If there’s one tip I can give people visiting Thailand, it’s to ensure you drink enough water. The first few times I came here on holiday, I didn’t always follow my own advice. I knew that I was supposed to drink lots of liquid, but I was on vacation and I hoped that beer would count. Sadly, beer and alcohol only help to dehydrate the body. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your bottles of Singha or your cocktails, but try and take in plenty of water throughout the day.
How to know if you’re dehydrated
Signs that you might not be drinking enough water may include tiredness and lethargy, but possibly the easiest way to know is by checking the colour of your urine. If you are dehydrated your urine is likely to be dark in colour. A sign of being well-hydrated is clear or very light-yellow urine.
How much water should I drink?
Apparently, we should all be drinking around 8 glasses or 2.5 litres of water a day. Needless to say, in a tropical climate you are likely to sweat more and consequently you should pay even more attention to your fluid levels to prevent dehydration. If you’re lounging on a beach in Phuket, trekking in Chiang Mai or just out and about shopping in Bangkok it’s likely to be hot (and possibly humid) and it’s all too easy to become dehydrated.
What should I drink?
There’s a huge range of bottled water available in Thailand, but you will pay a premium for some imported ranges such as Evian. The local brands are all decent and well-priced. Expect to pay around 15 Baht for a 1.5 litre bottle of Singha drinking water, Namthip, Nestle or Crystal.
I know a lot of people find drinking water too bland, but drinking fruit juice and eating plenty of fruit like watermelon all helps. Fruit vendors are easy to find and if you are on the beach you’ll see them walking past at some stage. Expect to pay around 10-20 Baht for a generous portion of watermelon.
Is it safe to drink the tap water?
Basically, avoid drinking tap water anywhere in Thailand. There are some exceptions and the water authorities in Bangkok have gone to great lengths to improve the quality of tap water in recent years. However, to prevent risk of stomach upset I personally recommend that all visitors should stick to bottled water.