While sunbathing in Thailand is common with tourists and other visitors to the country, don’t forget Thailand is one of the world’s hottest countries. It’s also extremely easy to get heatstroke or a severe sunburn here as the sun’s strength can be deceiving. If you’re on a trip to Thailand and don’t want to get sunburned or sick from heatstroke, make sure you follow these quick safety tips and you’ll have a carefree (and sunburn free!) vacation.
Carry Water – The most important anti-heatstroke tip is make sure you have bottled water with you. Thailand is one of the world’s hottest countries and it’s easy to get dehydrated here. While just about everywhere in a Thai town or city has bottled water for sale at a dirt cheap price, if you end up exploring further afield, you might find yourself hot and unable to find any. Carry a small bottle with you (10 cents at any 7-11 or convenience store) and you’ll stay hydrated and healthy.
Wear a Hat – Again, you have no idea how brutal the heat is here until you’ve spent some time in it. If you’re planning on a day exploring in Thailand, wear a hat. Covering your head will protect you from sunburn as well as help keep you cool and prevent heatstroke.
Rub on Lots of Sunscreen – Again, it’s hot, hot, hot in Thailand (just about the only time it isn’t is for about 4 days in December). Get a sunscreen with high SPF (at least an SPF 45) and take it with you, so you can reapply it as the day goes on. Just 15 minutes outdoors during the heat of the day without sunscreen, and you could end up with one nasty, and dangerous, sunburn.
Don’t Lay Out at the Hottest Times of Day – If you enjoy sunbathing, don’t do it during the hottest times of the day in Thailand as you could end up with heatstroke before you know it. The best times to sunbathe in Thailand are before 11am and after 4pm and, if you can keep your sunbathing down to after these times, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get a sunburn. During the hottest hours, why not take a tour, sit in an air conditioned cafe or go shopping at one of Thailand’s many malls. Your skin will thank you later.
Carry an Umbrella – If you’re outside during the day in Thailand, take an umbrella. Not only are they used to combat Thailand’s rainy season, but Thai girls carry umbrellas every day just to protect them from the sun. Just walking a few blocks up the street during the heat of the day without the shelter of an umbrella can make you overheated and on your way to heatstroke. Sheltering under an umbrella though will make you feel cooler and walking much more pleasant.
Umbrellas are also handy for fending off street dogs that roam some of Thailand’s streets and sois. Most of them aren’t dangerous but, with at least 20% of them carrying rabies, it’s always good to have something to give them a good whack with if you get backed into a corner.
Air Conditioning Is a Must – Several times during the day, if you spend a lot of time outdoors, pop into an air conditioned restaurant, cafe or mall for a quick cool down. Staying continually overheated in the hot Thai weather can drain you of energy and also make it more likely you’ll get heatstroke.
Staying cool and sunburn free and avoiding heat stroke in Thailand is as simple as following these quick tips. Thailand is a wonderful place for a vacation, so you don’t want to spend half your holiday cowering in your hotel room suffering from an extreme sunburn or heat stroke. Use some common sense and you can still get a light suntan without getting sick or ruining your skin.
Photo copyright – Yashi Wong/Wikimedia Commons – Thai girls never sunbathe. They believe white skin is more beautiful.