Is Ice in Drinks in Thailand Safe? Yes, It Is

Watermelon shakes, known as 'tangmo pan' are delicious in Thailand, with ice, of course


Many travelers to Thailand worry about drinking drinks with ice in them, as they are concerned about the ice being safe Paranoid? Yep, definitely. In fact, in a decade of living in Thailand, I drink nothing but cold drinks with ice in them, including from thousands of street stalls all over the country, and I’ve never been sick. Not once.

Of course, you will hear the paranoid ones saying ice is not safe in Thailand. Honestly, there are just some people who should never leave their own countries.

If, however, you are a little less scared by life, taking ice in drinks in Thailand should not worry you at all.

Some expats will tell you only drink drinks with the ice that has holes in the center of it, as there’s an idea that this is the ‘commercially produced in hygienic conditions’ variety. That’s actually no more true than any other paranoia. Just about all ice in Thailand is produced in ‘hygienic conditions’, and the people selling drinks with ice in them on streets all over Thailand have just bought it from their local 7-11 or supermarket, before they served it to you. In fact, if you buy an iced drink at Starbucks or Coffee World, it’s probably come from the exact same supplier.

So, please, get out of your mind the idea that some grubby street seller has made the ice in his nasty kitchen and you’re going to catch some disease from it if you drink it. It’s not remotely true. After all, do you think Thais would drink beverages with ice in them if they had any chance of getting sick?