Things You Should Know Before Bringing Your Laptop to Thailand

Statue - Man with laptop in Bangkok, Thailand - copyright AntwerpenR, Creative Commons

We often get asked by would-be visitors to Thailand if a) they should bring their laptop and b) will it be easy to find internet connections. The answers to both questions are “Yes” and “Fast Wi-Fi internet connections are all over main cities in Thailand and main tourist areas.” Unless you’re camping out in the Thai jungle somewhere, you should have few problems.

Here are a couple of things you probably should know about though, before bringing a laptop to Thailand.

a) Make sure you’re prepared for the difference in electrical voltage.  Look at the label on your laptop transformer (the big blocky thing attached to your power cord). If it doesn’t have a label saying it can handle 220 to 230V, you’ll need to buy another one either before you leave for Thailand or right when you get here. Plugging your laptop into the outlet minus the correct transformer could result in a big bang and a fried laptop.

b) When you book your hotel, choose one with free Wi-Fi internet. They are all over Thailand and many have extremely fast free in-room Wi-Fi internet. If you can get easy internet in your room, you won’t waste time trying to find an internet cafe. In some tourist areas too, internet access in cafes is expensive. Save the money if you can.

c) Do not leave your laptop lying around while you’re outside your hotel room. Don’t put it on the floor, on a chair next to you or slid down next to the table you’re sitting at in a food court. So many laptops are swiped this way. Make sure you can see it at all times when you’re out and, if you leave your table for any reason, including going to the bathroom, take it with you.

d) If you have problems with your laptop while in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, there’s a massive IT mall called Pantip Plaza where you can get it repaired or purchase accessories.

In Bangkok, there’s also a mall called Fortune Town Mall, that’s even better and cheaper than Pantip.

Outside Bangkok and Chiang Mai, you’ll still find computer repair guys in every city and town. Most are excellent at their jobs and a fraction of the cost of technicians in the west.

e) Make sure you have insurance for your laptop before you leave for Thailand.  That way, if it does get stolen or dropped in the ocean, you won’t be out much money.

f) If you take photos while you’re in Thailand, put them on your computer to free up space on your camera. Then, download them onto a disk and keep the disk somewhere separate from your laptop. A friend downloaded all his photos onto a disk to “keep them safe”, then left the disk in his laptop bag. When his laptop was stolen, the disk went with it.

Overall, you should have few problems with your laptop in Thailand. Most Thais are extremely honest and will even warn you if they feel like you’re not taking care of your laptop correctly.

Just use some common sense while you’re visitng the Land of Smiles and you and your laptop will be fine.