I know a lot of girls and boys who are planning their next trip to Thailand with friends and sometimes even braving it alone. It’s a whole different kettle of fish out there to what life is like here in the safety of our own home and the familiar faces we see every single day. You can be sure to meet people from all walks of life and I can assure you, you will meet people who will change your perspective on the world and the way you live. It’s a little over whelming travelling to a foreign country, when their first language is completely different to yours, where you find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings and sometimes without your parents or close friends it can all seem very daunting but also very exciting, all at the same time! I thought it would be of some use to anyone planning their next trip to Thailand if I put together what I think are the bare essentials and what I always have to hand when I spend a few weeks in beautiful, sunny Siam.
Mosquito spray/insect repellent – If you’re one for attracting insects, be careful of the mosquitoes that come out at night. I don’t know what it is but mozzi’s seem to love me and when they bite you they itch like mad! I have a few scars around my ankles from scratching them – gross.
Tiger balm – One of my favourite smells that reminds me of Thailand every time I use it. It’s good for everything, soothing bites like mosquito or ant bites, inhaling to help with breathing and it can also help with muscle ache.
International driving licence – If you’re planning on renting motorbikes whilst in Thailand, which I highly recommend as it’s the best way and cheapest way of seeing places, you should definitely purchase an international drivers licence from the post office. It cost’s around £10 and can save you so much time and hassle as the Thai police often set up check points, stopping foreigners and charging anyone without a licence 500 baht, sometimes even more and this can really eat in to your holiday budget as we have found out plenty of times! – Oh and also remember to wear your helmet, you can also be fined for not wearing one too!
Suncream – Often in Thailand, you will find it very muggy and usually over cast but don’t let that deceive you because you will still burn from the sun if you don’t wear sun cream! Even swimming in a pool or the ocean or riding in a taxi, you can’t feel the sun but it’s there so beware and look after your skin.
Aftersun and plenty of moisturiser – I always find that my skin is 100x better after spending so much time in the sun and the sea but I think this is down to moisturising every single night. Aloe vera gel is a really good soothing after sun moisturiser which I would recommend anyone using.
Travel card – I’ve never actually used one of these so I don’t really know how they work but they are like a debit card so you put your money on it and you can withdraw it from ATM’s but if you lose it then it can be cancelled and replaced straight away from a western union (I think). Last April, Josh lost his debit card on the second night in Bangkok and I then went and lost mine later on in the holiday because the ATM’s spit your money out before your card. We ended up having to use credit cards which was an absolute nightmare and cost us for withdrawing money.
Something you can’t really pack in your bag but try to arrive in Thailand with an open mind and a taste for learning/discovering something new – Food, culture, lifestyle, you name it. If you can’t handle the food, it’s a poor do, as the market stalls you come across offer the true taste of authentic Thai cooking and you can literally eat for peanuts… and by peanuts I mean a couple of quid! Be prepared to see a whole different culture and way of life, where you will find Buddhism playing a huge part of a lot of Thai’s every day to day life and where the Monarchy, particularly the King who sadly passed this year is greatly respected and admired.
An easy wardrobe – and by easy, I mean t-shirts, shorts, several bikinis and flip flops because the majority of the time you’ll be too hot to want to wear anything else.
…and what you don’t need.
Heels, I always pack them but never actually get the chance to wear them! Most places you go on an evening are very relaxed so dressy sandals is a much better choice and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable. I also feel a bit nervous and self conscious wearing heels as you will find a lot of Thai girls are so small, so when you’re towering over them it can be a bit like ‘oh hey, look at me the BFG’ and I feel as though I stand out like a sore thumb!
Expensive jewellery or anything that resembles expensive jewels. I’ve heard a lot of stories where tourists have had their jewellery stolen from their wrists. Gold in particular is worth a lot in Thailand so I’d just recommend not wearing any jewellery at all, just because it can sometimes attract trouble. I’m not saying that this is the case everywhere and I’ve never witnessed it myself but it’s just something my mum has warned me about.