Packing for Indochina discovery tour, south-east Asia

Packing for going to Asia was essentially far more stressful and time consuming than I anticipated due to the fact that I had to try and cram enough clothes, accessories and essentials into a backpack for 5 weeks in countries that I did not know what the temperature and humidity would feel like. Also, I am a massive hoarder.

Every item I packed was chosen with a specific use in mind, but I have probably, in true Hannah style, managed to over-pack massively.

Initially this was my clothes I intended on taking (i.e. everything I would love to take)


(After listening to my Mum for once I decided that maybe I should consider taking cotton over polyester tops and not take clothes with sentimental attachments) 

I then took the *sensible grown up approach (*Leon’s approach) and cut my packing down to this, still a massive amount of clothes I would inevitably have to throw out and miss and carry on my back like a camel!

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Eventually I got Leon round to talk sense into me and decide on the final items I would drag around Asia with me.


My eventual packing list

  • Backpack:

    • Regatta Survivor 65
    • This backpack has been through a lot with me.. D of E, various Scout expeditions around Europe, to Kilimanjaro.  It is brilliant, with entry from the top and bottom allowing you to get your belongings easily if you pack wisely and remember where you have put stuff.
  • Electronics:

    • GoPro hero + accessories (headmount, chestmount and floaty mount for ultimate photo and video playtime)
    • Nikon waterproof and shockproof digital camera – I have a tendancy to break cameras
    • Pansonic lumix digital camera – just in case all other photography implements fail
    •  2 x 32GB memory cards
    • 8gb Ipod nano – old school but loaded with tunes, audio books and podcasts to keep me amused on long flights / overnight trains
    • Headphones
    • Kindle
    • Phone
    • Head torch
    • Mini speaker
    • All relevant chargers and cables and plug adapters for south-east Asia (the ones with 2 flat pins)
  • Clothes:

    • Dresses / play-suits – 1 long summery dress (can be dressed up in the evenings), 1 short summer dress, 2 play-suits (can be dressed up or down)
    • Bottoms – 2 pairs of denim shorts, 1 pair of lacy pretty shorts, 1 pair of cotton shorts, 1 pair of long cotton trousers (if I get burnt, for visiting temples; I will wear these on the plane too), 1 skirt
    • Tops – 2 x kimono style tops (in case I get burnt / cold / for visiting temples), 1 x long sleeved, cotton, white top (for visiting temples, throwing over stuff if I get burnt), 9 strap tops (some plain, some pretty), 2 x cotton t-shirts (in case I get burnt), 1 cardigan (to wear on the plane and for my eventual return to the UK), 2 x strapless tops
    • Pashimina (for covering shoulders, wrapping round me at night, covering up in temples)
    • Bikinis – 5 x bikinis – variety is the spice of life? All other travel blogs say to take 2 but they’re so small and pretty.
    • Shoes – animal flip flops (comfortable for walking around in the day time), Vans (to walk around when my feet are bored of flip flops, I will wear these on the plane), pretty sandals (to dress up in the evenings. NO HEELS EVER!)
    • Underwear – 8 x knickers, 3 x bras (including one strapless)
    • Socks – 3 x pairs – I will probably never wear these but who doesn’t like having cosy feet
    • Pyjamas – 3 x shorts and strap top sets
    • Sunglasses – Melon polarised sunglasses –my go to sunglasses, again on Leon’s recommendation.  You can design them yourself and they will be fixed for free if you break them; I am beginning to see a pattern here.
  • Toiletries:

I split my toiletries into 2 packs.  1 for washing and 1 for medical supplies.

  • Washing:
    • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
    • Soap
    • Deodrant (travel size)
    • Dry shampoo (travel size)
    • Hair spray (travel size)
    • Shower gel (travel size)
    • Baby wipes (instead of having to take lots of bottles of cleanser and toner etc)
    • Moisturiser (travel size) – I need to protect my tan, obviously
    • Makeup (mascara, eye-liner, eye brightener, eyebrow pencil)
    • Nail file
    • Lip balm
    • Mini hand sanitiser – I feel the loos at sometime may require this.. potentially entire body sanitiser!
  • Medical supplies:
    • Suncream (factor 25 and 15)
    • Deet
    • Bite cream
    • Plasters
    • Rehydration salts
    • Nurofen
    • Immodium tablets
    • Malaria tables (I opted for Malarone as you have to take them for the least amount of time and I am only in the Malaria risk areas for a week; the side effects of Malaria tablets can be pretty nasty)
  • Hand luggage:

    • I opted for a quicksilver satchel to avoid having to carry 2 rucksacks at once as I will spend a large majority of my time lugging my belongings from one bus, train, plane, you name it to another.
  • Accessories:

    • Hair ties and clips
    • Money belt – I don’t think my family would let me leave the country without this.. because apparently I am a prime target for handbag stealing locals
    • Bum-bag – because who doesn’t love wearing a sparkly bum-bag and dad dancing?
    • Travel towel
    • Travel pillow (for the plane and the pillows in hostels are always dodgy)
    • Small selection of jewellery
    • Set of playing cards
    • Documentation nicely organised for now in little folders.

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My bag and hand luggage all ready to go!  It looks very small for over a months worth of stuff, meaning I have probably forgotten something important; I definitely have a passport, money and documentation so I’m sure I’ll be fine!  I have tried to pack so I have room left in my backpack for souvenirs and fabric (roll on Hoi An!) without having to throw away any of my belongings.

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