Can You Drink the Tap Water in Bangkok, Thailand?

Bangkok's MWA advertising saying how clean Bangkok's water is


When tourists arrive in Bangkok, Thailand, one thing they are worried about is drinking the tap water. Even brushing their teeth with tap water in Bangkok seems to give some of them hives, as they worry about catching some funky disease from it. But should they? No. In fact, drinking tap water in Bangkok is just as safe as drinking tap water in your home country. In some cases, even safer.

Here are just a few things you should know about it:

Tap water in Bangkok has been certified as clean by World Health Organization standards since 1999. That means the water coming out of the tap is just as clean as water coming out of the tap in Los Angeles, London or Stockholm (and, in some cases, cleaner).

The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority has actually done taste tests that show the majority of people, when given chilled Bangkok tap water and chilled bottled water, can’t tell any difference. I know I can’t.

You’ll occasionally hear ignorant travelers, who really know little about Thailand, but  who still have it in their head that it’s is a third-world country (it’s not), say they know of people who have gotten sick from drinking Bangkok tap water. No. They don’t. It’s either the old ‘urban legend’ that’s simply not true, or the person they know who got “sick” from drinking Bangkok tap water had also drunk 10 beers and a couple of shots of schnapps and followed it with a huge helping of Thai curry. They don’t bother to add that bit of information.

I’ve lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 10 years and I never buy bottled water. Why would I? It just adds expense to my daily budget when I can get all the safe, clean water I can drink free from my own faucet. Have I ever gotten sick? Now, after what I just talked about, that’s kind of a stupid question. Right?

For more information about Bangkok’s very safe, and clean, tap water read the MWA’s Clean Water Clinic website with tons of information about Bangkok water  or, if you want to see how clean the water you are drinking in Bangkok is in real time (it’s updated every few seconds) there’s a handy Metropolitan Waterworks Authority monitoring system online.


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