What to take tips

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What to take tips

Postby abbysealby » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:16 pm

Hi, I'm going on Indochina Discovery trip in May, any tips for what to take clothing wise? I was thinking just shorts, t-shirts, dresses, but will I need much warm clothing for the evenings? Also, can you pick up toiletries quite easily along the way? Abby
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Re: What to take tips

Postby desiree2 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:53 pm

Shorts, t-shirts and skirts should be fine, although I'm not a big fan of micro-shorts in SEA (but that's just a personal thing) :shock: . You'll have to have at least one 'temple' outfit ie something that will cover your knees and shoulders. You won't need any warm clothing for the evenings. Toiletries are easy to buy assuming you're not after any particular brands. Maybe take your own DEET and sunscreen if you wear it.
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Re: What to take tips

Postby georgiavaughan92 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:16 pm

Hey, when are you going in May? I am too :)
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Re: What to take tips

Postby dreaded_luggage » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:36 am

Hi! I did this trip back in '09. You can buy clothes once you're out there and see what you need, to some extent. I bought a t-shirt for kayaking on the river in Laos. I got a fabulous t-shirt (absolllutely FABulous, dahlingk!) there for nearly nothing, knee-length shorts somewhere along the way for jumping off boats into the sea and some perfectly sensible trousers in Vietnam at a sane price when mine gave up on me.

You definitely want to be able to cover your shoulders, partly because bare shoulders are scandalous there like bare thighs are in Syria, and partly because you'll be within 10 degrees of the Equator and by late May the Sun is 20 degrees north of the Equator, so you're definitely spending some time directly under it. I got burned through a fairly thick cotton shirt. Head-covering is also recommended.

From a green point of view, take a solar vest to wear when swimming, as sunscreen's bad for reefs.

Footwear: you'll be visiting temples and have to leave your shoes or boots outside. Knee-high boots that take a while to lace up or unlace and shiny, expensive New Rock boots you couldn't bear to lose are therefore a bad choice for those days. Take something you can kick off and slip back on and wouldn't mind losing. It's really unlikely anyone will steal your flip-flops, especially anyone local, but leaving a pair of $800 Steel Flame Minerva High-Leg out there is tempting the other tourists. I wore walking boots, the cheaper and softer cousins of real hiking boots. They're not all that comfortable on a long bus-ride, but there's something comforting about being waterproof up to the ankles rather than in open-toed sandals.

Border crossing Cambodia to Vietnam: looks like it should be in a movie. Unless they've redesigned it, you leave Cambodia and walk about 1km along a white concrete highway bridge to enter Vietnam. Rucksack or something on wheels recommended.

Hoi An: silk at US$6/m? Take an empty sports bag to fill with it. Also take my sketch-book full of (absolutely) fabulous (dahlink!) designs to get something made for yourself while you're there.

Hand-sanitizer. Yeah. Also your own toilet roll in a little plastic bag.

Business cards with your email address on them.

It may be a good idea to ease yourself into the local food if you're not used to it, rather than going local every meal from day 1. Just don't go to Ga Nan Kentucky, because that's just wrong.

Edit: Had to leave. Back now. Regarding weather ...

Bangkok: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/his ... styear=off
Phnom Penh: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/his ... styear=off
Hanoi: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/his ... styear=off
Ho Chi Minh City: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/his ... styear=off

It looks like rain is possible for at least two thirds of the trip in May. Ha Long Bay in particular looks like this in the postcards and like this or even this when you get there. It can actually be something close to cold.

We had a curious effect in February. Because the wet season arrives in different areas at different times, we went north into it then west out of it. Leaving Vietnam, we wound our way up into the mountains in rain and then in the clouds, left Vietnam and entered Laos in soggy cloud and then drove down into sunlit valleys in Laos. It looks like they've changed the itinerary to eliminate the "36 hours on a minibus in 3 days" start to the Laos leg, which is good, but that just makes my "Hike Dien Bien Phu" entry in the Create Your Own Adventure contest all that more needed, because the scenery's incredible.

Also: the tuk-tuk drivers in Phnom Penh will offer to take you to "Suderan." It took a while to work out that they meant "shooting range," which is on a military base outside town. The same facilities are offered at Cu Chi Tunnels without the need to pay for a long ride. You may want to take ear defenders, if you intend to try out the guns or if you're sensitive to loud bangs, as the firing line is pretty much the edge of the terrace and the ones they provide to shooters are a bit tatty.
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