Hi all, Susan here from www.BraveWomenTravel.com.  If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you’ll know that we’re taking you on a month long journey through Thailand, walking you through the do’s and don’ts; what to see; transportation, everything that you need to know to travel through Thailand, especially for the female traveller, as you are who I’m writing to and for.  

As I’ve travelled through Thailand, I think about my clients, would they like this? Or how about that?  Sometimes I have really enjoyed something but wonder if you would like it.  Most often I truly feel that If I loved it, so will you.  Here are my earlier blogs you might want to visit; How to Get Around Bangkok as a Female Traveler and 10 Places to Visit and See While you’re in Bangkok

Map of Thailand

I would like to talk about what to bring to Thailand on vacation and when to visit.  It’s in the tropics, it’s extremely hot, and there are lots of bugs here and everyone always asks me, well should I bring this…. Or how about this…..? And the answer is always the same.  Yes. and No.

Because Thailand has three seasons, hot, cool and wet, and is a relatively large country spanning North to South, the temperatures can vary from top to bottom, but one thing remains, the weather is always fantastic!!

Here is the best time to visit

Andaman Sea / Phuket / Krabi / Khao Lak – November to May

Gulf Coast / Samui / Phangan /Kho Tao – April to October

Monthly Averages
Month    High       Low     Precip
Nov         86°F      75°F       14 in
Dec          87°F      74°F        6 in
Jan          88°F      73°F        3 in
Feb          89°F      74°F        3 in
Mar         90°F      75°F        5 in
Apr          90°F      76°F      11 in

I found that in Bangkok in November the weather was actually quite pleasant.  Temperatures ranged from 26 to 30 during the day and less at night.  You could feel the heat for sure, but it was bearable.  If you decide to head to Northern Thailand, let’s say Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai, the weather can be considerably cooler.  November to May is a comfortable 23-28 during the day and can dip to quite cool in the evening.  A lot of the Southerners vacation in the North because it is so hot at home!

When you decide to venture down to the island of Phuket, the temperatures can reach the mid 30’s during the day and feel like it’s in the mid 40’s.  And I found that it didn’t matter if you were a local or a tourist, hot is hot.

Seasonal Changes

So now that we’ve got the weather taken care of, and you’ve decided where you are going to visit and when, you can figure out if you need to bring a light jacket, a sweater or just shorts & tee’s.

You can actually bring 1 pair of each and buy everything you need when you get to Bangkok.  The prices are so cheap it’s hardly worth carting your old stuff into Bangkok.  Bring a good size suitcase, mostly empty, and fill it with new purchases from the street vendors or night markets.  We all know we’re paying more than the locals do, but at $4 for a pair of pants and $6 for a dress, that’s perfect material for their weather, you can hardly say no.  I had to buy a new suitcase to come home with, what can I say.  I couldn’t resist, and I live in a warm climate 10 months of the year, so my purchases in Thailand are perfect for home.

My list of must bring to Thailand items!

  1. Small backpack for going out for the day.  Easy to wear, not too heavy and perfect for those quick buys of new pants and shirts and to hold your water for the day
  2. Thailand uses 220V AC electricity. Power outlets most commonly feature two-prong round or flat sockets.  So if you’re in Canada or USA you’re fine.  If you’re in the Middle East you need to bring an adapter.  
  3. And don’t forget the power plugs for all of your devices.  If you forget one at home they are an expensive purchase here.  If you have the plug for your laptop but forget your IPhone plug, you can always use your laptop as a source of power.
  4. Suntanning oil
  5. Mosquito repellant
  6. Insect bite salve
  7. Mosquito coils for sitting outside
  8. Lighter
  9. Sunblock
  10. Shampoo & Hair Condition
  11. Body moisturizer.  The water can really dry your skin out fast.  You can buy some when you get there, but you more than likely have a ton at home.
  12. A pen and paper
  13. Snack bars for the entire trip.  At least 1 per day.  They come in real handy when you are peckish or waiting for a flight.
  14. Comfortable walking shoes
  15. Indoor and Outdoor sandals.  Many stores and hotels ask you to remove your shoes and leave them at the front door.  It’s always nice to have a pair of indoor shoes
  16. Hat
  17. Sunglasses
  18. Portable Translator Device
  19. Google Translate works amazing as long as you have wifi.  If you are unable to communicate just plug in the word and voila, the word comes up in Thai.
  20. 1 pair of socks and runners
  21. Protector for your passport
  22. Appropriate attire for the season and if you plan on visiting the temples in Thailand you must cover your shoulders, men and women, and in some cases have long pants on.
  23. Best camera you can buy or borrow
  24. Go pro 

Camera, Accessory, Gopro, Outdoor    25.Tablet

    26. Laptop

    27.  Pull all of your cash out of the ATM in the very beginning.  ATM fees are big business in Thailand.  You can find ATMs on every street corner in every store.  They charge $10 (220 baht) to get money out and your bank will charge about $5 so that’s an extra $15 every time you pull cash out.  So figure out what you’re going to spend, use your credit card as often as you can, or better yet, get yourself a prepaid Visa and there are no fees.  If they take credit cards they’ll take these.  Your money is loaded in your own currency, so it works great.  So let’s say you decide you’re going to spend $100 per day in cash, pull out 20,000 baht per week.  That’s a little extra just in case.  If you’re there for two weeks, pull out 40,000 you get it, okay.

   28.  Phone

   29.  Buy a sim card in destination, they are fairly cheap.  Most often you can find wifi in the bigger cities so I never buy anything else.  I use the hotel and the restaurants and I’m good.

   30.  Download maps.me  It’s a free app and then when you get into a destination download the city and you’ll know where you are at all times.

Things I wouldn’t worry about

  1. A towel, you can use the hotel’s towels at the beach, just don’t leave them behind
  2. Shampoo: Most hotels have shampoo but not conditioner.  The shampoo’s not the best, just like hotels back home. So if you want to treat your hair nice while you’re gone then bring yours from home.  If you’re tight for space, go the cheapy way and use the hotel’s.
  3. Jeans, unless you really have to have your jeans. They weigh too much and you’ll never wear them.  Trust me.
  4. Thailand is like any other country, theft happens, so I would leave all of your expensive jewellery at home.  You’re going to be playing with the elephants, viewing dozens of temples, snorkeling and walking on the beach, you really don’t need all that bling.

After spending 4 weeks in Thailand, my list is pretty comprehensive and I feel it’s  complete.  I think if you print this off and make sure you do everything on this list your vacation will be pleasant and you’ll have a great time.  

Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take to protect yourself from obvious risks…