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Travel Insurance for Thailand

Thailand, the land of smile, is a safe, friendly and welcoming country. Tourists from all over the world come here every year to enjoy their holiday and admire the beautiful nature scenery, join the colorful festival, explore the rich culture, or just simply relax by the endless sandy beaches.

If you are now preparing your packing list for Thailand and wondering if you need a travel insurance for your journey or not. This article is for you.

We will help you learn from why you need a travel insurance or what risks you may encounter during your Thailand trip, to how to choose the most suitable insurance plan for you and your family.

In this article, we aim to answer all the questions you may have regarding travel insurance for Thailand.

First thing first, we will answer your most asked question.

Do I need a travel insurance for Thailand?

The answer is a very loud YES!

Though not mandatory by the law, a travel-insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a good idea. Be sure that your policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home. 

Some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which can include scuba diving, motorcycling and even trekking. 

A locally acquired motorcycle licence is not valid under some policies. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. 

If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.

Traveling without an insurance plan is never a good idea, especially when you are traversing unfamiliar territory with rules and regulations that are different to what you know at home. Not only does an insurance plan help protect you against uncertain financial and health risks, but they also provide you with a peace of mind as you travel.

Accidents do happen and we cannot always prevent them, but if you are covered by insurance, you will not have to pay the full cost of a loss, which can come in mounting bills. And when it comes to peace of mind, this will not be just for you, but also for your loved ones back home.

Here are some of reasons you want to get travel insurance for Thailand:

Traffic Accidents

In the cities, the streets can be a snarl of cars and motorbikes. When you add in high rates of drunk drivers, the road can be a dangerous place.

As a pedestrian, you don’t have the right of way. And when riding on motorbikes, you’re increasing your chances of getting injured.

Outdoor Adventures

If you try risky activities like mountain biking, zip lining, scuba diving, or Muay Thai, the equipment can be in rough shape. And safety is sometimes an afterthought.

Food Poisoning

Unhygienic street food or local restaurants, along with spicy and unfamiliar cuisine, can wreak havoc on your stomach. It’s common for visitors to get food poisoning.

Jellyfish and Sharks

Jellyfish can be found at some beaches in Thailand and their sting can be painful or even fatal.

Shark attacks do happen in Thailand. And sharks can be frequently seen on Thailand’s beaches, especially in Hua Hin.

Skin Infections

Rashes, fungal and bacterial infections, and other skin issues can develop in Thailand because it’s so hot and humid and often unclean.

Unstable Political Situation

When you travel to Thailand avoid dangerous situations. The American government keeps an updated list of travel warnings about Thailand.

Here is our Safety & precaution for Thailand

Scams

In tourist areas, unscrupulous locals try to swindle unwitting tourists. This includes fake airport taxis, fake gems for sale, corrupt police officers, fake travel agents.

Check out some of the most popular tourist scams in Thailand here.

10 pocket tips for buying a good travel insurance

1. Look beyond the costs

Cost should not be your only consideration when buying travel insurance. As a general rule, you should only consider policies that include $2 million for medical expenses, $1 million for personal liability, $3,000 for cancellation, $1,500 for baggage and $250 for cash.

Note that the level of excess you opt for – the part of the claim that you must meet before the insurer pays out – will affect your premium. Not all insurers allow you to adjust the excess, but the more you are prepared to pay, the lower your premium will be.

Read more on 10 travel insurance traps to avoid

2. Consider annual cover vs single-trip

There are two main types of travel insurance – single-trip, which only covers one getaway, or annual multi-trip, which covers you for every trip you make over the course of a year.

  • A single-trip policy is best for people who will only go on one holiday in a 12-month period, and can cost as little as a few pounds.
  • Annual policies can be a cheaper option if you know you’ll be going away several times in a year.

3. Family finances

If you are travelling with your partner and children, consider opting for family travel insurance – and check with your insurer to see if it will cover your children if they travel without you – on a school trip, for example.

Annual policies can be a cheaper option for multiple trips

4. Check what countries are covered

It is vital you check which countries – including travel within the UK – are covered by your policy, as not all will be included.

If you are looking at an annual multi-trip policy, be aware that insurers tend to offer European cover or worldwide cover, with the latter attracting a higher premium in most cases.

5. Get specialist cover if required

Many standard travel insurance policies won’t include high-risk activities, such as scuba diving or skiing. So it might be worth taking out a specialist single-trip policy to cover a particular holiday.

If you are older or have a pre-existing medical condition, then you may also struggle to get travel insurance, as you are viewed as high risk. Specialist insurers – including Age UK and Saga – offer travel cover regardless of your age.

It’s vital that you are upfront and honest about any pre-existing medical complaints, even minor ones, as non-disclosure could result in your claim being rejected. Use the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) tool to find a specialist provider at Biba.org.uk/find-insurance.

6. Maximum trip duration

If you opt for annual multi-trip travel insurance, check how many days come under your ‘maximum trip duration’. Most insurers will cover individual trips of up to around 31 days. If you are planning on being away for longer, speak to insurers directly or opt for specialist cover.

7. Driving in Thailand

If you plan on driving in Thailand, make sure you’re covered by your car insurance – some insurers do this as standard while others require you to pay extra.

In general, driving in Thailand is quite dangerous, and we do not recommend you to do ask, espcially with the motorbike

8. Airline failure

Recent years have seen the collapse of a number of airlines and travel companies, so check the small print to see if you’re covered in this event. If you’re not protected as standard, you could add this extra cover for a fee.

9. Do you need cover for bags?

Before automatically including baggage cover in your travel insurance, check whether you are already covered under your home contents insurance.

10. Get cover when you book your trip

Buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your getaway. That way, if your holiday is cancelled or delayed before you head off, you can claim for it. Also check the policy document’s small print to ensure you’re covered for the total amount you paid.

Another consideration might be redundancy cover if you are concerned about losing your job.

Top topics for Thailand travel insurance

You can see below the top topics that people are discussing about Thailand travel insurance.

What do Thailand travel insurance plans cover?

You won’t have to pay huge medical bills

  • Injuries and accidents are alarmingly common in Thailand, although your risk of hurting yourself while travelling is fairly low if you don’t ride a motorcycle or participate in extreme or adventure sports.
  • However, it’s still worth protecting yourself against the cost of medical care with insurance. A good travel insurance policy will cover most or all of your medical fees, meaning you won’t be stuck with a huge medical bill to pay if you hurt yourself while on holiday.
  • When you purchase travel insurance, it’s important to check that it provides medical coverage for all of the things you plan to do while on holiday. If you plan on renting a motorbike, it’s also important that you have the right license.
  • If you plan on scuba diving, you should also check that your policy provides covers for medical bills and evacuation in the event that you’re injured while in the water.
  • The vast majority of people have safe, peaceful and injury-free experiences in Thailand. For the few that don’t, travel insurance makes dealing with the stress and costs of medical care a much easier process.

Your baggage and possessions will be protected

  • Luckily, the vast majority of trips to Thailand don’t involve lost or stolen possessions. However, for the few that do, travel insurance makes replacing your lost or stolen items, delayed bags or other personal property-related much easier.
  • If you’re worried about losing your baggage on the way to Thailand, it’s important to purchase a travel insurance policy that includes coverage for lost or delayed bags. You’ll also want to make sure you’re protected in the event that your bags or belongings are stolen or go missing.
  • Theft is rare in Thailand, although some forms of transportation such as long-distance bus trips can occasionally result in missing items. Likewise, while it’s rare for items to be stolen, spending time in nightlife areas and crowded markets can attract the occasional pickpocket.
  • It’s always better to be prepared ahead of time for lost or stolen items. With a travel insurance policy, you’ll be able to replace lost, stolen or delayed items without taking a financial hit.

You’re insured for cancelled and missed flights

  • If you’ve ever missed a connecting flight before, you know how easily it can affect your entire travel plans. From other flights to bus, train and taxi trips, a single missed or delayed flight is often all it takes to throw off an entire day of travel.
  • Likewise, if your flight is cancelled at the last moment, booking another flight can often be a seriously expensive and stressful process that requires you to replan several days worth of travel.
  • Travel insurance makes dealing with cancelled, missed and delayed flights easier by taking away the financial costs of rebooking travel. Make sure your policy has trip interruption and missed connection coverage to make sure you’re fully protected against unpredictability.

You’re safe in emergency medical situations

  • Thailand is home to several excellent hospitals, but most of them are found in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and other major centres. If you’re injured while visiting the countryside or trekking in the rainforest, there’s a good chance you’ll need to be airlifted to safety to receive treatment.
  • A good travel insurance policy will include coverage for emergency medical evacuation, letting you trek, explore and adventure with confidence that you’re in reliable hands if anything goes wrong during your holiday.
  • Although medical evacuation is available even without insurance, you could be stuck with an extreme bill — often in the tens of thousands of dollars — in the event that you face a serious injury while trekking or exploring and aren’t covered by travel insurance.

You don’t need to worry about politics

  • Although Thailand is a safe and peaceful country, government instability is a major problem that can occasionally affect tourists.
  • In 2008, protesters shut down Bangkok’s main airport, resulting in hundreds of delayed and cancelled flights. In 2014, there was a coup d’état that resulted in the establishment of a new government in Thailand, resulting in some disruption to normal business.
  • With a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you’ll be protected against sudden political events that can affect your trip. If there’s an airport riot, coup or terrorist attack, you can cancel your trip without having to worry about costly fees and penalties.
  • It’s important to remember that Thailand is a safe country, and that events like the ones listed in the paragraphs above are rare. However, they do happen, and it’s worth making sure that you’re ready and prepared in the event that you get caught up in politics while travelling.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

In general, a travel insurance plan will never cover you in 2 main cases:

1. Pre-existing medical conditions

Generally, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered. If you have a pre-existing condition, you must first get a quote to determine whether or not the condition will be covered.

While getting a quote, you need to disclose pre-existing medical conditions including recurring illnesses or injuries, on-going or lifelong conditions, previous surgeries and any conditions you are currently suffering from.

This information will then be used to determine if you need to pay any extra premium, a higher amount of money you pay towards a claim, or a medical related exclusion.

For policies where pre-existing conditions are not covered, you are covered for all the usual situations as long as they are unrelated to the medical condition you had or were aware of before you bought it.

2. They do not cover stupid

World Nomads puts this best by saying, “deliberately putting your life in danger is not covered.” This means things like picking fights with locals, racing your rental car, and even picking up a sexually transmitted disease.

If you fancy risking your neck, it is likely you will be doing it on your own dime.

Another stupid thing that you may encounter but never get covered is getting accidents when drunk. Yes, it is damming true even if your insurance plan covers these activities such as driving, scuba diving, or cliff jumping. But in case you are drunk, the coverage is NONE.

So we recommend you keep yourself in track and have the common sense of doing the right things, or you will regret for that.

How often should I buy travel insurance?

You can purchase travel insurance every time you go on a trip, or you can opt for an annual multi-trip travel insurance, which usually covers any number of trips within a certain period, usually a year. If you are a regular traveler, or you are planning a long-haul adventure, an annual insurance may work out cheaper.

It can also be the case that levels of cover, particularly for medical expenses, baggage and cancellation tend to be more generous on an annual policy. If you are a frequent traveler, it takes the hassle out of organizing insurance for every trip you take.

How to pick the right travel insurance plan?

First, reflect on your vision for the trip, decide on activities you think having insurance would be a good idea for. Or if you are unsure, opt for comprehensive plan.

  • Always read your policy documents carefully so you understand your coverage. You can easily search for insurances online, study the quote and fine print, and especially pay attention to:
  • What is included and excluded in the policy
  • How to contact your insurer when you are overseas
  • What paperwork or information you need to take with you
  • The monetary limits for claims on individual items and as a whole
  • The proof you might need to make a claim
  • 24/7 hotline assistance with free call number from overseas. Accidents do not have regular office hours, so your insurance should not either.

To help you in your query you can compare insurances online through dedicated websites, but in any case, double check the contract policy and coverage on the insurance provider website itself before making the purchase and contact them in case you are unsure about specific points. Below are some main insurance comparative websites: 

  • Squaremouth: This site helps you to compare 107 travel insurance policies from 22 providers with more than 45,000 reviews.
  • Insure My Trip: This is an extremely useful online insurance marketplace : Most major travel insurance companies are listed, and you can compare them and their policies side by side. You can also filter searches based on important factors such as customer feedback and more.
  • Gobear: This is an online review community. Before you make any purchase online, you can go to this site to see what other people have to say about the company or service. Then you will have the information you need to make the best purchase.

Where can you buy a good travel insurance plan?

Now that you know travel insurance is a good investment before any trip, you will be wondering which companies provide good plans.

Though some banks also offer travel insurance, the most common way that many people often buy insurance is through websites of renowned companies. They always offer many different plans for different budget levels and travel styles/dates. So you can easily choose the one most suitable to you. Some good reputable insurance companies which we recommend are: IM Global, AIA, World Nomad, AXA, …

By the way, try not to opt for the cheapest travel insurance option. Many of them do not offer what you will need. Always compare and make sure you study the plan well!

How to buy a travel insurance plan?

The purchasing process is different from each company, but generally, it will go through these 7 steps:

1. Access the site of the insurance company

You will need to make up your mind about which company has a good and sustainable plan for your trip. Then follow through to their website.

2. Choose your trip coverage

The 2 types of trip coverages are:

  • Single coverage: This is a coverage for a single trip. It is perfect for occasional travelers
  • Annual coverage: This is a whole year plan. It is suitable for those who go travel frequently, either for business or personal purposes.

3. Fill in the form

The system will ask you for some demographic information such as name, age, gender, ID number, some important dates (requested coverage effective date, departure date, return date and so on), contact information (address, phone number, email).

4. Choose your plan

Before or after you submit the form, the system will process the information. They will then send you a quotation according to their calculations. Now is the time to choose a suitable plan for your budget.

5. Review your information

It is important to check the information you provided on the form. Make sure that everything is correct.

6. Choose your payment

Fill out your payment information – payment type, card holder’s information and billing address. Do not forget to sign your name if requested.

7. Complete the purchase

After submitting the payment form, you should receive a confirmation email. Check your inbox and follow the instructions then.

Keep in Mind

Although you can buy the insurance whenever you can (even one day before your departure), I suggest you should purchase it at least a week in advance. Because due to the policy of each company, your insurance can either be verified immediately after your payment or the verification process might require 2 – 5 days.

Sometimes, it is even essential to obtain an insurance plan before you apply for a visa for certain countries. Of course, not all passports require acquiring visa in advance, but it is best to check online.

Just visit our Thailand visa guide to learn more.

What else?

Copy your insurance plan and give it to one or two trusted people back home who can provide the information in case you lose yours or are unable to provide it, for instance your bag got lost or unfortunately you become unconscious after an accident.

It is also advisable to keep your insurer and emergency contact details somewhere they can be easily found, such as your wallet.

Make sure you have a list of stuff you are taking on your holiday, including any receipts if possible. Also, in most cases, you will need to advance the payment of your medical care. It is therefore strongly advised that you keep every supporting document such as your hospital bills, flight ticket invoice, police reports for loss and theft... That will make any claims considerably easier.

In summary: make sure you have travel insurance. Even the most careful and well-prepared traveler cannot foresee every eventuality. Don’t take the risk of travelling without insurance – the downside is simply not worth it.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Thailand safe to travel?

Thailand is generally a safe country to visit, but it's smart to exercise caution, especially when it comes to dealing with strangers (both Thai and foreigners) and travelling alone.

  • Assault of travelers is relatively rare in Thailand, but it does happen.
  • Possession of drugs can result in a year or more of prison time. Drug smuggling carries considerably higher penalties, including execution.
  • Disregard all offers of free shopping or sightseeing help from strangers. These are scams that invariably take a commission from your purchases.

Q. Is there health insurance in Thailand?

Yes, Thailand does have the health insurance including the public plan, private plan, and international plan:

Private insurance

Local Thai private insurance is the most common type of private insurance. These are plans that are developed particularly for the Thai market and only sold in Thailand. Most of these local plans don't have international coverage and coverage is sometimes limited compared to what you might find in other countries.

The world-class healthcare offered by private facilities is popular among tourists and expats. This has increased demand, which means that these facilities are able to set affordable private costs. Some local insurance plans offer inpatient costs of ฿2,000, or a doctor visit charge of ฿1,500.

Public insurance

If you work and pay taxes in Thailand, you can use the government funded healthcare. You’ll pay 5% of your monthly income to social security taxes through your employer, of which 1.5% is directed at medical coverage. This 1.5% is matched by employers and the government. Residents who have contributed to this fund during at least 3 of the last 15 months can access free medical care at government hospitals.

International insurance

International insurance plans are popular with tourists and expats. These plans usually offer very good coverage with the perk of being able to use them in almost anywhere in the world. Some of these plans also offer dental coverage in addition to core medical coverage.

Which travel insurance is best?

This will depend on what activities are you going to do in Thailand, and what you expect to be covered. Check “How to pick the right travel insurance plan?” above.

What to pack for Thailand?

Check out the full packing list for Thailand HERE

Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?

The answer is “YES, you do”. But Thailand has one of the easiest Visa policies in the world, thanks to the development of tourism. Here is how you can apply for Thailand Visa 

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Thailand, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Thailand
Bangkok
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Chiang Mai
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Phuket
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Hua Hin
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Chiang Rai
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Koh Samui
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Thailand PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Must-see
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Honeymoon
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Cycling
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Thailand PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Thailand BLOG ARTICLES

As some of you may have seen in the news, Thailand is gearing up for a ‘soft reopening’ to vaccinated travellers a month from now on July 1.

It is official, sort of. After months of kicking sand around debating if it will really happen, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has officially approved the Phuket Sandbox plan, an important step forward. The announcement, made late this afternoon, June, 4th, appears to answer the often-posed question if the sandbox plan would ever happen after the much more intense and deadly third wave of Covid-19 swept through Thailand.
Then, the island will be opening Phuket International Airport to foreign travellers as proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The trial will be the first of its kind in the country, and if successful, may be rolled out across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) has already earmarked Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok, Buriram, Cha-am, Koh Samui, Phang-nga and Hua Hin as possible destinations to try out the scheme.

Each model will be slightly different, depending on geography, and international visitors will still have to get a visa in advance and fill out some paperwork (see details below). Nevertheless, this will come as promising news to those travellers desperate to visit Thailand!

If the Phuket Sandbox Scheme goes ahead, from June to September 2021, Thailand is expecting to receive up to 129,000 international visitors – will you be one of them? In this article, we’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have about the Phuket Sandbox and more!

Disclaimer – Information regarding the Phuket Sandbox Program is changing literally every day and is dependent on the COVID-19 situation across Thailand. While we update this article regularly to the best of our ability, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

Learn more about our travel guide for Phuket island here

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Also known as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival or the Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event celebrated primarily by the Chinese community in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia.

Running for nine days, the vegetarian festival in Phuket is considered by many to be the most extreme and bizarre of festivals in Thailand. The Phuket Vegetarian Festival could be Thailand's answer to the Tamil festival of Thaipusam celebrated in neighboring Malaysia. Devotees not only adopt a special diet for the holiday, a select few participants prove their devotion by practicing self-mutilation.

Some of the feats performed include piercing cheeks with swords, walking on nails or hot coals, and climbing ladders made of knife blades! Most participants miraculously heal up without needing stitches or medical care.

WARNING! The content and the images are not recommended for the faint of heart! Consider before continuing.

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Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:

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The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

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Thailand never fails to amaze its thousands of visitors with the most vibrant festivals that are sure to delight them by offering glimpses into the heritage and traditions of the country. Each month offers an exciting opportunity to be a part of these festivals. From kids to adults and old-aged people, locals have the time of their lives during these festivities. Considered to be one of the best ways to relish a memorable time in what is already known as an incredible country, these festivals in Thailand are the most popular ones to be a part of.

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Magha Puja (also written as Makha Bucha Day) is the third most important Buddhist festival, celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka and on the full moon day of Tabaung in Myanmar. It celebrates a gathering that was held between the Buddha and 1,250 of his first disciples, which, according to tradition, preceded the custom of periodic recitation of discipline by monks.

On the day, Buddhists celebrate the creation of an ideal and exemplary community, which is why it is sometimes called Saṅgha Day, the Saṅgha referring to the Buddhist community, and for some Buddhist schools this is specifically the monastic community. In Thailand, the Pāli term Māgha-pūraṇamī is also used for the celebration, meaning 'to honor on the full moon of the third lunar month'.

Finally, some authors referred to the day as the Buddhist All Saints Day. 

In pre-modern times, Magha Puja has been celebrated by some Southeast Asian communities. But it became widely popular in the modern period, when it was instituted in Thailand by King Rama IV in the mid-19th century. From Thailand, it spread to other South and Southeast Asian countries. Presently, it is a public holiday in some of these countries.

It is an occasion when Buddhists go to the temple to perform merit-making activities, such as alms giving, meditation and listening to teachings. It has been proposed in Thailand as a more spiritual alternative to the celebration of Valentine's Day.

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