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Ah, Thailand, the land of smiles. If you’re setting off on a trip to this amazing country, consider yourself incredibly lucky. Besides gorging yourself on pad thai and visiting some of the most beautiful temples in Asia, you’ll meet the nicest people in the world who are bound to change your life forever.

I’ve spent a ton of time in Thailand — in fact, I consider it my second home.

There’s so much that keeps me coming back to this wonderful place and I am excited for anyone who is about to experience it for themselves!

I consider myself somewhat of an expert packer for this particular destination because I’ve taken so many trips there. I hope I can impart some of my wisdom to you and make the packing process that much easier.

The most important thing to remember when gearing up for a trip to Thailand is that less is more! You’ll quickly learn that you only need a few outfits to have the adventure of a lifetime. Plus, whatever extras you need you’ll be able to find at one of the many markets in Thailand for a fraction of a price at home.

So save space in your luggage and get yourself ready — it’s going to be a memorable trip.

thailand guide temple

Choosing a Travel Bag for Thailand

The first step to any packing is choosing the best travel bag.

The roads you walk on in Thailand aren’t the best and are often uneven with lots of holes, gaps and cracks… that is, if there’s a sidewalk at all.

That’s why packing in a backpack is the most ideal for Thailand. It’s also the easiest choice if you plan on traveling around the country a lot. The last thing you want to do is lug a giant suitcase onto an overnight bus!

Best Backpacks for Thailand

Here are some awesome backpack picks for fitting everything you need for a trip to Thailand!

We love Osprey backpacks because they’re super dependable and long-lasting. Plus they come with a guarantee to fix anything that is damaged or broken, no matter when you got it.

Osprey Fairview

This is an awesome backpack and if you get the 40 liter, you can carry it right onto the airplane with you!

The Fairview looks like a backpack but opens up like a suitcase, making packing and finding what you need super easy and convenient.

The 55-liter model comes with a detachable daypack on the front which is a great feature if you want to get all of your travel bags in one go. Plus, it comes in lots of colors so you can pick one that fits your personal style.

Osprey Farpoint

The Farpoint is very similar to the Fairview, and also comes in different sizes and colors with the detachable daypack as an option.

The Farpoint opens like a suitcase but carries like a backpack, making it quite convenient for adventuring.

The only difference between the two backpacks is the Fairview is designed with women in mind, while the Farpoint is more geared towards men.

Osprey Meridian

If you’re not completely sold on the idea of a backpack or have trouble carrying one in the first place, this is the perfect bag for you.

The Meridian is a convertible backpack that has wheels and a pullout handle for when you want to roll it along. Fold these components away and sling it over your back with the padded carry strap and you’re ready to bring it up a flight of stairs or over uneven terrain.

This backpack comes in a handful of different sizes, so you’re able to choose one that works best for your travel needs.

If you want more suggestions, check out our full guide on the best travel backpacks.

View Best Travel Backpacks

No matter which backpack you choose for your travels, I can’t recommend using packing cubes enough.

These will make packing and life in general so much easier! Save time by knowing exactly where your belongings are instead of digging around until you find them. Plus, they compress your clothes to make more space for anything else you want to bring along!

Check out our article on best packing cubes to find a set that’s best for you.

Best Daypacks

Besides a trusty backpack, you’re also going to want a good daypack to use for your day-to-day adventures.

Nomatic Travel Pack

If you’re someone who carries a lot of gear (cameras, chargers, iPads), the Nomatic Bag is for you. Hands down, one of the best bags we’ve ever owned, this day pack makes it so convienient to pack and unpack. With a gazillion different compartments, it makes sure you have a home for everything in your bag, completely saving you from having to rummage through your bag again.
Click Here to View Bag

Thailand Packing List for Women

After you choose the ideal backpack, it’s time to start filling it up with everything you need for your trip.

As mentioned at the beginning, less is seriously more when it comes to packing for Thailand! You don’t need too much to begin with, and when you run out of clothes, you’ll have no problem finding a laundry shop or laundromat to wash your clothes.

The trick here is to bring solid-colored clothing that’s easy to mix and match. That way you’ll have different outfits with the same clothes!

Thai people are a rather conservative people, but since tourism is a booming industry, you won’t stand out if you throw on a pair of short shorts or a sundress. But if you’re visiting more remote places or small villages, it’s a sign of respect to dress more modestly than you would in the city.

Okay ladies, time to get packing. Here’s everything you need to bring along.

Tops and Bottoms

Tank Tops

I wear tank tops pretty much every day in Thailand and you probably will too. They’ll keep you cool without showing sweat stains — doesn’t get much better than that!

Go for ones made from lightweight, flowy material that will keep you cool on the hottest days.

T-Shirts

Bring along a t-shirt or two to wear to temples or during other activities where you may want to have your shoulders covered.

Dri-fit Top

Dri-fit clothing is great for Thailand because it wicks sweat instead of absorbing it. You’ll thank yourself when you wear a dri-fit shirt hiking or traversing through the countryside without being weighed down by absorbed moisture!

Maxi Skirt or Dress

Look like a tropical beauty in a maxi skirt or dress that you can wear around town. If you want to wear your dress on days you’re exploring temples, be sure to pick one that covers your shoulders!

Sundress

Sundresses are essential for Thailand. Wear them on days around town or on nights out. Props if you can find one with pockets!

Athletic Shorts

From mountains to waterfalls, to trips to see elephants and motorbike rides around the city, you’ll certainly want a pair of athletic shorts to keep you comfortable and cool on action-packed days.

Jean Shorts

A staple of any summer wardrobe, pack your favorite pair of jean shorts to wear along the way.

Leggings

Bring a pair of leggings to wear on long travel days (or nights). The overnight buses in Thailand are wildly convenient but can get super cold, so leggings are essential.

Leggings are also good for long hikes because they’ll protect you from prickly greenery and pesky mosquitoes.

Flannel

It’s good to have something to throw on at night time when the temperature drops, on cold bus rides, or in the freezing cold shopping malls. If you’re visiting during cooler months, you may want to opt for a sweatshirt instead.

Beachwear and Undergarments

Bathing Suit

Pack a bathing suit to wear to waterfalls or hotel pools! If you’re hitting the islands, you may want to pack more than one.

Cover-Up

Bring a cover-up to wear over your bathing suit or to the beach. Something lightweight and flowy will do the trick!

Sports Bras

There are so many great hikes and outdoor activities all over Thailand. You’ll want a sweat-wicking sports bra or two to keep you comfy on long days exploring trails and mountainsides.

Underwear

Obviously a must for any trip. For Thailand, it’s best to have sweat-wicking underwear to keep you comfortable all day long.

Socks

You’ll definitely want enough socks for your trip.

Besides ankle socks for general days walking around, you may want a pair of mid-calves for days traversing through the wilderness. There’s nothing worse than bug bites or sharp thorns on your ankles!

Footwear and Accessories

Flip-flops

Bring a pair of dependable flip-flops that you can wear when wandering around a city or heading to the pool.

I always travel with a pair of Rainbows because they’re comfy and long-lasting. Just be sure to break them in before your trip!

Nice Sandals

For nights out, it’s nice to throw on a pair of sandals to complete a cute outfit. That being said, most nightlife in Thailand isn’t fancy by any means so you can get away with pretty much anything when you’re going out.

However, if you’ll be in Bangkok and plan on hitting the nicer establishments, you might consider packing a pair of lightweight wedges.

Sneakers

You’ll need a pair of sneakers when exploring the great outdoors of Thailand. There’s so much to see, so make sure your feet are kept comfortable and properly protected on long days walking!

If you plan on doing longer, more advanced treks, you may want to pack a pair of lightweight hiking boots as well, but I tend to always be fine with my sneakers.

Hat

Either a baseball cap or sun hat will serve you well on this trip. The sun is super hot and beats down like crazy. Keep your head protected and the sun out of your face with a trusty hat!

Cross-body Bag

When you’re exploring cities or visiting temples and don’t feel like bringing a backpack, it’s nice to have a cross-body bag that you can keep you daily items in for easy access.

Definitely get one with a zipper to keep out wandering hands when you’re in more crowded, touristy areas.

Thailand Packing List for Men

Guys, don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about you! Here’s all the clothing you’ll need to pack for your trip to Thailand.

Same as the girls, keep the clothing to a minimum and bring items that you can mix and match.

Tops and Bottoms

Tank Tops

Stay cool with tank tops and singlets on your trip! Great for hiking and days walking around cities, tank tops are best because for Thailand’s tropical weather.

T-Shirts

You’ll want to pack a couple of t-shirts for days when tank tops won’t cut it, like when visiting temples or on a chilly airplane.

Dri-Fit Shirt

It’s nice to have a dri-fit shirt for days when you’ll be doing lots of activity. That way you won’t be weighed down by sweat and can enjoy yourself without any worries!

Athletic Shorts

A few pairs of athletic shorts will serve you well in Thailand, especially on jam-packed days full of adventures.

Everyday Shorts

Everyday shorts like jeans or khakis are good for walking around in, as well as wearing on nights out!

Hiking Pants

Hiking pants are super handy not only for protecting yourself on more treacherous treks, but to wear to temples as well! These are seriously convenient because they zip off above the knee for when you’re getting a little warm.

Flannel

For the cooler moments of your trip, you’ll be happy to have something warm to wrap yourself up in. If you’re worried about heavy air conditioning, you might choose to bring a sweatshirt instead.

Beachwear and Undergarments

Board Shorts

If you’ll be hitting the beach or pool along the way, bring along a pair of board shorts. If you’re not sure, bring ’em anyways because it’s likely you’ll end up at a waterfall or swimming alongside elephants!

Underwear

Enough underwear is essential so be prepared. It’s nice to have dri-fit underwear so you’re not walking around in sweaty boxers all day… just sayin’.

Socks

Socks: another must-have. Bring them, wear them, and wash when you can’t take the smell anymore!

Footwear and Accessories

Flip-flops

Sturdy flip-flops will serve you well on this trip! Some days, it will simply be too hot for sneakers. Let those feet breathe!

Sneakers

On adventurous days, you’ll want to keep your toes protected with a pair of sturdy sneakers.

If you’ll be doing some serious hiking, you might want to opt for a pair of lightweight boots, but overall you should be just fine in a pair of tennis shoes.

Hat

Protect yourself from the sun and bring a trusty hat along with you, especially if you plan on doing lots of outdoor activities (as you should be!).

Thailand Packing List: Essential Items

There are certain must-haves when packing for Thailand. Check out this list and make sure you have all of these items when it’s time to go!

Sunscreen

The sun in Thailand is insanely hot, so you’ll definitely want to protect yourself.

Bring your own sunscreen because a lot of the ones you’ll find there have whitening agents in them. For water activities, be sure to pack reef safe sunscreen to protect our oceans!

Bugspray

The only thing stronger than the sun in Thailand are the mosquitoes. Cover yourself in bugspray, especially at night, or be prepared to be itching your entire trip.

Life Straw

The tap water in Thailand isn’t safe to drink, but if you bring a Life Straw with you, you’ll be able to drink whatever, whenever.

These straws filter out impurities in water, making it safe for drinking. I can’t recommend these enough!

Activated Charcoal Capsules

If you do end up ingesting some impure water or eating some funky street food (which is pretty much inevitable), you’ll have quite an uncomfortable experience.

Activated charcoal pills are the best for getting rid of food poisoning fast, and will make you feel good as new in a matter of hours.

Tissues

A lot of bathrooms in Thailand don’t have any toilet paper so come prepared with your own! Slipping a travel pack of tissues in your daily bag will come in more handy than you’d imagine.

Hand Sanitizer

In addition to toilet paper, most restrooms in Thailand are also lacking soap. Keep your hands clean after using the toilet with some travel-sized hand sanitizer.

I always bring a bottle of this lavender scented sanitizer that smells amazing while killing those germs!

Wet Wipes

These will come in handy time and time again, I promise you that. On sweaty days, feel fresh with a quick swipe of a wet wipe!

Besides sweaty times, these are also ideal for long travel days and other moments where you may not be feeling your freshest self.

Quick-dry Towel

A lot of hostels in Thailand won’t provide you with a towel so it’s good to have one of your own.

A quick-dry towel is best because you’ll be able to pack it shortly after using it without worrying about getting everything else in your bag wet.

Travel Sheet

On the same hostel note, I also recommend bringing along a lightweight travel sheet for those questionable stays in cheap accommodation.

$6 hostels are abundant and a godsend for budget travelers but they can also be pretty yucky. A travel sheet is awesome as a protective layer between the hostel’s sheets and your body.

Plus, you can use them in airports, on long bus rides and even as picnic blankets!

Raincoat

Do NOT go to Thailand without a raincoat — you will regret it! Rain comes when you least expect it, even when it’s not rainy season.

I seriously bring a raincoat with me wherever I go in Thailand, and I have used it more than I ever imagined I would. Go for a lightweight, compressible one and make it your travel companion. You will be so glad that you did.

Locks

You’ll want two kinds of locks when traveling in Thailand: luggage locks and locker locks.

It’s a good idea to always keep your luggage locked up both while traveling and leaving it unattended in a hostel or hotel. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.

You’ll also want a good padlock for hostel lockers to keep your valuables stored safely while you’re out exploring.

Travel Wallet

I never go on a trip without my travel wallet — this one specifically.

It’s really convenient to pull it out during check-in and have my passport, credit cards, IDs and cash all in one place, and then be able to slip my boarding pass and any other travel documents into the appropriately sized pockets.

Having a travel wallet saves a lot of hassle, and allows me to stay organized on the go.

Sunglasses

sungod-classics

You gotta have sunglasses in Thailand, that’s just a fact.

We love to travel with SunGods glasses because they’re adventure-proof and completely customizable. Plus, they ship anywhere in the world!

Toiletries to Bring

You can find most toiletries at 7-Eleven in Thailand, and I recommend doing so to save yourself space and weight in your luggage.

However, it’s nice to have some basics to use on the go or before you hit 7-Eleven. These are the toiletries I’d bring:

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Feminine hygiene products

Besides toiletries you’re going to want a dependable toiletry bag to keep everything in one place.

I love this one because it has tons of pockets and compartments and has a hook to hang it up while you’re getting ready!

Electronics

You don’t need too many electronics when traveling in Thailand. In fact, I recommend keeping it to a minimum so that you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost, stolen or broken.

Here’s what I take along with me.

Universal Adapter

This is a must so that you can keep all of your electronics plugged in and charged.

If you’re a frequent traveler or have any trips in your future, it’s best to get a universal adapter so that you have all the different plugs in one nifty gadget.

Camera + Equipment

You’re bound to see some beautiful sights on this life-changing trip, so having a good camera is absolutely essential.

Be sure to bring extra SD cards so you don’t run out of space, as well. If you’re in the market for a good travel camera, check out our guide to the best travel cameras, with complete reviews!

View Best Travel Cameras Guide

GoPro + Accessories

GoPros are the perfect travel companion for recording all of your adventures. Since they’re so small, they’re easy to tuck in your pocket and take along on any adventure from land to sea.

Don’t forget the accessories to capture some unreal footage!

Kindle

For lazy days or lounging on the beach, bring along a Kindle to stay up to date on all of those best sellers. This way you can skip the weight that books add while having thousands of titles right at your fingertips!

Laptop and Charger

For longer trips and working on the go, pack your laptop and charger.

I never go anywhere without my MacBook Air because it gets the job done without making my bag heavy.

Power Bank

Take a trusty power bank to keep your electronics charged on the go. This is especially handy for long bus rides or days walking around. Just don’t forget your charging cords!

A final tech tip is to make sure that your cellphone is unlocked so that you can get a local SIM card to stay connected anywhere you are.

Other Travel Essentials to Pack

Here are some final items you may consider bringing with you to really round out your trip.

Eye Mask + Ear Plugs

For all the nights spent in noisy hostels or on airplanes with screaming babies, you may want to an eye mask and ear plug set to keep you cozy and free from misery.

Travel Pillow

On the same lines as being cozy, a travel pillow that compresses and is easy to pack is another good investment for this trip. There will be lots of long flights and bus rides, and being comfortable is key to surviving those journeys.

I love this one because it’s not the traditional U-shape and compresses to be super small!

First Aid Kit

Accidents happen so it’s good to be prepared with a little travel first aid kit filled with anything you’ll need for minor injuries.

Afterbite

You will get bitten up by mosquitoes, that’s just a fact of life in Thailand. Afterbite will relieve the itch, making it super useful to take along with you.

Dramamine

Roads in Thailand, especially up north, can be full of twists and turns.

If you plan on going to Pai (or taking a bus up north in general), it’s highly recommended you bring motion sickness medication. You will feel nauseous and this will help, I promise.

Notebook / Journal

Be sure to document your travels with a trusty notebook or journal! It’s awesome to look back on notes and entries you’ve written on your favorite experiences.

Snorkel / Dive Gear

If you’ll be exploring some of the many islands in Thailand, it’s super nice to have your own snorkel or dive gear to see all that the crystal clear water has to offer. Having your own gear is especially nice because you get to avoid low quality and often times unsanitary rentals.

Check out our guide to snorkel gear to get gear that fits your needs.

Waterproof Phone Case

Another good thing to have on the islands, but also during rainy season and Songkran, is a waterproof phone case!

Lifeproof makes great cases so you don’t have to worry about your phone getting damaged. Alternatively, you can go for a waterproof phone pouch.

Dry Bag

Finally, a dry bag is a must have for any water-related activities on your trip. It will keep all of your belongings nice and dry so you won’t have to worry about them on that bumpy boat ride, scuba trip, or day on the beach.

We’ve shortlisted the best dry bags, so that you can easily make a choice!

Bring it or Buy it?

Besides the land of smiles, Thailand is also land of markets. There will be markets in most every city, town or island you visit, full of handcrafted goodies and clothing just waiting for you to buy.

phu-quoc-night-market

That’s why it’s probably a good idea to not pack too much and buy whatever you need there. Besides saving space in your luggage on the way over, you’ll be supporting the local economy! Total win-win situation.

That being said, there are certain things you might want to bring with you. Here’s a quick guide on what you should bring or buy.

Bring

Skincare Items

I highly recommend bringing your own skincare items to Thailand, especially things like lotion and sunscreen. Many of the lotions and creams in Thailand have whitening agents in them, so if you’d like to maintain your tan instead of bleach it, bring your own lotion with you.

Also, it’s hard to find the same skincare products that you use at home so if you have specific needs or a strict routine, it’s better to bring your items along with you.

Reusable Water Bottle

There’s so much plastic waste in Thailand, it’s actually pretty crazy. Do your part to combat this by bringing your own reusable water bottle with you to refill throughout the trip.

Collapsible water bottles are particularly great for travel because they fold up to be very small when not in use. Plus, they’re super lightweight!

Want your water to stay cold throughout the day and don’t mind traveling with something heavier? Go for a Swell or other insulated water bottles.

But if you’re more of a traditionalist and drink a ton of water like me, a trusty Nalgene will serve you well now — and for many trips to come.

Reusable Straw

On the same note, bringing a reusable straw on your travels will go such a long way! Say no to straws when ordering a drink and use your own instead!

This one even comes with a handy cleaning wand to keep it nice and fresh for every use.

Buy

Hippie / Elephant Pants

Elephant pants are abundant in Thailand! Everywhere you go, you’ll see these being sold.

Generally only 100 baht and available in a million different colors and patterns, elephant pants are the staple outfit of Thailand. They’re so breezy, flowy and comfy.

Plus, these pants are totally gender neutral, so guys, be sure to grab a pair as well!

Elephant pants are super handy for wearing to temples, and make for great colorful pictures. You haven’t been to Thailand if you don’t have a pair of these!

Sarong

Sarongs are also a very handy item to have on your Thailand adventures.

Whether you’re looking for something to lay out on the beach or throw on over a pair of shorts at a temple, these are so versatile and very convenient. They’re abundant at markets and shops throughout Thailand, and very inexpensive as well.

Save yourself some money and get one there!

Toiletries

Toiletries can be the main contribution to weight in your luggage, so it’s best to buy them at your destination.

Thailand has more 7-Elevens than people (not really, but there are a lot!) full of travel-sized toiletries from loads of different brands. Grab your toiletries there and thank me later.

Buying Clothes in Thailand

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re intending to buy clothes in Thailand.

The first is that clothes run small. If there are even sizes at all, a large will fit closer to a medium, a medium is a small and a small is definitely more of an extra small.

That being said, most clothes like elephant pants and skirts are one-size-fits-all, and there likely won’t be a place for you to try them on. So choose wisely and always go for ones with a drawstring so you can make the fit custom.

Second, clothes will most definitely be of a lower quality than what you’d find at home.

But that’s what you get for paying the equivalent of $3 for a pair of pants! Tears, rips and unraveling seams are a guarantee, but the clothes you buy should at least last for your short trip.

Things to Consider When Packing for a Trip to Thailand

Packing for Thailand is relatively easy and similar to packing for other Southeast Asian countries, but there are a few specific things to keep in mind while preparing.

Where Are You Going?

The first thing to consider is which parts of the country you’ll be visiting.

If you’ll be staying up north in places like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai, you can probably skip the beach gear and load up on the athletic clothes for hiking and flowy pants for exploring temples. That being said, you may want to bring along a bathing suit or two for waterfalls or pools.

If you’ll be down south in Bangkok, you may want to bring some nicer clothes as it’s a large city with some fancier restaurants and bars.

Finally, if you’ll be visiting the many islands off the coast, you’ll absolutely want to bring bathing suits, cover-ups and anything else you need to enjoy time in the sun. Don’t forget your snorkel gear so that you can catch a glimpse of everything going on below the surface!

What Will You Be Doing?

With so much to do in Thailand, you want to make sure you pack appropriately for the activities you’re planning.

If you plan on exploring the many national parks, waterfalls, and mountainous countrysides, load up on those athletic clothes, sports bras, and sneakers.

If you’re interested in the culture, be sure you have the correct temple wear. At all temples in Thailand, men and women are required to have their knees and shoulders covered. It’s best to wear a long skirt or pants as a sign of respect, but you can also get away with wrapping a sarong around a pair of shorts, as long as it covers you completely.

If you’re a beach bum, bring all your beach gear and anything else you need to enhance your experience like snorkel and dive gear.

Time of Year

A final consideration to keep in mind is the time of year you’ll be visiting. While it’s warm year round, there are three distinct seasons in Thailand: hot, cool, and wet.

Hot season runs from March through June and you can expect to be sweating excessively all day every day. You’ll get the occasional rain shower, but most of the time you’ll be walking around under the beating sun with little reprieve.

During this time of year, you’ll want lots of clothes made from quick-dry fabric to wick sweat instead of absorb it, and lots of lightweight flowy fabrics as well.

Cool season is from November to February. Cool is totally relative because it’s still just as hot as summer in Europe or the U.S. During cool season, Thailand is drier and less humid than hot season, making it more comfortable, but it’s still super warm.

That being said, you may want to bring a pair of leggings, sweatpants and a flannel, if you’re traveling during this time because temperatures at night can drop.

Finally, monsoon (wet) season varies from place to place but is generally from May to October, with the most rain coming from August to October.

Rainy season in Thailand will completely redefine what you think you know about rain the second you get caught in a downpour. The roads flood with water, you’re pelted constantly and then it will stop as suddenly as it started.

It’s rare that you’ll have an entire day of rain, but intermittent rain is almost a guarantee during this time of year.

Because monsoon season is so unpredictable, you should carry a raincoat or small umbrella with you all the time. No, seriously, get a lightweight, compressible raincoat and keep it with you always. You will be so happy when you’re the only dry one when the heavens open up.

A woman sitting in front of a temple looking at a map

Planning Your Thailand Trip

To wrap up this packing list, here some tips to help you plan your Thailand trip.

Visa

Chances are, if you’re traveling to Thailand, you’ll be able to enter for 30 days for tourism purposes without a visa. 55 countries qualify for visa exemption, but if you’re not sure, you can check here to see if you qualify.

If you want to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days and entered the country visa-exempt, you can head over to immigration and apply for a visa extension to get another 30 days. It costs 1,900 baht, and will take a couple hours so be sure to go early in the day and have all of the proper documents with you when you arrive.

Currency

In Thailand, the currency is the Thai Baht.

When you land in the airport, you can either exchange bills or use an ATM that will give you baht. There are also currency exchanges and ATMs throughout all of Thailand, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting money. Just be sure to let your bank know that you’re traveling!

When withdrawing money from an ATM, I’d suggest using one attached to a bank whenever possible. This way, if anything goes wrong (like the machine eating up your card!), you can immediately get help from the bank staff.

Transportation in Thailand

There are various transportation options all over Thailand.

When in cities or on islands, the most common mode for locals and foreigners alike is a songthaew, which is essentially an open-backed truck where you can hop on and off.

They generally only cost 30 baht a person, making them a super practical and economical way to get around.

Besides songthaews, you can take a tuk-tuk which is a super fun way to see a city, but they cost much more than the alternative.

If you’re feeling adventurous (and have a motorbike licence), you can also rent a motorbike or scooter to drive around on your own. This is a great method of transport but isn’t for the faint-hearted. Traffic and driving in Thailand in general can be extremely hectic so it’s not recommended for beginners.

For more information on renting a motorbike in Thailand, check out our complete guide here.

Finally, you can call a Grab, which is the Uber of Southeast Asia. This is a fairly cheap option, not to mention convenient. It’s best for long distances or if you need some air conditioning for your journey across town.

To get between cities in Thailand, you pretty much have three choices: bus, train or plane.

From going from one tip of the country to the other (north to south, or south to north), I highly recommend taking an overnight VIP bus. They’re super comfortable (although absolutely freezing), and the seats recline all the way so you can sleep through the night and wake up in a new city!

Transportation: We recommend downloading the Skyscanner App and using Bookaway or 12Go website to view bus, boat, and train schedules ahead of time. We’ve used these websites all over Asia and it saves us the hassle of lining up in travel agencies or bus stations.

Thailand Safety Tips

Thailand is quite a safe country; I’ve never had a moment where I’ve felt anything otherwise.

However, you should be alert and keep your belongings close to you when in touristy places (Khaosan Road and full moon parties, I’m looking at you!).

My biggest tip for staying safe in Thailand is to always wear a helmet when riding a motorbike. Not only is it the law, but it will save your life.

Motorbikes are a common way to get around in Thailand, but accidents happen often. Be wary of who’s driving, and if you’re driving yourself, be sure to have enough experience because roads are hectic and dangerous for inexperienced drivers.

When traveling anywhere, I highly recommend having travel insurance because you never know when an accident is going to happen.

Get a free quote from World Nomads below!

Other Resources

We have tons of other resources to help you plan your trip to Thailand, so be sure to check them out if you’re looking for things to do, places to say, and most importantly, what to eat!


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