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Whether you are backpacking Thailand for a week or a few months, there are a few essentials that travelers need to throw into their oversized backpack to make the most out of their trip here. Pai is one city in the Kingdom that should not be left off of your itinerary, especially if Northern Thailand is one of your must-see regions. Here, a complete guide on what to pack on a trip to Pai before boarding that red-eye!

Backpacking Thailand
Backpacking Thailand: Chinese village in Pai, Thailand © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Thailand Rainy Season: What to Pack

The monsoon season in Pai is from June through September. Be sure to bring a poncho over an umbrella when traveling to Pai. They are especially helpful when driving on a motorbike (if you happen to get caught in the rain). They can also be used as a jacket, as Pai tends to have less humidity than other parts of the country. If you wake up early or stay out late, you are likely to experience a chillier side to the country that is not seen in other regions. If you are not a fan of singing in the rain, it may be best to avoid traveling to Pai in August, as well.

Thailand Rainy Season: What to Pack
Heavy flooding © Courtesy of Pixabay


Thailand Dry Season: What to Pack

The cool or dry season in Pai is from November through January. This is when the country, as its name suggests, has some of its coldest temperatures. Expect the highest temperatures to get into the mid-80s (Fahrenheit) and the lowest temperatures to drop to about the mid-50s (Fahrenheit). It is especially chilly in the morning and evening, so if you are traveling to Pai during this time, have a light jacket or sweater to throw on, just in case. The dry season is also the most popular time to visit the country because of the excellent weather. Some accommodation options and tour companies will drive up their prices because of this, so if you are ballin’ on a tight budget, it may be best to visit at another time.

Thailand Dry Season: What to Pack
Pai River © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Thailand Hot Season: What to Pack

Thailand is generally a pretty hot country. Regardless of whether or not you are going to Pai, you should pack light-colored clothing that is breathable. The hot season in Pai is from March through April. If it gets too hot, there are plenty of waterfalls and pools to cool off in. If a body of water is not on the itinerary, however, having clothing that does not absorb the sun and is lose will be much more comfortable. Temperatures can reach up to 110º Fahrenheit (about 43º Celsius) during this time.

Thailand Hot Season: What to Pack
Bamboo bridge over Pai River © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Bug Spray

A trip to Thailand can be ruined with one too many bug bites. This is especially true if you catch a disease that is spread by bugs, for example, dengue fever or malaria. Try to find mosquito repellent that is deet-free, or you can also instead purchase bracelets that have mosquito repellent in them. Mosquitos aren’t particularly more active during one season as opposed to another, so be sure to have some type of repellent with you at all times. Zika is another disease carried by mosquitos, and the CDC even advises those who are pregnant to not travel to Thailand. Find out more information about what the CDC recommends to do before going to Thailand, here.

Bug Spray
Chinese Village in Pai © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Reusable Water Bottle

There are refill stations all over Pai, one of the eco-friendliest cities in Thailand. Refill your water at Sawasdee Pai Yoga after a hot session of upward and downward dogs or instead at Earth Tone, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant. Refilling your water bottle is much cheaper than purchasing ones from convenience stores. Save yourself some money (and the planet) by bringing your own recyclable or metal water bottle with you on your epic trip to Thailand!

Reusable Water Bottle
Water bottle refill station at Easy Guesthouse and Gallery © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Workout Clothing

There are plenty of gyms and yoga studios found in and around Pai. Whether you want to spar with some of Thailand’s top Muay Thai trainers, partake in a yoga class, or hike the Pai Canyon, you will want a few workout outfits on hand. In addition to checking out some of the top gyms, cycling or walking around Pai is a workout in itself, especially with how hot temperatures can get. You are not going to want to do laundry every day, so be sure to throw a few workout outfits in your suitcase before traveling to Pai, Thailand!

Workout Clothing
Backpacking Thailand: Charn Chai Muay Thai in Pai © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey



This may seem like an obvious item to pack, but you would be surprised by the sheer number of hot springs, waterfalls, and pools Pai is equipped with. Whether you visit the Tha Pai Hot Spring, the Mo Paeng Waterfall, or have Sunday Funday at the Fluid Swimming Pool, you will need some swim trunks or bikini in tow to cool off, especially during the hot season. Remember that Thailand is a relatively conservative country, so wearing nothing but a swimsuit anywhere else in the city is not advised.

Backpacking Thailand: hot spring pool in Pai © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Money


Comfortable Shoes

Strappy and comfortable sandals are essentials items to have before visiting Pai. Whether you are simply walking up and down Walking Street searching for the best local Thai food or scaling the Pai Land Split after a shot of roselle wine, you will want to have some comfortable shoes in your suitcase to ensure your feet are not hurting! These are incredibly handy during the monsoon season in Thailand, as well.

Comfortable Shoes
Backpacking Thailand: strappy sandals © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Clothing to Wear at Thailand’s Temples

Regardless of its red-light districts and often seedy nightlife venues, Thailand is a relatively conservative country. You will not see many locals wearing revealing clothing, and backpackers should, for the most part, try to follow suit. In addition to covering up in general, clothing that covers your shoulders and knees is essential if you want to visit a temple. Some of the temples in Pai do not have guards making sure everyone abides by this dress code but remember to respect the culture and cover up regardless. One of the most famous temples in Pai is Wat Phra That Mae Yen, and this temple does require that you cover up before climbing to the top. Do not miss out on seeing this temple, which is some 350 steps up a mountain, by not having temple-appropriate clothing.

Clothing to Wear at Thailand's Temples
Backpacking Thailand: the temple of Wat Phra That Mae Yen © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Other Items to Pack

The above items are necessities, but if you are an over packer or still have plenty of room in your bag, then there are still some items worth bringing. Check out the complete list below of everything you (might) need before traveling to Thailand!

  • Photocopies of all your essential documents
  • Passport
  • Visa (depending on your country of origin)
  • Driver’s license
  • Medical ID card (insurance card)
  • Small medical kit
  • Umbrella
  • Any medications you may need prescriptions for
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • SPF hat/clothes
  • Packing Cubes
  • International credit or debit card as to avoid withdrawal fees
  • Battery pack
  • Fanny pack or a money belt to prevent theft
  • Thai baht (depending on the exchange rate, it is sometimes better to have some before entering the country)


Other Items to Pack
Backpacking Thailand: Hot springs in Pai © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


Things to Leave at Home When Traveling to Pai, Thailand

There are a few items you will want to leave behind when traveling to Thailand. Whether or not you are going to Pai, you should be sure to leave your e-cigarettes at home as well as your playing cards. It was recently made illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in the country. You can also not have more than 120 playing cards, according to the Playing Card Acts of 1935. Be safe (rather than sorry) and leave these two items at home!

Things to Leave at Home When Traveling to Pai, Thailand
Backpacking Thailand: Pai Canyon at sunset © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson/Mad Monkey


More Information About What to Pack When Backpacking Thailand

Did you love this article about what to bring on a trip to Pai, Thailand? Do you want even more information about what to pack, what to do, and more? Then check out these articles we have rounded up to help you make the most out of your trip to Pai!


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Backpacking Thailand

About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.

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