S E Asia – Packing tips

What do you pack for a part of the world that is a million miles away from home both culturally and climatically? Here are my thoughts and tips from the month I spent travelling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

What to pack.

The key words for clothes in Asia are lightweight and quick drying, it’s hot so no need for jumpers or coats! And you will need space for all those market bargains. A fold down umbrella is great for unexpected showers, as waterproofs are too hot to wear. I was surprised to find Wifi in most hotels and usually it was free (better than in most western countries). Due to things being pretty cheap I stayed in mainly 3*+ hotels. They were clean with great staff and most rooms had hair dryers, shower gel and a kettle, you may want to bring your own spoon though. A scarf or sarong is a must, very versatile and useful item; sun guard, beach towel, temple cover up etc.

I had jabs for Hep A and Typhoid. It is your choice alone and it’s best to talk to your doctor or travel clinic before travelling. The government website gives a guideline – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice,
In Cambodia I took Malarone tablets, they say most cities are ok but if your going off exploring or to any jungle areas it’s peace of mind.
Good sun cream and high deet insect repellent essential, and apply everyday (even in bed).
Imodium, not a pleasant thought but very useful when on the move as the toilets aren’t always great or readily available.
Wet wipes/ antibacterial wash are always essential to keep fresh and clean.

Everything is cheap here but not always easy to find specifics. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere. If travelling in a group buy big bottles and share by decanting into smaller ones, saving both money and the environment. If going there, the markets in Siem reap are great to pick up locally made crafts and practice some light hearted haggling, just remember they probably need the money more than you do. And most importantly have fun, I loved travelling here and would highly recommend it to everyone, just leave the health and safety handbook at home!

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