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Can I Drink Tap Water in Thailand?

No, tap water across most of Thailand, is not safe to drink! It contains a large number of germs, bacteria and heavy metals – the latter of which isn’t removed by simply boiling your water. 

Boiled tap water will do in a pinch but don’t become reliant on it, heavy metals can build up in your system and cause problems over the long term. 

A Note On Tap Water In Bangkok

Tap water in Bangkok is regarded as safe to drink by international standards. However, many locals still don’t drink tap water and the minimal occurrence of E.coli is concerning. 

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Can I Brush My Teeth With Tap Water in Thailand?

Whether you want to brush your teeth with tap water in Thailand is up to you. Many travellers do so with no problem but plenty of other backpackers only use bottled or filtered water to brush their teeth. 

It comes down to how much your trust your water source and your body to deal with any wee invisible beasties (aka bacteria or viruses) that may be in the small amount of water used for teeth brushing. 

If you’ve only just arrived in Thailand, or have a sensitive stomach, we recommend sticking to bottled or filtered water for brushing your teeth. 

Tooth Brush
It’s up to you if you brush your teeth with tap water in Thailand!

Can I Wash My Face With Tap Water in Thailand?

Yes, you can wash your face with tap water in Thailand. As long as you don’t swallow a load of water in the process, you’ll be fine. And if you are swallowing a load of water while washing your face, you probably need to improve your technique! 

Do Locals in Thailand Drink Tap Water?

In some locations, you’ll find locals in Thailand drinking tap water. Often, people have water filters in their homes, making the tap water potable. But even with home filters available, the majority of Thais stick to bottled water for drinking. 

Is Ice in Thailand Safe?

Yes, as a general rule, ice in Thailand is safe to consume. The huge majority of ice is made in factories or from treated water. If you see locals consuming the ice from a street vendor or in a bar/restaurant, then you’re safe to have it too! 

If you’re particularly concerned about the ice in Thailand, look for the cubes with a circular hole in the middle. These are made in factories using distilled water. Ice machines in hotels or hostels tend to only use treated water, so these are safe too. Bags of ice bought from a shop are safe and most street vendors will buy them in rather than make it at home!

Ice cubes in a drink
Ice in Thailand is generally safe to consume!

Are There Water Dispensers in Thailand?

Water dispensers can be found in most Thai towns and cities. They offer a very affordable way to get potable water, often charging just a Baht per litre. Make sure you have a reusable travel bottle to fill up!

To find your closest water refill point, the simplest thing to do is ask at your accommodation. But there are other options. The Refill and Water Map apps both show a network of refill points. 

You can also use Trash Hero. The Trash Hero reusable bottle is sold in stores across Southern Thailand and in Chiang Mai. Anywhere that sells the bottle is obligated to fill your Trash Hero bottle with clean water, no matter where you purchased the bottle. 

Bottled Water in Thailand

Bottled water is easy to find across Thailand. It’s cheap too, costing around 15 Baht for 1.5 litres. The downside of bottled water in Thailand, as with any country, is the amount of plastic you’ll get through if you rely on them for your entire trip. 

Can I Use a Filtered Water Bottle in Thailand?

Yes, a good filtered bottle will clean water from almost any source in Thailand. Ensure you pick up a water purifier instead of a standard filter bottle. Purifiers remove viruses, as well as bacteria and protozoa from your water. A standard filter will not remove viruses. 

Our favourite filtered water bottle for travel is the Grayl UltraPress but its older sibling, the GeoPress is an excellent choice too. Read our comparison of the two bottles here

Tap Water in Thailand – Is It Drinkable?

The general rule of thumb is to avoid drinking tap water in Thailand. The prevalence of clean water refill points, bottled water and the recent growth in the popularity of filtered water bottles like those from Grayl, means clean water is easy to come by across the country!

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