Call me crazy, but I love packing. The organisation, the excitement and ultimately the purchase of a few new holiday pieces – what’s not to love! I’ve put together a little guide of what to pack for Thailand. I travelled with a cabin sized case and a backpack for ten nights in the country and although I was pretty prepared, had I have known the list I’m about to give you, I could have travelled even lighter!
Let’s start from the bottom, the shoes. Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country and you’ll certainly want to have some temple visits to your itinerary. It is respectful to remove your shoes when entering some temples and even some cafes or more local shops. I made the mistake of wearing buckle up sandals which was such a nuisance to keep removing. Do yourself a favour and pack slip on sandals – flip flops are good too but if you want something a bit more cute, I’ve linked some lovely slider options above.
Next up, the beach trousers. I took the first two with me, the Asos crochet trousers in black and white. They were a life savour! Whilst island hopping, you’ll find yourself hopping off the boat whether into the sea for a dip or as you reach the land to jump off and sometimes this means stepping into a foot or so of water. To be prepared for all eventualities, the perfect island outfit became a bikini with these beach trousers on top – covered up enough for strolling around and lunching but prepared for some swimming.
The capped sleeve blouse – not something you often take away with you because tan lines but a very worth while item to pack. Again, whilst venturing around temples you are expected to cover your shoulders and knees and we’re not always prepared for this in our summer wardrobe. I took a capped sleeve blouse with me and it was perfect, when entering the temples they will provide you with (and sometimes ask you to pay for) a sarong to cover you up but it is so, so hot in the direct sunlight that that’s the last thing you want draped over you. A cute little blouse and you’re both respectful and cool.
The summer dress, of course! You can outfit plan to the best of your ability but with the heat and the amount of travelling involved in island hopping, you’ll want nothing more than a simple through on dress or playlist. Bare in mind you’ll be getting wet either from the sea or tropical downpours so something that’ll dry off quickly.
A white linen shirt – a must! I had one in my wardrobe and I’m so glad I grabbed it and packed it. There’s so many eventualities where a linen shirt comes in handy. In your bikini but wandering back to the hotel or boat and want to cover up a little? linen shirt. Heading off for an overnight coach trip and you start to get a little chilly whilst trying to snooze? linen shirt. Sunburnt your shoulders and wearing your backpack hurts a bit (yes, this happens!)? linen shirt! An oversized fit is the best.
Accessories are a big part of any holiday packing and these are my top picks. I forgot my straw hat and I was devastated, so ensure you pack one yourself. I picked up a bumbag back in Marrakech and brought it with me, it was so handy! Like I say, if you’re travelling the country there’s a lot of times where you’ll need your passport, tickets etc on hand and this is ideal. Also, when wandering around the market stalls, it is safer to have your money and phone in a bumbag than on your back encase of pick pocketers.
And last but not least, something to put it all in! I can’t express more how packing light is essential. Within ten nights in the country, we had 17 boat rides, 3 flights and 3 coaches – that’s a lot of times where lugging a big case around is just annoying. I didn’t go as far as packing everything into a backpack but many people we came across did!
I hope this was helpful to some of you, and questions on packing for Thailand, don’t hesitate to get in touch!