Thailand’s rich culture caters to all kinds of world travelers. Beach bums, lovers of cosmopolitan nightlife, and cultural deep divers alike can find curiosities to fascinate, enrich, and entertain. Whether you want to drink at a beach resort or a rooftop bar, find peace at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Spider-Man at the White Temple, Thailand has something for you. The key to focusing on your adventure is being prepared. Proper packing ensures you’re ready for whatever Thailand has to offer.
Keep It Cool
Your primary packing objective is to keep yourself cool in Thailand’s balmy, warm weather. Shorts and t-shirts are an excellent go-to, but the most important thing is to pack clothing that is lightweight and comfortable. Materials like linen and cotton work well with the Thai climate. You’ll need enough clothes to maintain a tidy appearance but not enough to bog you down.
Let comfort be your guiding star. The shoes you bring will carry you all over the country, from sandy beaches to shopping in bazaars. Shoes you can slip on and off, like these stylish and practical rainbow sandals, let you wiggle your toes in the sand. You’ll take your shoes off and on a lot, so anything you can easily shuck will save you some frustration. Shoes made of sturdy, quality material should survive your trip while caring for your feet. For visiting temples, modesty is key, so closed-toed shoes will work best.
No diamonds necessary — accessorizing in Thailand means functionality with a good dose of form. Sunblock, sunglasses and mosquito-repellent wristbands help keep you comfortable and worry-free. If you’re worried about protecting your cash and ID, money belts worn under clothing lie flat against your body and are designed to protect your resources.
Thailand’s weather cycle offers six months of rain, rain and more rain. Rain doesn’t get in the way of a great vacation — unless you’re unprepared. Light layers, like jackets made of quick-dry or wicking fabrics, can be just the trick to get you through an impromptu downpour. Umbrellas come in handy as well; they can work double duty protecting you from sun on days without rain.
Get a sudden chill? Toss on a jacket. Moving from the beach to the bar? Have a cover up handy. Visiting a holy site? Cover up your shoulders and legs. As you roam the country, moving from nature to metro can call for a quick change of wardrobe. Layers are a traveler’s best friend. Sarongs are a Thai favorite. Their versatility means they can be used as a skirt or a shawl, a makeshift beach towel or a blanket.
From the night bazaar of Chiang Mai to Wat Mahathat’s amulet market (and all the floating markets in between), shopping is inexpensive, plentiful, and a major tourist pastime. You’ll need a place to stash your found treasures — not to mention the sunblock, sarong, umbrella, rain jacket, water bottle or anything else you keep on hand.
One Night in Bangkok
The capital city of Bangkok is known for its vibrant night life. From rooftop bars to dinner cruises, you’ll want to dress up to fit in. Slacks and collared shirts or the always useful; little black dress would work well here. Don’t feel like dressing up? You can always stroll Khao San Road, which bustles with foreign and tourist traffic, or hit up a night market (don’t forget that backpack).