Vietnam Ultimate Packing List

Heading to Vietnam in 2019 – 2020 and looking around for big suitcase to start packing? Wait until you go through this Vietnam Packing List with a local expert from Sens Asia Travel.

The guiding list will have 3 major parts:

  • Vietnam Travel Tips
  • General Packing List for Year-Round
  • Essentials for Winter in Northern Vietnam


Vietnam Travel Tips

But before getting to the list, there are some questions to help you pack easier and avoid overpacking:

When to Go

Vietnam is shaped like the letter S and divided into 3 parts: the North, the South and the Middle part. The weather differentiates according to the geographical location. Therefore, when you consider what to pack, find out about the weather characteristics of the place. For example, if you travel to the North, from November to January, it’s very cold, but from May to July it is the hottest period of the year. Personally speaking, we reckon spring (from March to April) or autumn (from September to December) is the most ideal time to visit Vietnam.

Where to Go

As mentioned above, the location and climate factors are influential in packing process. Furthermore, when you are clear about where you are going to, packing would be easy as a piece of cake. If you are traveling to a mountainous area in Vietnam, it is advisable to bring mosquito spray and prepare first aid kit just in case. Trekking boots or sport shoes are preferable than slippers for this terrain

What to Do

Are you fancy on any adventurous activities, or visiting temples/churches? Pack your stuffs so you can be ready anywhere, save your time buying the necessities on spot.

Essential Documents

  • Passport: must be valid for the next six months when you enter Vietnam.
  • Visa: check if you need a visa or the free visa days are enough for you or not. You can also apply for a Vietnam visa or extend it. If your free visa is not enough or you are not eligible for a free visa, you can apply for an e-visa which is valid for 30 days with a single entry to Vietnam.
  • Accommodation confirmation: You might be asked about it depends on your length of stay or nationality, so better save the confirmation email of the booking and keep it ready to show when being asked.
  • Travel insurance: You will not be asked about it, however, the trip might be unpredictable, so better prepare in advance to have a piece of mind during the trip.  World Nomads insurance is quite a common choice and easy to buy.
  • Photocopy: take a photocopy of your passport, ID card, visa, travel booking, credit card to make sure you get the upper hand when something happens.


Safety Notes

  • Do not drink tap water
  • Keep an eye on your belongings
  • Be careful with what you eat, food on the street can be unclean or goes wrong.
  • If you want to book a taxi, you can download app GoViet or Grab, these are the most popular taxi brands in Vietnam. Fill in the address you want to go to and it will automatically pick the nearest driver for you.


General Packing List

Vietnam Clothing Packing List

First up, let’s take a look at the clothing packing list. Vietnam shares the same list with other tropical destinations and below is our suggestion for a 10-day Vietnam trip.

Remember: Lightweight, loose fitting and layers are the name of the game.

Must bring from home:

  • 3 pairs of light weight socks + 2 thick ones if you tend to go hiking
  • 4-7 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bras (1 sports bra)
  • 3 t-shirt, tank top
  • 1 light weight, quick dry top
  • 1 long shelves shirt for layering or light jacket. Best to go with light weight, UV protection
  • 1 light weight, waterproof rain jacket
  • 2 shorts/ skirt
  • 2 traveling long pants
  • 1 dress
  • 1 pair comfortable walking shoes/ sandals
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 scarf or big sarong so you can warp yourself in, cover your shoulders or use as beach towel

Save some space, because in Vietnam you can find cheap and good quality clothes. For example, long or short hippie pants to wear as pajamas or use on the beach, easily found in markets (only ~2-3$). On sunny days, a sun hat is inevitable; you can spot one with reasonable price everywhere, even on the street.


A good day pack that have enough space for your daily suppliers:

  • Deodorant: You will get sweaty and stinky before you know it
  • Sunglasses: Do not forget because you may not find good quality ones that come in reasonable price like home
  • Padlock for your luggage’s
  • International electric adaptor
  • Recycle personal bottle of water: Let’s keep the earth cleaner, you can also use re-fill station in Vietnam to fill up your bottle
  • A small flash light: will become handy when you travel somewhere remote or walk back to your beach resort at late hours.
  • Power bank for when you are on the road a long time and need to charge your phone.
  • You can buy these things from here in good quality, do not pack:
  • Silk sleeping bag to keep you cool and use at place where you do not trust the hygiene
  • A Sarong: Big size beach towel that you can use for multi-function


Standard Toiletries Packing List

  • Shampoo, conditioner: Bring a good one from home since same brand quality is varied here
  • Tampons (not easy to find in SEA even they are widely used)
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush: Many Hotel do not supply these anymore to be more responsible to environment
  • Moisturizer and lotion
  • Sunblock: Bring a good one from home since quality is varied here
  • Personal Medical kit including Active charcoal or Anti-diarrheal tablets
  • After sun lotion: If you are a sun lover, make sure you prepare a tube of after sun lotion since it’s not common product in Vietnam ( but easy to find in Thailand)

You may be surprised to find these goods in excellent deal:

  • Mosquito spray
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Basic medical and first aid kit
Photo Source: Richard Meadows

Essentials for Winter-Time in Northern Vietnam

Must bring from home:

  • A warm inner layers
  • Winter boots
  • 1 Winter jacket that water proof (or a set of 1 down jacket + 1 rain jacket)
  • Gloves
  • Good warm socks
  • Ears covered hat
  • Tube scarf : come in handy to use as neck scarf or cover your mouth and noses in extreme cold
  • Thermal pants + water proof pants.

What you can buy from here with good quality and better price compared to home:

  • Sport – Yoga top and pants from MadeinVietnam shops. They normally have good stuffs leak out from the brand’s factories
  • Down Jacket

As being a local, we know the tips for you to avoid taking the beating:

  • The North Face Jackets: They are all fake low quality. You do not want to risk to get a poor quality jacket that make you shivering and wet later on or tear off all the seams after a short time
  • Trekking booths: You may not find the good quality shop and do not risk to go trekking with bad booths


Now it’s all set. Don’t forget to enjoy and have fun!

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