I sometimes joke that I would be able to survive a nuclear war and another ice age, if I just have my handbag, but it is not far from the truth:) The content of my bag varies depending on where in the world I am, and in this post I will be sharing with you what I always carry in my handbag, when I am in Bangkok:
A plastic bag
Waste bins are surprisingly scarce in Bangkok, so be prepared to transform your handbag into a portable trash can. I therefor bring a plastic bag along, with me to keep all the trash in, until I find proper disposal. I also usually buy screw cap drinks, because then I can store the empty bottle in my bag if needed, without any liquid leaking out.
With so much delicious food on every corner, you will definitely need hand sanitizer, so you can munch on delicious morsels on the go without worrying about germs on your hands making their way to your mouth. Much more convenient than trying to locate the nearest basin for old school hand-washing.
Toilet paper or tissues
If you only go shopping at Siam Paragon and other fancy malls, you might skip this part, as the restrooms at those locations are like 5-star hotel bathrooms. Though at markets and at more casual shopping and dining spots, there is usually not any toilet paper provided inside the booths. Instead, there is a common roll of paper located at the entrance, if you are lucky. Sometimes you are not, and this is when you will be thanking me for telling you to carry your own emergency supply of toilet paper in your handbag:)
A tape measure
I love shopping on the markets in Bangkok, but you’re often not allowed to try on the clothes before buying, or there are no dressing rooms and mirrors. The regional brands and smaller designers are mainly catering to the local market, and the sizes often differ significantly from the western standard sizes. I am a size S at home, but a size L in Thailand, so in order to make sure that I will actually be able to fit into the clothes I am planning to buy, I always keep a measuring tape in my bag along with a paper, on which I have jotted down my measurements such as waistline, shoulder width and hips. Another measurement I often use is the length from the shoulder to the waistline as most of the Thai clothes are made for people with a shorter torso than me.
Even when the sun is beating down and it is burning hot outside, you can be sure that the temperature inside the malls will be close to freezing level. A scarf around your shoulders keep you warm and also transforms a casual backpacker look into something more appropriate for grazing the fancy malls in the city..
A bottle of wine
Just to make it clear, I do not carry a bottle of wine around in my handbag:) However, wine is really expensive in Thailand and good liquor shops can be hard to find. If you like a glass of cab in your room in the evening, I therefore suggest that you bring your own bottle. Buy it in the departure airport and make sure that they put it in a sealed bag, if you are transferring to another flight along the way.