions on the media, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

Adventure Tourism, such as zip lining, bungee jumping, rock climbing, and off-roading, is popular in Thailand. However, safety standards, inspections and training may not be equivalent to those in the United States. Travelers should check the safety records of operators.

Possessing counterfeit or pirated goods is a crime in Thailand. For more information see the intellectual property section of the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Customs may enforce strict regulations on Buddha images, firearms, explosives, drugs, radios, books, and recordings, which might be cultural property and/or considered harmful to the public interest.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no known legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Thailand. However, LGBTI groups report that in the case of sexual crimes police tend to downplay sexual abuse claims from LGBTI victims.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Sidewalks and street crossings are not suitable for travelers with mobility issues. Newly constructed buildings, facilities and transportation equipment should be accessible for persons with mobility issues. However, enforcement of these provisions is not uniform.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Some victims of sexual assault or domestic violence find that Thai authorities do not handle such cases with as much sensitivity or consideration for privacy as they would expect in the United States. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety:

  • Traffic accidents are common in Thailand. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, Thailand had one of the world’s highest traffic-related fatality rates. Bangkok and some parts of Chiang Mai have heavy traffic.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, reckless passing, and failure to obey other traffic laws are common in all regions of Thailand. Some drivers move illegally against the traffic, which moves on the left. Scooters and motorbikes commonly drive on the sidewalks during rush hour and other periods of heavy traffic. Commercial drivers commonly consume alcohol, amphetamines, and other stimulants.
  • Accidents involving motorcycles can be deadly. Riders may incur serious injuries when they are not wearing helmets or proper clothing and footwear. Use of motorcycle helmets is mandatory, but this law is seldom enforced. 
  • Use a pedestrian bridge to cross the road where one is available, including in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wireless Road and on Sukhumvit Road, where many pedestrians have been killed and several U.S. citizens seriously injured. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk. 
  • If you have a traffic accident, you should contact your insurance company for guidance in dealing with the other party and the police.
  • Emergency vehicles: Congested roads and a scarcity of ambulances can make it difficult for accident victims to receive timely medical attention

Public transportation:

  • Mass transit: In Bangkok, the BTS elevated "Skytrain," “Airport Rail Link” mass transit, and the underground MRT systems are reliable, inexpensive, air conditioned, and often faster than Bangkok traffic.
  • Bus system: Bangkok also has an extensive bus system, but buses can be overcrowded and are often driven with little or no regard for passenger safety.
  • For hire vehicles: Cities outside of Bangkok typically have only rudimentary public transportation and usually do not have metered taxis.  In many cases, motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuks, bicycle-powered rickshaws, and pick-up trucks will be the only options available for travelers without their own transport.
  • Smartphone-based for-hire vehicle services such as Uber or GrabTaxi exist, although such services are under legal review.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Rail Safety: While millions of people utilize the State Railway system within Thailand every year, poor track maintenance, outdated equipment and rails, and unmarked train crossings have caused accidents, train derailments, and delays.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Thailand’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

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