Thailand Essentials

So here’s the silly yet obligatory blog post about what we’ve found to be essential in Thailand.

Flip flops – regular shoes, or anything you have to tie or buckle, are completely worthless when you have to take off your shoes every time you enter a home/temple/whatever is considered indoor space. Besides, it’s way too hot to wear regular shoes. I actually wish that I had a pair of Crocs or something similar – they would have made me feel a bit safer when I was hauling logs up the hill or hammering bamboo stakes into the ground.

Packet of tissues – for the toilet. It’s almost never provided as people just wash themselves. I suppose perching/squatting skills are also required but it’s something you learn to do after a while.

Hand sanitizer – soap in the bathroom is also a rare beast.

Phrases – We’ve managed to learn how to say “Hello” (sawadee ka/kup), “Thank you” (khab khun ka/kup), “Delicious” (aroy or say ap depending on the province) “How are you?” (sabaidee mai), and “Good night” (fun di). Counting would be nice too but gesturing and pantomiming seems to work OK. Next phrase to learn: “Where is the bathroom?”

Mini wash board – we picked this up at muji right before we left. when doing your own laundry, it’s definitely handy to have to get stains and stubborn crap out of your clothing.

Extra cloth bags – great for collecting your laundry in, extra shopping bags, general carrying bags. And they fold down so small that it barely takes up any room in our suitcase.

Motorcycle skillz – If someone offers to lend you a motorbike so you don’t have to walk two hours to the internet cafe, you say “yes sir!” and hop on the bike. Because of course you know how to use it!

Bug spray with DEET – yes, I know you are saying, “DEET? Really? Isn’t that stuff poisonous?” Of course it is. But after being bitten I don’t know how many times in a single afternoon to the point where my ankles got swollen, I am totally going there.

Headlamp – Frees up your hands to carry stuff while still being able to walk back to your hut without tripping on loose adobe bricks.

Immodium/traveler’s diarrhea pills – for when street food beats you into submission.

Linen – loose clothing made from linen rules. Shirts, pants, skirts. It breathes, wicks away sweat, and then you don’t have to look like a schlubby American. It’s good for working outside and going out to dinner. And you can pick it up pretty cheaply here.

What we didn’t need:

Three pairs of jeans – jeans are a pain in the ass to wash by hand. And three is just too many and too heavy.

Eight books – god, what were we thinking? Yes, two guidebooks but we’re going to leave at least half of the rest of the books at Pun Pun.

Malaria pills – our doctor will probably officially not agree with us, but really, NO ONE takes malaria pills here and there is no malaria afaik. And we’ve been in the sticks most of the time we’ve been here and have been eaten alive by mosquitoes and I haven’t died yet, last time I checked. Not that we are giving you any kind of medical advice.

iPhone – I’ve used it exactly once to convert farenheit to celsius. So far it’s been deadweight but maybe it will prove to be useful as a translation tool in China.

Wayne will probably think that we didn’t need a lot more stuff than I’ve listed because he’s carrying the big backpack. 🙂

What I could have used more of:

Tank tops/wife beaters. I only brought two and I should have brought four – I usually wear it under a loose shirt to absorb the sweat so I only have to wash the tank top and I can wear the loose shirt multiple times before it needs a wash.

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3 thoughts on “Thailand Essentials

  1. Anonymous says:

    1. You used the word "schlubby." That makes me happy. Then again, we’re sisters, so it’s probably not that weird. I taught Christian that word exactly in that case of being a "schlubby American."2. Ew, Crocs? I can’t believe you’re wishing you had them. They’re horrible and don’t let your feet breathe. 3. You will also need tissue/TP when you are in China. Ditto with hand sanitizer.And jeans? Pfft yeah, you won’t need those probably on your whole trip. You might as well send them home except for a pair because by the time you get to Europe, it’ll also be kind of hot and unnecessary. Especially knowing you, you will want to wear a dress. And Wayne can wear shorts or whatever.

  2. Julie Lee says:

    I think you two packed as light as possible already; you might think you over packed but when a situation arrive you probably will say, "Gosh! I am glad I had this!" I agreed with you on the books; eight is a little overloaded!!Sannie is right maybe you should send the jeans home; it will be too hot and heavy to wear them.I think the rest of the world are not as obsess as us American that they need to sanitize everything they touched. It is amazing how these people can survive in the not so sanitary condition. I guess that’s the reason you are traveling to gain life experience.

  3. Tracie Lee says:

    Ha, they were all Wayne's jeans. He left two pairs behind at Pun Pun. I brought a bunch of dresses but realized that they don't provide much mosquito/bug protection, so i've been wearing a pair of linen pants at night. My legs look so gross they have so many bites!<div> <br></div><div>It was harder to give up the books…i need to get through them stat!<br><br></div>

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