Just wanted people's opinions on buying sandles in China/Vietnam... Basically we will be travelling overland from UK to Singapore. First part of journey will be on trains through russia, mongolia and China in September-late October. I would imagine in these places we will not need sandals (maybe a pair of flip-flops for showers etc...!) but we were wondering what the quality of sandals would be like if we bought them in Hanoi or even Southern China? Is it worth investing in a good pair of sandles in England and then carrying them with us?? We will buy some decent walking shoes which will be breathable and waterproof so will this be enough for the first 6weeks of our trip?? Having only 3 pairs of shoes at home for work and play I am not a big shoe person so I have no worries living in the same pair of shoes... but neither of us have ever been travelling so any advice as ever greatfully received!!
You sound like me - at home I have work shoes and flip flops in the summer, and work shoes and hiking boots in the winter.
Things don't change much for me when I'm traveling. Hiking boots and flip flops and/or sandals are all I ever travel with.
You are right that you'll probably do just fine in the Northern countries with just a solid pair of walking shoes or hiking boots. Once you get to Vietnam you will have absolutely no problem at all finding a pair of decent and cheap sandals. I actually remember buying a really sweet pair of ripoff (though excellent quality) Teeva's in Hanoi for about 4 pounds. They lasted me for pretty much a year in Australia. I also got a pair of custom flip flops (doesn't that sound cool) made in Hoi An for less a couple pounds. I can also recall at least 5 other pairs of flip flops that I've bought in various parts of Southeast Asia over the years, including the ones I'm wearing right now (bought in Bangkok at Christmas) which happen to be the most comfortable shoes I've ever put on my feet.
So yeah, finding a pair of shoes in Asia will be no problem at all. Save your money and backpack space and wait til you get there. You shouldn't have to pay more than 5 pounds for a decent pair of sandals.
Thanks very much for that - it's put my mind at rest and probably saved about £100 aswell which I'm sure will be better spent on other things!! Also might be making a stop at Hoi An for some custom made flip-flops!! Brilliant!