Packing and Laundry

Aug 9th, 2004, 04:25 AM
  #1  
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Packing and Laundry

My husband and I are going to India and Thailand mid Oct to mid Nov. We are in our late 50's. Any hints on what kind of clothing to take? I think it's time I learned to dress in something other than jeans and sneaks! What about getting clothes washed...do hotels do it or are there do it yourself laundramats? Are there any especially good easy are fabrics? I'd like to pack LESS too. Do you wash out underwear in your room, etc. We are staying in some 4 and 5 star hotels in India - also a first for us! All advice appreciated! Thanks.
susanwr is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 05:14 AM
  #2  
 
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Most places in Thailand will be hot (mid 80s F and above), humid and on the rainy side. The later in the month you go, the less chance of rain. November is noticeably drier than October. Your post does not mention where you are going in India, but if you are doing the standard tourist route of New Delhi and Rajasthan, you will find temps in the low to mid 80s F in October and cooling off by about 10 F as you get into November. Both months are dry. Not as humid as Thailand. Evenings in Rajasthan will begin to be quite cool in November, layers would be a good idea. IMO, if you can move the trip to November entirely you will find better (less hot and rainy) weather in both places.

Hotels will do laundry, although even in India this is not especially cheap. Not sure about laundromats, in India, you probably could find "dhobi wallahs" to do laundry, but I am not sure this is worth the time and effort to seek out, plus I can't vouch for how well they would do and/or that they would not wreck your clothing. You may find self-service laundromats in Thailand, a good place to check would be either the Lonely Planet books on Thailand, or their website lonelyplanet.com (go to Thorn Tree Posts, which is their posting board somewhat like this site). Lonely Planet may have other self-laundry suggestions for India as well. Bear in mind the time and trouble of seeking out self-service or other laundries and consider whether this is a good use of your sightseeing time. I would (i) pack enough so that you don't have to do laundry, (ii) bring things you can wash out by hand and dry in the bathtub.

If you want to wear jeans they are perfectly acceptable, but you may find them too hot in both places. Sneakers are find and probably the most comfortable, although in many temples in Thailand and India and at the Taj Mahal you have to take your shoes off, so something that is easy to take on and off several times a day may be better. Note that the Grand Palace in Bangkok and many other temples in Thailand will not admit men or women wearing shorts. At some temples you can "rent" a sarong or other suitable clothing. Women wearing shoes with open backs are often not allowed into the Grand Temple as well, and I have had tour guides say that "Teva" type sandals are not allowed as well. No particular dress code for Hindu temples in India, you generally are not allowed into the inner sanctum anyway.
Cicerone is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Where do you live? Are you in the States? If so, I can give you some places to buy travel clothes. I can travel to Southeast Asia for three weeks with only one 22-23 inch carry-on, wheeled suitcase.I've been testing travel clothing for 30-plus years...so I know travel clothing quite well. So, first let me know what area you live in and then I'll get back to you. Happy Travels! Oh, and disposible underwear is available. I just picked up five more packages...They come 5 pairs per package. I'm off to Thailand soon.I always pack them for Southeast Asia.
Guenmai is online now  
Aug 9th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Pack light clothing. I usually wear light cottons and wear long pants with a short-sleeved shirt or long skirts/dresses. I find more coverage is both more culturally acceptable and cooler than exposing lots of skin to the sun. I do typically have clothes laundered by the hotel. My favorite hotel in Bangkok (The Towers portion of the Sheraton Royal Orchid) launders six garments per person per day for free. You'll also find interesting and inexpensive clothing readily availble for purchase in both places.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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The best fabrics for tops are those that advertsie themselves as quick-drying -- they're typically a cotton blend. For slacks (esp men's), a very light wool is an excellent choice: the wrinkles from the suitcase will disappear quickly after you hang them up. (If you need to clean them on the trip, send them to the hotel dry cleaner.)

For socks and underwear, it's best to find a laundry near the hotel where you'll stay -- ask the concierge if there's one nearby (and don't be shy about telling him that you need to save a few bucks by not using the hotel laundry, which is preposterously expensive). Unlike most items, socks and underwear take up almost no room and fit anywhere, so it's ok to overpack them slightly.

Kathie is absolutely correct that inexpensive clothing is available. However, you may have trouble finding your size if you are anything approaching a large size (in Western terms).
DonTopaz is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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we are 60 and have been to thailand 6 times....i take kakhi pants and sport and polo shirts and maybe one or two t shirts...my wife takes skirts and blouses, usually with a cap sleeve...she also takes slacks....we each take one pair of shorts for use around the pool/hotel....

all fabrics should be cotton (100%) or linen....no blends or poly....as lite weight as possible....

all quality hotels have laundries, but they are very expensive...usually they also have a laundry office on the premises that you can take things to and save about 50% of the cost...a laundry shop....in most thai places there are laundries on the street which are very reasonable and do a very good job....sample costs on street: 10B for undies, 40B for skirt or slacks, about the same for shirts...

we have been very happy with having stuff done at all 3 types of places...you can take far less with you that way....

also if you are normal sized, which i am not, you can purchase new stuff for very reasonable prices along the way...not undies probably but most everything else...
in bangkok you can get anything you want including american brands...usually cheaply...

pack as little as you can...you will be glad of it...save room for purchases
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Washing some clothes in your room is acceptable in even luxury Ind hotels. Often these hotels provide detergent and the tub will have a pull out clothes line for you to hang up your clothes. Don't know where exactly you are staying but laundry in premium hotels in India is quite exp and if you are moving around you may find it inconvenient to keep dropping off clothes and then picking them up. Take drip dry clothes which will not need to be ironed, fabrics that breathe as Oct will still be warm. T-shirts are great, jeans may be a bit heavy on hot days plus are difficult to wash and dry. Khakis, cotton trousers, fabrics you get nowadays with a 2-3% lycra belnd, 97% cotton generally come back to shape well. Do not bother with an iron as u can request one - and gen an ironing oard as well - in your room for the occasional night out when you HAVE to get wrinkles out!
hobbes is offline  
Aug 9th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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i forgot to add that we take one pair each of sandles which we usually wear with socks and a pair of "dinner" shoes...hats too...

i would find anything with lycra to add too much added heat attracting fibre...you want loose fitting natural fiber clothes...

lite weight jeans (chambrary) can be good as well...
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Aug 10th, 2004, 01:27 PM
  #9  
sandi
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"Sandles with Socks"
 
Aug 10th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Guenmai...would be interested in your sources, and fabrics you prefer.

Interesting thread. I too travel with "carry on" only. 3weeks China/Japan with 19"...it was stuffed!
Even had a down jacket (for Mt. Fuji climb) which I left for someone else.
Funny how your bags grow on a trip!
circa2 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2004, 07:18 PM
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yes sandles with socks....short golf socks....we feel that it gives you some protection from bugs, dirt, pollution etc in 3rd world places....
guess you like to expose yourself to unnecessary hazards???
do you like the water in the chao payra river for instance???
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the great advice. Now disposable shorts for men would be an interesting concept! Guenmai - I'm from West Palm, Flordia. If I'm going to have to wear sneaks (for comfort..my feet give out quickly), should I opt for a color other than white? Thanks.
susanwr is offline  
Aug 11th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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i think you will find sneaks very hot to wear in thailand...

think of the very worst day you have in west palm, weatherwise (heat and humidity), and that is what you have in bkk every day 24 hours per day, 365 days per year...
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Aug 11th, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Hi All! First to answer Circa2's question. Go over to the Australia forum and under someone's post entitled,"Are these airlines kidding?" I have written a detailed travel clothing discription and lists of places to get the clothes. I just answered it a couple of hours ago. And...to answer Susanwr's question...There are disposible briefs for both men and women..They existed even back in the 70s...go on magellans.com and you can order them. Magellans is great. They are in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. There are quite a few travel clothing companies here in California.As suggested above, check out the post I just did over on the Australian forum. As for tennis shoes...in Thailand...I hated them. It was too hot. The rubber heated up and I thought I would die. I only wear Rockport, lace up shoes or other shoes with those types of bottoms...You can buy them at "The Walking Store/Company?"...which is located in shopping malls. They carry all kinds of walking shoes. And I only buy Khaki-colored shoes. I hate white shoes...they get filthy with all the dust flying around in those countries. Plus my Rockports look nice if I want to stay out all day and not go back to the hotel to change to go out to dinner at a nice, but casual-dressy place. I just carry a nice linen blouse in my day purse-pack and then change in a public restroom in order to look more presentable for dinner. Happy Travels to you all!
Guenmai is online now  
Aug 11th, 2004, 01:14 PM
  #15  
sandi
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rhkkmk - No I don't put myself in the way of hazards and the Chao Phraya is disgustingly filty. I rarely wear socks, maybe because I don't own but two or three pairs for cold weather only - BKK temps just don't fit that situation. But it was the picture that came into focus with your sandles and socks comment - couldn't resist!
 
Aug 12th, 2004, 03:21 PM
  #16  
 
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To Circa2- You asked about fabrics...sorry I forgot to answer and I had forgotten and just remembered what forum the question was posted on.As for fabric, I prefer Ex-Officio's 55%cotton and 45%polyester shirts...the Baja- Plus ones with the mesh air vents on both sides. The 100% nylon travel skirts are fine since the nylon is so thin. It's not hot. Plus these clothes are called the "90-degree" clothes. They handle quite well in that kind of heat. Hope you get this message. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is online now  
Aug 12th, 2004, 07:25 PM
  #17  
 
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Guenmai....thanks

Am going to the website to read your post.

Yes, agree with the fabrics. I (male) wear a long sleeve nylon shirt when traveling (airlines)with roll up sleeves. (Travel Smith).
circa2 is offline  

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