The Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam is certainly a wonderful place to visit. From the serene beauty of Ha Long Bay to the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, there is plenty to see and do for the average traveler. Before departing though, it is important to think about what to wear while exploring this tropical country. Forming a balance between comfort and style is important so you don’t look too shabby to the locals while still feeling relaxed enough to sightseeing. Below are four important factors to consider so you can create the perfect outfit for touring Vietnam in the future.
#1. Think About Climate
As this is a tropical country, you’ll have to match your gear with the particular season you’re travelling in. The rainy and the dry seasons go from May to September and October to April respectively. In both of these times, temperatures can get rather high so it is best to wear outdoor clothing that is made for the heat. Don’t skimp on quality though as you’ll need some hardy gear for this developing country. You might also try to match the locals by wearing thin long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect yourself against the incessant sun.
If you’re travelling in the rainy season, bring along some waterproof clothing so you can continue to get out and about even if there’s a tropical downpour. These happen almost every day so you should prepare to keep yourself comfortable even in the wet. Finally, if you plan on visiting the areas around Sapa in the north from November to March, bring along a thick jacket as it can get rather chilly thanks to the snows just across the border in China.
# 2. Prepare to Walk
Since you’ll be sightseeing on a daily basis, you’ll need a stylish pair of shoes that also takes care of your feet. Get some proper hiking boots as these will provide the support and comfort that you need while out and about. Some of these will actually look quite good, especially if you wish to wear them to classier locations as well. Choose a style that will look great whether you’re chilling in Ho Chi Minh City’s prime nightclubs or walking through the jungles outside Hanoi so you can form the perfect outfit without packing more than one pair of shoes.
# 3. Handling the Mosquitos
Staying comfortable in Vietnam means reducing the risk of mosquito bites as much as possible. In the jungle regions to north and close to the Laos/Cambodia borders, there is a slight risk of malaria. Dengue fever is also found throughout the country, so you should take care to cover up around dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes generally come out in the twilight hours, so wear long sleeved hiking shirts and full-length trousers during this time. Proper walking shoes will cover your feet so you don’t get bitten there. Simply choose something fashionable that also hides your bare skin and you won’t run the risk of falling ill during your travels.
# 4. Staying Culturally Sensitive
When packing your bags for your next trip, you’ll also need to think about dressing suitably for religious sites such as temples. There are also some attractions, such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi, which require some smart attire to visit. Leave the t-shirts and shorts at home for these locations and dress in a stylish way that the locals will certainly appreciate. Then you won’t feel too uncomfortable heading out and about. You’ll at least blend in with your clothing as you enter these sites without the risk of offending anyone.
Georgi Warren is a freelance writer from Trekwear, a business in the UK that provides a range of outdoor gear. Check out the www.trekwear.co.uk site to know more about country clothing from Trekwear.