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Thailand forum

Packing for the Trip

Posted by hannesnaomi on 13/2/2008 at 00:58

Hi again,
Just wondering what are MUST pack items for backpacking in Thailand. I heard its a good idea to pack tissue (toilet paper/kleenex?). Spending time time mostly in the islands - how cool will it get in the evenings and whats the warmest piece of clothing I will need? I take it we need to pack pants/skirts and sleeved top to visit the temples? Also, is it a must to pack mosquito netting or do most accom. have this already? What about a bed sheet - a friend of mine said she sewed one into a sleeping bag shape as the bedding was so filthy in some locations. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for any tips guys!

#1 hannesnaomi has been a member since 2/2/2008. Posts: 22

Posted by exacto on 13/2/2008 at 04:05

There is good information on this website about what to pack. Look in the Travel Intelligence as well as the Features sections for more details.

Also see

In short, no need to pack your own toilet tissue as you can buy it once you arrive. Some bungalows and beach huts do not provide tp, but you can always buy it somewhere nearby (or go native and use the dipper).

It is always smart to have a wrap or fleece or light jacket for cool evenings, a/c bus and train trips, etc.

Yes, you should have pants or long skirts for temples.

Bed sheets are a smart idea as they don't take up much space or weigh alot and are very handy the one or two times you might want them.

Hope that helps. Cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by sirhalberd on 13/2/2008 at 11:27

Wet Naps for cleaning your hands comes in handy. You can get them in many places such as Watsons drug stores and Big C markets.

If you stay in a hotel that has air conditioning the room will usually come with clean sheets and pillow cases, etc. With the A/C on and with the windows shut you won't have much of a mosquito problem.

One item I always take with me, probably 10 years now, is an electric coil that can be used to heat up a single cup of water for coffee or dehydrated soup or noodles.
These items are cheap and fit easily in a pack or bag. I use my coil every morning to make my coffee. I have been stuck in airports and used it to even make coffee in the terminal.

I do have a light thin blanket that I always bring for when I have to camp out in an airport. You can bring or pick up a spare pillow case that you can slip over a suspect pillow.

Safety pins, needle and thread, Swiss knife with can/bottle opener and a couple ball caps to keep the sun and rain off your face. These are some extra things I always take with me.

Good luck.

#3 sirhalberd has been a member since 30/12/2007. Posts: 295
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Posted by khunwilko on 13/2/2008 at 15:21

Not really packing but you might find thid useful....

Here are 20 things to think about when visiting Thailand…

1. Bring a cell phone “unblocked” and buy a Thai SIM card for it on arrival, they’re cheap (apprx. 250 baht) and include some credit already on them - e.g. - International calls to UK are about 5 - 8baht per min…

2. Money - Bring ATM and/or credit cards. - check fees and tell your bank your are going abroad. - Take Travellers cheques only as back-up. Bring very little cash (Baht) – you tend to get a better rate of exchange here than any home country. You can change money on arriving at the airport..

3. Bring very few clothes – they are so cheap here and you’ll only bring stuff that is too warm anyway.

4. Very little luggage – this makes you more mobile if you need to be and less vulnerable to taxi touts and undesirable men….Before you go home you can buy any extra luggage (cheap) to take souvenirs etc.

5. Internet access is everywhere – even on the beach… you can get all your photos copied to CD - If you have a lap-top you can connect it (broadband even wi-fi) at most cafes.

6. Food - Thai food is very unlikely to give you food poisoning but can contain more chillies than you ever thought possible….Street food is usually safe (and delicious!), check for numbers of customers and general looks of the stall. Western (“farang”) food is much more likely to give you food poisoning – fridges are not part of Thai cooking lore yet…beware of Western Fast Food outlets and hotel buffets - food that has been out for over an hour or so. Thailand is not used to fridges/chill-serve etc.

7. Always carry a pack of tissues - they don’t supply free tissues (if there is a vending machine at all!)

8. Drink bottled water - not tap water. Even consider not brushing your teeth with tap water. Ice is usually safe in drinks and for anything else.

9. Use common safety sense – it is easy to relax too much here…when it comes to petty crime the rate is certainly lower than in places like the US/Europe etc…but every country has its share of con-men and psychopaths…..

10. Don’t be afraid to go to Pattaya – it is the sex capital of Thailand but they don’t jump out at single women and couples and it has good, cheap hotels, shopping and food. Not a bad place to start off for Koh Chang, Koh Samet or Cambodia.

11. Bring an international driving licence – although most national ones are accepted by motorbike and car hire companies and anyone else who wants to hire you something….you may not be insured without an IDL! In Thailand they drive on the left - cars are Right-hand-drive. However driving is really only for the experienced. Be especially careful on a motorbike - Samui has the highest accident rate in Thailand.

12. Public transport is cheap. Planes, Trains, Buses, Minibuses, Taxis, from town to town. If you’re in a minibus or taxi, tell the driver you’ll tip him if he keeps the speed below 90/100 kmph! National speed limit is 90kph (120 on motorways)

13. Around Bkk try to use meter taxis with the meter’ll be cheaper than the tuk-tuks. Take a tuk-tuk once for the experience then use meter taxis. Don’t let the drivers take you out of your way...they’ll try to take you to some (relative’s) store where they get commission.

14. Medical - Check out a few “jabs & medications” – don’t bother with the malaria ones – too heavy! You can get tetanus or rabies here if you’re bitten by a dog - it’s cheap. Most medicines (including antibiotics) can be bought over the counter without prescription and are cheap. A pharmacist will give you what he considers right for your symptoms but you can just as easily see a doctor at a local clinic for a couple of hundred baht. They usually speak a little English.

15. Check up on Thai manners and customs – this will earn you more respect from the locals. - Keep up some dress sense – how you dress in Thailand is quite important. Don’t go topless without checking out if it’s acceptable where you are – usually it’s frowned upon. You’ll notice that Thai women (even sex workers) are very modest in public –they usually swim fully clothed.

16. Check out table manners – Thais tend to eat from communal dishes in the centre of the table – don’t pour everything onto your own plate!

17. Don’t knock the royal family – even in jest.

18. Body language - Don’t point your feet at people – the body is seen as hierarchical and the feet are the lowest part and should not be waved about (this is like a “fingers up” sign. Before entering someone’s home you must take off your shoes; this also applies to some shops and businesses. - Never take a shoe off and wave it at someone – this could lead to violence.
On the other hand it is impolite to touch people on the head.

19. It’s not necessary to “Wai” people - the Thai greeting - as you’ll probably get it wrong. If they Wai you, you might try a wai back.

20. Remember, this is the Land of Smiles and you will find everything goes much better when you have a smile on your face - whatever the situation….

#4 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

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