Koh Phangan Health and Safety
Before hopping on that plane to the island take the time to read through our Koh Phangan health and safety guide. We also suggest you check with your doctor that you are up to date with all boosters as recommended for life in your home country. This would also be a good opportunity to ask your doctor what vaccinations you may require for your travels to Koh Phangan. Your doctor may suggest the following vaccinations; Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Cholera, Diphtheria, Rabies, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis. It is currently not necessary to take any anti-malaria pills during your stay on Koh Phangan.
It’s a good idea to always carry a mobile phone while out and about exploring the island. Make a record of the Police emergency number – dial 191. Not all foreign phones receive network coverage in different countries – it may be cheaper and easier just to buy a Thai phone and sim card when you arrive. A cheap Nokia and local sim will cost you around 600-800 THB. It’s definitely worth it if you’re staying for any length of time. It makes any local calls a lot cheaper too. We highly recommend that you take out a travel insurance policy before you leave home to make sure that you are fully covered in the unlikely event of sickness or injury.
Koh Phangan Health and Safety Tips
Koh Phangan is probably one of the safest places to travel to in Asia, but we still think there are a few useful tips we could share with you to make sure your holiday runs smoothly. Knowing who to call and where to go in an emergency is obviously very important information, which could be invaluable should a situation arise, but there’s also some additional general Koh Phangan health and safety we’d like to remind you about before you set off on your trip to paradise.
- Safety in the water – DON’T underestimate the strength of rip currents, even when there are no waves. DO be careful of broken coral on the beach and look out for passing long tail boats and jet skis when swimming. DON’T touch any marine life when snorkelling, it could hurt you both. DO wear a life jacket when kayaking.
- Bites and wounds -DON’T pick or scratch bites, it’ll only make them worse. DO go straight to a pharmacy if the wound gets infected and buy anti-biotic cream or pills to help it heal. DON’T swim in the sea if you have an infection, it’ll make it worse. DO apply insect repellent to help prevent bites, dawn and dusk.
- Food – DO be adventurous and try different dishes, you’re in a country where the food tastes amazing! DON’T be scared to ask for your food without chilli. DO buy from busy street stalls. DON’T buy food from stalls if it doesn’t look fresh. DO wash fruit before you eat it.
- Drinking water – DO always ask for bottled water in restaurants and bars. DON’T drink the tap water (brushing your teeth with it is OK though) DON’T worry, most ice is fine to have in your drinks as its purified.
- Stay hydrated – DO remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re not so keen on drinking water, you can also stay hydrated by drinking a number of alternative drinks such as, fruit shakes, fresh coconuts, fresh fruit juice and herbal tea. DON’T go more than a couple of hours without drinking something.
- Motorbike safety – DO wear a helmet when riding a motorbike and remember you drive on the left hand side! DON’T drink and drive, catch a taxi instead. DON’T take more than one passenger on your bike and beware of excess sand on the roads. DON’T leave your key in the ignition when parked.
- Party advice – DO try the famous ‘bucket drink’ which Koh Phangan is famous for but DO know your limits with alcohol. DON’T leave your drink unattended. DON’T take drugs – you will end up in trouble! DO learn how to say no and DON’T accept anything from a stranger.
- Apply the sun cream – DO always wear high SPF sun cream and apply it frequently throughout the day. DON’T be fooled by cloud cover, you’ll still burn! DO use aloe vera gel to cool and sooth burnt skin. DON’T forget to apply extra cream when snorkelling and DON’T ignore a headache – it could be sunstroke.