People buy a lot of silly, strange and useless items when they come to Bangkok. If you’ve traveled there it’s likely you came back with a pile of stuff in your bag that you thought was cool and interesting but now your back home and have no idea what to do with? Well I bet you one of those useless items you picked up on your vacation to Thailand is in this list.
MULTICOLOURED POINTY HAT – Made of multiple rags stitched together in all the colours of the rainbow, this hat gives anyone the appearance of a classic drunk party dude, which might be fine on a Saturday night but wear it on a Monday afternoon and you will find people averting their gaze or even avoiding you in the street.
WOODEN FROG – This is the classic useless souvenir nobody wants but when you see the nice old lady rubbing the stick over the frog’s back you think it’s just perfect for your Auntie and Uncle back home – it’s probably not. Admittedly, the noise of the two pieces of wood clacking together is similar to a frog, but the similarity quickly loses its appeal.
BEER CHANG SINGLET – This is an item of clothing James Bond would never wear. If you think of an evening suit as the height of sophistication, then a Beer Chang vest would be on the opposite end of the scale. But, at the end of the day, Thailand is a hot a country and a loose fitting singlet makes sense (as long as you aren’t going to a nice restaurant or rooftop bar).
SELFIE STICK -The Selfie Stick is a long pole made specifically to clasp your smartphone to the end for when arm length photos of yourself just won’t do and you want to capture more of the scene. It is one of the latest gimmicks to hit Bangkok and is a nice idea in principle, but it has the unfortunate effect of making you look a little bit vain and even more foolish to everyone in your vicinity.
ELASTIC FLYING TOY – You will see these contraptions all around Khao San Road. Hawkers pull on the elastic band and shoot a winged piece of plastic high up into the air, which then floats down gently into his waiting hands. Kids are captivated by these toys, but we’ll warn you we’ve never known them to last more than a week before breaking into pieces.
STRING BRACELETS – String bracelets are a curio of Khao San Road, with ever more x-rated or ludicrous statements written on the face. What started out as cheap decorations to wear have changed into crude mementos of crazy nights out in Bangkok. Needless to say, they are popular, with the price skyrocketing from 20 baht to 200 baht with some unscrupulous hawkers (Needless to say, never accept the first asking price).
THAI BOXING SHORTS – Perfect for a few rounds in the ring or (more likely) a fancy dress party, Muay Thai boxing shorts come in all sorts of colours and the stylish Thai writing on them looks totally exotic… just don’t expect to ever wear them when you get back to your home country.
ALADDIN PANTS – Aladdin pants are cheap, comfortable and look ridiculous – the perfect uniform for the gap year backpacker travelling Asia for the first time. Just like the Beer Chang singlet, these low slung pants are actually functional but the designs are becoming more wacky and the join between the legs lower, to the point that it looks like there’s a stowaway hiding in them.
TUK TUK MADE OUT OF A BEER CAN – You will find these small toy tuk-tuks fashioned out of beer and soda cans in many places all over Bangkok, and each artisan keeps coming up with ways to make more and more replica vehicles, although the classic tuk-tuk is still the best. It makes a good, cheap souvenir, although not recommended for kids due to the sharp metal edges. Just make sure you don’t squash it as they lose their shape easily.
FAKE I.D CARDS – Fake I.D. cards and licenses can be found for pretty much all professions and uses along Khao San Road; great for underage drinkers looking to sneak into a bar or pub, but unsettling for everyone else. Last time we saw I.D. cards for students, police officers and even airline pilots.