Vietnam What to Pack
Backpacks are a great way to travel around in Vietnam’s unpredictable weather. They are big enough to hold some necessary items and small enough to not weigh you down or be in the way.
Clothes and Shoes to Pack
Going to a hot & humid place in the tropics calls for light and natural fabrics like cotton or silk. Tank-tops, short sleeve shirts, or T-shirts are fine. Light khakis are good.
As for shoes, flip flops or open sandals are great because when it’s hot, your feet will appreciate it and when it rains, you won’t be walking around with wet shoes for too long.
What Not to Pack
Do not pack or wear Denim jeans or shorts. You sweat, and the Denim gets wet but does not dry. Chaffing and heat do not go well together. Do not over-pack on clothes, take a small amount and buy what you need after you arrive. Clothes are cheap in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese dress very conservatively. Women and men wear long pants and short or long sleeve tops for the most part and visitors should do the same despite the heat. Don’t pack shorts to wear in public but since they shut the AC off in your hotel while you are gone out-you may want to pack shorts to wear behind closed doors.
Toiletries & Medical
Pack your basic toiletries, and extra toilet paper (some places will be out). Sunscreen is a must…don’t forget it.
Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from the dust and from the glaring hot sun that will not be blocked by tall buildings. It helps if you bring your own medication for diarrhea – the difference in food may not agree with you- and bring a small first aid kit.
Bring a small towel or lots of handkerchiefs because you will need to wipe all the sweat when you walk around. Packages of wet wipes will come in handy at some restaurants that don’t have napkins. When eating at restaurants don’t use those cloth towels, use the wet wipes.
Bring an umbrella or a poncho kit to keep dry and prepared for the many rain outbursts throughout the day.
Bring a mobile phone. Phone calls outside of Vietnam are very expensive, but domestic calls and text messages are very cheap. Text messaging is a cheap way of keeping contact overseas.
Pack an adapter for your phone and camera and don’t forget the bug spray-their mosquitos still carry Malaria so if you are staying for a while you will need to bring some anti-malaria tablets.
After you arrive pick up a traditional Vietnamese Straw hat. It not only protects you from the sun but also from the rain since it’s waterproof. Vietnamese straw hats stand out as an iconic symbol due to the Vietnam war.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about what to pack in Vietnam.