Where did you go?
Over two weeks I visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Were there any language barriers?
Thailand is incredibly popular with Australian tourists, so there is not a huge language barrier. Store assistants, staff at hostels and hotels, and restaurants all have some level of English.
What tourist attractions did you visit?
The Damnoen Saduak floating markets outside of Bangkok (pictured above), Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, and the beaches of Koh Samui.
Did you do any prior research before the trip?
This was over Christmas and New Year’s, so I did some research to ensure I could get accommodation, particularly in Koh Samui as it is very busy in the lead up to New Year’s and the Full Moon Party.
Did your IBD cause you any issues on this trip?
Not significantly, but do ensure you bring all your medication with you for the full duration of the trip.
Was there anything out of the ordinary that stressed you out, or could potentially stress out someone with IBD?
My IBD was well controlled during this trip, but if you intend to go to a Full Moon Party or take part in the nightlife in Koh Samui, be prepared for some very late nights.
Can you recommend how many days/weeks is a good time to visit this location?
I was in Thailand for two weeks, which is a good amount of time for a relaxed trip/vacation. To properly explore the country and get to more of the outlying islands such as Koh Tao, you could easily spend a month or more.
Can you recommend any specific providers that can cater for people with IBD?
Almost all accommodation in Koh Samui is resort-like, with fresh food buffet breakfasts and simple pasta dishes available if needs be.
In Bangkok, accommodation can range from backpacker hostels, to five star hotels, so find the level of comfort you require for your IBD.
Can you tell us what the food is like?
Food is fresh, plentiful and delicious! There is fresh fruit available everywhere, which can be a good option for a snack on the go if you don’t wish to risk cooked meats from street stalls. If you are concerned about Thai food upsetting your stomach, there are plenty of Western food options throughout each town. That’s no fun though – Thai food is fantastic!
Due to the high levels of tourism, most toilet facilities are quite good. You can always fall back on fast food restaurants if needs be, but it shouldn’t be necessary in most areas.
On a scale of 1-5 how much does your IBD affect you?
(1 being in remission and 5 being in a flare)
On a scale of 1-5, how difficult was it to manage your IBD while on this trip?
(1 being no issues and 5 being very difficult to manage)
Were there any activities which challenged your IBD management?
While I travelled between each destination by plane, there are also long distance buses available. Air conditioned buses, called rót aa, come in a variety of classes, depending on the destination’s distance. Short distances are usually covered by the basic second class bus, which does not have an on-board toilet on board.
For longer routes, the buses increase in comfort and amenities, ranging from 1st class to ‘VIP’ and ‘Super VIP’. The latter two have fewer seats so that each seat reclines further; sometimes these are called rót norn (sleeper buses).
Would you recommend this place for people who have IBD?
Yes, but ensure you have thorough travel insurance, and take all the medication you will need for the trip.