When it comes to Vietnam, there are so many different ways to travel. You can go all out luxury and dress to impress for 5* dinners under the stars in Halong Bay. You can strap on your hiking boots and get adventurous with a camping expedition into some of the country’s biggest caves. Or you can simply spend time lounging in swimwear every day on Vietnam’s many beaches, $1 beer in hand. But, however you travel, there are certain things you shouldn’t forget when thinking about your Vietnam packing list.
Whether you are a light packer, an overpacker or a Goldilocks perfect packer, we recommend adding the following items to your Vietnam packing for all kinds of travel, destinations and climates.
Vietnam’s suffers heavy rain in the summer months all across the country and also around November in parts of Central Vietnam. Of course, it rains throughout the year too and is often much heavier than you’ll be used to in your home country. Pack a rain jacket and you should be set for whatever the weather throws at you.
Even if you are visiting Vietnam in summer and only plan to stay on the coast we still advise you to pack a jumper. Buses, trains, planes, restaurants, hotels and cafes are more often than not going to be blasting their air conditioning when it’s warm outside and there is nothing worse than icy AC when you’re wearing shorts and flip flops!
If you are travelling in the north of Vietnam between October and March, you’ll want to pack a few extra layers and a jacket.
No matter what season you travel to Vietnam, you’ll likely have to deal with mosquitos. DEET based products are considered the most effective but many essential oils naturally repel mosquitos too. Citronella is especially effective.
Thankfully, malaria is very uncommon in Vietnam but Dengue Fever is currently a serious issue across Southeast Asia. Using mosquito repellent won’t eliminate the possibility of getting a mosquito-borne disease, but it is one of your best deterrents.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Whatever your travel itinerary, you’ll likely be doing an extended amount of walking while in Vietnam. Wandering the streets is one of the best ways to experience cities like Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chi Minh. And even if you opt out of a real trek in Sapa, you’ll still want to walk to the various viewpoints around the town and valley. Trainers make perfect walking shoes in most scenarios and you can even pick up a pair of (fake!) branded trainers in Hanoi for under $20!
A Hangover Cure!
While we cannot condone any excessive drinking, we know that sampling the local beverages is a highlight of many people’s trips to Vietnam. 30 cent beers on Bia Corner and shots of rice wine in the mountains of Sapa are truly memorable Vietnam experiences. A hangover in your hotel room is not! Bring your usual remedies and pair them with a bowl of hot and spicy Pho to combat your hangover.
And, of course, don’t forget to pack a camera so that you can document your amazing trip! Take selfies in Halong Bay, panoramas in Sapa and candid snaps on the streets of Hoi An and relive your trip for years to come.
So, as well as your usual list of pants, socks, toiletries and favourite clothes, these items should be at the top of your Vietnam packing list!
Oh, and don’t forget to leave room for all the amazing souvenirs you’ll want to buy!
Have we missed anything?