The Problem of Laundry

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Thailand Fly & Drive – Part 38

On a long road trip like ours, it is important to figure out where and when you will need to do your laundry. We packed enough clothing to cover about 8 days of travelling, and we aimed to wash our clothes every 5 to 6 days so that we had spare clothes just in case. For this reason, we love the Marriott Vacation Club apartments, because there is a washing machine and dryer in every unit. Really very convenient, can basically wash clothes every day.

After we left our “home ground” in Bangkok, we have been on the lookout for reasonably-priced and reliable laundry services to meet our needs.

Em’s Laundry, Chiang Mai

This is a great laundry service in Chiang Mai which has three outlets in different parts of town. I used Em’s Laundry 2 which was the nearest outlet to the Ibis Styles Hotel where I was.

Very convenient service. You just weigh your own laundry, tie it up in the bag provided, attach the correct payment, and throw it into the collection bin.

The next day, they will send you an email to notify you that your clothes are ready and they will give you the locker number and code for the combination lock and you are free to go whenever you want to pick it up. They also have a hotel room delivery option which we didn’t try out.

The prices are also extremely reasonable at THB50 per kg of laundry.

When our clothes were returned, they were nicely folded and smelled lovely. Really love this no frills service and would definitely use their services again in the future.

Otteri Wash & Dry, Khon Kaen

When we arrived in Khon Kaen, I tried to find a laundry service just like Em’s laundry. With my daughter in the car, we went to a few laundry shops to enquire, but all of them charged per piece. With five bags of laundry to wash, there was no way we were going to be paying per piece. After four attempts to find a laundry shop, we gave up.

The next morning, daughter and I headed to the Otteri Wash & Dry, which was quite a distance away from our hotel. This was a self-service, coin operated laundry place with good reviews online.

Handily, there are instructions in English for stupid foreigners like me.

The machine uses THB10 coins. If you don’t have enough you can use the coin exchange machine to exchange notes for coins. Do take note that every THB100 note you exchange gives only about 8 THB10 coins, with the remaining 2 coins being special “Otteri Coins” which can only be used at the laundry machines in the shop. Make sure you exchange only what you need, and use up the Otteri coins first when operating the machines. If not, you will be stuck with those coins until the next time you use their laundry services.

You will need to either bring your own detergent and softener, or purchase the small packs from the vending machine. No English here unfortunately, and so it took me some time and a lot of common sense to figure out that the top two options were detergents and the bottom two were softeners. 😛

It was really good to have my little helper with me. I’ve really come to appreciate her awesome heart of helpfulness. She helped me to load the clothes into the huge 17 kg washer which managed to fit all our five bags. I was really impressed. I had expected to do two loads with all the bags we had.

While waiting for the clothes to be done, we caught up on some Daddy-Daughter math tuition. I spend so much time teaching other kids that I really value these little times that I can spend helping my own kids.

The total washing cost for our 5 bags came up to only THB130. THB70 for the wash, THB50 for the dry, and THB5 each for the detergent and softener.

Really convenient and cheap!

The downside is that we have to do all the folding ourselves. This is great opportunity to involve my daughter in the chores. At home our domestic helper does everything and my kids do not have the chance to do the chores. When we are overseas, we try to get them involved, so that they will not take things for granted at home. My daughter is a gem, she doesn’t even see it as a chore, helping to fold the clothes with a big smile on her face. I’m blessed!

We are so happy with the Otteri experience that when we were in Pattaya, we did our last load of laundry at the Otteri outlet there!

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