I assume you have come across this Thailand packing list because you are female and looking for information on what to take to Thailand! Well firstly I’m super excited that you’re going to Thailand!! Secondly you’ve come to the right place, I love Thailand so much and have just finished my 7th trip there.
Along with travelling Thailand many times and plus many other Countries in South East Asia I’ve seen the mistakes that people make when they pack for Thailand, I’ve also made plenty of packing mistakes myself and I’ve slowly come to learn exactly what clothes and accessories are needed for a trip to Thailand and perhaps more importantly, what is not needed!
I’m this post I’m NOT going to tell you exactly how many items of clothing you need for Thailand or how much underwear to pack, I assume you can work that out yourself and I don’t know how big your bag is and if you’re visiting Thailand for one month backpacking Thailand or if you’re spending two weeks in Thailand on holiday!
However what I WILL give you is a practical packing list of items you need to pack for Thailand as a female no matter how long you’re there for or your style of travel. Including the type of clothing material you should take because Thailand weather is hot and humid, the type of shoes you need in Thailand, toiletries that are cheaper to bring from home and the best accessories for Thailand.
Female Packing List for Thailand
Tops: At least 1 T-shirt as this will come in use when visiting Temples, especially when knowing what to wear in Bangkok to see the Grand Palace. Strappy Tops, Tank Tops and Crop Tops are useful because they are small and good for the humid weather during the day and in the evening.
Dresses / Playsuits: Day Dresses and Playsuits for the beach are a great idea and easy to throw on over swimwear. Evening dresses will be worn a lot too when you go out for dinner and drinks in Thailand.
Shorts: At least 1 pair of denim shorts is a great idea, they go with all tops, can be worn during the day and in the evening. Lightweight shorts are also good to wear during the day or dress up in the evening.
Trousers: Do not bring jeans, you will not need them! Baggy trousers are the best type here. Ideally 3/4 length trousers. Trousers are needed when going into Temples but apart from this you probably won’t wear them in the day, just in the evening perhaps. Elephant pants are a popular Thailand outfit, especially for backpackers because they are comfy and are available to buy all over Thailand.
Active Wear: If you plan to go on serious hikes or rock climbing etc, pack accordingly, however if you think you’ll do the odd walk or hike or activity pack a lightweight sweat resistant top or t-shirt, sports shorts and some leggings if you wish but it will probably be too hot for leggings.
Tip: With regards to all of these items PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure that they are lightweight. Thailand gets super sweaty because of the humidity even on the islands and a dress with two layers to it for example is too thick. One layered items made from cotton are the best types of clothes to pack for Thailand.
Also know that most of the clothing you will need and want to wear in Thailand can be purchased there. I know it’s really fun shopping for your holiday or backpacking trip at home but often the dresses, shorts and trousers we think are really light and breezy when at home are not when you actually get to Thailand so especially if you are backpacking Thailand and South East Asia, don’t buy or pack too much at home and instead buy it in Thailand. It’s also cheaper!
Rain Jacket: The best time of year to visit Thailand is in high and dry season which is November to May before it goes into wet season however it can still rain outside of wet season. Packing a small fold away rain jacket is a great idea just in case!
Jumper: Thailand does not get cold but if you’re on an AC bus or even going to the Cinema (they’re freezing), you’ll be thankful for an extra layer. A lightweight jumper or hoody is fine.
Swim Wear: Swim wear of course is a must, especially if you’re visiting the South islands of Thailand but even if you go to North Thailand you’ll still want to add this to your Thailand checklist as there are rivers, lakes, waterfalls and pools to swim in there!
Flip Flips: Or Thongs, or Jandals, whatever you call them in your Country! These shoes are what you will live in day to day in Thailand. I recommend Havaianas because they are a quality brand, you can buy fake ones in Thailand but the real ones are better! In Thailand you have to take your shoes on and off a lot in not only temples but shops, restaurants and some accommodation so slip on shoes like flip flops are best shoes to take to Thailand.
Sandals: A nice pair of sandals for the evening is a good idea if you are on holiday in Thailand. For me as a backpacker with limited space I do not take these. Remember that you only need one extra pair. Do not take heeled shoes, not even when you’re thinking of what to wear in Phuket on a night out for example because no tourists wear heels. It’s flats all the way. Also consider that in the evening you’ll be walking on the beach a lot so even in the evening basic flip flops are best rather than fancy sandals!
Trainers: Do take trainers, they’re perfect for activity days and walking around Bangkok for example.
Accessories & Bags
Hat: Whether you pack a basic cap or a stylish straw hat, do pack a hat to help keep the sun off your head because its strong!
Sunglasses: A good quality pair of sunglasses are needed. Fake RayBans etc can be bought in Thailand but they are not good for your eyes! My favourite sunglasses are these SunGod glasses which are high quality and stylish!
Day Pack: A Day Backpack is great for day trips, taking to the beach or for carrying your things when exploring the cities. If you are limited on space a packable day pack is a great idea as it folds up so small but is 20L when in use.
Hand Bag: I have a small cross body handbag for the evenings to dress up an outfit and carry my purse and phone. Alternatively if you are the type of person who doesn’t like carrying an actual backpack in the day a bigger handbag for the day is needed. If you are concerned about safety, a Pacsafe Antitheft Cross Body Bag is a good idea however I have never felt I have needed one.
Dry Bag: You’ll only need a Dry Bag on day trips involving water. I only used it twice in my 3 weeks in Thailand on snorkelling trips however both times I was so glad I had it! I could carry my phone, purse and camera’s in the bag between boats and islands and know they would not get wet! Plus they roll up small so take up no extra weight in your main bag.
GoPro: Take whatever camera you want to Thailand but if you are looking to buy a new camera, the best camera to take to Thailand is a GoPro for sure! It’s great for all of the water activities but also land activities such as zip lining, 4×4 jeep trips, quad biking. There are so many things to do in Thailand and so many activities are adrenaline fun activities and the GoPro is perfect for them! If a GoPro is too expensive which I do understand, a cheaper action camera like this is a great idea to take.
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars: If you are tight on space and or want to help reduce your plastic, shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles are a great switch to make. I use the Lush bars.
Bug Spray: This is a Thailand travel essential because there are mosquitoes everywhere- on the beaches, in the jungle and in the cities. Bug Spray can be purchased cheaply in Thailand or you can buy some strong spray whilst at home and have it ready for your first day in Thailand. Additionally you’ll need something for the bites that do get you. I purchased this Bite Away Pen on Amazon which you press on a bite and it stops it from itching straight away, it’s magic and I really recommend it. Otherwise Tiger Balm which can be bought all around Thailand is a good thing to put on bites.
Sun Cream: Sun Cream is another thing you need to think about when packing for Thailand. Sun Cream can be purchased all over Thailand but it’s expensive, about £10-£15.00 a bottle. I’d really recommend you buy sun cream at home and bring enough with you instead of buying it in Thailand to save you money.
Of course you will also need all of your other usual toiletries. You can also buy everything you need in Thailand so if you forget something it’s ok.
Tip: I wear make up on evenings out in Thailand but remember it gets hot and sweaty and a lot of the time it will sweat off in a few hours anyway so don’t pack too much make up!
Sarong: This is great to put around your shoulders or legs when entering temples. It’s also great to use on the beach instead of a towel which will save room in your bag. It’s also good for overnight journeys as a blanket. You can buy sarongs all over Thailand so if you don’t have one, buy one in Thailand.
Quick Dry Towel: If you are staying in hotels in Thailand you won’t need a quick dry towel but if you are backpacking Thailand and staying in hostels you will as towels are often not provided. Do not fill up your backpack with a big towel, get a small foldable quick dry towel!
Adapter: One or two international adapters will be needed on your Thailand travel checklist. I have been using this 2 in 1 international adapter and power bank. It works in the Thailand plugs with no extra adapter needed, it has 2 USB ports which I use to charge my phone and camera during the night and when I wake up not only are they charged but so is the power bank which I use for extra charge during the day, genius!
Like I said you will need other things like underwear, your passport and other basic travel items but the above packing list for Thailand gives you an idea of what you can take to Thailand and wear in Thailand and what you cannot.
The biggest things I want to stress are:
- Try to envision how hot and humid it is there when buying and packing clothes.
- Do not pack too much- firstly you’ll have to carry it all, secondly you really do not need a new outfit for everyday even if you are on holiday in Thailand and if you are visiting the islands you’ll pretty much live in bikini’s and beach wear!
- You can also buy everything you need there!
Best Bag to Take to Thailand?
Now you know what to add to your Thailand packing list and what to take when travelling around Thailand, what bag is best to take to Thailand?
Plenty of people take suitcases especially holiday makers when spending 2 weeks in Thailand and that’s fine, the locals are used to this, however even if you are going on a nice holiday to Thailand in nice hotels and you have all transfers booked, you will still be getting on and off boats, in and out of buses and taxis.
Thailand is not really easy to travel and different transport methods are needed (but it’s worth it!). I saw so many people getting off the boat on Railay Beach which is great place for holiday makers and dragging their suitcase through the sand – not fun! If you are staying in bungalows and huts the pathways will probably be very narrow with steps which are hard to wheel big suitcases along.
My recommendation is a backpack because of the ease of carrying it and moving around with it whether you are a backpacker or not. I’ve been using the Osprey Farpoint 70L S/M Backpack which was perfect for my backpacking trip around Thailand. If you want a smaller backpack, they also do a Womens 40L Backpacks which will be great as hand luggage only bags too.
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