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guide to Thailand's power outlets for backpackers

Power Outlets in Thailand: A Shockingly Good Guide

Electric Feels: Power Outlets in Thailand

People don’t travel light anymore, especially when it comes to gadgets and electronics. Everyone travels with a phone. Most with a camera. A great deal with a laptop. Some with drones (although be wary in Thailand)! Everything needs charging. Here’s all you need to know about Thailand’s power outlets.

Charging your gear is a simple part of daily life. Phones and laptops need charging multiple times a day more often than not! Where you come from and how your country supplies their electricity will determine how easy it’ll be to stay fully charged.

Thankfully Thailand’s electricity isn’t in short supply and in most major towns and tourist areas you’ll never be without power. Further out, off the beaten track and in some smaller rural towns you’ll find that the electricity might get turned off after a certain point. That said, power outlets will remain the same.

The Basics of Power Outlets in Thailand

The typical Thai socket consists of 3 parts: 2 circular/slot holes and a grounding pin that pump out 220 Volts at 50Hz. This means that, on the face of it, the following can fit:

  • Type A – two vertical pins
  • Type B – two vertical pins with an earth pin
  • Type C and F – two round pins

That said, this doesn’t mean that if it fits it’ll work. You’ll want to take voltage differences into account too. The last thing you want is to do is fry your camera the day before your walking tour of Bangkok’s temples or hiking to Doi Suthep!

Travelling from The USA or Canada

If you’re travelling from North America you’ll find that you could just plug straight into any outlet that you see. This, however, is where voltage comes into play. In Thailand the supply comes in at 220v, in North America the voltage is a smaller 120v. The danger here is that the greater number of volts overpowers the circuits and fries the device.

Nowadays most electronic items are dual voltage. You can spot this on the side where something along the lines of 100-240v. If this is visible then you can go ahead and plug in. If not, you’ll need a voltage adapter. These are readily available from travel shops and most Thai electronic shops in tourist areas. Make sure you’re buying one that increases the voltage (not the other way around) and that the wattage is higher than your device.

Travelling from the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong

The simple answer is that you’ll need an adapter. We traveled with kit from the UK and carried a universal adapter with us everywhere we went. If you’re having to charge multiple devices at the same time we recommend being smart and bringing a small extension cord with you. They don’t take up loads of bag space and are a huge quality of life improvement.

Travelling from Europe.

Absolutely nothing to worry about here. Bring your devices and plug straight in. European devices operate between 220 and 240 volts, do check your device to be absolutely sure but there shouldn’t be any issues.

Travelling from South America, Central America and Japan.

Even though your outlets are the same you’ll want to check the voltage. Japan and most central American countries work on 110v.

Thailand's power outlets aren't an issue if you plan ahead.

Bodegan Insider Tip

Don’t panic if you see sparks. It’s pretty normal for the electric outlets to spark in Thailand. The first time it happens will likely make you jump. After a while you’ll get to embrace it and once you’re back home you’ll wonder why all your outlets aren’t sparking!