As a chronic over packer for most trips I tend to take lots of unecessary items that never get used as I’ll find that something else I’ve packed is much more useful or suitable.
Here are a few things that I wouldn’t go back to Thailand without and would recommend you take with you.
In most temples or religious buildings you are required to dress respectfully- shoulders and legs covered. Obviously Thailand isn’t know for it’s cool and breezy climate so it can be difficult to cover up all the time- especially for people from colder countries. A sarong kept in your bag is great for throwing over your shoulders or tying around your waist to be respectful. I also used a sarong to cover my shoulders or head on the ferry journeys we took to prevent (even more) sunburn and as a skirt when I had a hanger-related meltdown and didn’t want to wear my shorts anymore!! It can also be used as a beach towel which is much lighter to carry and quicker to dry, and obviously takes up much less space in your bag. If you don’t own a sarong, you should be able to pick one up from most markets.
I picked up a large microfibre towel from Decathlon before going to take on trips as they are lightweight and can be rolled in your bag. As I was using my sarong to wear sarong i didn’t want it to get too covered in sand and sea water so used this instead. This became so handy as it dried so quickly, we took ours to the elephant sanctuary to dry off after our shower, on our snorkelling trip, on our island hopping tour and to Maya Bay to name a few.
These were relatively cheap and come in lots of colours, they also have a strap so you can roll it up and it will stay secure.
3- Small Rucksack
We picked up a small 10L rucksack up from decathlon for £2.49, which came in handy when we were on our trips. The bags are designed for hiking so are lightweight and compact but big enough to carry water, sunscreen, a small towel and your camera and money. This saved us unpacking our bigger rucksacks everyday and meant that we didn’t have to carry anything too bulky around.
Even though these werre really cheap they were still really high quality, they come in lots of colurs and are machine washable.
4- Aqua Bag
We bought a bag called an aqua pack while we were out there that turned out to be an absolute life saver. You could get them from most markets on the islands, they are a waterproof bag that rolls down and clips closed to keep your electricals safe from water damage. You can get them in a variety of sizes- I think we went for a 6L which we put all of our electricals in and carried our other things in our rucksacks. I believe you can buy these before you go but you will pay a lot more than you would in Thailand.
5- Go Pro Float
This applies to any waterproof camera you might have. I would take mine into the sea with me on a wrist strap but also had a float attached to it should it slip off my wrist. Nobody wants an expensive camera full of memories at the bottom of the ocean.
I actually bought a variety pack on attachments and mounts for my GoPro from amazon, it wasn’t an official “Go Pro pack” but all of the attachments fit and work perfectly.
I can’t find the exact pack I ordered but this one seems to include all the same things, you get all of the basics, chest strap, head strap, wrist strap, stick, suction mount, float plus extra pins etc.
6- Covered Shoes
Three times I was grateful for my covered shoes in Thailand were: Temples- part of covering up, it is preferred to wear covered shoes in the complexes, slip on are the best as you take them on and off to go in the buildings. Walking- it saves on sunburned feet and they are much more supportive than flip flops. Full Moon Party- That beach gets gross, you’re practically barefoot in flips flops! I just took a pair of primark pumps that I didn’t mind if I ruined.
7- Black/ dark clothes
Our trip was around a month after Rama IX passed away and the country was in mourning- the official period of mourning will last for around a year (until at least October 2017). We were warned to dress in dark colours as a show of respect, the Grand Palace in Bangkok especially were quite strict on enforcing this. You will notice a lot of Thai people still dressing in dark colours. We did notice a lot of market stalls selling black clothes had popped up.
If you don’t ave this before you go you can buy this while you are there from pretty much any pharmacy. This stuff can fix anything from aching muscles, headaches, congestion and bug bites! This saved my life and my legs when the mosquitoes used me as an all you can eat buffet on Phi Phi.
Not only was this geat for the flight over but once we were there we would charge this uo and throw this in our bag in case our phones or cameras got low on charge during long days out. There was no way I was missing out on getting some of those memories on camera! You can get these from most electrical shops, I actually picked mine up from TK Maxx and it was really cheap.
10- Hand Sanitizer
I personally don’t travel without this, but was especially glad I had this with me this time. Some of the bathrooms still haunt me now, sinks and soap aren’t always standard so it’s always nice to have a small bottle in your bag. I took this with me from home because I don’t fly without a bottle with me anyway!
Hopefully this might help with a few packing essentials for your trip. I know I definitely won’t go back without these things!