We're going on a 26 days long trip from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam, down to HCMC and ultimatly through Cambodia to Bangkok.
What are the most importent 10 must-brings on a trip like this? We have not been to SE Asia before, and are backpacking for the first time.
How big a backpack/ruck sack? What kind of foot wear is necessarry?
I suggest wearing a decent pair of tennis shoes, (trainers) or lightweight hiking type shoes/boots on the plane. Then a good pair of sandals. I would buy a cheap pair of flip flops for the shower once there. I also recommend you take or buy a sarong type piece of cloth. Comes in handy on a/c buses, the beach, after shower cover-up, towel, pillow, etc. Light, cheap, handy. A small travel clock is handy as well. Also a small flashlight.
I would suggest you bring the following:
- sunblock to protect your skin from the sun while on the beach
- mosquito repellant as there mosquitoes are common in those countries
- medicine for your tummy just in case you eat or drink something that upsets your stomach
- umbrella to protect you on sudden rainshowers
- a big smile and openness to a different culture, smell, sights, and experience
A small pack should do it - certainly nothing big since there are very few elevators in the hostels/guest houses
laundry service at all hotels - cheap and 24 hr service, no need to bring many clothes
shoes are important, and always wear light colors
leave all the heavy stuff at home (you can buy anything you need here, but brands will be different)
prepare to thoroughly enjoy this wonderful part of the world - bring an open mind!
The most important thing I read above is to "Bring an open mind"
That is definitely true. It's a very different culture so it is important to very well adjust to them.
Just bring sunblock or anything to protect you from the heat as the temperature there is so high. Not sure about now though. It's probably the rainy season as of the moment.
Shoe laces (always come in handy)
Small padlock (for rooms which dont have locks and you backpack on long jouneys)
Creditcard, travellers cheques and cash.
Have an amazing time, although I think it will be hard not to. I still havent spoken to someone who said they did not love travelling!
One important piece of advice is don't take a large rucksack. Believe me you will fill it and it will make your journeys from A to B so much more uncomfortable. Like others have said here, you can pretty much buy what you need along the way and it's cheap. Buy two sarongs each at least they can be used as a towel (don't need to take one) and for lots of other useful things.
Take a pair of sandels or flip flops, and some comfortable training shoes. Sunblock is worth taking.
Remember this: Once you have packed everything, have a good look and try and cut your packing down by half. Almost always you will be carrying things you think may be useful only to find you never need them, or you could have just bought them on the road.
PACK LIGHT! its the best thing to keep in mind.
Have a great time.
Edited on 24-Jun-2010, at 10:35 by solomonuk
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Something you don't necessarily need to bring, but should definitely pick up, is a bandana. I use mine daily. It's great for wiping sweat and grime, and can also come in handy as a napkin or hand towel.
Ear plugs are rally a common item around SEA, although noise is everywhere!. It might be wise to bring some with you.
- Small luggage (as they said, you can buy anything you need here), but one big bag is still better than many small bags.
- Medicine (stomach, diarrhea, headache, pain-killer, ... because the ones you buy here may not work for your body fact)
- Skin protect stuff (sunblock, mosquito repellent,...)
- Shoes for walking: 2 pairs (sport, sandals,...)
- Some small locks (make sure that whenever you leave your luggage at a certain place (bus, hotel,...), they must be locked at all. If you stay in the luxurious hotels, this is not necessary, but for the backpacker, you should).
- Check information from the internet to know the common price of some certain services you will take. In Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, they always charge you higher than the local people. Also, you can take note of some places you will visit (address, tel number) because most of people here don't speak English well.
- Big smile
- Big open minded (yes, as the culture is much different and you may be shock )
- Prepare to say "NO" whenever you are invited to buy something on the street. (Also, be careful with these people because they may rob you)
- You should contact with some travel helpers of each destination in this forum, this is important as you are going to a different culture's country.
Hope they are enough
Since you are visiting this part of the world for the first time, I would suggest that you must eat light. The weather at the time of your visit is going to be extreme hot and humid, so do carry disposable napkins/tissues to wipe off the sweat. Also a mosquito repellent cream or machine is must since this weather brings with it lots of bugs. To protect yourself from hot sun and occasional rains, do carry a sun screen lotion and an umbrella. Carry some medicines for stomach infection since long eat outs might upset your digestive system. Beware of pick pocketers there.