How to fight the sweat in Thailand

Since I explained in my last post why foreigners (Farang Farang) sweat so much in Thailand (yin dee krub, dear Thai friends) I thought I also share some experience as of how to fight sweat. Especially for those foreigners amongst my readers who sweat as much as I do.

Before I share some tips though some kind of disclaimer: INAD (I’m not a doc) and I don’t don’t don’t don’t like to put powder shit on my body. So I won’t recommend any baby powder stuff. I read that in some threats on FB and elsewhere and can’t agree on that. Also with all the news that some of those powders can cause cancer (when applied in certain regions and under certain circumstances only I assume – don’t lecture me on that please, I didn’t do too much research about that and that’s not the point here – the fact that I write that sentence shows what kind of comments I received here :P) I simply try not to use any chemicals on my body. Overall I’m not a big fan of using ‘medicine’ or any kind of drugs too often. Now that we got that out of our way, let’s start.



Average Working Day Sweat

On an average working day I wear a suit and mostly am either commuting, in an office setting or in a lecture. What helps here to fight the heat is, obviously, the fact that indoor activities are in air conditioned settings. However that also means that, as soon as you leave that setting, sweat starts to run and spread all over your shirt, pants (nobody sees that but ewwwwwww) and basically everywhere across your body. So what to do?

When in Rome…One thing that annoyed me in the beginning when coming to Thailand was that people would move SO SLOWLY! And that they would mostly (not all of course) always take the easiest way to Point A, not the fastest. This means when you enter the BTS station at the end where there is no escalator, you will walk slowly to the other end and take the escalator instead of using the stairs. If you have a meeting in the second floor (floor 1 being the ground floor in Thailand) you will use the elevator to go there instead of walking. I used to hate that. Now I’m partly part of that. I still don’t use the elevator to go into the second floor but I do walk MUCH slower now and sometimes even walk to the end of the BTS station just to get to the escalator (mostly after training though).

Other than that there’s the ‘trick’ of wearing another shirt under your actual shirt. That sounds hot at first of course but since rooms are usually cooled down to resemble the north pole that’s not a big issue for me. So wearing my under armour (not getting any money for that, unfortunately) sometimes helps to not sweat through the shirt and keep the good looks alive. A super sweaty shirt simply often kills a bit of seriousness. Dry fit stuff also is lighter than normal underwear so I do dig those things, if needed.

Those are now no real groundbreaking news but that’s what helps me to get through my average working day. Oh and also: Don’t eat tooooooo spicy. I love my spicy food but when I’m already sweating from the heat and then add some super spicy Thai food all hell breaks loose and the flood gates open.

Workout Sweat

While the sweat as mentioned above can certainly be a bit frustrating, it also is easy to avoid or, if it then eventually happens, to cope with. Sweat while exercising though can hardly be regulated and certainly not avoided. So what to do when it happens?

Here it depends on where I go and what I do. If I hit an aircon gym I usually wear my under armour shirt (I really should get something for mentioning that) under (hence the name, right?) a normal t-shirt. This prevents me from sweating into the normal shirt and the having to wear a wet t-shirt in an aircon room.

When I train outside or in open air muay thai gyms things are a bit different though. Most important in this case: Bring several shirts. As easy as that. Usually I bring three shirts to an average Muay Thai session. Usually I use one shirt for the warm up (rope skipping, running, etc.) and then two for the pad work / heavy bag session. In one of the gyms that is really hot I also use the under armour shirt during pad work or sparring but that’s more to avoid my sweat from grossing my trainer / partner out ;-) That shirt also needs to be changed after 4-5 rounds though.  Also having a towel or old t-shirt handy makes sense here to wipe of the sweat during those short breaks.

When running, well, just wear one shirt, sweat a lot and as soon as you stop running, change it. Even for the cool down. Same goes with any other activity outside such as Beachvolleyball or biking. As soon as I stop, I change. I simply hate getting sick here so I try to avoid that at all costs.

Be prepared

Overall it certainly helps to be prepared. This not only means to carry extra shirts when doing sports but also to bring a long sleeve in case you have to stay inside for a while or you have to use the (super cold) public transport. Sweating outside and then jumping into a/c can get you sick in no time so being prepared to fight those immediate temperature changes is a wise move.

Did I forget any advice? What are you doing to fight sweat? Let us know in the comments.

Sascha Funk

Founder / Editor at
Sascha is the publisher of and switched from an online marketing agency life in Europe to a teaching and education life in Thailand. He also writes about Teaching & Technology.

Related posts