Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - What to Pack for Thailand? - 10 Essentials
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What to Pack for Thailand? - 10 Essentials Featured

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10 Essentials For Your Thailand Backpacking Trip

Packing for your big trip is something very exciting, and also quite stressful at the same time – you don’t want to over pack, but not bringing enough is also a worry for a lot of the more-nervous Thailand backpacker.

I’ve often heard from the more seasoned traveler the mantra ‘bring less, buy locally’ which in fact holds very true when choosing what to pack for your trip to Thailand. Almost all of the things you think you’ll need to buy before jetting off to this amazing country will be easily available to buy here, and the one-hundred million 711s and pharmacies in this country can provide you with all the first aid and toiletries you can imagine for a fraction of what you’d pay at home.

So what essentials should you bring?

Here’s my list of the ten essential things that you should consider bringing with you from your home countries:

  • Packing cubes - these amazing little containers help keep your things separate and organised in your backpack, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can squeeze and fit them into your bag like a game of Tetris, and they compress your clothes so you can get more things in your bag! Once you try them you’ll never go without them again.


  • Sun screen – one of the few things that are actually quite expensive here in Thailand, it’s a good idea to get a couple of bottles from your home country where it should be a bit cheaper. Try to go for the environmentally-friendly ones which don’t harm our friends the coral!  



  • 30% DEET insect repellent – most of the insect repellent available here in Thailand contains a maximum of 15% DEET (the chemical that mosquitoes hate) so I recommend trying to get hold of a stronger one for those places where you’re inundated with the flying assholes – camping stores often hold bottles with up to 100% DEET, but studies say those containing 30% will do exactly the same as the higher concentrations (which can often irritate the skin).


  • A good, thin raincoat – rain showers can be heavy and are quite common, so it’s a great idea to carry with you a raincoat that can pack down to a pretty small size – you’ll definitely need it at least once, and it’ll save you wasting money and plastic on those cheap and nasty rain ponchos that inevitably tear and break within minutes of fighting your way into one.


  • One Travel adapter– Now you can pick these up for pennies here in Thailand, but it’s wise to have one that you can use to keep your electronics charged when in the airport or waiting for your connections. Make sure it’s 220v of course, and try to get one that’s good for all the countries in SE Asia if you’re planning on visiting a few of Thailand’ neighbours.



  • A hoodie/warm top­ – Thai people love their air-conditioning. The trains, buses, cinemas and ferries should come with a government health warning they’re so goddamn cold sometimes, so it’s a great idea to bring just one warm top with you to keep you snug when travelling between places – I always have my hoodie in my hand-luggage for this situation, and if for some bizarre reason it’s not Antarctic temperatures then you can roll it up and use it a pillow; win-win!


  • A decent torch – When finding yourself off the beaten track at night it’s very common to suddenly find yourself having to navigate in the pitch black, with just the lousy light on your phone to help (if the battery hasn’t already died on you, as often happen when situations like this arise). It’s here when your handy little torch will suddenly become essential, and also light up any potential creepy crawlies and beasties of the night that I’m sure are stalking my every step when it gets dark.


  • Good insurance – watching people hobbling down the beach every day tells you one thing in particular – backpackers are experts at injuring themselves, especially when drunk. Medical bills are often extortionately high, so make sure you get yourself decent travel insurance (one that covers scuba diving too of course) so a small spill from your bike doesn’t put an end to your trip of a lifetime. Also tell your travel buddies which insurance company you use, just in case!


  • Comfortable shoes/sandals (not new ones) – Before I turned into a fatty I often would go trekking in SE Asia, and every bloody time there was some idiot doing it in flip-flops or fancy new shoes they hadn’t broken in yet, crying because their feet hurt. Don’t be that person, everyone hates you.


  • A desire to not simply stare at your phone all the time, and to actually experience the country you’re in – Guys, you’re missing out on a lot and I’m sure checking your Facebook can wait a day or two. Traveling is a great way to take a break from the real world, relax body and mind and to meet new friends; not so easy with a phone glued to your hand.


Other small items I like to have stashed in my bag, just in case: 

- a few cable ties for securing my backpack on trains

- seasickness tablets

- assorted sized safety pins

- electrical tape

- a dozen passport photos

- small pair of scissors/nail clippers



Read 113 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 April 2019 11:06