What you need for a trip to south-east Asia: the essentials
The number of tourists visiting south-east Asia has been booming in recent years and the trend is set to continue. If you are planning on going there yourself, our helpful guide covers some of the essentials you will need.
Nobody likes needles but catching Hepatitis A is much worse. If you are a UK resident many of the essential vaccinations are free under the NHS. You should phone your GP Practice around three months prior to get this sorted but if you’ve left it rather last minute you should find that private practices can sort you out quickly. To find out which vaccinations you need, check out this website http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx
2) DEET Spray
SE Asia is full of all sorts of bugs including the dreaded mosquitos. In order to massively decrease your chances of being bitten you’ll want some DEET Spray, the best repellent against mosquitos. DEET comes in different strengths but for most people 50% will be enough and there are few benefits getting any stronger than this.
3) High SPF sun cream
It doesn’t really matter what time the year you travel, you’ll end up needing sun cream and thick stuff too. Not only does DEET spray reduce the effectiveness of sun cream (always remember sun cream goes first) but the UV rating will be high on any day when the sun is out. This is less the case in more northern places such as Hanoi but it’s still a sensible idea to pack some SPF 30/50 with you.
4) Diarrhoea Relief Capsules
A pack of these will set you back just £0.85 from Wilkos or similar and they get working extremely quickly. Most people avoid any upset stomachs during their time in the region but the risks are higher than in most destinations.
Many people enjoy hiking when in SE Asia but virtually non-bottled water you come across is best avoided. It can often be inconvenient to source bottled water but with the LifeStraw you don’t have to. This ingenious device will let you drink from any water supply whether it be from a tap or a lake, filtering out anything that might be harmful.
6) Breathable cotton trousers
These are easy enough to buy when you are in Asia but if you have some with you it’s a good idea to pack them. With temperatures usually high, shorts or skirts are usually most tempting option for day time wear but many temples will not let you in if your knees are not covered. You’ll also need to avoid exposing your shoulders in places such as the Grand Palace in Bangkok so make sure you aren’t exclusively packing vests.
7) Lightweight rain jacket
If you are visiting between November and April you shouldn’t see too much rain but there are never any guarantees when it comes to the weather. A lightweight rain jacket won’t take up much room and it’ll stop you getting soaked if you are caught in one of the tropical downpours that appear regularly during the summer months.
8) Universal Travel adapter
Not every country in south-east Asia has the same type of electrical socket so make sure you get yourself a universal plug, allowing you to charge your devices wherever you are!