If you’ve found your way to this page that probably means you’re already deep into planning your Thailand trip. You’ve bought flights, booked accommodation, started browsing activities and excursions, and you’re checking the weather forecast to decide what to pack. That’s when you realised that November is actually rainy season in Thailand and one of the rainiest months of the year. Don’t let that deter you, I spent 10 days in Thailand in November and absolutely loved it, the rain very rarely interfered with our plans. I’ve put together this rainy season packing list to help you figure out what to pack for Thailand in November (or any tropical destination that has a rainy season)!
Weather in Thailand in November
The weather in Thailand in November can vary massively depending on what part of Thailand you’re planning to visit. This packing list is based on what I packed for my own Thailand trip, which was mostly around Phuket and Krabi, two areas that are heavily affected by rain in November. Thailand is a tropical monsoon destination, meaning that during the rainy season you can expect mostly clear skies during the day, and strong storms for a few hours a day, usually in the evenings. The average temperatures in Thailand in November range from 23°C to 30°C, with 200mm of rainfall spread across 16 days.
What to pack for Thailand in November
This rainy season packing guide is based on the items I brought with me when I visited Thailand in November. It’s not limited to November or Thailand. It works just as well for any other month in the rainy season and for any destination that has a tropical monsoon climate, where you can expect to find a hot and humid climate with heavy downpours in the wet season. I’m not going to list the exact number of pairs of socks and underwear that you need to pack (I hope you can figure that one out without me!) but I try to list everything you will need and items that you might not have thought of.
Flip-flops / sandals: In hot tropical destinations where it’s likely to rain a lot I prefer wearing flip-flops to trainers, since yes your feet will get wet but at least they’ll dry quicker. Unless you get proper waterproof boots (and why would you take those to a tropical beach?) trainers will just get soaked through and take forever to dry. I’d recommend packing more than one pair of flip-flops or sandals in case they get too wet or dirty so you can switch them up a bit.
Trainers: Having said that, if you’ve got any sort of activities planned that require walking or hiking for extended period of time, you should definitely bring a pair of comfortable trainers or walking shoes with you. They might get wet if you get caught outside in the rain, but your feet will thank you for not walking for too long in flip-flops.
Shorts: Yes, it will be hot, leave the long blue jeans and leggings behind and stock up on shorts.
Quick dry shorts: Given how wet it can get, you might want to bring some quick dry trousers with you, so that if you do get caught out in the rain, you won’t have to wait forever for you clothes to dry after. If you’re moving a lot between destinations especially you don’t want to be packing wet or moist clothes.
Long but airy pants: In some places in Thailand, such as in temples, you might not be allowed inside if you’re wearing shorts and a tank top and will be expected to cover up a bit. I recommend bringing what I call travelling pants, long and airy pants made of light cotton so that you can satisfy the locals with your modesty, without dying from the heat of long trousers. They’re the sort of trousers you can find at almost every street market in Thailand so don’t fret if you don’t have any to pack before you go.
Waterproof pants: If you want to go the extra mile and make sure to be perfectly dry even when a storm hits you can bring waterproof pants with you. Make sure to get light ones or in the Thai heat you will end up being dry, but also very very warm.
Light waterproof jacket: The weather will be hot so you don’t want to have a heavy coat or hoodie with you, but you will need a light waterproof jacket if you want to avoid getting soaked if you get caught outside in the rain. I usually always carry with me rain jackets from brands like Slam or Helly Hansen, they’re designed for sailing so are pretty good at keeping out wind and water without being too bulky or hot.
Hoodie: You might not want to bring a hoodie given how hot it will be, however that’s exactly when they get to you. You pack light expecting 30°C all round then you step into a hotel, restaurant, mall, airport or any other public place to find them blasting the aircon and there you are freezing your ass off. Pack a hoodie, even if you don’t use it much you’ll be glad you have it.
Waterproof poncho: A step above a simple waterproof jacket, these will cover pretty much your whole body and personal belongings. They look somewhat ridiculous but if there’s a heavy downpour and you ‘re carrying things that you don’t want to get wet (eg. a fancy camera, books, laptop etc), just slip on a waterproof poncho to keep you dry. These usually fold up, become super small and take up very little space. I recommend always carrying one on you in Thailand in November because you don’t know when a heavy downpour will hit.
Waterproof backpack or dry bag: For the people that don’t want to wear a waterproof poncho over themselves and their bags, a waterproof backpack or dry bag will work just as well in keeping your belongings safe and dry, with the added plus of not looking ridiculous.
Waterproof phone case:Whether you need your phone to check Google Maps while walking somewhere under the rain (or you’re just social media addicted and want to check your phone under the rain) or it goes for an unintentional dip while on a beach day, a waterproof phone case can be very helpful and save your phone from getting wet and breaking.
Other useful things
Mosquito repellent: Like in most host and humid countries you will find a lot of mosquitos in Thailand. Even if I don’t end up using it I prefer to always bring mosquito repellent with me, so that I’m ready to battle the mosquito attacks.
Swimwear: Wherever you’re headed in Thailand there are high chances you will be either by the sea or somewhere with an easily accessible pool, so make sure to take a bikini or swimming shorts with you!
Sunscreen: Whether you’re planning to hit the beach or not, you should bring some sunscreen with you to Thailand. Don’t let the rainy season forecast fool you, there will still be plenty of hours in the day when the sun shines and even when it’s overcast, it’s better to be protected by the damaging rays of the sun with a high factor SPF.
Fast drying towel: If you’ve ever read any of my other packing lists or what to bring sections in a specific post, you’ve probably realised I love fast drying towels. I take one of these pretty much everywhere I go. Whether it’s to take it to the beach, for showering if the hostel I’m staying at doesn’t provide towels, or even just dry up if you get caught in a storm, I would definitely pack one of these for your trip to Thailand in the rainy season. They dry super quickly and take up little space when you fold them up, perfect to take with you anywhere!
Have you been to Thailand before? What did you pack for your trip? Let me know in the comments below! This rainy season packing list is based on the things I packed for my trip to Thailand in November; it’s not perfect since like everyone I’m bound to forget something. If you have any suggestions for additional things you would pack for a trip to Thailand during the rainy season let me know, I’d love to include them!
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