Being from Texas, I figured I was used to heat and humidity, but boy did Bangkok test my tolerance! Not only was it hot, it was super humid, and when combined with the heat generated by a bustling, concrete, no-shade city, lightweight clothes and sun-gear were a must.
On top of weather control, you also have to pack for the temples. Out of respect for the Thai people, you must cover your shoulders, not show cleavage, have bottoms on that go below your knees, and take your shoes / hats off when entering and walking around Thai temples and the Royal Palace. In general, you want to make sure you are more covered-up as short or revealing clothes are not appreciated. Doing all of that while staying cool and looking cute is a challenge, but is doable!
Below are my recommendations for making the most out of your Bangkok packing space:
Chaco Dorra Sandals | NeatPack Foldable Backpack | Frever 21 Floppy Sun Hat | Cheap sunglasses bought in the Bangkok night market so if you lose or break them, its OK | Everything But Water Bikini | Coach Messenger with Pop Up Pouch Bag
- Shirts (1 per day): Light, breathable tanks or tees that do not reveal too much
- Maxi skirts or maxi dresses (1 per day): Perfect to wear at temples and they dress up and down so easily! Try and buy ones with slits so you can have a bit more ventilation.
- Walking pants (1-2 pending length of stay and activities): Don’t go for jeans – they are way too hot. Try active wear type pants that are light, breathable, and easy to clean. If you wear leggings, make sure your tops go substantially below your butt so are you still within temple dress code.
- Formal wear (number pending your night plans): dresses or nice skirt / top combo. Remember, the night markets are a great way to spend an evening and are very casual so, if you only have two nights, make sure you check out a market for one of them!
- Bathing suit: Make sure you check out the hotel pool. The So Sofitel’s pool was an amazing infinity pool and I am so glad I brought my suit!
- Workout gear: Just in case all of the Pad Thai makes a gym date necessary…
- Water bottle
- A scarf to cover your shoulders at the temples (note: the Royal Palace requires something more robust than a scarf. I had to buy a $2 white tee-shirt outside of the Palace entrance so I could pass the standards)
- Umbrella: for both sun and rain protection
- Hat and sunglasses: A MUST
- Day bag: pack-able backpack recommended to put your shoes in at temples, carry your water, and anything else you may need.
- Sun screen: make sure you apply often!
- Purse: A small, zipped (for security reasons), cross-body purse, to carry your personals. Try and make sure it is easy for you to get in and out of when you need to grab your phone or camera quickly to capture your favorite moments of the trip! Also, an easy to clean leather material will help if you maintain it and pick a color that is easy to match with.
- Hand sanitizer
- Comfortable walking sandals that are easy to take on and off (at temples)
- Sandals for walking to the spa or pool / hot tub