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Airplane wing in front of cumulus clouds  | © Courtesy of D Coetzee/Flickr
Airplane wing in front of cumulus clouds | © Courtesy of D Coetzee/Flickr
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What To Pack On A Trip To Thailand

Picture of Kelly Iverson
Updated: 7 November 2016
Travelers will go to great lengths to fit as much as they possibly can into a suitcase. From rolling clothing to purchasing airtight baggies, there are many methods travelers utilize to squeeze as many items as possible into their carry-on. Visitors to Thailand, however, will be relieved to know that packing light is key when traveling to the Kingdom. Take a look at your suitcase. Now, remove half of what’s in it and continue reading to find out what it is you need to pack before making the trip to Thailand.

Cool/Dry Season

The cool and dry season lasts from November to February, and this is when the country usually receives its largest influx of tourists. It also doesn’t rain a lot during these months, so feel free to leave the umbrella at home.

Thailand is a fairly modest country. While a pair of shorts and a tank top should suffice in this type of weather, do be conscious of the fact that, generally, many Thais, regardless of the heat, will cover their shoulders and knees. Visitors are not required to do this unless they are visiting religious grounds of some sort, for example, a temple. Avoid bringing tight clothing to stay cooler, as well.

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JJ Harrison/ | © Wikicommons

Hot Season

March, April, May, and June are certainly the most scorching months of the year. It’s also during this time, however, that Thailand holds one of the biggest festivals in the country: Songkran. This week of celebration includes water, and a whole lot of it. This is one way for visitors to beat the heat. Otherwise, plan to pack lightly and comfortably for the high temperatures that await your arrival. In addition to lightweight clothing, travelers will also want breathable clothing to avoid getting too hot in Thailand’s unmerciful heat.

Rainy Season

The rainy season usually occurs between July and October. While it may seem necessary to purchase an umbrella before visiting, having a poncho or light rain jacket is a much more effective way to travel and not let the rain get the better of you. An umbrella will not only take up space in a suitcase, but it’s also a hassle to have to carry it around while trying to explore all Thailand has to offer.

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Thailand Flood – Street View | © Courtesy of NIST School Shared Account/Flickr

Pack Light

The less clothing packed, the better. Many travelers overpack because they assume clothing in Thailand is especially small. While there will certainly be more than a few shops who turn down potential customers because the store lacks varying sizes, there are plenty of shops offering a wide range of styles and sizes. Clothing in Thailand is incredibly affordable, as well.

Every item visitors could bring from home is, almost certainly, cheaper in the Kingdom. From bug spray to umbrellas, travelers might as well wait until they enter the country to purchase these necessities. They can be found in almost any convenient or grocery store.

Dress Codes

Those planning on visiting any one of Bangkok’s rooftop bars should be aware that there is a fairly strict dress code. Anyone wearing open toe shoes, casual shorts, or anything else not considered elegant will not be allowed to enter. Often, bouncers will direct hopeful rooftop-goers to a nearby store to purchase a new outfit. Save yourself the trouble by packing and preparing for these fancier bars.

There are some 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, and chances are there’ll have some sort of dress code. Many require visitors to cover their shoulders and knees. Some temples will provide visitors with scarves or other items of clothing to cover up with. Others will deny visitors entrance altogether. Just to be safe, bring along a pair of jeans and a short sleeve blouse or button up shirt to ensure entrance into all of the beautiful temples around Thailand.

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Temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Leave Your Coat At Home

The only reason travelers might need a coat or jacket is if the BTS Skytrain’s air conditioning is too low. Otherwise, just leave all heavy clothing at home!

Prepare Your Prescriptions

While there are pharmacies and hospitals in Thailand, it’s better to stock up on prescriptions prior to traveling. Between the language barrier and being thousands of miles away from home, visitors will appreciate having all of their medical necessities on-hand without any hassles.

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Pharmacy – Bangkok, Thailand | © Courtesy of Kathy/Flickr

No More Playing Cards

Many travelers will not leave home without their trusty deck of cards. There are strict rules, however, in regards to cards and gambling in Thailand. The Playing Cards Acts prohibits anyone from possessing more than 120 cards. Even though this act was created in 1935, it is still taken incredibly seriously in the Land of Smiles.

All types of gambling is also prohibited. Just this past February, 32 foreign nationals were arrested during an anti-gambling raid, according to a BBC News article. The group later told authorities they were not playing for money, but they did indeed have more than the 120 cards they are restricted to. Just to be safe, leave the playing cards at home.