S.E Asia Packing List

Welcome to packing “hell.” Yes you read that right, “hell.” We say this because packing for a long term backpacking trip for Asia for the first time gets very frustrating and stressful. Even researching online for the “right” list becomes a big pain in the ass because there are a lot of them and each one suggests something different. Then you find yourself packing everything combined together from those lists. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Stuffing your backpacks so full that they start to stretch to the point that rips/tears start to happen even before your trip begins and when you want to pick it up and put it on your shoulders you can’t even get it off the floor (yep, that was us). So based on our 4 month backpacking experience in Southeast Asia we created a sample packing list that should help you better determine the items that you will actually need/use.



Must bring Items:

  1. Passport
  2. Tickets
  3. Money/CC
  4. Travel Insurance (Highly Recommended)
  5. Vaccination Records
  6. Backpack
  7. Waterproof backpack cover
  8. Small Day Pack
  9. Satchel/Money Belt
  10. Locks
  11. List of Embassy Addresses and phone numbers for all countries you are planning to visit in case of an emergency
  12. Notebook/Pen
  13. Mini Flashlight/Headlamp (Highly Recommended)

Clothing Items:

  1. Underwear-6
  2. Shorts-2
  3. Pants-2
  4. Bra-3 (woman)
  5. T-shirts-5
  6. Tank tops-3
  7. Long Sleeve shirt-1
  8. Dress -2(woman)
  9. Long skirt-1
  10. Swimsuit/Swimming Trunks-2
  11. Trekking shoes-1
  12. Sandals-1
  13. Casual shoes-1
  14. Yoga pants/Sport Tights-1 (women)
  15. Sweatshirt-1
  16. Light Jacket-1
  17. Socks-5 (recommended to bring 1 pair of warm socks for colder weather)

Note: We recommend to bring 1 pair of jeans: a lot of lists do not suggest jeans for Asia but was very useful for us when we did some trekking sessions, over-night train/bus rides, and some colder climates.


Sun Protection:

  1. Sunglasses
  2. Waterproof Sunblock
  3. Sun Burn Gel
  4. Body Moisturizer

Notes: Most Sunblocks in Asia contain skin whiteners


Medicines/First Aid Kit Supplies:

  1. Over the Counter Pain Reliever
  2. Motion sickness pills (Bring extra if you are sensitive, you will need them !!)
  3. Upset Stomach Medication
  4. Malaria Medication
  5. Cold Medicine
  6. Anti-Biotic Cream
  7. Waterproof Band-Aids
  8. Sterile wipes
  9. Anti-Diarrhea Medicine
  10. Hand Sanitizer
  11. Ace bandage (injuries)
  12. Toilet paper
  13. Tweezers
  14. Mini-scissors
  15. Mosquito repellant ( CDC recommends potent DEET repellants but we used “Repel Natural” and it worked very well: This product is DEET free, better for skin) (any with potent “citronella” also works well)
  16. Chap stick”
  17. Ear plugs!! (Chickens/roosters are very common disturbances throughout the night) Also helps to reduce noise in hostels/bus/trains
  18. Anti-Bite/Anti-Itch

Note: Prescription Meds should come with original container with information label on it



  1. Cameras and Chargers (Bring Extra Batteries)
  2. Smart Phone (unlocked for SIM card use)
  3. Tablet
  4. Waterproof Camera
  5. Extra Memory Cards
  6. Universal Electrical Outlet Adapter



3 hygienic items that are a must to bring from home because they can be very hard to find and can be very expensive:

  1. Contact/Contact Solution (Brand Names)
  2. Shaving Razors (Brand Names)
  3. Tampons/Pads (If needed)


Make-up and hair:

  1. Waterproof Mascara
  2. Eye Shadow
  3. Mini Perfume
  4. Lip Gloss
  5. Comb/ Hairbrush
  6. Lots of Hair Ties

Note:  You don’t need to bring a lot of makeup and leave liquid foundations at home. It is very Hot and Humid in Asia so most of the time you will want to use waterproof mascara.


Buy in Asia:

  1. Tiger Balm
  2. Poncho
  3. Toothbrush/toothpaste
  4. Q-tips
  5. Shaving Cream
  6. Toe Nail Clipper/File
  7. Floss
  8. Mini Mirror
  9. Deodorant
  10. Extra Clothes
  11. Hat
  12. Suntan Lotion (coconut oil)
  13. Mosquito Repellant (citronella spray works perfect, and because there is no Deet in it which is better for your skin for excessive use ).
  14. Sarong
  15. Extra sandals

Note:  It’s up to you but these items are very cheap and easy to buy in Asia.


Other items:

  1. Clothes Line
  2. Laundry Bag
  3. Clothes Organizing Bags
  4. Safety Pins


If anyone would like to add anything to our list that you feel is really important to have on your travels, please feel free and leave a comment below.









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