Vietnam has become one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia thanks to Halong Bay – one of New 7 Wonders of Nature, dozens of beautiful beaches, magnificent landscapes, cultural, religious and historical sites, hidden brilliant gems in alleys, unique local life and amazing Vietnamese foods. What to pack for a trip to Vietnam is one of the most frequent questions. Whether you travel to Vietnam for a few days or some months, you are a budget or luxury travelers, enjoy your holiday at higher-end resorts, or experience local life on highlands and the countryside, the list of Top 10+ Essential Things to Pack for Vietnam Trip is helpful to you. This article is different from the others which you have read because I point out the special things that you really need in Vietnam. For example, they simply recommend you to pack a backpack, a raincoat. I recommend you to bring a waterproof medium-sized backpack and a convenient raincoat.
Waterproof lightweight medium-sized backpack
Why should you need a waterproof backpack in Vietnam? Although you do not travel the S-shaped country in the rainy season, it may suddenly rains. On cruises in Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Perfume River in Hue, sampan rides in rivers and channels in Mekong Delta under the shade of nipa palm, speedboat tour to Cu Chi Tunnels a waterproof backpack protect your belongings from water.
Why is medium-sized backpack a perfect choice? A small one is not enough to pack for multi-day tours. For example, you need to pack the backpack with a thin jacket, tissues, an insect repellent, some snacks and a bottle of water in the summer. Sometimes, you buy souvenirs, specialty foods, clothes and accessories on the way. You need to bring a travel pillow if the bus or car ride is longer than one hour.
A soft travel pillow is useful on flights from your country to Vietnam and domestic flights but also helpful on bumpy bus, car, or train rides in Vietnam. There are potholes and uneven streets and roads in the country. So that it is worth packing a travel pillow for your trip to Vietnam.
Whether you book an expensive or cheap hotel in Vietnam, you may be impacted by the noise from the streets. No one makes sure that his hotel room is well soundproofed. Many top-rated hotels in Vietnam are located in centers of big cities, they are surrounded by crowded and noisy streets. Especially, many backpacker areas are non-sleeping. The noise from bars, clubs, restaurants, karaokes, construction sites and building works or music shows may prevent you from falling asleep initially and cause trouble sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping due to noise, you should book hotels in quiet areas and read reviews about the noise issues before booking any hotel on TripAdvisor.com and other OTAs such as Agoda.com, Booking.com. Tiny earplugs are not needless in Vietnam.
Vietnam is located entirely within the tropical belt of the northern hemisphere. The sun is very strong from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The strong sun’s rays are harmful to your health so that a tube of sunscreen is a must thing to pack for a Vietnam trip. This is an essential thing when you enjoy beautiful beaches, cycle/motorcycle/bicycle tours, tours to Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnels. You do not need to pack a big tube of sunscreen. A 100-ml or 50-ml tube is enough for a one-week trip.
Lightweight waterproof jacket with hat
Lightweight waterproof jacket with hat is really a perfect item of clothing to wear in Vietnam where it can be sunny and rainy, not too cold and sometimes windy. Besides, a waterproof jacket is a good choice if you will be on a boat, sampan or cruise. Believe me, it will be your favorite item on your trip to Vietnam.
Hat or cap
What to do if you do not want to wear a jacket with hat but still would like to protect yourself from the heat of the sun and your hair from dust? A hat or cap will help you with that. Some tour operators provide free caps or conical hats.
If you come to Vietnam in the rainy season, a convenient raincoat should be packed. In fact, raincoats are sold popularly in Vietnam, prices are various. A thick raincoat takes space in your luggage and makes it a little heavier. Lightweight and good-quality raincoats are expensive and it is not worth buying an expensive raincoat that will not be used after the trip to Vietnam. Convenient raincoats which are extremely lightweight and thin, cost from VND 10,000.
One more reason is that tour operators and local guides know how to protect you from the rain when you join tours in Vietnam. If it rains heavily when you go out, do not try running to your hotel but find a place to get out of the rain or take a taxi home.
Most of the hotels provide bath and facial towels so that some travelers do not bring any towels. However, it is recommended to pack at least one quick-fry towel. You will use it if all the towels in hotel rooms are wet or towels they provided are stinky or not clean enough.
You may have diarrhea at any time on your trip to Vietnam. Digesting tap water when you brush your teeth with tap water or eating unsafe foods can cause diarrhea and digestive disorders. Drugstores are around your hotels in urban areas. However, medications for diarrhea will be used at night when all drugstores are close or when you are at a hotel in a deserted area. You should go to an emergency room if you have severe pain or persistent diarrhea.
It is true that Vietnam has lots of mosquitos and other insects. At some hotels, they have professional pest and insect control companies to solve problems related to insects. At night, you should turn on the air conditioner and close all doors and windows so that you will be safe. At some hotels in the countryside, forests or near beaches, they provide mosquito nets, you should use them to protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitos. If you go out at night and see there are mosquitos and insects around, apply insect repellents immediately. Cu Chi Tunnels, Xeo Quyt Relic Area are bases of Viet Cong in the wartime. Insects are abundant in the forests so that do not forget an insect repellent on your trip to Cu Chi and Xeo Quyt. Besides, long sleeve shirts, jackets or blouses, trousers are recommended.
Trousers will protect your legs when the sun is strong, you walk in forests, on mountains, dirt paths.
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Sneakers and/or durable sandals
Vietnam is a rough and rugged type of place, with the exception of big cities. Similar to trousers, sneakers and/or durable sandals protect your feet from rocks, insects, snakes and other dangerous things in Vietnam. You should wear sneakers or sandals in order to avoid falling when hopping on and off boats, cruises and buses in Vietnam.
Universal travel adapter
Plug type C and F with two round pins and plug type A with two flat vertical pins fit most of the sockets in Vietnam. Plug type B with non-standard two flat blades or plug with rectangular blades are not very popular. In Vietnam, the standard household (hotel) electrical supply is 220 volt, 50 Hertz. Consider packing a universal power travel adapter.
Cellphone portable charger
Sometimes, you can not find a free charger in public places such as bus stations, railway stations, at street food stalls, local restaurants in the countryside. You may wait in line in to charge your cell phone a crowded shopping center. At some restaurants and coffee shops, there are a few power outlets where you can charge your devices. Sometimes, you do not have enough time to wait until your phone is fully charged. What to if you the battery runs out when you are going shopping at a market? What to do if the battery runs out but you would like to book a ride to your hotel or would like to contact your guide? A cellphone portable charger is one of the top things to pack for a trip to Vietnam.
Top 10+ Essential Things to Pack for Vietnam Trip in summary
Many travelers find difficulties in choosing things to pack when packing their luggage for their trip to Vietnam. It is true that some of the travelers do not want to leave anything at home, bring along too much stuff and don’t end up using half of it. I hope that the list of Top 10+ Essential Things to Pack for Vietnam helps you to pack your luggage in a proper way.