So after being in Hanoi, Vietnam for about 2 months, I have decided that I am qualified enough to write a Travelers packing guide for a Vietnamese summer trip. I will do a more in depth packing guide for people coming to teach/live in Vietnam soon.
I am by no means an expert in this particular field, however I though I would share the knowledge I have gained with you. This packing guide may also be centered around girls, but guys just pack your shorts and t-shirts and you will be good to go.
1. Clothes that flow
What I mean by this is clothes that are not extremely tight. It is so hot here in the summer, so having tight clothes makes it even worse. Allowing your clothes to have that extra allowance of wind intake helps a lot. I recommend dresses, ‘flowy’ skirts and tops.
2. Some sort of shall or ‘wrap around’.
Vietnam is a Buddhist country, so a lot of the site-seeing includes the beautiful Pagodas and Temples. To be respectful, one needs to cover up a bit. Having a shall or ‘wrap around’ tucked into your bag at all times really helps with this. They also sell beautiful scarfs and ‘wrap-arounds’ in the Old Quarter, so if you don’t have one do not panic. you will just have an excuse to go shopping in the Old Quarter (which I do highly recommend).
3. Shoes that are easy to take on and off
As a sign of respect, when one walks into a house of a Vietnamese person or a place of worship their shoes are taken off. Bringing along flip flops or pumps will help with this. Many hotels do not follow this tradition but rather be safe than sorry.
4. A backpack
Scooters are the main form of transportation around vietnam, so whether you are on a scooter taxi or decide to hire a scooter of your own, a backpack is needed. Backpacks are also just much easier to travel with and are convenient when site-seeing.
Side bags are also a big help but a backpack is much more convenient.
5. A first aid/ medicine kit
There are many pharmacies around but they do not stock many goods, so having a first aid kit will be a handy thing. Another problem is the language barrier. Whatever it is that you might need could become a huge deal because you don’t know the translation for it.
6. A light jersey
In the rainy season it can get quite chilly in the evenings, however it is actually still quite warm. Bring along a light jersey or scarfs. I have found that riding a scooter in the evenings can be quite cold as the wind hits you.
I hope these few tips will be helpful when you are packing for your Vietnamese Summer Trip. I can guarantee that you will experience a whole new culture and I truly hope you enjoy every minute of it.
Lots of Love xxx