Electrical plugs and sockets in Thailand.

What kind of electricity sockets do they use in Thailand ? Answer: A hybrid system of European standard and American standard. That means that a plug from continental Europe (2 pins without grounding) and a standard American plug (2 pins without grounding) will work fine.


Due to the combination of the American standard and the European standard the holes have one flat side and one round side. This makes both types of plugs fit in the socket. This same system is used in other Asian countries like Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Both European standard plugs (left) and American standard plugs (right) will work fine in Thailand and many other countries in South East Asia.

In most western countries sockets with a ground connection are required by law for safety reasons. In Thailand however the ideas about safety are different. Also for electronic installations. Therefore it is completely normal to have ungrounded sockets (2 holes only). Sometimes you’ll find grounded sockets (3 holes) and ungrounded (2 holes) in one hotel room. Since chargers for mobile phones, tablets and photo cameras usually don’t use grounding (2 pins) it will always fit in Thai sockets.

As seen in the previous pictures; European plugs with a ground connection will fit in a Thai socket. However there is no way that the ground pin is connected. Your electronic devices will work fine but off course it is less safe.


Stealing from your luggage and what you can do about it.

Theft from your luggage is unfortunately a thing that can happen. Just like in daily life there are criminals that want to steal what belongs to you. This can surely happen by fellow travellers but also by people who work as luggage handlers in airports, buses or ferry boats. Thailand has seen both arrests of foreign travellers being caught for stealing as well as local employees who work as a luggage handler.

Coconuts Bangkok writes often about this problem. Its like fighting rats; no matter how much you catch of them they will come back.
Phuket airport employee caught stealing Adidas shoes from luggage.
Busted! Baggage handlers at Suvarnabhumi Airport caught stealing from passengers.
Phuket airport staff arrested for stealing from passengers’ luggage.

Most common trick is to break open a zipped backpack or suitcase. A padlock wont protect from this since the zipper can be forced to open by poking a ballpoint or screwdriver through it. The following video demonstrated how easy this is done

Also in the YouTube movie with the baggage handler who is caught stealing from luggage uses this method. The padlock that is still closed can clearly be seen. After searching through the luggage he closes the zipper again like nothing happened.

Zipper padlock

Luggage belt
the above picture appears another suitcase. That one had a extra belt around the suitcase. These are also available with a combination lock on it. Although the are easy to cut through or slip off, they still make it more difficult for the thief to open your suitcase. Most likely he will go for an easier target. Just like in the picture.


Zipperless luggage 
To avoid the easily opening of a zippered suitcase you can buy a zipperless suitcase. This means that the hard shell is closed with a locking mechanism. But sometimes there is a zipper but it is hidden. In that way a thief is also less likely to chose your bag to steal from. The website www.chasingthedonkey.com wrote a nice overview about these types of suitcases.

Another very effective prevention for breaking through zippers is to use a flight cover / flight bag. Even if they are also closed with a zipper it still creates an extra barrier. The thief needs more time to open your bag. Most likely the thief will pick another bag that he sees nearby and leaves your one alone. The company Trafelsafe sells flight bags that can be closed with a padlock through several rings. Just like a army duffel bag. Big advantage of a flight bag is that it also protects your bag against dust, dirt, water and damage.

Travelsafe flightbag compilation
A flight-bag that can be closed with a padlock gives good protection against theft. Source: www.travelsafe.co.nl

Steel protection net
Instead of a flight bag you can also use a net around it. The company PacSafe sells a net made from steel cables that you can close with a padlock. www.bemusedbackpacker.com wrote a review and explanation about it.

Backpacks secured with a PacSafe backpack protector. Source: www.foxnomad.com

Hide your money
When you travel it is always a good idea to keep some cash money with you in Euros or Dollars. In case of a broken credit / debit card or when you end up in areas without ATM’s you can use this to exchange in the local currency. Sometimes hotels offer this service as a side business. To minimise the risk of stealing it is a good idea to hide this. As seen in the first YouTube movie; thieves usually don’t spend much time in searching through your luggage. They grab whatever comes in sight. Some people have developed very creative ideas to hide money while travelling.

Dutch army daypack

The Dutch army daypack aka KL daypack is a small backpack but equipped with foam-padded shoulder straps like it is a full size backpack. The back has a main compartment with an internal divider and two side pockets. The weigh is about 1,15 kg and measurements are 45 x 30 x 18cm. The outside contains two attaching belts for extra equipment like a water bottle or first aid pouch. These items can be attached with alice-clips, but also the old Dutch/British webbing system hooks.  This backpack was made during the 90’s in 3 colours; Woodland (Dutch DPM), Dessert (Dutch CDU) and olive green. The olive green one was only issued to the Dutch Airforce and therefore harder to find nowadays. Big advantage of this last one is that the camouflage pattern will not fade out after years of usage. Also the colour is more neutral and suitable for urban travelling.

Rugzak KL 35L (www.armyworld.pl)
Olive green edition (Dutch Airforce) of the Dutch army daypack. Source: www.armyworld.pl

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List with floating raft house resorts in Khao Sok National Park (Cheow Lan Lake).

There are 15 or 16 different floating house parks on the Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park. They function as remote islands on the fresh waters between the lime stone cliffs. Electricity is usually generated by diesel engines and solar panels. Supplies need to be transported by boat. Wi-Fi and mobile phone network are often not available. Many resorts offer their guests only a mattress on the floor instead of a real bed. So don’t expect too much luxury and relative high prices here. But its all worth it.

Phutawan Raft House 2(www.tripadvisor.com)
Capsule shaped floating houses at Phutawan Rafthouse resort. Source: www.tripadvisor.com

The list with floating bungalows aka raft houses are clockwise from the Ratchaprapa dam. Here is a parking area, a souvenir shop, tourist information point and a pier from where most resorts pick up their guests by long tail boat.

Map with the different area’s and all the floating raft house resorts from the Cheow Lan Lake in the Khao Sok National Park. Source: www.khaosoklake.com

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Travel coffee makers

If you like to drink a nice fresh cup of coffee you probably also would like to do this when you are travelling. Many hotels will equip the room with a water cooker and some instant coffee. But if you want a more advanced cup of coffee you need to take a look at other devices: Travel Coffee Makers.

This movie about some different portable coffee making devices by Donny Outdoors catches the essence of travel coffee making systems perfect. Make nice coffee wherever you go, relax and enjoy the moment ….. ..  

There is a huge variety in water boiling and coffee brewing equipment. Al trying to let you enjoy your coffee just like it is at home.  Continue reading

Great travel item: US army patients effects bag

Some military surplus items are perfect for travellers; light weight, not to expensive, still available from unused stock and many different ways to use them. The US army patients effects bag is such an item.

When wounded soldiers were taken to a (field) hospital, staff placed an injured soldier’s personal belongings such as wedding rings, watches, glasses or letters in these bags. Each bag has two drawstrings on top and a gusseted bottom to stand upright when full. Inside the bag is a rubberised pocket to separate items. On the outside of the US GI personal effects bags is a small white square where the soldier’s name would be written. Another version which is not so common is meant for dead soldiers and has a label which much more details to be filled in. Among the details; Killed in action. Measuring 12 inches tall and 15 inches wide, these cloth bags make perfect toiletry bags, laundry bags, or other small item bags for campers, Scouts or travellers.


Available at:
www.sportsmansguide.com This is the not so often seen bag for deceased military personal instead of the wounded one.

What to pack for Thailand

A recent article in The Daily Telegraph called What to pack for Thailand came up with the following list:

1. A good rucksack
2. Insect repellent
3. Sunblock
4. A money belt
5. Walking shoes
6. Sandals
7. Lightweight shirts and trousers
8. A light scarf (sarong)
9. Lightweight towel
10. Antibacterial wipes
11. Hair conditioner

Our list would be:
1. A good rucksack (daypack)
2. Insect repellent (especially during rain season)
3. Sunblock
4. A money belt
5. Walking shoes
6. Flip flops aka slippers
7. Lightweight shirts and trousers
8. A light scarf (sarong)
9. Lightweight towel (big)
10. Microfibre towel (small) (very useful to protect your neck from sunburn)
11. Small foldable umbrella (especially during rain season)
12. Rain poncho (especially during rain season)
13. MP3 player (if you are a music lover)
14. Blue tooth speaker (if you are a music lover)
15. International driving licence
16. Credit card (as a backup for a debit card failure)
17. Buff multifunctional scarf
18. A piece of rope
19. Duct tape
20. Instant glue (If duct tape fails to do your emergency repair)
21. Travel guide (Lonely Planet, rough guide etc.)
22. 3 way electric plug (2 extra sockets for charging your electronic devices)
23. Camera tripod (better pictures and selfies with self-timer)
24. Rubber wash bowl or bucket (if you want to do an emergency hand wash of your clothes)
25. Ear plugs (when staying in a hostel)
26. Portable luggage scale aka travel scale (If you like to buy tons of souvenirs or cheap clothing)
27. Flight bag; a thin sleeve that you put around your backpack or suitcase that act as a protective waterproof layer to catch dirt. Luggage handling is often under high time pressure and done very rough and disrespectful.

7-Eleven and other shops 
A lot of items like ear plugs, scotch tape, instant glue, shaving foam, small washing powder, toothbrush etc. are also for sale at the 7-Eleven or Mini Mart stores. They are literally located on almost every street corner in Thailand. Flip flops, light weight trousers, light weight T-shirts and a small folding umbrella can also be bought at shops and street vendor stalls on the roadside. Often for much lower prices (100 – 200 bath) then in visitors their home counties. Be aware of a poor quality. When buying flip flops it’s wise to buy instant super glue at the 7-Eleven. Usually they are glued together with water based glue that will dissolve after getting wet again. In case of a plastic disposable rain poncho it is best to look for a big western size made from a slightly thicker plastic back home. The disposable rain poncho’s sold in Thailand are usually from a poor thin quality and too small to cover a tall western person.


Super power glue (instant glue) from 7-Eleven for all your repairs.

Some other ideas about what to pack and what not can be found in this blog from Thailandredcat.com: Your Backpack for Traveling in Thailand.

French army F1 backpack

The French army F1 backpack was in use till the mid 90s. Nowadays you can still find them in many (online) army surplus shops. Main reason for that is because they are extremely durable and made out of tough heavy duty materials. This backpack is super strong and won’t disappoint you.

The French Army F1 backpack can be extended with a chimney. That’s why the closing straps are extra long. Source: www.global.rakuten.com

The French army F1 backpack is compared to a modern lightweight backpack a bit heavy (2,2 Kg) and a bit uncomfortable. Actually it is more a very luxury duffel bag. For example; it doesn’t have side pockets and it has grip handles on both sides. Besides that you can also wear it on your back.

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The (British army) Rucksack Other Arms vs The Osprey Porter

The Rucksack Other Arms from the British army and the Osprey Porter are both “single” compartment backpacks where you can hide the shoulder straps. This allows you to use it as a hand carrying bag. Both the backpacks are not very high compared to their width.

If you spend most of your time carrying your luggage at your back when hiking or going to the woods and mountains, then a real backpack is most suitable. If your backpack spends most of its time in a luggage compartment of a bus, train, air-plane, mini van, taxi etc. then a single compartment bag with no extra straps or side pockets is more suitable. This setup comes close to a suitcase that you carry on your back.

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Chillax Neighbourhood

This is the neighbourhood in front of the Chillax Resort.

Chillax Resort www.holidaycheck.de
The cosy neighbourhood in front of the Chillax Resort hotel. Source: www.holidaycheck.de


The area is very close to the Khaosan Road but much more quite and relaxed. The area sees almost no traffic because it is tucked away from the big main road. It is almost like a small village inside the big city.

Chillax Resort 03 www.macontour.wordpress.com
While Chillax Resort is pure luxury the rest of the neighbourhood is basic and more authentic. Source: www.macontour.wordpress.com.
The Chillax Neighbourhood is in walking distance of the famous Khaosan Road.

The area is full with small coffee shops, foot massage shops, backpacker hostels and small (street food) restaurants. At the “entrance” of the area you’ll find the more upscale Nouvo City Hotel and a 7-Eleven supermarket for all your necessary supplies. One street food style restaurant that is receiving very positive reactions for their high quality sea food is Jokphochana Restaurant.

Other hotels in this neighbourhood are:
Nouvo City Hotel
The Glory Hostel
Back home backpackers
Cow Hostel
Love hostel and cafe
At Phranakorn Inn
Full Hostel
The Rajata
Samsen Sky Hostel
Samsen 360 Hostel
The glory of Samsen

As you can see from the names of the hotels, this area is on the Samsen Road. More precisely; the southeast side roads (soi) 2, 4, and 6.

Cillax neigbourhood 2
Source: www.nouvocityhotel.com