One of the most popular destinations, Thailand continues to attract tourists the world over — not just for its gorgeous vacation spots but also for its top-tier hospitals.
Thailand as a Medical Tourism Destination: The Land of Smiles and Surgeries
Known as the “Land of Smiles”, Thailand matches its high caliber medical care with warm personal services as you experience the locals’ natural friendliness and compassion. Medical tourists are sure to receive five-star treatment at their clinic or hospital of choice.
Often associated with plastic surgery, the country also boasts premier facilities and medical expertise in dentistry, cardiovascular surgery, joint replacement surgery, and other elective surgeries. Physicians, surgeons and healthcare staff in Thailand all undergo rigorous training and are held to high standards of care, with doctors training in Singapore and Western countries.
Thailand has approximately 400 hospitals, and most of them are public, state-owned facilities. Approximately 10 to 15 hospitals within the country promote international medical care. The majority of these hospitals are located in or around Bangkok. Bumrungrad International is the most globally recognized of all hospitals catering to medical tourists. Aside from these medical institutions, Thailand provides the medical tourist a range of care options including aesthetic clinics, anti-aging clinics, medical spas, sport medicine centres, and health resorts.For more information on the medical clinics and treatments available in Thailand, browse through our directory.
Thailand for Travelers and Medical Tourists
What makes Thailand a favorite among travelers and medical tourists alike is the plethora of sights and activities to be had. Thailand is a travel haven as it caters to the wide spectrum of tourists from the beach bum to the history buff, as well as the medical care-inclined.
Its capital, Bangkok is a thriving metropolis and a goldmine of shopping opportunities with its numerous markets, malls, and street bazaars. Shopping reaches past dusk with the night market, providing another facet to Bangkok’s nightlife scene. Thailand nightlife can be as rowdy and exciting as it can be relaxed and pleasant.
In the same city, visitors can weave through gilded temples and palaces, getting a glimpse of the country’s rich history. It’s no surprise that health and wellness spas abound as travelers can zen out in quiet meditation or unwind with a good massage.
Wherever you go in Thailand, there’s also the wealth of food options: fresh seafood, countless curries, and noodle dishes that put your local Thai take-out to shame. Thai cuisine can easily cater to the meat-loving, the vegetarian, the sweet-tooth.
If you’re considering a medical trip, make sure to check with your doctor and plan accordingly.
Thailand Travel Notes
Whether it’s views from skyscrapers to sunsets along the coast to sunrises behind mountains, Thailand has everything covered, including your health and well-being. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your medical vacation to Thailand.
Traveling to and around Thailand
- Thai Embassies: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/thailand or visit http://www.thaiembassy.org/main/
- Foreign Embassies in Thailand
- Official Thailand tourism website
- Local News (in English)
- Visa: Not required, depending on your length of stay and your country of citizenship. Summary of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand (updated on 10 February 2016) –
- Immunizations required: None
- Public health considerations: There is no risk for malaria in cities and major tourist resorts.
- Airport: Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Transportation modes: Taxis, tuktuks, trains, private vehicles (depending on your personal arrangements with the medical facility or your accommodations)
- Languages spoken: Thai (official language), but English is understood in the metro areas.
- People: Thai, Mon, Khmer, Laotian, Chinese, Malay, Persian, and Indian
- Currency: Thai Baht with coin denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, and banknote denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 baht.
- Time zone: GMT+7
- Country phone code: 66
- Electricity: 220V (some hotels provide 110V transformers)
- Weights and measures: Metric system
- Elevation concerns: None
- Climate: Thailand’s climate is tropical and humid with three seasons: hot (March to June), cool (November to February, but this can still feel very warm to foreigners), and wet (June to October).
- Clothing: Light, cool clothing is advised. Beach-style casual attire—tank tops, sleeveless shirts, and short shorts—are reserved only for the beach. They are considered inappropriate dress in temples and medical settings. Men may be expected to wear a jacket in fine dining establishments.
- Getting online: Fax, Internet, and e-mail services typically are available in all major hotels. Cybercafés in major tourist destinations also offer these services.
Cultural Tips and Local Etiquette
- Greet and acknowledge greetings, especially the ‘wai’ which is done by putting the palms together in front of your chest and bowing. A ‘wai’ is a sign of respect and can be used to say hello, goodbye and thank you. You can also acknowledge a wai by smiling or nodding.
- Don’t ever say anything negative about the royal family.
- Dress conservatively when entering a shrine or temple.
- Don’t climb onto Buddha statues to take a photo or show any disrespect to a Buddha statue.
- Remove footwear when entering temples and other people’s homes.
- Don’t touch a Thai person on the top of the head.
- Don’t engage in public displays of affection.
- Tipping is not customary, but will be appreciated.
- Show respect when the royal anthem is being played by standing up or staying still throughout the anthem.
- Don’t point with or use your feet, e.g. to hold open a door, etc.
- Keep your hand horizontal with the fingers down when hailing a taxi.