If you’re traveling to Thailand, you may encounter a number of different types of electrical plugs on your trip. Officially, Thailand is slowly migrating to a brand new type of power outlet called Type O, but these outlets are not in common use yet.
In reality, what you may encounter in Thailand are: Type A/B power outlets (often compatible with US devices– more on that below), Type C power outlets (compatible with some European devices), and occasionally the new Type O power outlets. Some “hybrid” power outlets built into walls in Thailand will allow all three of these plugs.
So, what kind of power adapter do you need in Thailand? Here are our recommendations:
If you’re bringing Type A (normal American two prong) devices: you’ll probably be fine without any adapter. Be sure to check the voltage of the device to make sure it switches automatically (scroll down to see the important note in bold below for more on that).
If you’re bringing a Type B (American 3 prong) device: you may run into Thai power outlets that only accept two prong devices. In this case, consider bringing along a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter like this one:
If you’re bringing a European electronic product, we recommend buying a Europe to US power adapter.
Important note on power voltage: In addition to using different physical plugs, Thailand also uses a slightly different power voltage than the US does. If you’re bringing items a cell phone charger and a laptop, most of these automatically switch voltage to work anywhere (so long as the plug fits). To be sure, check the fine print on the device for something like this:
If it doesn’t allow usage at 220 volts and 50 hz like the above iPhone charger does, then you’ll need a travel voltage converter in addition to whatever else you bring. Common examples of items that may need these special converters are hair dryers or some electric shavers.
Here is one of our favorite travel voltage adapters for Thailand:
This is a great travel voltage converter for Thailand which can help you “step up” or “step down” to the local power voltage in the country you will be visiting, not just Thailand. It is compact and plugs directly into the wall to provide you with a three prong standard US power outlet which will work in Thailand, though you will also want to pick up a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter in case you run into an old 2 prong outlet. This travel transformer includes four different plug accessories: one for Europe, one for Australia/New Zealand/China, one for the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales) and another for the USA. It works with hairdryers, curling irons, laptops, phone chargers and more.
Another thing that makes this one of the best travel voltage converters is that it includes four USB ports, allowing you to plug in your cell phone, tablet or other devices that charge via USB such as some cameras.
Frequently asked questions about power adapters for Thailand
Will my Macbook or iPhone or Android phone work in Thailand?
All Apple produts will work right out of the box. You should be able to charge any modern laptop or cell phone in Thailand using the normal Type A plug (although again, we recommend checking the fine print to be sure, especially if you have a cheap Android phone charging brick or PC laptop). You may need a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter for laptop charging cables which are often three pronged.
Is there anything else I need to use my US electronics in Thailand?
We often recommend that people get a travel power strip when they travel, because it’s very handy to have all your devices plugged into the same outlet, especially if you want to be able to charge two phones and a computer at once. Often times hotel rooms will have only one conveniently placed power outlet which can be pretty annoying. Here’s a travel power adapter that we often recommend to international travelers because it’s very compact:
This is a great power adapter for Thailand because it provides a universal hybrid input (allowing you to plug in US devices or devices from another country) and get a two prong 100-240V 50-60Hz electrical plug to insert into the wall. Plus it’s got an easy-coil 5 foot long cable that’s brightly colored and easy to spot so you won’t trip over it. It also has four USB outlets and comes with a compact carrying bag.
Is the electricity in Thailand safe to use?
Generally yes! Although substandard wiring exists in many Thai buildings, the power itself should be fine to use with your devices, provided they automatically switch voltage (see the important voltage note above and buy a voltage converter if you have a hairdryer or other device that doesn’t auto-switch voltage). You may decide you don’t want to leave your computer charging in your hotel room out of an abundance of caution if you’re staying in a particularly old hotel.
Where do these Thai travel power adapters work?
These travel power adapters for Thailand will work all across the country, including Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and many others.
Can I buy power adapters when I get to Thailand if I need them?
You may be able to however we recomend purchasing them in advance in case you get stuck in a rural area without an easy way to get electronics while you’re traveling. Additionally, the safety quality of some locally-made electronics like step down converters or power strips may not be as high in Thailand as those licensed for sale in the United States.
What is the best power adapter for Thailand?
If you’re traveling from the US, you probably won’t need any power adpater for Thailand since most outlets are hybrid sockets that accept US standard 2 prong plugs. If you’re traveling with American three prong devices you may want to bring a three prong to two prong adapter in case you run into power outlets that only accept two prong devices.