Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum

New to travelling alone.

Posted by Prototype on 26/8/2008 at 17:41

G'day from Sydney!

Me and a couple of mates are doing our first 'without family' holiday, and our plans are roughly as so - Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand (Sth to Nth), Laos (Nth to Sth, Cambodia and into Vietnam. I have roughly 10 weeks available to make this journey.

This website has already proved to be immeasurably helpful. And to all, I thank you!

However... One thing which is bothering me, is what the heck should I bring?

Because I'll be travelling a lot, I can assume I'm going to need a pack of sorts. I've been to the travel doc, and have had all the recommended vaccinations. I know I'll need solid shoes, mosquito repellant, and sanitiser.

Please, TravelFish, enlighten me. What things will I forget?

Many thanks in advance,


#1 Prototype has been a member since 26/8/2008. Posts: 7

Posted by exacto on 26/8/2008 at 21:23

hey jez,

look in the Travel Intelligence section of the website for ideas to get you started on what to bring and what not to bring. the Before You Leave section has good tips on packing and lots of other pre-trip preparation.

a general rule on what to pack is to take the clothes you think you'll need and cut that amount in half. you'll be able to have your laundry done nearly everywhere you travel and for not much money either. plus, you'll likely pick up clothes along the journey. for most other items, there is a surprisingly good variety of nearly everything you'd need available almost anywhere. exceptions would be specific types of prescription drugs, favorite brands of toiletries (if that matters to you), and condoms and feminine hygiene products (although quality and availability is improving there too).

have a great trip.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by SBE on 26/8/2008 at 23:00

Is your list of countries in chronological order? Depends where you are going in Indo but if it's off the beaten track it will be harder to find stuff you forgot there than say Thailand (which has practically everything you'll ever need)

Basic advice is to under rather than over pack. You are going to be lugging all this stuff about remember. Take stuff like camera and ipod if you already have them but go easy on clothes, basic toiletries etc as they are usually just unnecessary extra weight. You can buy stuff if you need to en route.

As exacto says laundry is no problem. Locally bought insect repellents are usually cheaper and more effective than anything you can get back home. Personally my footwear is flipflops 99% of the time. Decent teva type sandals are OK for jungle and climbing volcanos.... it's too hot for sturdy shoes IMO though others will no doubt disagree.

buy a sarong when you get there...they are multipupose things which always come in handy....can be use as a sheet, beachmat, sunshade on a balcony, curtains if there aren't any, towel and an extra piece of clothing.

What's a sanitizer?

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,052
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Posted by creativeguy on 28/8/2008 at 23:32

Yes to above suggestions. I packed for six weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia. It was a lot of travel to see both countries in 6 weeks. Ten weeks sounds like a lot. It will fly by. I traveled nearly 3,000K just getting through Vietnam.

Once home, I unpacked everything, placed all items on the floor, and wrote down a "cut" list of what I really needed as about 1/3 of what was in my pack wasn't used or essential. Less is better!

Northern Vietnam, I needed a warm jacket. I'm 6'4" and have a challenging time finding XL clothing so brought along one fleece jacket. Laundry is easy, cheap and available everywhere. Next time, I'll be packing lighter.

PS....rarely used sanitizer (hand wash to clean and kill bacteria)

#4 creativeguy has been a member since 14/11/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 19
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Posted by idreamofdurian on 6/9/2008 at 00:06 TF writer

Basics like shorts, t-shirts, toiletries are very cheap in Asia so you really don't need to pack that much since you'll likely be picking things up during your travels. Comfy shoes are a must - both sandals and sneakers, if you can.

Mosquito repellent you can pick up here and is likely to be much stronger (and therefore more effective) than what you'd get at home. Western brands of sunscreen can be a bit expensive so, if you burn easily, stock up on that.

Of course, bring a good supply of any prescription medications you need. Most travel guides will tell you to get some anti-biotics from a travel doctor in case you have a bad reaction to the food or water, but the truth is you can get Ciprofloxacin (what most MDs will prescribe) over-the-counter at any pharmacy in Thailand and, unless you have drug coverage at home, it's way, way cheaper.

#5 idreamofdurian has been a member since 5/9/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 576
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