A few essentials to bring

A little cutie

There are some essentials that you need to bring to Vietnam. The purpose of this blog is to try to address many of the questions a traveler might have about things you might want to bring and others that you should be left behind.

Perhaps the most important for peace of mind and sleep is a very good pair of noise cancelling ear plugs. Vietnam is very noisy country and unless you are gong to spend a lot of money for a resort or luxury hotel, odds are that there will be outside noises that will disturb your sleep. The most common is the constant honking of horns. There is also the crowing of

Ha and her juice shop

 roosters, squealing of pigs, the non ending barking of dogs, bust worst of all, the constant loud voices and banging of doors by Vietnamese hotel guests. (They grew up in the noise and don’t think about it) Another very important item in my books is having a very good sleeping pill. If you travel by bus or train, it will be mostly at night in sleepers. Again the noise will be constant with the blaring of horns. A sleeping pill with the earplugs inserted will save you a lot of stress.

Sticking with pharmaceuticals, a good anti diarrhea medicine is a good idea to carry. Most of the food and drinks are safe to consume, but there are bacteria that our bodies have never experienced. Many travelers will go through a short adjustment to the food and liquid here. Other items to be sure to include are a good DEET based mosquito repellant and high SPF Sunscreen. A pen and a note pad will help when trying to communicate ideas. Another great tool is to have a currency convertor wallet card. You can find one here. http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

If you save the old clothing you intend on disposing of, you can lighten your load as you travel while making room for your

If the Viets can do it why can't I?

 purchases. Simply wear your old clothes and then leave them in the hotel room when they are dirty. You then have that much room in your luggage to replace them with some of the excellent bargains to be had in Vietnam. Do not pack a rain coat or umbrella as those items are common and inexpensive here.

Vietnam has developed quickly over the past number of years and most toiletries and personal items can be purchased here. Do not worry about things like toothpaste, soap, razors, or other items.

Feel free to add items you think important in the comment section

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

10 thoughts on “A few essentials to bring

  1. If you’re also vietnamese and you’re visiting vietnam, I see that it is best to always have a relative with you. When people in vietnam know that you’re a forgeiner, a large majority will try to rip you off on the most ridiculous scale.

    1. That is true in main tourist areas, but only a few blocks outside…… It is not so. Unfortunately most Foreigners and returning Vietnamese get trapped in the same old tourist machine…… I feel sad for them…… It is not the same as my Vietnam.

  2. About throwing things away as you travel…
    When I left Saigon for Tuy Hoa there were a number of items I left in the guest house, things I was tossing. Old tennis shoes, some ratty shirts, etc.

    On a trip to Saigon, a year later, I stayed at the same guest house for a few days. As I was checking in the guy in reception lit up like a Christmas tree then ducked down behind the counter. He arose with a neatly wrapped plastic package to present to me.
    Of course everything was now washed, ironed and neatly pressed…the ratty shirts had been repaired.

    It only cost me 20,000d to buy my now ‘fresh’ trash back.

    Only in Vietnam??

  3. Kevin, your debit card will work with no problem in most ATM’s, my Agribank card uses 7 digits.
    Hmmmm…wondering?? Who cares if sunglasses are knockoffs? For the right price they can be anything.
    Neosporin = Silkron (I actually like the Silkron better) you can buy it at any pharmacy in any city. Small tube is 25,000d (Saigon price)

  4. o Voltage converter (110 to 220) if you bring, say, your hair dryer, electric razor. Hair-dryers are found in the more upscale accommodations.

    o A good pair of sunglasses. You can buy sunglasses here but you never know if they’re ‘knockoffs’.

    o Quality, reliable condoms. Don’t trust the ones made here.

    o Photos from home, always a pleaser.

    o A tube of Neosporin antibiotic cream. Can’t buy it here.

    (afterthought) – Hmmmm, that last photo.

  5. I am traveling to Vietnam this month for the first time.

    My USA issed debit card uses a 6 digit PIN number…what length are used in Vietnam 4 or 6?

    If it is a 4 digit pin will I be unable to use my card or is there away to still use my card?

    Please let me know.

    Kevin McKenna

  6. Well another good item to bring is a phrase book, not that it will do you any good. Our accents are atrocious but you can point to the Vietnamese word and they’ll know what you asking. I do bring my own preferred razor as the ones I’ve had in country are killers. Most everything else I get there except little snickers bars as gifts to the receptionists…they love the candy.

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