Health and Safety on Koh Tao
With its beach holiday laid back feel and popularity as a top diving destination, Koh Tao is a very relaxed and safe island for all to visit. Despite this there are still a few Health and Safety on Koh Tao precautions you should consider when visiting the island to ensure your health and safety on Koh Tao. We highly recommend you do take out a travel insurance policy before leaving home, as any health issues in Thailand could cost you huge sums of money.
Before hopping on that plane to Koh Tao, we 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 Tao. 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 Tao. The nearest main hospital in on Koh Samui.
It’s a good idea to always carry a mobile phone while out and about exploring the island. 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 baht. It’s definitely worth it if you’re staying for any length of time. It makes any local calls a lot cheaper too.
The island is probably one of the safest places to travel to in Thailand, but we still think there are a few Health and Safety on Koh Tao tips to remember to help make sure your holiday runs smoothly. Your health and safety on Koh Tao is extremely important, so take a moment to read through our tips for a safer, happier and healthier trip to the island.
Sun Cream & Staying Hydrated
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. DO remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
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.
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.
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 it’s purified.
Food & Eating Out
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 chilies when ordering a meal. DO buy from street stalls which appear busy, but DON’T buy dishes from stalls if it doesn’t look fresh. DO wash fruit well before you eat it. DON’T ignore a stomach bug, always visit the pharmacy.
DO go out, experience the great nightlife, Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, dance and have fun, 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.
Bites & 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 antibiotic 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, especially at dawn and dusk.
Remember to pack your common sense!
Important Police and Medical Information
Koh Tao Tourist Police – The central Police Station on Koh Tao is located on the footpath between Mae Haad and Sairee Beach. The Police Station has English speaking officers to ensure you can communicate any problems that you may have encountered. The Police are there to help you so don’t be afraid or worried to approach them. Should you need to contact the Police on either Koh Samui or Koh Phangan the Police have permanent stations on both islands. In an emergency dial 191. Koh Tao Police Station: 077 456220. Koh Phangan Police Station: 077 377114. Koh Samui Police Station: 077 421281 or visit www.samui-tourist-police.com
Medical Care and Hospitals – Koh Tao has a number of health clinics across the island where most will have at least 1 or 2 doctors and nurses on site at all times and prescriptions can be given, as well as vaccinations. In an emergency go to the nearest hospitals.
Bangkok Hospital Samui – This hospital is situated on the ring road in Chaweng. Staff and doctors speak a good level of English and the standards are very high. For more info call +66 (0) 7742 9500 or visit www.samuihospital.com Bandon International Hospital – Based in Bophut, this hospital offers top class facilities with its own trauma centre and surgery. For more info call +66 (0) 7724 5236 or visit www.bandonhospitalsamui.com Samui International Hospital – It is close to Chaweng Beach Road and offers excellent services for both inpatients and outpatients. For more info call +66 (0) 7723 0781/2 or visit www.sih.co.th