Last fact-checked: 5 March 2020
Plastic surgery in Bangkok has become incredibly popular with savvy international patients, with Thailand welcoming millions of people seeking affordable healthcare combined with first-class care.
In Bangkok, it’s easier than ever to combine your medical treatment with the holiday of a lifetime, with the whole trip often costing thousands less than just the surgery alone in countries like Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK.
Discover how to book your treatment at one of Bangkok’s top facilities with Medical Departures while taking advantage of our Best Price Guarantee.
Bangkok is one of the largest and most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia. The Thai capital offers an intriguing blend of modern western lifestyle and traditional Asian culture. It is widely regarded as the educational, commercial, political, diplomatic, cultural and spiritual center of Thailand.
You can choose to enjoy the high-tech city life offering five-star luxury and a vivacious nightlife. Alternatively, you may prefer to experience the splendor of the royal palaces and ancient temples or explore the network of canals and traditional floating markets.
The city is easily accessible, with regular flights coming into Suvarnabhumi Airport from all over the world, especially New Zealand, Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and is located in the center of the Chao Phraya River delta in Southeast Asia. The country shares land borders with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia and has coastlines along the Indian Ocean, the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
With the rise of medical tourism in Thailand, Bangkok has become a hugely popular destination thanks to low prices, hundreds of international flight links and superior cosmetic surgery expertise. The country is renowned for its customer service culture and Bangkok, with its state-of-the-art medical facilities, is firmly at the forefront of the medical tourism market.
Below, we run you through the top reasons to choose Bangkok for surgery:
#1 The Costs:
Many prospective patients are put off having cosmetic and plastic surgery due to the expense of the procedures back home. In Bangkok, however, it’s possible to save between 60% to 80% on surgery compared to domestic prices.
Here are some examples of how much you could save by booking at one of our verified partner clinics in Bangkok:
Breast augmentation in Bangkok: average cost AUD $5,000, compared to AUD $16,500 in Australia.
Butt lift in Bangkok: average cost AUD $3,700, compared to AUD $19,000 in Australia
Lip augmentation in Bangkok: average cost AUD $650, compared to AUD $3,800 in Australia
#2 The Quality of the Medical Facilities:
Operating within the country’s highly developed healthcare system, Bangkok has a vast range of public and private healthcare facilities. All hospitals and clinics are regulated by Thailand's Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), and private sector facilities are further regulated by The Medical Registration Division. These measures were a major factor in Thailand becoming the first Asian country to receive Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, a globally-recognized award indicating quality healthcare. The country now has over 60 JCI-accredited medical facilities.
Most of the top private clinics have packages aimed specifically at international patients, and some can even assist with visa extensions in the event that the treatment takes longer than originally estimated.
#3 Doctor Training and Qualifications:
Thai medical schools operate a stringent admissions process, ensuring that only the best candidates are enrolled. Medical students must complete six years of training, and pass a series of tests including the national medical licensing examinations before they can graduate as doctors. They then complete a one-year internship and spend a further two years practicing in rural areas. Only then can a doctor apply for further training as a plastic surgery specialist, many doctors seek to undertake this training abroad to enhance their language skills as well as their professional expertise.
#4 Tourist Locations for pre and post-op recovery:
With its diverse mixture of city life, sights and tourist attractions, Bangkok has something to offer every visitor. You’ll find an abundance of museums, temples and royal palaces that reflect the culture and the history of the city. Experience one of the major Thai festivals that are celebrated throughout the year in Bangkok, or enjoy any of the countless spas throughout the city that offer a range of rejuvenation treatments to help you relax and recover after your surgery.
Not surprisingly, Bangkok offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit every pocket. The famous Khao San Road is generally considered to be the area for backpackers, while the riverside of Silom and Thonburi offers some of the best (and most expensive) hotels in the world, such as The Oriental and The Peninsula.
Siam Square, Sukhumvit and Silom are home to the majority of Bangkok’s moderate to expensive hotels, although there are also a good number of budget options available, too. Generally speaking, accommodation throughout Bangkok is very reasonably priced.
Check out Bangkok.com for a comprehensive travel guide to the city, including all the top things to see, do and eat.
In terms of safety, Bangkok is no different from any other major city in the world. By using common sense, heeding the advice of the local authorities and keeping abreast of local media reports, you can easily minimize any threats to the safety of you and your family.
Bangkok receives millions of visitors every year, and the vast majority do not experience any trouble (apart from being over-charged at the taxis...) If you were to visit a city in your home country that you had never previously been to, you would be extra-vigilant with regard to your personal belongings. By employing the same precautions in Bangkok, the risks to your safety are no greater than back home.
As at the time of writing, there are no travel warnings for Bangkok from the US, UK or Australian governments.
Thailand has implemented numerous reforms and made massive advances in developing its healthcare system. These improvements are most readily evident in the standard and quality of Bangkok’s public hospitals. There is a growing number of public hospitals that are offering the same level of top-class care as their private counterparts. Some public clinics will also now accept international health insurance, but you would be wise to confirm this first before booking.
For medical tourists, however, it is widely accepted that you will experience a shorter waiting list and a higher level of care at private hospitals. Many surgeons will have done part of their study or training abroad and hold international affiliations with international organizations.
At Medical Departures, we publish all the details you need about quality-checked hospitals and clinics on our site. We have carried out background checks and site visits in order to verify the quality of the facilities and also the legitimacy of professional memberships, experience and qualifications of the staff.
You can access this information free-of-charge on our website, along with existing patient reviews, to help you decide where to have your treatment carried out.
Get started now by checking out three of our top partner facilities in Bangkok that offer a wide range of surgical procedures to international patients:
At Medical Departures, we understand that complications can, and do, occur very occasionally. Even when the most stringent precautions are adhered to, no medical procedure can be guaranteed 100% risk-free even when the credentials of the clinics and doctors are excellent.
However, when booking your appointment through our site, your treatment (including any materials used) comes with a full guarantee — so if you do have to go back and to have anything adjusted, you won’t pay any extra. You can also arrange additional medical insurance through us to give you the peace of mind that you will not have to foot the bill for any unforeseen complications that may arise. Ask our Customer Care Team for further information.
Yes, the vast majority of plastic surgeons do. Many are fluent as they will have undertaken some of their training abroad in English-speaking countries. The huge growth in medical tourism has meant that most hospitals in Bangkok are now geared towards catering for international patients and, therefore, the majority of facilities have staff that are multilingual.
The national currency is the Thai Baht. Most banks in Bangkok can facilitate a currency exchange for you, and there are specialized Foreign Exchange Bureaus that can also provide an exchange service. You can exchange some currency before you travel or even get competitive rates at the airport after you have landed.
The preferred method of payment at most clinics is the credit card, although you should verify with the clinic in advance as to which cards are accepted. Generally speaking, you should not encounter any difficulties if you pay in cash (Thai Baht), or with a Visa or Mastercard. Elsewhere, you will need to carry some cash, especially when paying for food and taxis.
While there is no particular time of the year that is any better or worse for booking your treatment, a major factor that you might want to consider is the local climate. The World Meteorological Organization has classified Bangkok as one of the hottest cities in the world, with temperatures of over 30°C (86°F) all year round.
November to February is the driest period and is regarded as the “cool season”, with daytime temperatures of around 30°C (86°F) but cooling down to around 20°C as the sun goes down.
March and April are considered to be the hot season, with temperatures on occasion reaching as high as 40°C (100°F+).
The wet season runs from May to October when you can expect torrential downpours, thunderstorms and occasional flooding throughout the city. These downpours only tend to last for about an hour and provide some much-welcomed respite from the heat
Rainfall can be particularly extreme during September and October so you may want to avoid visiting during these months.
With a little research and forward-planning, there is no reason why you should encounter any major difficulties during your stay in Bangkok. While a lot of guesthouses and budget hotels may not have elevators, if you stick to modern, mid-range hotels, you should find that most are well-equipped to cater for disabled guests. The modern, air-conditioned shopping malls provide a welcome respite from the heat and have plenty of disabled toilet facilities and numerous cafes and restaurants that are wheelchair-friendly.
Outside, the sidewalks can be a little difficult to negotiate for wheelchair users and the visually-impaired alike. A combination of uneven pavements and high curbs can make navigation difficult, not to mention the parked vehicles, phone booths, signage, people eating and bikers taking shortcuts that can all be hazardous.
Getting into Bangkok from the airport:
There is help available for disabled passengers at all airports, including immigration assistance and help with baggage collection. If you do require assistance, it is advisable to inform your airline when you book your flight. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi provides a rail link into the city which has excellent facilities for disabled travelers, including spacious wheelchair-accessible elevators equipped with braille buttons and voice announcement, wheelchair friendly access gates, disabled toilet facilities and designated areas on all trains for disabled passengers only.
Taxis are easy to flag down anywhere in central Bangkok and extremely cheap, with a starting fare of just over a dollar. Do ensure your driver has the meter turned on as some may quote you an inflated price before you go (which is technically illegal). You can also order taxis and other cars via the popular Grab app, which works in the same way as Uber.
BTS Skytrain/Metro (MRT):
The MRT (underground train system), is very modern and now connects most parts of the city. However, the overground train network has a limited number of carriages and can get very crowded at rush hour. Likewise, the BTS (Skytrain) is a quick, fun way of getting around the city but probably best avoided as people hurry to work from 8.00 am - 10.00 am.
Find out more about Bangkok’s BTS and MRT systems (including updated maps) here.
Possibly the biggest threat you will experience is exhaustion. Bangkok is a vast city that can be overwhelming at times. Coupled with the excessive heat, you can soon get dehydrated and run the risk of suffering a bout of heatstroke. Ensure that you take regular drink breaks, and make use of the cheap public transport options that are available to help navigate around the city.
Explore our full list of verified clinics and hospitals in Bangkok. Take some time to compare prices, look at before & after photos and read past patient reviews.
Be it for a non-invasive procedure like Botox or more major surgery like breast augmentation, booking through our site means you’ll pay the lowest prices and get free, 24-hour access to our Customer Care Team.
You can also connect with our team via phone, email or online chat to discuss plastic surgery in Bangkok, or get a free, no-obligation quote in a matter of minutes.
Thailand leads Southeast Asian countries with 66 JCI-accredited hospitals. Thailand Business News. 3 June 2019.
Why is Thailand so popular for medical tourists? The Thaiger. 19 February 2019.
Joint Commission International. Website accessed: 6 March 2020.
Thailand Travel Advisory. Travel.State.Gov. 2020
World Meteorological Organization. Thailand. 2020.
Bangkok BTS And MRT Map. Travel Happy. 14 January 2020.
Thailand. Lonely Planet. Website accessed: 5 March 2020.
American Society of Plastic Surgery. Website accessed: 5 March 2020.