If your doctor says you need malaria pills to travel to Thailand, get a second opinion. Malaria is generally restricted to remote border areas.
Cases do appear now and then but, if you exercise care and commonsense, you can minimise the chances of catching it without purchasing expensive medicines and risking their dangerous side-effects.
Women of a slight build should not, under any circumstances, take Larium. In 2000, 625 people died of malaria in Thailand. In 2004, 654 died on the roads over the six-day Thai new year holiday. You weigh up the risks.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitos. Plasmodium falciparum infection is the most serious and can be fatal. Some types of malaria may persist for forty years after infection.
Symptoms develop ten to 14 days after being bitten and consist of high fever with alternate shivering and sweating, intense headaches, and usually nausea and vomiting.
Seek prompt medical attention if you develop these symptoms. Anti-malarials are not 100% effective, so do not assume you cannot have malaria just because you are taking them.
For more information, see our story on malaria in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
Please find below some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) people have about travelling to Thailand. We've tried to answer all the most frequently asked questions, but if you have another query about Thailand, please try our Travelfish messageboard.
Is it possible to rent rooms or dormitories for long periods of time?
Rooms: is a fan room ok, or should I budget for air-con?
Should I take my own padlock for the door of my room while travelling in Thailand?
What should I do if a bag is stolen from my room or dormitory while travelling in Thailand?
What standard of acommodation can I expect for US$5?
Why are there so few dormitories in Thailand?
Can I drink the tap water in Thailand?
How can I avoid MSG in Thailand?
How do I avoid peanuts in Thailand?
I have a food allergy - will I cope?
Is there good vegetarian food in Thailand?
Is western food available in Thailand?
Are the ferries in Thailand safe?
Are the trains in Thailand safe?
Do they trains run on time?
Is it easy to hitch-hike in Thailand?
Is it easy to rent a car or motorcycle in Thailand?
Should I get a tourist minibus in Thailand?
What is Bangkok's bus system like?
Which is the better way to travel around Thailand - train or bus?
Are credit cards accepted in Thailand?
Are there ATMs in Thailand?
How can I have money sent to me in Thailand?
How can I send money out of Thailand?
Should I bring travellers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Thailand?
Should I tip in Thailand?
Are leeches a problem in Thailand?
Are legal drugs cheap in Thailand?
Do I need a prescription in Thailand?
General food and water precautions in Thailand
General health advice for Thailand
HIV/AIDS in Thailand
Is cholera a problem?
Is heatstroke a problem in Thailand?
Is medical care cheap in Thailand?
Is medical care in Thailand good?
Is rabies a problem in Thailand?
Schistosomiasis in Thailand?
Traveller's medical kit for travel in Thailand
What about dengue fever in Thailand?
Will I get diarrhoea in Thailand?
Are there many internet cafes in Thailand?
Can I travel with a laptop in Thailand?
Is there ADSL internet access in Thailand?
What is mobile phone coverage like in Thailand?
What is the voltage in Thailand?