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.
On top of that, buying bottled water is not only terrible for the environment, you can also get sick from the plastic used if it hasn’t been bottled correctly.
Or if you keep refilling the bottles yourself, and do not sterilize them first.
Here are a few other things you should know about drinking tap water in Bangkok:
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 even done taste tests that show the majority of people, when given chilled Bangkok tap water and chilled bottled water, cannot tell any difference.
I know I can’t.
You will, of course, occasionally hear travelers, who really know little about Thailand, but who still have it in their head that it 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 is either the old ‘urban legend’ that is 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, then followed it with a huge helping of Thai curry.
They don’t bother to add that bit of information.
I have lived in Bangkok, Thailand for over 16 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 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 is updated every few seconds) there’s a handy Metropolitan Waterworks Authority monitoring system online.
If you are out and about in Bangkok as well, the MWA also has free water fountains dotted all over the city that you can use. See the short video below, so you know what to look for.
Yes, the tap water in Bangkok is safe.