I'm just kind of piling a handful of questions into one since they are all related.
So I've been reading through all of the threads in here and what I could find on other sites. I'm really interested in knowing how affective people have found Picaridin when used in SEA. I've read tons on DEET, so I'm clear there. But what makes me want to avoid DEET is actually that a lot of my clothes do have an element of spandex to them as they are kind of workout clothes that I'm planning on bringing due to comfort. I don't want to ruin them. But, not getting bit by mosquitos is priority. So before I go and buy Picaridin for my trip (1.5 months), I want experiences and effectiveness. Or if you think DEET is superior. I don't need all of the info on DEET though. It's been done over and over here and elsewhere. It's pretty clear that it works when used properly and I understand the risks.
How many of you actually do this? Fact is, I'm bringing a small backpack. Packing shorts and tank tops takes up far less space. It's also hot there. I don't really want to be draped in clothing. I'll also be spending a fair amount of time at the beach in the water. I really don't want to have to pack pants and long sleeves apart from what I'll wear on the plane. Does everybody really do this? My main areas of concern based on what I've read is Siem Reap and the Mekong. I don't really understand how Siem Reap has regular cases of Malaria but the Angkor Wat complex does not. Can somebody explain how that is possible? Is there an abundance of standing water in the city or something?
I see a lot of places that have a more outdoor sleeping situation (Koh Rong) have nets. However, I don't seem to find that in Siem Reap. I am not staying somewhere with air-conditioning, which people have advised. Should I be concerned? Advice for making it through the night without getting bit? I've read about burning coils, but don't they burn out in an hour? I couldn't possibly maintain that all night. Plus, that would add up in costs.
I've read some topics about rabies, but mainly about what you do if you're bitten. Does anybody get the vaccine? Should I bother? I got the typhoid and hep a vaccines. I already have MMR, Hep C, and tetanus. I didn't even consider getting a rabies vaccine.
Covering up - yes, I covered up and wore long trousers in the evenings, but I didn't pack a lot of them. In fact I had one pair (which I wore on the plane on the way over). I just washed them A LOT. So much so that, by the end of a 3.5 month trip, they were bin-worthy. So you can cover up with just what you wore on the plane (although having a second pair will make your life easier if you hate doing washing every day).
Can't speak specifically for Siem Reap /Angkor, but in my experience most accommodation is insulated against mozzies (screens on windows in bedroom, not necessarily in bathroom but just keep the bathroom door closed) so you don't normally need nets. When I first take a room, I will check the screen for rips/holes, and repair any I find (duct tape is my friend). Fans also annoy mozzies and seem to keep them at bay (at least I've read this - can't say I've done a double-blind test on it though). And where you would need a net, one's normally provided (exception being if you're camping, where presumably you bring your own). If any mozzies sneak into your room as you're going in or out, use a knock-down spray before you go out to dinner, or just kill the little blighters one by one. I don't recommend burning coils in your room when you go to sleep (not good for you or fire safety).
WRT rabies vaccination, obviously I'm not a travel doctor and can't give medical advice but.... I didn't bother. I figure as I'm not working as a vet or in the habit of petting stray dogs, cuddling monkeys, or camping near bat-infested forests, the risk probably isn't worth it. YMMV.
Hope that helps. Have a lovely trip.