What to Wear in Thailand

Thailand is a dreamy travel destination for many due to its beautiful beaches and exotic landscapes, not to mention the ancient Thai temples and local cuisine the country is known for. With so much to explore, it could be difficult to know what to wear in Thailand. Since there’s likely to be a good balance of lounging by the water and exploring cityscapes, a versatile wardrobe complete with several sexy designer bikinis is the way to go when deciding what makes it into your suitcase and what can be left at home.

November through February are the perfect months to escape to this exotic location to avoid monsoon season that occurs in May and the continuous heavy rains that follow months after. However, no matter what time of year you decide to go, you can expect tropical temperatures which means packing lighter won’t be a problem. Once you’re done planning a trip, we suggest making a Thailand packing list to keep yourself organized.

Start with the basics when it comes to clothing. That means swimsuits and lots of them. It can be very hot in Thailand, so make sure to bring lots of light clothing that works in humid weather. Since they take up minimal space, you don’t have to choose between favorites; go ahead and take them all. Pack at least one bikini, a one-piece swimsuit, and a few cover ups. Even in the “cooler” months, temperatures still reach well past 80 degrees. Living out your vacation in your favorite swimwear isn’t out of the question. It all depends on where you’re going and where the trip takes you. Here are a few places to add to your itinerary and what you should pack for each place.


Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

Arguably the most popular place to visit in Thailand, Phuket is a traveler’s favorite for several, alluring reasons. There are more than 30 beaches to choose from ranging from rowdy to remote. Patong Beach is where the people are. If you want to see what the excitement is all about, this is the first place to go. Though it can become quite busy during high season, we suggest getting there early to secure a spot in the sand and revel in the shoreline views. A classic, triangle bikini is the perfect style for a casual day spent in the sun. It’s effortless, chic, and easily adjustable to create a flattering fit on all body types. When it’s time to grab some lunch or walk around your hotel, make sure to pack a few tops, linen pants, and other light clothing that will keep you comfortable in the humid weather.

The best part of Patong Beach is you don’t have to stray too far from the sand to enjoy shopping, dining, and other attractions and activities. Slip on a cover up that takes you from the beach to the boardwalk and back again. There’s more to Phuket than this main hub. Venture out by bike to discover other beaches nearby. Laem Singh Beach offers a more laid-back vibe where you can snorkel and search for underwater beauty. It’s a calming switch from the nonstop activity of Patong and allows you to live the best of both worlds.

Beaches are only one part of the cultural sights and sounds found in Phuket. Travelers can’t miss the Giant Buddha sitting atop Nakkerd Hills, which stands at a stunning 45 meters (or over 147 feet) tall! The elephant sanctuary is also a must-stop when beach hopping along Phuket. Here the elephants roam freely. The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary rescues and cares for sick, injured, and old elephants. Being able to witness these majestic creatures is a one-of-a-kind moment. For more spiritual inspiration, a visit to the colorful Jui Tui Shrine or any of Thailand’s many temples is an absolute must for any journey to this beautiful country.

The variety of unique offerings Phuket encompasses is why it continues to top travel lists and encourages people to return time and time again. When you have the versatility of a swimsuit that provides all-day comfort, there’s no limit to what you can do. Clothes to pack for Phuket:

2-3 triangle bikinis
1-2 cover ups
A couple of pairs of loose-fitting pants
A couple comfortable tops
Light cardigan or hoodie (for cooler nights)


    Though equally as enticing as Phuket, Bangkok calls more to the urban explorer. The attire should allow for temple dwelling, market browsing, and lots and lots of sampling of traditional Thai food. There’s a gorgeous selection of one-piece full-coverage swimsuits that can double as bodysuits as you navigate the streets of Thailand. Pair with linen shorts or billowy beach pants and a lightweight tee or button-down shirt and it’s the ideal outfit to stay as cool as possible while still looking stylish. By packing a few layers, you’ll be prepared for any situation that calls for a little more coverage than only beachwear.

    One experience you can’t pass up is a trip to the Taling Chan Floating Market. It’s a visual delight and the food tasting can’t be missed. If you want local, authentic, Thai cuisine, this is where you come to eat the best, all while floating down a canal. Not surprisingly, seafood is the most popular food to try here, which includes prawns, fresh fish, and blue crabs. They are steamed, barbecued, fried, and cooked in countless other ways. Locals and tourists alike come to sip, sample, and savor the flavors of this unique culinary experience in Bangkok.

    Don’t be mistaken, there are still plenty of beach opportunities near Bangkok, too; Pattaya, Pranburi, and Hua Hun to name a few. Each has its own distinctive charm, and all are backdrops for fun-filled beach activities and multicolored sunsets. Choose a ripple bikini with a playful print to mirror the hues and trendiness of the area. From Pattaya, you can island hop to smaller ones surrounding the area. They’re a good spot for swimming and are just a 15-minute boat ride away.

    Venture to Pranburi, and you’ll be awestruck by the lush surroundings of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and Kaeng Krachan National Park. What once was a sleepy coastal village has evolved into a sought-after spot with both world-class resorts and more affordable accommodations lining the beach. Then, if you want to up the ante in terms of luxury, Hua Hun is the place to be. It’s a popular retreat among Thai royalty. Kite surfing, hiking, and underwater exploring are among some of the most famous activities in the area. One of the most picturesque spots is found beneath the surface in Phraya Nakhon Cave. It takes time to get to, but the dedication is worth it to capture the ultimate photographic moment.

    You can observe the full spectrum of what life in Thailand is like since everything is fairly close by and easy to get to. When thinking about what to pack for Thailand, follow a minimalist approach. Everything you need for a few days in Bangkok could be packed in an overnight bag and then carried to the next city for another Thailand thrill. Clothes to pack for Bangkok:

    One-piece swimsuits
    Linen pants or shorts
    Lightweight tees
    Cotton, button-down shirt (for layering)
    Sandals and one sturdier pair of shoes for hiking

      Ko Lipe

      If you’ve been to Phuket and Bangkok before or want a different type of Thailand experience, Ko Lipe is an optimal choice. Only an hour and a half flight from Bangkok, it’s easy to jet here after you’ve spent time trekking among Thai temples and strolling through street markets. It’s a place to relax and truly immerse yourself in the “no bad days” beach vibes. The sparkling, blue-green waters are hypnotizing and calm enough for snorkeling or swimming. A sultry swimsuit in any of the bold colors and prints from the Bia Collection is ready-made for magical days spent in Ko Lipe.

      Enjoy kayaking, sailing, and as many other water excursions as one vacation can hold. Divers consider Ko Lipe paradise because of the crystal clear ocean and favorable conditions. There are also guided fishing trips and sailing excursions, and many other water sport activities. Additionally, you can spend part of the day hiking to Pirate Falls or the Chado Cliffs, either are worth a visit to Ko Adang Island. Wake up early and work up a sweat along one of these two scenic trails before cooling off with a swim and picnic on the beach. Regardless of what’s on the itinerary, the leisurely pace of Ko Lipe puts everyone on vacation time.

      Away from the water, head to the Walking Street where you can browse street vendors, stop for lunch, and explore the town’s center. Days spent in Ko Lipe are worthwhile for the magnificent surroundings and the vast number of things to do. Cheap eats, free panoramic views, and one unforgettable time, this island has it all. Clothes to pack for Ko Lipe:

      A mix of bikinis or one-piece swimsuits
      Cover up or sarong
      Sun hat or visor
      Athletic shoes for the trails

        Ko Samui

        This Thailand island is an ideal mix of sand, surf, and coastal adventures. Lamai Beach has gorgeous shorelines and beach clubs and restaurants lining the water so you never have to venture far. It’s more low-key than Chaweng Beach, another popular spot on Ko Samui. It’s a welcome getaway when trying to steer clear of the usual hustle and bustle of Thailand’s larger cities. Opt for your favorite bandeau bikini to cement the “out of office” mentality and indulge in pure bliss. Pair with a sexy sarong tied around the neck for a makeshift dress, and you have an effortless look to go from beachcombing to sipping cocktails at sunset.

        Ko Samui is also home to one of the biggest Buddha statues in Thailand at Wat Phra Yai, as well as the looming, 18-arm goddess Guanyin statue at Wat Plai Laem. These areas are within mere minutes of driving time between beaches. They are two of the most grandeur attractions on the island. However, ancient statutes are only part of the charm here. Everywhere you look, there is awe-inspiring architecture that only enhance the surrounding stunning views of nature.

        As with the dress code when visiting any temple, make sure knees and shoulders are covered. A beach dress or maxi skirt works well along with a scarf for the arms. Although it will be hot, always bring something to cover your shoulders in the temples since spaghetti straps won’t be allowed. While there’s no need to feel frumpy as you explore the different areas of Thailand - when in doubt, go for modesty. Clothes to pack for Ko Samui:

        Bandeau-style swimsuit
        Button-down shirt or loose blouse
        Beach dress (one that falls below the knees)
        Maxi skirt
        Sun hat

          What Else to Pack for Thailand?

          Packing for Thailand is fairly simple. The clothing doesn’t have to stray far from swimwear, sandals, and a few swimsuit cover ups here and there. Fashionable, resort dresses are also a good idea to roll up and add to the suitcase as well. Pack at least one pair of sturdier shoes, socks, long pants, and a long shirt, particularly if you feel like you’ll be staying longer and venturing away from the beach. When unsure about what to wear in Thailand, this short list basically has you covered. Other non-clothing items for your packing list are:

          Band-aids, Tylenol, and hand sanitizer
          Mosquito repellentt/bug spray
          Comfortable walking shoes
          Day backpack
          Sun hat
          A reusable water bottle

            What ends up in your suitcase is all based on what your itinerary includes. If it’s five days of beach hopping, maybe think twice about packing extra clothes you’ll likely never wear. The clothes you wear on the plane will probably work both to and from Thailand, which means one less outfit you need to worry about.

            If city escapades are on the agenda, pack a few extra cover up pieces and layer with the swimsuits you already have. It’s likely you’ll travel to more than one area and embark on various adventures. It may not always be a full day on the beach. Pack accordingly per day, but think about wearing your beach outfits more than once. For a week in Thailand, three to four swimsuits, a couple of cover ups, including a sundress, and a pair of neutral-colored sandals will be your go-to clothing. Anything else is a bonus.

            The more tropical the climate, the less you have to pack. No bulky sweaters or boots and definitely no need for multiple, heavy layers. If you’ve never been to this area of the world before, you might be surprised how little you need to change outfits from day to day. Make it simple and do more with less when figuring out what to wear in Thailand. Once you’re used to jet-setting ways, it’s easy to throw in only the necessities and go.


            https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/thailand-travel-tips/; http://www.phuket.com/island/beaches.htm; http://www.phuketelephantsanctuary.org/en/; http://www.bangkok.com/magazine/taling-chan.htm; https://www.travelandleisure.com/local-experts/bangkok/best-beaches-near-bangkok;
            https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/thailand-travel-tips/ko-lipe/; http://www.kosamui.com/lamai-beach/;