Packing list for your trip to Vietnam

What clothes and equipment do you need to take with you on a holiday to Vietnam

Travelling in Vietnam can be very varied and it is therefore not easy to make one packing list that is complete. You should therefore read the information below as advice on what you CAN bring.

We have gathered some general advice on how to handle your luggage, tips for content in the suitcase and a few good ideas on extra equipment that can be used in a different way than you might know from your everyday life.

What kind of trip are you going on?

When you sit and read our proposal for a packing list you have probably already found out what to expect from your travel to Vietnam. And you probably also read about the weather in Vietnam. So you are well on your way to form your own impression of what you need to bring in terms of clothes and equipment.

The vast majority of guests travelling with Topas to Vietnam experience both the local life in the country and the hectic daily life of the big cities. It is therefore important that you consider clothes for many different activities.

If you want to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, pagodas or temples, you will need long pants or dresses that go well below the knees.

On city walks and bike rides in the flatter regions of the country (Mekong, Hoi An, Halong, etc.), sandals that can be tensioned around the feet are fine. But if you want to hike in the mountains, you will need hiking shoes or hiking boots with good soles, and maybe even support for your ankles.

In many places you will pass opportunities to swim. Also on our hikes and bike rides. Therefore, a light towel can be a good idea to bring along with the swimwear.
If you are travelling with kids, you should always remember to bring swimwear.

Most hotels can wash clothes for you on a day to day  basis so you can refresh your wardrobe along the way.

If you need to upgrade your equipment, Topas collaborates with several shops that sell equipment and where you can get a discount on equipment for active holidays. Read more on this page about Topas’ business partners.


When traveling to Vietnam with Topas we arrange transportation right up to the hotels, both for you and your luggage. But since we also want to take you to places where there are only a few tourists, you will experience that you may have to carry your luggage yourself to your lodge/hotel. 

The Vietnamese are a very friendly and helpful people, and in the hotels you will often find that your luggage is carried to your room.

But we generally recommend packing in a suitcase or backpack that you can handle yourself, in and out of cars. Even when you are hardly allowed to do it yourself.

Choose the right footwear for the trips

Depending on what activities your trip to Vietnam contains, you will need different footwear along the way.

For hiking in the mountains, hiking shoes with good grip will be a good idea. Possibly even hiking boots that provide extra support around the ankles. Trails in Vietnam are not hiking trails, they are usually work paths between rice fields, and they will therefore sometimes be steep and uneven. And in wet weather be very slippery due to the clay soil.

On bike rides and for guided walks, sandals will be an excellent choice. Then you get air to your feet in the warm climate.

Hiking poles

If you want to go hiking in the mountains, hiking poles can be a good idea. The paths are not designed for walking, but as a connection path between the different areas where the peasants must work. The paths you are going to walk on can therefore be both steep and uneven. Hiking sticks can thus be a good help up- and downhill, as you can use them to relieve the legs.
If you want to walk between rice fields, and you surely will on trips with Topas, the hiking poles can also help keep the balance on the narrow ground edge between two rice fields.

Suggested packing list

Clothes for hiking and cycling

  • Thick hiking socks
  • Thin inner socks
  • Lightweight hiking pants / hiking shorts
  • Thin wool sweater
  • Sweatshirt / fleece
  • Wind and waterproof anorak or jacket with hood
  • Rain pants (Raincoat or poncho is a good alternative to regular rainwear)
  • Cycling shorts

Other clothes

  • Trousers for urban use
  • Long pants for visiting temples etc.
  • T-shirts
  • Shirts
  • Stockings
  • Underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Towel


  • Hiking shoes / hiking boots
  • Sandals for hiking
  • Footwear for use in hotels

Against the sun

  • Scarf against sun and for cool days
  • Hat with wide shade
  • Umbrella can be used as a parasol
  • Good sunglasses
  • Sun cream and high factor lip balm


  • Water bottle 
  • Toiletries
  • Passports, cash, health insurance and travel documents
  • Money Belt
  • Medicine for own use as well as sports tape, wrap patches and possibly knee braces
  • Toilet paper (for hiking days)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Small flashlight or headlight
  • Earplugs (if you want to sleep undisturbed at night)
  • Sets for minor repairs
  • Camera with extra batteries / charger
  • Alcohol gel for handwash
  • Wet wipes
  • Possibly pills preventing car sickness on bus transport

Other useful tips before you go

You can possibly buy these cheap in Vietnam (around DKK 15).

An umbrella can both protect you against rain and sun.
The advantage of an umbrella over rainwear is that the body is not fully covered and can breath. Even when it rains in Vietnam, it will be hot.
In sunshine, the umbrella can shield against the sun, while also ensuring that you are cooled by the wind of the umbrella.

Most hotels have mosquito nets in connection with the accommodation in nature, and in addition we recommend thin loose-fitted cotton or canvas clothing with long sleeves and legs, which together with mosquito repellent is the best protection against mosquitoes in the evening.

You will visit areas where there are no doctors or hospital facilities, which is why a good health is needed. Likewise, you have to have good legs for hiking, as one can expect the paths to be slippery in some places.

The bikes in Vietnam will most likely not have a luggage carrier. On the regular Vietnamese tourist bikes there will usually be a bicycle basket on the handlebars. On mountain bikes there will be no luggage carrier and no bicycle basket, so a smaller backpack will be needed.

When you have packed and unpacked a few times and the clothes have been used, it will take up a little more space. Maybe you have bought tailor-made clothes in Hoi An, embroidered bags in Sapa or woven hats in Hanoi, all of which takes up extra space in your luggage. The airlines we usually fly with allow several checked-in bags so you can most likely bring an extra small bag on your return flight (e.g. sportsbag). However, pay attention to the weight limits in relation to domestic flights. Read more about flights on our tips and tricks page.