My recent travels to Southeast Asia still have me on cloud nine.
I spent a month and some change traveling through Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, and it truly was an experience of a lifetime. From the amazing connections I made, to learning about historical traditions and cultures, to the food, it seriously was a trip for the books. This trip was such a success — from my itinerary to my clothes, that I had to share my Southeast Asia packing list with you all.
TBH, this trip was exactly what I needed to get back to myself, to reenergize my soul, and find my sense of creativity and purpose.
Southeast Asia Packing List: Everything I Wore During My Month-Long Stay
This region of the world is an absolute paradise and you get the best of both worlds with city and secluded tropical vibes. I spent nearly a year planning for this trip. From the cities I planned to visit, to finding cool hotels, to booking safe and fun excursions for solo travelers, figuring out the order of the trip, to determining the best time to travel to Southeast Asia, and you guessed it — deciding what the heck I should wear and creating my Southeast Asia packing list.
As you can imagine, a Southeast Asia packing list for the bustling nightlife of Bangkok, the secluded Phi Phi islands, and visiting temples in Ubud was a challenge. It’s one I didn’t take lightly, and I spent more time than I care to admit researching the differing climates, and tried what felt like a million different outfits, shoes and bags that would meet all of my needs for the trip.
And after all that planning, and finally returning back to the states, my biggest insight is to be prepared for the heat and humidity. Having lived in the tropical climates in Brazil, extensive travel to Miami, and growing up in the Midwest, nothing compares to the humidity levels of this region of the world.
It’s hot, it’s humid, it’s wet, it’s sticky… but it’s so worth it!
Bali and Ubud, Indonesia Outfits: Breathable Pants, Cute Tops + Breezy Dresses
My first stop on my month-long journey was Indonesia. We walked up and down thousands of steps to see gorgeous temples, waterfalls, and historical sites, and let me tell you all the steps, the heat and humidity were no joke. While there certainly were times when I needed to be covered up, it wasn’t necessarily needed as most temples and holy sites require you to wear their specific attire.
Most days I wore ultra-lightweight pants that were breathable, paired with a cute top. It made getting dressed for hella early mornings super easy and I still felt put together and cute for the day. I wore the pants from a free people set I purchaed quite a bit. They were a cotton gauze-style material, and I love that they were oversized and breezy. One note about these pants though, is I don’t recommend wearing them in rainy weather. I wore them out one night when it rained and I was soaked!
The MVPs of the entire trip were my Good American parachute pants. They were cool, literally and aesthetically and one of the easiest pieces to style. I rocked these in the prettiest shade of pink, but because I wore them so much I now want them in white and forest green. They are my absolute favorite pants purchase I made the entire year.
Was it practical to wear an all white dress and hike through the jungle? Probably not…did I do it anyway?! You bet I did! To be fair, the day I chose to wear this dress, I had no idea that we would be hiking through the jungles of Ubud and visiting rice farms. I was totally fine and comfortable up until the point that they asked us to get in the mud to plant rice for ourselves. I politely declined and opted to take all the videos and photos that my besties wanted. A win-win in my book.
I packed several mesh tops and dresses for my trip and they ended up being perfect for evening wear! If there is one thing I recommend you pack for evening wear in the hot tropics, it’s a cute mesh dress! They are pretty, easy, and look amazing with flip-flops or heels.
Phuket & Bangkok, Thailand Outfits: Beachwear and City Looks
Visiting Thailand has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Thai food is my absolute favorite, and my delight by the vast landscapes, history, and ventures of Thailand were something I wanted to experience first hand. I initially planned on going in 2020, but as I am sure you can imagine, that was canceled. Fast forward a few years, and I was able to book the trip of a lifetime.
The first stop in Thailand was Phuket. We chartered a private boat and visited the Phi Phi islands, kayaked, climbed through caves, visited an incredible elephant sanctuary, rode ATVs through the jungle, and of course visited the iconic big buddha. It was truly an incredible part of my trip, and we ended it with a private dinner at the Michelin rated restaurant: Nitan. A million out of ten experience, and the icing on the cake was that our AirBnB was a total show stopper with the best views!
If you didn’t know, one of the iconic James Bond movies was filmed in the Phi Phi islands, and it was a fun stop on our day long boat trip. My biggest regret of the day though was not packing my water shoes. The flip-flops were great on the boat, but they were terrible for all the hiking, cliff scaling and cave exploring we did. The swimsuit… it’s a spicy margarita level of sexy!
After four incredible days beachside, I headed to the bustling city of Bangkok! It was New York Times ten, but in the best way! My first night in Bangkok, I took a midnight tuk tuk tour where we saw the city in its prime. We tasted Thai delicacies at the street markets, visited temples, the instagram worthy flower markets, and several other iconic locations. My biggest mistake however was wearing these pants, because they don’t do well in the rain, and it poured like cats and dogs most of the night.
My last night in Bangkok was truly one for the books! I spent the night out listening to live music and partying my pants, well actually it was a dress, off. The dress is just so good, and again is made of the lightweight mesh material I’ve been raving about.
Singapore Outfits (The Hottest of them All): Cargo Pants, More Cute Tops + One Stunning Dress For A Solo Date
I know most people consider Paris to be the city of love, but I think Singapore certainly rivals it. There was something so romantic and magical about Singapore that made me think I could fall in love here. It’s tropical and lush, but an incredibly large city, that’s full of futuristic buildings, beautiful evening light and water shows, and the some of the most tantalizingly delicious restaurants you will ever eat at.
I had the best meal of my life in Singapore, and I may or may not have had a little love vignette too. You can hear more of that juicy story over on the podcast, but I digress…My first night exploring the city, I wore a pair of long pants from Athleta and another cute mesh top. Such an easy, yet stellar outfit combo for me.
The hotel where I stayed, had the perfect spot for snapping outfit picks, and I took total advantage of that before heading out for the day. My second day exploring in Singapore I did a ton of shopping, visited several museums, and ate at one of the infamous Hawkers Markets.
My last night in Singapore I dressed up and took myself on the most romantic solo date of my life. It was the best night ever and I absolutely loved the outfit I wore. This outfit gives the allusion of a dress, but it was actually a skirt and top from two different brands. ps. if you are visiting Singapore book a reservation here, I promise it will be life-changing.
My time in Asia was truly the trip of a lifetime, and there’s so much more I will have to share with you all in a future post beyond this Southeast Asia packing list. The one city I didn’t mention: Chiang Mai, was my absolute favorite. It was such an incredible time, I didn’t snap a single outfit photo. I am already dreaming about another visit to this region of the world, and feel so damn lucky that I get to live the life I do and travel the world.
Cheers to more adventures ahead.
XX – Kat
Hi, hi, friends! If you’re looking for even more tea from me, give my podcast, “Big Girls Gone Wild!” a listen! Follow me on Instagram for more of my day-to-day shenanigans (think lots of Colorado hiking, dog stories, food creations and all the tea on celebs). And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my YouTube channel, The Katrina Nichole, where I share plus-size fashion hauls, body positivity convos and all things inclusive movement. Byeeeeee!