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25 Top Bangkok Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Bangkok
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Located at the heart of the land of smiles and home to dozens of Buddhist temples, bustling markets, and world-famous nightlife, Bangkok is the perfect place for the trip of a lifetime. It’s no wonder that it’s often topped the list of most visited cities in the world!

If you’re considering a vacation to Bangkok, it’s important to properly prepare for your trip in order to make sure you have a safe and fun vacation. Below is a packing list of essential items to bring, what to wear in Bangkok, plus info on what NOT to pack and answers to FAQs.

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What to Pack for Bangkok - 25 Essentials

  • 1. Neck Wallet

    In Southeast Asia, it’s always a good idea to keep your money and valuables out of your pockets, where they can be a target for thieves. This neck wallet is the perfect place to store your cash, credit cards, passport, smartphone, and other small items so they’re protected from sticky fingers yet easily accessible. It’s even constructed with an RFID protective lining to prevent e-theft.

    neck wallet

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  • 2. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    The first time I visited Bangkok, I had so much fun that I lost track of time and forgot to charge my phone. I ended up getting lost on my way back to the hotel and found myself on the wrong side of town! That’s why, now, I always travel with this tiny portable charger, which is compact and lightweight, but still packs plenty of power to fully recharge your phone or other small electronics.

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Chances are high that you’ll end up using wifi quite a bit in Bangkok to plan your adventures and keep in touch with family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get targeted by hackers while using unsecured wifi connections. The best way to protect yourself, as well as get easy and safe access to your online accounts, is through a VPN service. NordVPN prevents tracking, blocks pop-ups and malware, provides password protection, and safe, untraceable internet browsing from anywhere in the world. They also have great service and affordable prices.


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  • 4. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    One of my best decisions as a traveler was to ditch my old beach towel. It took up too much space in my bag and wasn’t practical for traveling. Instead, I use this quick-dry travel towel, which works just as well as a regular towel, but packs down to just 7” x 3” and weighs only 7 ounces. It dries off in minutes in the sun and even comes with a bonus washcloth-sized travel towel and carrying case.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 5. Filtered Water Bottle

    The tap water in Bangkok is unsafe to drink, so if you want to avoid having to buy bottled water, Grayl water bottles are the way to go. Most water filters require tons of pumping, but this bottle uses gravity to filter your water in less than ten seconds. It filters out bacteria like E. Coli, viruses, and pathogens that can get you very sick. Also, unlike regular filter-type water bottles, you can transfer clean water to other bottles to share with your friends. For me, this Grayl water bottle was a game changer for trips to Southeast Asia.

    Filtered Water Bottle

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Bangkok

    Experienced travelers know that travel insurance is well worth the small investment since it allows you to explore the world with confidence, especially since your domestic provider normally does not cover you abroad. We use Faye for their competitive rates and international coverage, but my favorite thing about them is their service. Unlike other providers, who take forever to give reimbursements, Faye handles claims quickly through their app without any dreadful or confusing paperwork. If you ever have to deal with a missed flight or an emergency medical situation overseas, Faye will have you covered.

    Travel Insurance for Bangkok

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  • 7. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    If you plan to visit Bangkok during the monsoon season, a travel umbrella is a must. Most travel umbrellas aren’t very durable, but this one is a different breed. It’s designed with resin-infused fiberglass ribs that were built to survive strong gusts of wind and heavy use on the road. It also folds down to just 12 inches long, so you can keep it in your daypack and forget about it until you need it.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 8. Jet Lag Relief

    In my opinion, the worst part about traveling to Bangkok is the long flight. Bangkok is easily 10 to 14 hours from the US, and I always end up stepping off the flight feeling a little disoriented. Fortunately, these homeopathic jet lag relief capsules are extremely effective. They take the edge off your jet lag, so you can start enjoying your vacation as soon as possible instead of being laid up in the hotel.

    jet lag relief

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  • 9. Packing Cubes

    For me, traveling light is the only way to go and I try to fly with just one suitcase. My favorite trick to maximize space in my luggage is to use these packing cubes, which are perfect for organizing my clothing and other gear so they take up far less space and are much easier to find. They come in a set with five different-sized cubes, as well as two bonus laundry bags which are perfect for storing dirty clothes.

    packing cubes

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  • 10. Waterproof Phone Pouch

    From the Chao Phraya River to the monsoon rains to your hotel pool, any trip to Bangkok is likely to involve a lot of water. If you want to use your phone without worrying about water damage, a waterproof case is a must. This pouch will protect your phone from getting wet or dirty and is even rated safe up to 75 feet underwater! It fits most regular-sized smartphones and comes with a lanyard to keep it close by.

    Waterproof Phone Pouch

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  • 11. Activated Charcoal

    With so many amazing street food vendors and restaurants, Bangkok is a foodie’s paradise. But in Thailand, it’s easy to get an upset stomach if you’re not accustomed to the local cuisine. So for trips abroad, I always pack a bottle of activated charcoal, just in case. It’ll bind to bacteria and any contaminants in your digestive tract, to help your body remove those toxins with minimal exposure. You can also take it after the fact to help with symptoms of food poisoning.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 12. Universal Power Adapter

    Technically, Thailand uses the same type of power outlets as you’ll find in the US, but in reality, you can expect to find a variety of outlet types in the country. This power adapter not only allows you to use any outlet, but it’s also useful when you want to charge two devices at the same time. It’ll protect your electronics from getting fried by a faulty outlet with the built-in fuse protector and it’s compatible in over 100 countries!

    Universal Power Adapter

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  • 13. Motion Sickness Patches

    For me, the highlight of any trip to Bangkok is a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River. It’s beautiful, but the waterways are usually congested with other boats, which means that the captain may end up taking sudden twists and turns. These motion sickness patches will help ease any symptoms of seasickness, so you can fully enjoy the ride. They are also life savers for surviving stop-and-go traffic in the backseat of a taxi or tuk-tuk that can often leave you feeling green.

    Motion Sickness Patches

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  • 14. Cooling Towel

    Bangkok can get really hot and humid, especially between March and May. The best way I found to beat the heat while on the go was to use this cooling towel. All you have to do is wet the towel and drape it around your neck, shoulders, or anywhere you please for instant relief. They’re chemical-free so they’re easy on your skin, dry off quickly in the sun, and take up almost no space in your bag.

    Cooling Towel

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  • 15. Floatation Strap

    If you plan to go on an excursion down the river or to the beach, I highly recommend bringing a couple of these floatation straps. They are designed to be attached to your camera, phone, keys, or other small items to prevent them from sinking if you accidentally drop them in the water. Each strap supports up to 5 ounces of weight, and they’re brightly colored so floating items are easy to spot in the water.

    Floatation Strap

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  • 16. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    Whenever I travel internationally, I like to use luggage locks to keep my bags secure, especially when they are out of sight. These luggage locks are lightweight yet strong enough to deter thieves, and they were designed to allow TSA agents to check your bags without any hang-ups. They’re perfect for securing anything from your rolling luggage to your backpack and can be paired with a lightweight cable to secure your gear to a fixed position if necessary.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

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  • 17. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    There’s nothing worse than opening your luggage to discover all your gear covered in shampoo. Fortunately, this hanging toiletry bag has a waterproof zippered pocket that prevents any spills from reaching the rest of your bag, as well as plenty of other pockets to organize all of your toiletries. It’s stylish, durable, compact, and has a built-in hook that’s perfect for hanging it up in your hotel bathroom.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 18. Discounted Tickets to Bangkok Attractions

    Bangkok is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and it’s all too easy to miss out on attractions when they become fully booked. The best way to avoid this issue is to use Get Your Guide to purchase excursions and plan a custom itinerary ahead of time. You can use the service to book tours and experiences from the floating market to Ayutthaya Temples to a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River!

    Discounted Tickets to Bangkok Attractions

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  • 19. Deodorant Wipes

    In a hot and humid city like Bangkok, it’s nice to have a way to refresh yourself on the go. I like to use these deodorant wipes, which are individually wrapped for convenience. They’re made from 100% organic, sustainably sourced materials and have a light and refreshing scent that works perfectly to wipe away sweat, and dirt and eliminate odors.

    Deodorant Wipes

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  • 20. Waterproof Backpack

    In addition to my main luggage, I find a small daypack is an essential item to bring on all my international trips. That way, you can bring your daily necessities along when you’re out on excursions around the city. This backpack is totally waterproof, so it’ll protect your gear from the rain, and it folds into the zippered inner pocket, so you can stash it away when not in use.

    Waterproof Backpack

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  • 21. First Aid Kit

    After many years of traveling full-time, I’ve found that a small personal first aid kit is a very useful item to have on hand. It’s especially important in tropical places like Bangkok, where an untreated cut can quickly become infected. This portable first-aid kit is small enough to fit in your daypack or jacket pocket, but it’s got everything you need to take care of minor cuts and scrapes.

    First Aid Kit

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  • 22. Travel Toilet Paper

    In Thailand, you’ll often find that many public bathrooms don’t provide toilet paper. That’s why I always keep a pack of flushable wipes in my bag when I’m out exploring the city. They’re individually wrapped, making it easy to bring one or two with you for the day, and unlike most other brands, they’re all natural so they don’t leave a weird chemical smell.

    Travel Toilet Paper

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  • 23. Affordable Waterproof Camera

    It would be a shame to visit Bangkok without taking lots of pictures to share your adventure with friends and family back home. Instead of using my smartphone all the time for photography, I like to use this waterproof camera, which is much more durable and can be used in wet and rugged environments. It’s just as effective as a GoPro, for a fraction of the cost.

    Affordable Waterproof Camera

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  • 24. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    Bangkok is a shopper’s dream, with hundreds of markets and shops selling interesting and unique souvenirs. I like to keep this packable bag with me at all times, so I’m always ready to carry extra items that might not fit in my daypack. It’s also the perfect size to fit under your seat on the plane, so you won’t have to check an extra bag. Money saved on baggage fees is money to spend in Bangkok!

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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  • 25. Luggage Tracker

    About a year ago, a major airline lost my luggage, and it took me almost two months to finally track it down and get it back. That’s why I got these tiny luggage trackers, which use Bluetooth technology to track your bags, wherever they end up. They’re also useful to keep a close eye on your gear while riding buses and trains when you can’t always keep your bags in sight.

    Luggage Tracker

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What to Wear in Bangkok

Bangkok is located close to the equator, so the weather is warm year-round. When you’re planning your trip, you’ll want to pack clothing that’s comfortable in a hot and humid climate and protects you from the strong equatorial sun. If you visit during the wet season, you’ll also want to be prepared for daily downpours.

In the following sections, we’ll list the ideal clothes to pack for a trip to Bangkok, as well as mention some clothing and travel items that are better left at home. You’ll want to mostly pack shorts and t-shirts or skirts made from lightweight and breathable fabric. Many tourists wear sandals around the city, but you may want to consider waterproof shoes or hiking boots if you plan to do a lot of walking. Make sure to bring a raincoat for wet weather as well as a light hoodie for the odd cool night.

What Women Should Wear in Bangkok? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample of what women should wear in Bangkok with links to Amazon for your convenience.

In Bangkok, most women pick outfits that are casual and comfortable. Think lightweight, breathable clothing like a cotton jumpsuit or a sarong. In Thailand, it’s considered improper to expose too much skin unless you’re at the beach, so make sure to wear modest-length shorts and skirts. Make sure to always protect yourself from the sun and rain, as the weather can change fast.

What Men Should Wear in Bangkok? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample of what men should wear in Bangkok with links to Amazon for your convenience.

In Bangkok, most guys wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts, except for formal occasions. Since the typical attire is casual for most tourists, you’ll want to plan your outfits around the weather. On sunny days, remember to wear a hat and sunglasses, and don’t forget to keep a jacket handy in case you encounter those famous Bangkok monsoon rains.

Dressing for the Seasons in Bangkok

WET SEASON – June, July, August, September, October

Like most of SE Asia, Bangkok is hot year-round, but the climate still has three distinct seasons: the wet season from June to October, the cool season from November to February, and the hot season from March to May. During the wet season, the weather is warm and humid, with daily rainfall. Often the sun may shine in the mornings, but get ready for serious showers every afternoon.

This time of year, rain gear is absolutely essential. You’ll want to pack a rain jacket and also consider bringing a travel umbrella . For footwear, use water shoes or sandals , since they’re breathable and can dry out quickly. When the sun shines it can be quite strong, so make sure to pack your sun protection , too. In the wet season, average temperatures are in 80’s F, with lows in the mid to high 70’s F and average highs in the low 90’s F.

COOL SEASON – November, December, January, February

Most of Bangkok’s 20 million annual visitors visit during the winter months, when the weather in Bangkok is a perfect escape from the northern chill. This time of year, the city is usually sunny but not too hot, although it can still be humid much of the time.

In the cool season, you’ll want to pack as if you were traveling to Hawaii or the Caribbean. You’ll want to wear breathable, casual clothing that will keep you comfortable while exploring all day. Wear shorts or hiking pants and short sleeved shirts . This time of year the city can occasionally get cool at night, so bring a lightweight hoodie just in case. In the cool season, average temperatures are in the 70’s to 80’s F, with lows in the low to mid 70’s F and highs in the high 80’s to low 90’s F.

HOT SEASON – March, April, May

Not everyone can handle Bangkok between March and May, when the heat and humidity is at its climax, but if you do, you’ll avoid the winter crowds. This time of year, you might even get to have some of the city’s attractions to yourself.

If you visit Bangkok in the hot season, you’ll want to focus on staying cool and protecting yourself from the sun. Make sure to wear breathable clothing and try to wear your sunhat and glasses while outdoors. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, so you can cool off in the pool or take a side trip to one of Thailand’s world-class beaches. In the hot season, average temperatures are in the 80’s and 90’s F, with average lows in the high 70’s F and highs in the mid 90’s F.

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity? – (Click to expand)

Shopping and Street Food: Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world for shopping and sampling tasty snacks from street vendors. While out shopping, most travelers choose to wear casual, lightweight clothing like a t-shirt and shorts , or a thin jumpsuit. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, and during the monsoon season don’t forget your rain jacket and umbrella.

Dining and Nightlife: If you like to live it up while on vacation, Bangkok is the perfect place to pretend to be the King of Thailand without breaking the bank. Here, you can enjoy upscale restaurants and nightclubs for a fraction of the cost back home. For a night in the city, wear a lightweight skirt or a button-up shirt and slacks, and make sure to wear good walking shoes so you can hit multiple venues in one night.

Touring the Sights: If you plan to tour Bangkok’s temples, parks, and other attractions, you’ll want to dress for the strong tropical sun. Wear shorts or hiking pants and a breathable shirt , and protect yourself from getting burned with a sunhat , glasses , and sunscreen . Make sure to wear comfortable footwear and pack a jacket in your bag in case you get caught in an afternoon squall.

What NOT to Bring to Bangkok

  • 1.DON’T Bring Unnecessary Valuables:

    Bangkok is generally a pretty safe city, but it’s never a good idea to show off too much wealth, since that could attract unwanted attention. That’s why you should avoid carrying around unnecessary valuables like expensive electronics or expensive handbags.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Expensive Watches and Jewelry:

    For the same reason, expensive watches and jewelry are best left at home. Bangkok is actually a really great place to shop for cheap but unique timepieces and jewelry, so it’s best to leave your expensive stuff at home and buy something to wear around the city once you get here.

  • 3.DON’T Bring Too Many Clothes:

    Thailand has dozens of amazing markets, and clothing here is as cheap as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Since it’s so easy and affordable to buy clothing here, I like to bring just a few outfits for the first few days and purchase the rest in the city.

  • 4.DON’T Bring Too Much Makeup:

    Bangkok has a reputation for serious heat and humidity, which means that heavy makeup usually just ends up running down your face. Most tourists keep it pretty casual in Bangkok, so it’s best to wear minimal makeup and go heavy on a good waterproof sunscreen instead.

  • 5.DON’T Bring Tons of Cash:

    In Bangkok, the level of poverty is much higher than most travelers are used to back home, so large sums of cash can potentially make you a target. There are hundreds of ATMs and banks all over the city, so it’s a good idea to use your credit card for major expenses and only carry enough cash for small purchases and emergencies.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Too Much Food:

    I’ve seen travelers fly to Bangkok with suitcases full of their favorite snacks from home. But with so many amazing and cheap foods available 24/7, it’s simply unnecessary. Make sure to bring any supplements that you require for special dietary needs, and otherwise, enjoy the legendary Thai cuisine.

What NOT to Wear in Bangkok? – (Click to expand)
With so much heat and humidity, it’s best to avoid wearing bulky and heavy clothing, especially during the hot season. That’s why most visitors prefer to wear light and breathable outfits as opposed to jeans and jackets. In Thailand, there is no formal dress code for tourists, but it’s considered polite not to expose too much skin unless you’re at the beach. Most tourists are comfortable wearing t-shirts and shorts or a modest skirt . You’ll probably do a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and leave your high heels at home.

FAQs about Bangkok

  • 1. When is the best time to visit Bangkok?

    When is the best time to visit Bangkok?

    Bangkok enjoys tropical weather all year long, and it’s a popular destination throughout the year. That said, my favorite time to visit the city is November and December, after the monsoon rains have ended and when the weather is a little bit cooler. If you want to come for the parties, plan your trip between late December and March, when the city is full of life and even busier than usual.

  • 2. Do I need a visa to visit Bangkok?

    Most foreigners are able to visit Thailand for up to 30 days visa free. If you plan to stay for longer, you can either apply for a visa extension at an immigration office (1900 baht), or make a short side trip to one of the nearby countries like Malaysia, Cambodia or Laos. Once you re-enter Thailand, you’ll get another 30 days.

  • 3. How long should I stay in Bangkok?

    How long should I stay in Bangkok?

    Bangkok has so much to do that it’s possible to stay for months and not see everything. But most tourists spend a few days in Bangkok and then move on to explore the rest of Thailand. Five days is enough time to see many of Bangkok’s highlights without getting burnt out by the fast pace of the city. You can always hit the beach and then return to explore more!

  • 4. Do I need to get vaccinated before I Go?

    Most regular vaccines are adequate for a trip to Bangkok, and there are no vaccine requirements in order to enter the country. That said, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re up to date with your latest COVID vaccine, as well as consider protecting yourself from typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A, which can be transmitted from infected water or food.

  • 5. How much should I budget for a Bangkok vacation?

    How much should I budget for a Bangkok vacation?

    One of the best things about Bangkok is that it’s incredibly affordable! For most travelers, the most expensive part of the trip is the flights. Once you arrive, you can find nice accommodations between $10 to $50 per night, and eat tasty meals from street vendors or small restaurants for $2 to $5. Bangkok also has an excellent transportation network with skytrain and metro fares ranging from $0.50 to $1 a trip. Most tourists can live comfortably on $50 a day or less, including activities, and budget travelers can get by on much less.

  • 6. What is the best way to get around the City?

    Despite the chaos, Bangkok is an easy and cheap city to get around. One of the cheapest and easiest ways to travel around the city is via the metro and sky train, which are modern and very cheap. The city also has a large bus network serving all the main hotspots, and affordable taxis are available 24 hours a day. My favorite way to explore Bangkok is by purchasing an all-day ferry pass, which allows you to take unlimited boat rides between 830 am and 7pm along the scenic Chao Phraya River.

  • 7. What is there to do in Bangkok?

    What is there to do in Bangkok?

    Bangkok is a bustling capital city and there is no lack of fun activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. For many decades, the center of activity for backpackers has been Khaosan Road, where you will find a wide variety of markets, street vendors and stores. Bangkok’s many Bhuddist temples are worth visiting, and don’t forget to make a pilgrimage to the Grand Palace, historic residence of Thailand’s Royal family. Afterward, you can relax in Lumpini Park, or go out after dark to experience Bangkok’s world famous nightlife.

  • 8. Is the food and water safe for consumption?

    In Bangkok, the tap water isn’t safe for consumption unless it has been treated. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring along a water bottle with a built-in filter, like a Grayl filter bottle . Most food purchased at restaurants and from street vendors is safe, but travelers have been known to occasionally get sick, so it’s wise to bring activated charcoal or pepto bismol, just in case.

  • 9. How bad is the pollution in Bangkok?

    How bad is the pollution in Bangkok?

    Due to its geographic location and lax pollution laws, the air quality in Bangkok has gotten a bad reputation. In reality, Bangkok actually has far better air quality on average than many popular Asian destinations like New Dheli or Beijing, so it’s unlikely to be a serious issue for tourists only staying for a short time. If you have health issues, it’s best to avoid going out at rush hour, when pollution is the worst, or time your trip for March/April, when the strong spring winds help to clear the air.

  • 10. Is English widely spoken in Bangkok?

    Thai is a difficult language for most foreigners to learn, so it’s natural for visitors to wonder if it’s possible to get by with English. The good news is that in Bangkok English is pretty widely spoken, especially by young people and in major tourist areas. It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Thai before you go, but you should have no problem getting around the city as an English speaker.