Things a female should know before travelling to Thailand
Following on from Gary’s article on 7 things to know before visiting Thailand, I thought I would share a few “female specific” considerations. As you will likely know there are things that, if you mention them to the gentleman in your life, he will just kind of shrug and get on with his day but they are very very important to us.
If you are like me and refuse to shop in stores where you always have to get a size bigger in jeans then read on.
As we know, Thailand is very famous for it’s shopping and cheap prices in both stores and markets. In most stores, with most brands being international, the sizes were pretty standard and on a par with US sizing. In the markets, it was a very different story.
In Thailand the average female is petite and probably around a size 4. This seems to have affected the available sizes with small, medium and large being much much smaller than back home. This poses a little bit of a mental challenge to most of us.
I’m a size 10 but when having to buy some shorts, the only size that would fit me was a large.
The mental anguish this caused was immense and I almost didn’t get over it. My advice, and what I did, buy them anyway, cut out the label and get over the trauma by having an ice cream.
Travelling by Tuk Tuk
Gary has written about how to use tuk tuks to get around Bangkok and how to pick a safe one. This is great but he missed some very important information.
Thailand is very hot so there is a very good chance that you will be wearing shorts. Most tuk tuks have plastic seats, even the “posh” ones have leather seats that they protect with a plastic cover.
The pain of peeling your skin off hot plastic is something I wish I had never experienced but I have, several times. In the end I made sure I had a sarong in my bag and sat on this instead (also handy if you are going to need to cover up for visiting temples).
Another important thing about riding a tuk tuk is the terror you will feel whilst zooming through the Bangkok traffic, squeezing into spaces that don’t exist. It’s somewhere between a rollercoaster ride and jumping off a tall building without a parachute. I can’t recommend any tips on handling this. My funeral is now fully planned and my will is up to date for next time. (It is actually a lot of fun though)
As a woman, we have a few ‘go to’ dresses that we take along. After a single wear in such a hot humid climate, sometimes in just a few short hours, they will be soaked with sweat. Yuck!
I found 2 solutions.
You can either smother yourself in anti perspirant, probably not a good idea in the heat, or you can keep an eye out for a laundry sign.
I was sceptical at the quality of the wash when I handed in my first load, but for the princely sum of just 60THB ($1.80) all my clothes came back lovely, clean, folded and wrapped up nicely.
I had 4 loads of laundry done on the trip which ranged in price from 40-80THB ($1.20-$2.40 per kilo).
This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as for the first time ever, I arrived home without a suitcase full of smelly washing.