Whether you are coming to Thailand for a long holiday or a short break there are several things that might be worth bringing… and several things that aren’t. A lot of them are boring things you already know about, like insect repellent and sun block, but there are a few things that you might like to bring that you probably don’t usually think about.
Let’s start with things not to take; firstly, clothes. Thailand is hot all year round and unless you are venturing up to the mountains in the north you really won’t need “a jacket for the evening”. They also dry very quickly so are easy to wash and wear the same day. If you really want to splash out, there are numerous places throughout the whole of Thailand that will wash your clothes and return them all nice and fresh the following day, at a rate of between 30 and 50 Baht per kilo. So, don’t bring loads of clothes, you won’t wear half of them.
Another thing you might like to re-think is chocolate. Thailand is, as I said hot and not really designed for chocolate. The type of chocolate that people tend to bring with them from America, UK and Europe tends to melt very easily. Unless you eat it very quickly or are able to store it in a fridge you will end up with a hell of a mess. Chocolate is available here by the bucket load in supermarkets and mini markets, but tends to be imported from Australia which has a higher melt temperature and isn’t so nice. Sorry Australia.
Now for the things to bring that you wouldn’t have thought of…
Thailand is an amazing country, and wherever you are travelling, whether it’s up north around Chiang Mai, a tropical island or even in the heart of Bangkok you will be surrounded by beautiful wild life and scenery. Bearing this in mind it makes sense that the thing to bring that people often wished they had (but didn’t) are binoculars. Not the huge army type ones but just a little dinky modern travel pair. Armed with this neat holiday accessory you can be the one that clearly sees the dolphins off the coast of Hua Hin, the giant Water Monitor Lizards that swim up the Chao Phraya River through the heart of Bangkok or the Crested Eagles that sail above the mountains of Chiang Mai. If you are quick you can also see the wonderful array of butterflies that glide undisturbed around the tree tops throughout the who kingdom.
The other thing that is a “must bring item” are cheap plastic flip flops (thongs if you’re travelling from Australia). Everybody here wears them as they are the most comfortable and practical footwear you can own. They are cool in hot weather, won’t get damaged on the beach, or swimming pool but best of all, as it’s customary to take your shoes off when you enter a room it will save the endless round of unlacing, unstrapping or unbuckling.
Lastly, if you only bring one book to Thailand make sure it’s a pocket guide to orchids. Thailand must be the orchid capital of the world…they are everywhere, from the airport arrival hall to your hotel and back again. This country is wall to wall orchid heaven. Make the most of it by understanding what you are looking at and impress your friends and holiday companions by pointing out the difference between the rare Bee Orchid and the highly prized Slipper Orchids.