Packing suggestions for Thailand tour

Packing suggestions for our Thailand Tiger, Elephant, and Cultural Tour
Clothing and Packing
For the one night we are in Bangkok I will bring casual slacks and a button down shirt. I always suggest that people bring shoes that are comfortable, designed to walk in for long distances, that don’t have open toes, and are thoroughly broken in. However, in Thailand you will be taking your shoes on and off every time you enter a building, so flip flops or some type of sandal are imperative if you don’t want to get really frustrated at taking your shoes on and off and tying and untying them dozens of times every day.

My shoe wear of choice for the past several years has been a Keene closed toe water sandal and a sturdy Columbia Birke trail shoe. In fact I am now wearing pair number 7 of the Columbia trail shoes.

I always carry a fleece top for on the airplane, but I certainly don’t expect to need it once I land in Bangkok. In November to January there could be some short periods of time where that fleece would be handy to have.

My wardrobe is now made up primarily of fabrics that are hi-tech quick drying so that I can wash them in a sink or tub and wear them several hours later. I also have at least one set of comfortable cotton clothing which is the coolest feeling cloth to wear. Denim has no place in my packing. It is heavy, dries too slow, soaks up perspiration and in general just doesn’t suit my travel style. One pair of denim pants might weigh as much as 3 or 4 pair of quick drying nylon pants.

For working at the temple, choose clothes that are grey, brown, green, or blue. Do NOT wear any bright colors such as pink, yellow, or red during your work time. A note about color in clothing. Dark colors such as black and navy blue will feel extra hot when you are out in the searing Thailand sun. I suggest those for evening only. White gets dirty too easily on an adventure trip. Yellow turns you into a giant daisy and all the insects within sight will come perch on or hover around your brightly colored yellow blouse or shirt. Except for the multitude of tropical Hawaiian shirts that I habitually wear my wardrobe is primarily made up of mud brown and light gray colored fabrics. Dull, but practical when outdoors in the tropics.

For riding the elephants bring something you can go into the water in. Because we ride bareback, if wearing shorts the elephants stiff hairs might prickle your thighs.

For women especially, when visiting temples you will be expected to cover your shoulders, to not be wearing shorts or short shorts and to not have your breasts too exposed. Some women get around these temple and government building restrictions by carrying a lightweight cloth sari in their carryon or daypack and they just slip into that before entering one of these locales that has dress requirements.
Since we will be walking across the border at Tachiliek into Myanmar a backpack will be easier for you to handle than a piece of luggage. But a roller bag will work for most situations without using too much energy.

My advice is to pack as little as possible. "Lightweight" and "Compact" are two words that you should keep in mind. You will be carrying your own luggage on this adventure, we don’t have porters or baggage handlers like some of the large bus style tours have.
A small daypack is convenient for carrying valuables, electronics and things like a sari cover up, sunscreen and so on when we are out and about during the day. A purse is not so convenient and is easier to forget or lose.

Articles of Daily Use

A good pair of sunglasses, a shade hat, mosquito repellent and sunscreen are essential. Toothbrush, basic toiletries, anti-bacterial wipes or gel, lip balm, Neosporin and a few bandages or first-aid items you may need should be included. If you have to take regular prescription medicines, be sure to bring adequate supplies for your trip. Bring more than enough, not less. You will have extreme difficulty replacing prescription drugs if you run out. Some antibiotics are available over the counter, but I have learned that USA doctors prescribe cutting edge medications that might not have found their way to the Thailand pharmacies yet.

Items such as shaving cream, razor blades, deodorant, dental floss, tampons and contact lens solution are generally available in the cities, but when on a tour with a lot of activity and not too much free time, such as our tour, the time to find these things can be a challenge. 7-11s are found everywhere in the big cities of Thailand. Sometimes even two on the same block.

Remember to pack your camera and spare memory and batteries. Electrical power is 240 V. not 120 Volt like in North America. If you bring an adapter to convert your three prong plugs to two prong plugs, they might work in most of the outlets. NOTE: usually electronic chargers are able to use either 120V and 240V power. Read the fine print on each piece of equipment to be certain. Hair driers WILL NOT work in Thailand if bringing from the USA, but will burn out from the higher voltage. A battery operated alarm clock is necessary so you can get up on time. Wake up calls are sometimes unreliable in some of the places we will stay. I always carry a pen and a notebook to keep notes plus reading glasses & spare eyeglasses. Belt- - -I recommend a money belt or pouch to carry large currency. We don’t have a safe available for valuables. I wear a waterproof divers style watch all the time so that I never have to worry about getting it wet.
Last but not least, DO NOT FORGET your passport and airline tickets!!

About mosquito prevention and protection:
Bring DEET repellent 40% solution or higher spray. Walmart sells small pen sized dispensers in their camping section for around $1 - $2 that carry enough spray for two or three days. 2 or 3 of these small containers should be enough for our 9 day trip. 

I suggest treating some of your clothing with an insecticide called pyrethrin. You can find this in sporting goods stores, REI and in home and garden stores. Follow the directions for treating your clothing. What this does is help minimize mosquito bites through your clothing. When going out at night, such as to dinner I generally wear long pants and long socks, not ankle socks because of mosquitoes. Repellent works, but it is not 100% effective.

What clothing I might actually place in my pack for the 9 days would be:

4 underwear, 4 T-shirts, 1 long pant, 2 short pant, 1 swim trunks, 3 pair ankle socks, 2 pair long socks, Columbia trail shoes, Keene sandals, a light jacket, 1 or 2 button down tropical patterned shirts and perhaps a long sleeved shirt because mosquitoes always bite me on the elbows while I’m eating dinner. Everything except the tropical shirts will be made from hi tech quick dry fabrics.
Share by: