Greetings from Thailand! I know that August is quite late to talk about packing for a Holiday to this land of smile but to those young people who get to enjoy the holidays last, only after their colleauges with children have reported back to work, which is the case for my husband, then I hope that you can still benefit from this last moment post.
Googling for articles about things to pack for a Thailand holiday actually urged me to write this post because almost everywhere I turn, everyone advises tourists to “dress respectfully because this is a conservative country”. Well let me put that straight, Thais don´t dress up conservatively unless they go to temples, palaces, attend cultural/special occasions, or report to work on Mondays. Except for some private sectors, women usually wear conservative cultural dresses to work on Mondays and men wear long sleeve shirts in pink (the king´s favorite color) or in yellow (Thailand´s symbolical color), as a respect to the Royals and probably the country. Yeah, that´s as far as I know.
For other affairs, people dress the occasion and the weather. Girls opt for sexy, provocative outfits that are either trendy or classy. And by that I meant lots of legs, shoulders and arms if not cleavage.
Remember, there are only three seasons in Thailand – hot, hotter, and the hottest. In summer, it´s the latter. So what clothes and accessories should you bring with you on your trip to Thailand in order to not look like a misinformed tourist strolling the hot pavements of this country and visiting marvelous places? Here are the things you could find in my luggage.
1. Cute Little Dresses
Thai girls generally love wearing cute, feminine mini dresses. They wear pretty dresses even if they´re just going out to shop! Not that you would imitate their style, as I personally find most of their style too girly, but it would help if you pack a couple of beautiful dresses with you to wear to fine restaurants or just for getting around. Note that most of the respected hotel and restaurants in Bangkok require their guests to wear formal attire.
Of course, if little dresses aren´t your thing, you can always opt for something that covers more such as a beautiful maxi dress.
2. Comfy Skirts and Shorts
Because of the warm weather, I make sure that I pack enough skirts and shorts (but to be honest, I brought only a few with me this time and bought summer clothes here in Bangkok). I love going leggy in travelling around. I avoid jeans and pants because I find them too hot for a day spent walking around, but that´s just me. If you plan to take the Chaophraya river cruise and stop over to visit the palaces and temples, make sure that you´re wearing something descent with no sleeveless tops and cutoff denim shorts, otherwise you won´t be allowed inside. If you´re wearing a sleeveless dress, bring a shawl with you so you can easily wrap it around your shoulders if needed.
A shawl will also come handy once you step from the tremendous heat into the fierce air condition of skytrain, taxis, and malls. This will help you avoid catching flu.
For your shoes, you can pretty much decide to bring the type of footwear that will make you comfortable in walking around on a warm summer day and enough elegant shoes to complete your smart outfits for dining. If you´re visiting temples, wear shoes that can be easily removed as you won´t be allowed to wear shoes inside the temple.
3. Out of town outfits and beachwear
I know it´s no brainer but you have to make sure that you bring enough outfits for out of town. Casual maxi dresses are perfect for travelling to Chang Mai by bus and to Phuket by plane or by train. Swimsuits should be there too as you would surely not waste time to dip in those marvelous beaches.
4. Other Essentials
You would need some pants too especially if you´re planning to go elephant trekking or ride on one. Make sure to apply sunblock on your skin for protection. If you´re going to Phuket and other beaches in the country, a wide brim hat would help protect your face from sunburn, plus it´s stylish. I also found this phone accessory from My Bunjee perfect to keep your phone from falling and losing.
That said, have a great vacation!