Tips from staff who have been to South East Asia
It's shorts and t-shirts most of the way, as it will be hot and humid in places, so you don't need anything too heavy. Some long trousers or canvas trousers are good for evenings, and a couple of long sleeve tops as well. If you had a waterproof light jacket, it's handy as you might get some rain along the way.
When it comes to sightseeing, I would recommend wearing breathable shoes such as sandals, flip flops or lightweight walking shoes as it's can be humid and you will be walking around in the heat.
There are one or two sights were you will be walking up lots of steps and visiting caves, I just wore trainers.
It's very casual so you don't need to take any smart clothes or footwear. However, it's always nice to dress up for the evening meals so you may wish to bring some nice clothes to change into for the meals in the restaurants. You can get clothes made out there (in Hoi An in Vietnam especially) so if you have a favourite top, take it with you and they can make a copy.
You can wash stuff out yourself or get laundry done in the hotels, so don't need to take a huge amount. You can also buy loads there as you go. Anywhere you stop for more than one night should be able to do some washing, somewhere around the middle of the trip maybe. Laundry is rarely a problem in SE Asia, so maybe just check with the leader and he'll help you organise
Wifi at hotels
The hotels are generally very good, a lot of them are relatively new and have good facilities. I wasn't using Wifi myself so not 100% sure. I would imagine that some of them would. There would definitely be cafes around you could use in the larger towns and cities, but there is internet almost everywhere anyway, so not sure you want to drag a laptop all the way out.
Most, if not all, hotels also have air con.
The weather will be hot and humid mostly, with a chance of rain in a few places. But when it does rain, it generally dries up pretty quickly. It doesn't really get cold, but you may want a light jacket for night time. It's usually quite pleasant during the day, so it should be light clothes, with a layer you can add if you feel chilly. Think of a warm summer's evening here, and it's not dissimilar (but probably a bit warmer!).
It's generally a very safe area, as long as you exercise the same degree of common sense you would at home, so taking mostly cash isn't a problem. I took sterling cash and changed that as I went along. I also topped up with my ATM card a couple of times, mainly for shopping. Dollars are very common in Cambodia and Vietnam, but I had no problems changing sterling anywhere I went.
There is no real benefit to getting Dong or Bhat before you travel, as you can change as soon as you arrive at the airport on arrival, or there are plenty of banks in the city centres. The leader will advise you when and where it's best to change, but it is quite straightforward. Dollars aren't strictly legal tender over there, but people will take them maybe as tips or for larger payments. When it comes to small stores, restaurants or anything like that, they will expect local currency.
As I said, if you're in Hoi An in Vietnam, it's a fantastic place to get some clothes made, if you like, and most of our group got something done. You can either get something made form all the books they have (catalogues from all the UK stores!) or take out a favourite piece and they will copy it - cheap as well!
Take along some decent non sweat suncream, good sunglasses and a hat with a brim for shade - all important.
I took a wheelie suitcase with a handle, but it doesn't make a huge difference as your bags are just moved from hotel to van and back again - so whatever is easiest for you.
I would recommend taking mosquito spray and taking precautions such as covering your skin in the evenings (particularly at dusk) with long sleeve tops and covering your legs and ankles. To be honest, it's okay in the north but you need to take extra care in the south. Take some DEET or bug spray and lather up as the sun starts to go down, and you should be fine. You'll pick up a bite or two probably, but nothing too serious.
Diane Knight - Web sales
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