Vietnam is a location rich with culture, friendly faces, and incredible views. There are areas full of activity and life, as well as remote, peaceful spots to soak in the sites. Knowing where to start packing for such a diverse country can be difficult, but we will walk you through how to pack to enjoy the most Vietnam has to offer!
Part of knowing what to pack depends on when you plan to visit. While Vietnam is a tropical paradise all year long, there are still ideal times to stay. The most favored time to travel to Vietnam are the spring and fall seasons. During those seasons the weather is perfectly warm and the rain is less frequent. In addition, there are different regions which weather can very. For example, in north Vietnam the fall to winter season is preferred for more mild temperatures. When visiting the coast and beaches, spring and summer are the ideal times to catch some rays.
Part of packing depends on the activities you will enjoy during the trip. If you visit any of the destinations below plan accordingly by using the information provided for each incredible site.
Ha Long Bay - This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northeast Vietnam is something out of this world. There are 1,600 limestone islands that cover the area and provide spectacular views. Be sure to bring your sun screen, swimsuit, towel, and preferably a waterproof case for your phone. You will want to catch these amazing water views without worrying about damaging your electronics.
Mekong Delta - This "rice bowl" of Vietnam is famous for the life on and around water. Markets, Villages, and Khmer Pagodas float on the immense amount of rivers, swamps, and rice patties in this area. A visit between April and June will bring the best weather conditions and even a chance to attend one of the festivals on water. Wear a rain poncho over lightweight layers that will withstand the humid conditions, as well as bug spray (better a bug spray and sunscreen combo) to ward off any potential pains.
Nha Trang - The south-central coast of Vietnam has favored beaches, scuba diving, and many city sites to explore. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a reliable bag or backpack, and extra Dong as there will be many places that you will want to see and try in the city of Nha Trang.
Sapa - Sapa is a destination for hiking lovers. Many trails lead to incredible views of emerald green rice paddies and the town of Sapa from above. Rain and cooler temperatures are common in SaPa, so be prepared with a rain jacket and warmer clothes. Extra water and snacks are also a good idea if you plan on taking a trek through Sapa.
Cu Chi Tunnels - The Cu Chi Tunnels are a large web of passageways which reside under most of Vietnam. Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels not only provides a day of adventure, but also an educational experience about Vietnam's history. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and a jacket that you do not mind wearing underground and getting dirty.
Hanoi - Hanoi is known for the influences of French, Chinese, and Southeast Asian cultures displayed in the immaculate architecture of the area. Venture into temples, along impressive walkways, past huge statues, and more. Wear modest attire (not tank tops, hats, or bottoms shorter than the knee), as it is expected to dress respectfully in this town especially if visiting a temple.
For everything else, here is your ultimate list for a trip to Vietnam.
Hair Products- The humidity does a number on hair. You can opt to keep your hair up with a hair-tie, or let it be wild and free if you can bare it. Another option is to use a bandana, hairband, or scarf to keep your hair in place. A travel sized portion of gel or styling cream is not a bad idea to secure your hair as well. ** **
Laundry Soap and Dryer Sheets- Even when after washing your clothes in the bathroom, a smell can linger. Use dryer sheets in your bags to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
Razor and Shaving Cream- Bring along a razor that you do not mind throwing away to make room for souvenirs on the way back. Lotion can also be substituted for shaving cream if you need to cut weight.
Contacts and Solution (if needed)- Bring extra contacts just in case something happens to your first pair.
Feminine products – There are some available to buy in Vietnam, but it is usually easier to bring your own.
Makeup- Between the humid weather and swimming opportunities, the more minimal the make up the better. A tented face cream with a high SPF is a great choice to double as makeup and sun screen.
Safety and Health
Vietnam is teaming with cites to see and activities to do. When preparing for your trip pack with the beach, city, and countryside in mind, but most of all pack for adventure!