Are you planning your trip to Thailand sometime soon? Are you thinking of what are the mandatory stuff you should carry and what you can leave behind? From our past experiences of staying in Thailand for almost four months, we have arrived at some things that you should and should not bring to this enticing island country.
— If you are planning to stay in Bangkok for a while don’t forget to check out these amazing day trips
What you should pack to Thailand?
1. Medicine- In Thailand, you will find street food in every corner you turn. It is definitely impossible to avoid such delicious food you get at an amazingly cheap price. Most of them are cooked over charcoal. You might tend to upset your tummy. 7 Eleven in Thailand will come to your rescue by selling common medicines. You will also find simple remedies and herbs here.
Tylenol is paracetamol you will find anywhere in Thailand. It is for the common headache, mild fever and cold. It ranges somewhere around 0.31 to 0.47 USD.
However, if you are someone with specific diseases or have some allergies, then it is better to bring medicine from your home. For instance, if you have particular medicines for BP, diabetes and the like, it is better to carry sufficient medicines that you can use for the whole trip. These medicines may be available in Thailand too but you need to spend a lot of time searching for it or getting a doctor script. Some shops do not give uncommon medicines without a prescription.
2. Clothing- Clothing is dead cheap is Thailand. You will find clothes starting from $3- $10. But, the main drawback is quality. You cannot say how long it will last. The sizes are also not flexible. It is designed for the Thai people who are mostly slim and puny. The majority of the clothes there are party- friendly. So, if you want something that is regular, then you must carry clothes on your own.
Depending on your body style, preferences and budget, you can find heaps of clothes in the streets of JJ Green which is a local night market in Bangkok. But the major setback is that you cannot try it out. Yes, there are no fitting rooms as it is a street outlet. You will also not get a receipt if you want to return it back after buying it. Some shops allow you to exchange the clothes you bought for preferable size. But, there is no return policy.
So, if you want something that is not party wear and has good quality, then you must carry clothes on your own. The laundry is very cheap in Thailand. So, you can carry fewer clothes and wear them in rotation after the laundry.
3. Jacket- Thailand is a tropical getaway and so you may be exclaiming about why you need a jacket! That’s one reason why most of the travelers do not bring a jacket. This is also influenced by the season and the place you go to Thailand.
In the monsoon months, you will definitely need a rain jacket. We actually suggest you always carry a light one on you. Its tropical climate you never know when it would rain. The months of November to February is winter in Thailand. It is cold in most of the places on the island. Suppose you choose to stay in Chaing Mai, then let me warn you, it is very cold. We would suggest you carry at least a pair of jeans, a jacket, and two sweatshirts if you are planning to visit Thailand during the winter months. If you want to purchase jackets in Thailand, then let me tell you, it is extremely expensive.
One more reason you will need a jacket for is, if you are planning to move from city to city in Thailand, the bus is the cheapest way. The AC buses and Chiang Mai get freaking cold and you cannot do it without a jacket.
4. Power- Travel adapters are a must- have. In Thailand, you will find both European and American sockets available. While I say European, it is the two circular pins with 220 volts power, while North American sockets have flat pins and 110 volts. Keep in mind that dual port does not work in Thailand. It is advisable to pack a more tier adapter that would be suitable for any country. We travel full-time and have had many issues with cheap adapters. We have found the best all in one adapter is the Ceptics Adapter Kit. It never falls out of the wall offers you two plugs and two USB plugs.
5. International Driving License– It is compulsory to have an international driving license even if you have hands-on experience in driving. At least carry a copy of your original license when you travel around Thailand in a scooter or car. If you get unlucky, you will be charged somewhere form 15.70 to 31.40 USD as fine. You don’t need that, right?
6. Toiletries- You will find everything like body wash, face wash and sunscreen in stores of Thailand. But, everything will be for whitening. If you want something that is without whitening, then you really have a limited choice to pick. So, it is better you bring toiletries with you when you come. We normally pack a full travel kit. This is something we never travel without.
Deodorants are not sold in the dry form. Even if it is there, it is definitely a challenging task to find it. Most of the popular brands are available in 7 Eleven but all come in the gel roll-on form. Perhaps, if you have really sensitive skin or prefer dry sticks, it is better you pack your own. If you are going the islands in Thailand make sure you pack the four pack. It can get very hot.
Toiletries are quite expensive too. The price of a Banana Boat Sunscreen would range anywhere around 13.66 to 24.80 USD. However, if you are traveling to Phi Phi, Koi Sumai or any Koi(Island), the rates are 100% up than the MRP or than that in Amazon.
If you plan to visit Koh Mook check out the complete travel guide.
What not to bring to Thailand?
Laundry-Yes, as we said before in this blog, laundry is very cheap in Thailand. So, you can bring fewer clothes and wash them regularly with the laundry services available.
Jeans– It is not necessary for you to pack jeans to Thailand if you are visiting in Summer. They are too heavy and occupy a lot of space in your bag.
Shoes– Do not bring your whole footwear collection to Thailand. One pair of shoes is more than enough as your feet will be kissed only by flip flops most of the time. If you are going south I suggest you bring a pair of water shoes. This will help you when you are going in and out of the water.
The above is from our experience of what not to bring and to bring to Thailand. But, every traveler has his own way of packing things. Do let us know in the comments below if we have missed out on something.
Most likely if you fly into Thailand you will be flying into Bangkok or Chiang Mai. Make sure you stay at least one day for all the top attractions and if you are a first timer to Thailand, read our blog on where to go in Thailand and what best you can do there!