Travel Essentials to Indochina (Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia – Myanmar)

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Travel Essentials to Indochina (Vietnam – Laos – Cambodia – Myanmar)

Packing is exciting yet tiring at the same time, especially when you are traveling to countries that are so different from yours. In this article, we provide tips as an insider who has been working in the tourism industry for more than 10 years. What are the assumptions that travelers have when they pack things for their trips to Indochina? How to travel light and efficient? Should travelers pack food and medicine?

1. The first assumption – Warm clothes during winter (December, January, February)

The peak travel season in Indochina is between November and February. That’s winter season in most of the Western countries. However, in Indochina or South East Asia in general, we have no winter. Instead, the weather is cooler during this period. The temperature in cities such as Luang Prabang or Hanoi is varied between 17 Celsius degrees and 22 Celsius degrees which are considered pleasant. It means a layer of cardigan would be good enough rather than “serious” warm clothes.

Image: Giangtito

2. The second assumption – One dress for all occasions

Comfortable clothes are essential when traveling. However, your trip to Indochina might include visits to several temples. Most of the temples in South East Asia request appropriate attire:

  • Long pants (covering the knee)
  • Shirts that cover shoulders
  • Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within temple grounds. Be comfortable but well-prepared.

Also, pay attention to the day when you visit wildlife sanctuary. This activity might include trekking, boating, swimming,…so additional clothes should be prepared in advance as you might get wet.

3. Pharmacies

It’s easy to find pharmacies in big cities such as Saigon, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang, Yangon but that is not the case in other rural areas, especially if you are an adventurous traveler visiting the off-the-beaten tracks. That’s why it’s always wise to pack with you essential medicines and better keep it in your hand luggage or handbag.

Travel Health:

  • Cold medicines and throat lozenges
  • Diarrhea/laxative medicines
  • Allergy medicines
  • Hydrocortisone cream/antibacterial ointment
  • Multivitamins
  • Sunburn relief
  • Insect repellent/mosquito net/sting reliever
  • Motion sickness pills or bands
  • Altitude sickness pills (if you are planning to hike in higher altitudes)
  • Eye drops
  • Moleskin

Medicines and vaccinations specific to the region/activity:
Normally there are no vaccines required for traveling to Indochina. But just in case you are looking for a travel doctor, who will discuss health concerns, prescribe medications specific to your health itinerary before traveling, then Travel Clinics of America ( and International Society of Travel Medicine ( website provide information on local specialists. Ideally four to six weeks before departure is the best time to make an appointment with a travel doctor.

4. Food

Sometime during the trip, you will miss the favors of the food in your home country. We occasionally see travelers asking for a good Mexican restaurant in town. So it won’t cost a lot of space packing with you some snacks you love to enjoy along the roads, especially when you are traveling with kids. But have peace in mind that there are plenty of international dining options available in most of the big cities in Indochina.

Image: Internet

5. Don’t leave home without

  • Moisturizer kit: choose the light one as it works better in tropical weather
  • A cotton jacket / a cardigan: believe me it works well both in the summer and in the “winter” here
  • Insects spray: you will need it for your trip to the jungles or Mekong Delta
  • Electric converters and adapters: in South East Asia, the electric current is mostly 220V. Sockets are generally of Sockets are both round and flat types. Three-pin plug adaptors can usually be found in local markets.
  • Comfortable walking shoes

When you travel with Saffron Travel, you will get:

  • A cap (upon arrival)
  • A canvas bag (upon arrival)
  • Rain jacket (on spot)

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