Vietnam: What to pack

800px-Flag_of_Vietnam_svg_Just a few days to go now until the trip to Vietnam and with the important things sorted (like visas and insurance!), attention has now turned to packing. A colleague who recently returned from the country gave me some advice on the current weather conditions, so that has helped a bit when deciding on clothes- she said to expect temperatures of 30 degrees plus in the north, with monsoon showers in the south.

I have been told that the Vietnamese are quite open to western style dress, but some areas are more reserved than other parts of Asia; I’m making sure I pack clothes which are suitable for different activities and visiting religious sites, as well as a raincoat for the downpours! I didn’t have that many tops which covered the shoulders so this created a great excuse to go and buy some more. I think a great deal of what I end up taking will be determined by what I can fit into a relatively small backpack.

We are travelling on a couple of overnight trains during the trip, and recommended taking a sleeping bag liner in case the supplied bedding isn’t as clean as you might wish. These are made in either cotton (cheaper!) or silk, and can be purchased in camping shops and department stores. We got them for around £10 each and I’m told they will be a good investment. We have also made sure to buy good quality sunscreen and a mosquito repellent containing 50% DEET; there is no malaria risk in the areas we are visiting, but the bites can still be pretty bad.

I’ve been doing a bit of internet research on Vietnam to ensure we get the most out of the trip, and Vicky at has some really interesting articles and advice about her visit there last year. Thanks to this I’m really looking forward to the food, but I’m hoping there are some vegetarian options!

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