Updated: Jun 21
Let me guess - you're traveling to Southeast Asia soon, and you're wondering "What should I pack?" --- Well, you came to the right place!
Southeast Asia is an adventurous region to explore and there is no doubt you'll love it. Be prepared by reading this post and packing all of the necessities for your trip. While purchasing items in Southeast Asia is extremely cheap, they may be limited in sizing and products so plan ahead and bring everything with you.
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All of my travel necessities for Southeast Asia are linked here on Amazon!
Southeast Asia is very hot, but you'll need to wear layers because all temples will require your shoulders and knees are fully covered. Women cannot have cleavage showing in any temple. Some temples have also banned tight/torn pants (and leggings). Signs like the one below are often found outside of temples.
Check out the clothing recommendations below.
Basic Tees: Basic tees are one of my favorite things to travel with. They match with everything (especially the crazy pattern pants you see all over Southeast Asia) and hit all the check marks for temple-clothing.
Lightweight Long Sleeve Top: You're thinking "Why is this necessary" - because if you are in a jungle with lots of mosquitos, even the best bug repellent won't keep them away. You're better off wearing a long sleeve top that will keep bugs away.
Tank Tops: Be mindful - don't pack too many of these. When you go inside temples, you will be required to cover your shoulders. It is important to bring a scarf along if you plan to wear tank tops.
T-Shirts: Some activities, like playing with elephants, will require a simple t-shirt that you don't mind getting dirty. Pack one or two of these to have on hand!
2. Pants, Shorts, and Skirts
Linen Pants: This may not be your style at home, but you'll be so happy you have this in your suitcase. Almost all temples will require shoulders and knees to be covered. You won't want to wear jeans or pants because it is so h.o.t. Instead, opt for light weight linen pants.
Maxi Skirt: Again, this might not be your normal style, but you'll be happy to have this when you're walking through a temple!
Jean Shorts: You'll only be able to wear shorts on days that you are not visiting a temple. Plan ahead, and don't over pack your shorts.
Maxi-dresses: This is perfect in Thailand. It is an alternative to wearing pants in temples and is still cute! The maxi dress below covers your shoulders, knees, and cleavage plus it comes in so many colors!
Walking Shoes: Wear durable walking shoes for long days in the city. Keep in mind, you'll be taking your shoes off at every temple so bonus points if your shoes are easy to put on and off. Furthermore, don't wear your flashiest, most expensive shoe - when you take them off at the temples, they are usually left unattended. Also, don't forget socks!
Sandals: Whether you prefer Teva Sandals or Echo Sandals, this will become your Thai staple. You'll quickly find that this is easier to slip on and off for temples and offers great support. Plus, you can use them for some adventurous days of hiking, exploring caves, or hanging out with elephants.
Bathing Suit: Bikinis are completely fine in Thailand, but ensure you have a cover up when you are not at the beach or pool.
Cover up: Make sure this is fully covering your bathing suit and not revealing.
Beach Hat: This can be your preference - baseball cap or wide brim beach hat. But either way, I strongly recommend having this while outside in the sun tanning.
6. Miscellaneous Clothing
PJs: As all other clothes, ensure you have light weight PJs for sleeping.
Scarf: This is an easy thing to layer over a tank top for temples to ensure your shoulders are covered.
Crossbody Purse: I recommend a purse that you can put over your body to ensure no one can steal it from you. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Toiletries: Pack makeup that you can wear even if you're sweating. Double check to make sure your make up has SPF. Don't forget things like chapstick and face sunscreen.
Don't mistake miscellaneous as unnecessary. These items are crucial for a happy stay in Thailand.
Portable Fan: You'll feel like such a tourist carrying this around but it will quickly become your best friend.
Deodorant Wipes: It's hot. It's sticky. You'll feel gross one hour after showering. Bring wipes with you. They help you stay clean and refresh you throughout the day.
Mosquito Repellant Wrist Band: Bugs are everywhere. Instead of spraying yourself with bug spray that will inevitably sweat off in the Thai heat, bring Mosquito Repellant Wrist Bands. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to wear. I usually put one on my wrist and one on my ankle for double protection as a just in case. They last for up to 1 week, but I swap them out every 3-4 days. Also, as a just in case, always bring hydrodone for those few pesky mosquitos that get you anyways.
Sunscreen: Thailand is HOT and the sun is very powerful. WHO (the World Health Organization) says that Bangkok never falls below an 8 UV which is crazy. Bring 30+ SPF with you and ensure you reapply throughout the day. You don't want to pass up a cheap Thai Massage because you're too sunburnt to enjoy it. Don't forget to also pack a face sunscreen too.
Portable Charger: Chances are, you'll be out and about all day long exploring the city. If this is the case, be sure to pack a portable charger for your travels.
International Adapter: Most Thai outlets work with USA outlets, but pack one just in case!
Umbrella: Monsoon season is only three months of the year, but is rains randomly all the time. Be prepared.
Medicine: Bring Tylenol/Advil, immodium, motion sickness meds, and all of your standard meds with you. Some people even get prescribed travelers diarrhea medicine from their doctor!
Hopefully the above list has you fully prepared for your Thailand adventure. When in doubt, make sure you're packing light weight items that can be layered when necessary (temples). Feel free to email me with questions on what to pack: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out all of my Amazon Southeast Asia Necessities List here!