Suggested Packing List – Asia

Last Updated: 18th Feb 2014

When packing for the Contiki Asia tours, you should be aware of the differing climatic conditions that exist in the region. Asia is generally a hot, humid travelling region, so attention should be paid to what the weather will be like in this area. It is also culturally different (being more conservative and respectful in terms of clothing worn).

Some ideas include:

  • Surge protectors for electrical equipment
  • Some warm clothing for Laos (early morning starts can be chilly)
  • Using a backpack, rather than suitcase on wheels
  • Reef sandles (or something they can tie to their feet) for water activities (lots of people lose their thong/flip flops/jandles/slip slops/havanas)
  • Temple wear – long (but loose) trousers that cover down to their ankles plus a t-shirt.
  • Clothing for swimming
  • Having a smaller overnight bag
  • Torch, flashligh, or headlamp (for a cave visit and the night in Pakbeng without power)

You may like to bring items from home, but don’t forget that many items can be purchased “in-country”.

During Contiki Asia tours, there will be many opportunities to make use of pools or visit the beach. The following items are considered essential to have:

  • Swimsuit / board shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • T-shirt
  • Shorts
  • Slip on shoes like sandals/thongs/flip-flops/slip-slops/jandles/Havianas (these are useful when visiting pagodas or local houses)

Weather conditions in Asia can also change quickly from hot and humid to torrential downpour. The following items are also suggested:

  • Lightweight long sleeve tops
  • Light waterproof rain jacket (that is rain and wind resistant)
  • Sandals that can attach to the ankle are a wise investment as they can get wet, but will also not fall off easily.

Nightclubs and bars
There are opportunities to explore some of the nightlife in Asia while on tour. Unlike bars and nightclubs at home, many or the locations in Asia are more conservative in the music they play and drinks that are served. In Luang Prabang, Laos for example, there is a curfew that sees most nightlife close at 11.30pm.

Nightclubs and bars will accept denim jeans in their establishments. Jeans should be clean and not torn or frayed. Nice shoes should also be worn wear possible.

Expensive/flashy jewellery should be left at home. You can buy some cheaper stuff on tour!

Temple wear

In many Buddhist temples and some palaces that are visited as inclusions on a Contiki tour, there is a requirement to dress respectfully. This dress code is strictly enforced at the Royal Palace in Bangkok (Thailand) and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) with entrance refused to those who do not comply. This is similar to the conventions followed in churches in Europe.

It is essential that knees and shoulders be covered for both sexes.

The following list is an example of the prohibited outfits for the Bangkok Royal Palace:

  • Sleeveless shirts
  • Singlets/vest tops
  • Shirts that have the mid-riff exposed
  • See through shirts
  • Short trousers that expose the knees or ankles
  • Trousers that have rips in them
  • Trousers that are too tight (and thus revealing)
  • Culottes
  • Mini skirts

The above list is enforced at the Royal Palace. It should also be looked at as a guideline for other places of religious significance.

Open-toed shoes/sandals/thongs/flip-flops/slip-slops/jandles/Havianas are permitted.

It is suggested that the following items be packed as “temple wear” for Asian tours. They can also be purchased on arrival, if needed:

  • Lightweight trousers such as Fisherman’s pants: light, loose fitting trousers that cover down to the ankle, jeans are also acceptable
  • Sarongs can also be worn
  • Cotton t-shirt with sleeves (standard t-shirt is okay).

Look for options that are both respectful and cool (for the heat/humidity).

After the visit to the locations is completed, the clothing can be changed to something else better suited to the climate.

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