Here's How to Keep Charged in Thailand

Pack the right appliances for your trip

Wat Phra Kaew the famous place in Bangkok, temple of the emerald Buddha and Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.
••• Pakin Songmor / Getty Images

Before you travel to Thailand, know what to pack to stay plugged in.

The voltage in Thailand is 220 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you are bringing appliances, electronics or tools from the United States or anywhere else with an 110-volt current, you will need a voltage converter or you'll burn out whatever you plug in.

However, laptops, mobile phones and other electronics with built-in converters should be safe.

If you're coming from most countries in Europe or from Australia, you won't need to worry about a converter.

Some electronic devices are built to work with different voltages, and you should be able to find this information on the label or by doing some research. Don't just guess, though; that can be risky.

Why Do You Need a Voltage Converter?

If you use an 110-volt appliance in a 220-volt socket, you could damage your electronic, get shocked or even start a fire.

How Do You Use a Voltage Converter?

A voltage converter will alter the voltage in your appliance so it is the same as the outlet. For an American appliance in Thailand, it will increase the voltage from 110 volts to 220.

Voltage converters are also called voltage transformers.

They are easy to use. Just plug the converter into the outlet. It handles the conversion internally. The converter has its own plug-in. Just plug your appliance into the converter's outlet and you can use your electronic as normal, without the risks.

There are different sizes of voltage converters, depending on the appliance you want to use. A low-wattage electronic will need a smaller converter. You should be able to find the specifics on the package or ask for help at the store. It's much better to use a converter that is rated for devices with a higher wattage than the one you want to use than to get a converter that is not strong enough.

In fact, experts recommend selecting a converter rated for wattage three times that of your device. This is a safety measure.

You can also find a combination universal power outlet adapter and a voltage converter. This may be a good purchase to save you space in your suit case and keep you prepared.

What are the Power Outlets in Thailand?

Power outlets in Thailand can work with both flat prongs, like in the United States and in Japan, as well as round prongs, which are standard across a lot of Europe and Asia.

Some plug-ins in Thailand only have two prongs and don't have the third, which is for grounding. However, most new buildings have the third prong. 

Because the power outlets in Thailand will likely fit your plug, you probably don't need a separate adapter. Just make sure your voltage is converted to protect your technology. But you may want to pack a universal adapter, just in case you end up in a building with two-prong sockets for your three-prong laptop. You may even see different sockets in the same room in a building. Outlets are not standardized in Thailand.