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Ten tips to cope with Thailand and Phuket’s humidity

Hot Humid Thailand
Hot and Humid in Thailand

Thailand is a tropical hot and humid country, with temperatures peaking between February and May. While the heat can be a surprise for tourists accustomed to cooler climates, the humidity is a constant throughout the year, especially in the southern parts of the country. However, those who stay for an extended period or make a permanent move to Thailand eventually acclimate to the climate. Yes, really – in a couple of months you won’t really notice anymore.

The humidity in Thailand has its benefits, as a moist environment is essential for good health. Humidity levels in Bangkok average above 60% throughout the year, with even higher levels in the southern city of Phuket during the wet season. The high humidity helps stabilize temperatures and is beneficial for tropical plants. For human health, high humidity promotes supple and glowing skin while also reducing the appearance of blemishes.

However, the high humidity can also have negative effects on respiratory health, potentially exacerbating allergies or asthma. But, on the positive side, a humid environment can prevent the spread of airborne illnesses by causing dust and other particles to settle to the ground.

While the heat and humidity in Thailand may be a shock at first, they bring with them health benefits and a unique climate that is a defining characteristic of this tropical paradise.

Hydrate with Plenty of Bottled Water

It’s important to drink a lot of bottled water while in Thailand, as the tap water is not safe for consumption. Keeping yourself hydrated will prevent headaches, dizziness, and nausea. If you come from a cooler climate, you may need to drink double the amount of water you usually do. Convenient stores sell bottled water at an affordable price, and many hotels offer free drinking water daily. You can also opt for water delivery services that bring 20-liter exchangeable bottles for about 15-20 baht each.

Increase Salt Intake

Thai food already contains a good amount of salt, so you won’t need to add any more. However, sweating a lot will cause your body to lose salt, and it’s important to replace it. Eating Thai meals or drinks like Gatorade will help keep your salt levels up. Avoiding spicy curries and hot dishes can also help your body cope with the heat.

Wear Loose, Natural Fabric Clothing

In Thailand, you’ll mostly wear a single layer of clothing, so pack light and opt for natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Light colors are ideal and you won’t need a jacket or tie. However, be respectful of local customs regarding clothing, and avoid wearing skimpy clothing. When storing your clothes, beware of mold growth and leave your wardrobe doors open.

Exercise Early or Late

Exercising during the middle of the day can be quite strenuous, so it’s best to stick to early morning or late-night workouts. The cooler, lower light levels will make you feel more comfortable. When exercising, wear lightweight clothing and always take a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated – you will drink a lot more in Thailand than in your colder climate home.

Wear a Hat and Sunglasses

Hats and sunglasses are not just fashionable but also functional in Thailand. A hat will protect you from the sun and sweat, while sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Umbrellas are also a popular accessory in Thailand, not just for rain but also for keeping the sun off your face.

Slow Down and Relax

Thais adjust their pace to the heat and humidity, and there’s no need to rush. Take it easy, do what the locals do, and keep yourself relaxed and cool. Punctuality may not be a strong trait in Thai culture, so don’t stress about being on time. Put away your watch and enjoy the slow pace of life in Thailand.

Opt for natural cooling methods

Instead of relying solely on air conditioning, try to find natural ways to stay cool in Thailand. Look for shaded areas, use fans, or sit in a cool breeze. Avoid spending long periods of time in air-conditioned rooms as this can dry out your air passages and skin. If you must use air conditioning, turn it on for an hour before bed and then switch to a ceiling or floor fan for the rest of the night.

Follow the local customs

Observe the behavior of the locals in Thailand. They generally avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of the day and take multiple showers to stay cool. When taking a shower, turn down the hot water and consider taking a cold water shower a few times a day. After showering, it’s a good idea to use talcum powder to prevent sweat buildup and bacteria growth, which can lead to rashes and itching in a humid climate. Alternatively, face a fan to achieve the same result.

Keep sweat under control

Sweating is a natural way for your body to regulate its temperature. To stay comfortable, carry a damp hand towel in a plastic bag to wipe your face, neck, or hands from time to time. Remember, everyone sweats, so there’s no need to be self-conscious about it.

Stick to a light diet

Eating lighter and less heavy foods will help your body work less to digest and keep you feeling cooler. Include fresh fruits and salads in your diet, and consider trying some of the spicy Thai dishes for a lighter meal option. Coconut water is a popular and refreshing drink, and you can also treat yourself to an ice cream as a way to beat the heat.

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