While travelling may reap some of the best experiences, the packing and actual act of getting to the destination can be quite the hassle. Here I try to lighten your load (oh, the pun!) and give you a rundown on what to pack for a weekend away in Bangkok.
Do light research
First and foremost, before packing for any trip, you should always gauge the weather situation. Monsoon season will mean that raincoats or umbrellas are a must-pack, while light cotton clothing will be perfect for dry sunny days. In Bangkok, the rainy season usually happens between June to October while the rest of the months are generally warm and dry. Do keep a look out for this while planning your trip as rain generally do not bode for a good experience at Chatuchak Weekend Market (read here).
As you might have read here, the electrical outlets in Bangkok are different from what we have in Malaysia/Singapore, so do remember to pack in an adaptor, or buy a universal one at MBK for 200 baht!
There are generally two camps when it comes to packing for a short weekend away. The first emphasises a-look-a-day mentality – where an outfit is packed for each day. In terms of simplicity, you can’t go wrong with a dress, a day!
While this certainly makes it easier in terms of travelling with style, the multiple outfits do tend to take up quite a bit of space – which might be a detriment for the great shopping you’ll experience in Bangkok. Which is why I’m a bigger proponent of the other style of packing.
For this second style of packing, the concept is minimalistic, vagrant-like conditions. In my 4 days, 3 nights trip away there, I packed one pair of shorts, and two tops I rotated daily. Each item could be styled together easily for a variety of looks.
If you’re a germaphobe and worried about filthiness, the humid air in Bangkok ensures that washed clothing will dry overnight – this I can guarantee from experience.
Of course, you don’t need to resort to such extreme packing like I did, but I will say that since Bangkok is a shopping mecca, odds are that you will amass some great finds and need all the luggage space you can find.
Keeping your style while on holiday
Although you might be on holiday it does not mean that your personal style has to take leave too. Instead of walking around town with a virtual ‘tourist’ logo flashing on your forehead, blend in with the Bangkok public by keeping away the bum bags, tacky tourist tops and putting away your shopping in a larger tote bag.
Have a read of the Bangkok style analysis to get a feel of how the locals dress. Key notes to take away is the emphasis on comfortable chic. While I was there, I bumped into Hasliza, who I’ve met previously at Chic POP: Street Market 2. She was rocking her own sartorial stylishness even while on holiday, and I think she perfectly encapsulates the idea of keeping your style while outside of your usual element.
– A white t-shirt is very versatile and be dressed up or down depending on the situation. It goes well with everything – be it jean shorts, high-waisted pants or a floral skirt – which makes it my pick for best travel attire!
– A long skirt can help retain modesty while also beating the heat. It also enables you to try on clothes underneath, which is necessary since both Chatuchak, Platinum Mall and Suan Lum Night Market lack any changing rooms.
– Forget about wearing heels. Since you’ll be doing a lot of walking, comfy flats are of utmost importance. Avoid wearing new shoes as they have not been broken in and could result in painful blisters.
– Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Hasliza’s painted nails and accessories add a touch of whimsy to her outfit and ranks up points on the stylemeter. Definitely a neat way to add some understated sass to your look!
One of my biggest concerns when going to Bangkok was figuring out luggage space. Eventualy after gathering advice from friends and colleagues, I decided to go with one luggage, a duffel bag (that could be easily rolled up in the luggage or broken out for excessive baggage) and a tote for everyday shopping. The tote came in pretty handy while shopping as it gave me a space to put all my shopping together and not walk around in a haphazard mess.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this amount of luggage if you’re travelling for a short weekend away trip. If you’ve overshopped, do not worry, for there are many courier services available that can assist you in shipping your things over. For those travelling through Air Asia, please take note that the airline has instated a strict 15 kg baggage weight per person which means that you can not share a total baggage weight with your other travel buddies. Shipping over items through courier will prove to be a cheaper and less painful experience!
Packing Tips and Tricks
– When lacking in space, roll your clothes instead. By rolling your clothes, you not only end up with more luggage space but your clothes remain relatively wrinkle-free.
– Transfer your skincare products to smaller bottles in order to save on space. Travel-sized products are available at most major drugstores and departmental stores for your travelling ease.
– When packing electrical chargers or wires, it’s best to lay it surrounding the sides of the luggage rather than tie it together in a ball. Not only is it less space-consuming but it also doesn’t ruin the wires.
– Although the guidebooks will advise against sampling street fare, no travel experience is worth its salt without stories of eating exotic local cuisine. The flavourful Thai food is an absolutely must, but as a precaution, it might be best to carry around charcoal tablets in your bag. It’s always better to err on the safe side when it comes to food poisoning and diarrhea – so let charcoal tablets serve as your handy shield to be whipped out whenever needed.