Best luggage/packing tips for Asia

Feb 25th, 2005, 03:13 PM
  #1  
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Best luggage/packing tips for Asia

When traveling to Europe, I generally take a 22-inch rolling suitcase and a small daypack. Is the same suitable for a trip to Asia? Will I find many places, for instance, that aren't paved and require me to carry the rolling case? So would a backpack be better? I was just reading an old thread on the Europe board about packing tips - anything you Asian experts can offer with regard to packing suggestions unique to Asia? And lastly, has anyone found a lightweight rolling suitcase? Mine seems so heavy even when empty!
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 06:09 PM
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where are you planning to take your suitcase---with you while touring every day??? generally you arrive at an airport, get transport to your hotel, wheel in your case, stay for a few days and then wheel it back out to your transportation and back to the airport...have i missed something that relates to the pavement??

i will say that if you are planning to take it on the skytrain there are often many stairs to climb...generally in the center city the sidewalks are quite good...although they are often very crowded with both people and vendors, so taking a case through some areas would be terrible if not impossible...

i do not see any difference in travelling in asia or europe as it relates to suitcases...

travel as lite as possible...laundries are very cheap in asia so you do not have to take as much stuff...as you will sweat so much you will use up your clean clothing much faster than in europe...

you want lite weight, natural fibre, loose fitting clothing generally which is conservative
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 06:45 PM
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I was thinking that maybe some of the smaller towns, such as Luang Prabang, might not have paved streets and it would be hard to roll a suitcase. (Don't laugh - I've never been to Asia and don't know the conditions.) I know there are small towns in Europe with cobblestone streets where it can be difficult to roll a wheeled suitcase. Was wondering if there was also difficult "rolling" terrain in Asia or if most places were well-suited to a rolling bag. Also, I've had times in Europe where I've had to walk a ways - it wasn't a case of just being picked up on the spot and transported to a hotel where someone whisked the luggage to my room. (Am a budget traveler and have to do that stuff for myself!) Hope this helps clarify. Thanks!
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 06:50 PM
  #4  
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Also - still interested in packing tips. Anyone have a packing list for say a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia - for women? Shorts and t-shirts ok for touring? Or more dressy/conservative? What about sleeveless tops?
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 08:28 PM
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i thought you were only asking about bangkok i guess...yes you may encounter some problems, the least of which is lots of stairs in some places...generally when you arrive and leave a town i find it best to arrange for adequate transportation...money well spent...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2005, 09:07 PM
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one of the best things too do is buy a medium sized backpack and a messanger style bag with good zipper too atach locks..
you can place most of your clothes and heavier things in backpack and your valuables and things you need too easally get too in the messager bag.. (Like guide book)

you don't need much clothes you can buy things here in asia for nothing.. don't bother with blow dryers and crap.. you can go too any street salon, point at the blow dryer and have a shampoo as well for about $1...

I've dragged my 22 suietcase all over asia... most cities like Hong kong and singapore where no big deal but smaller town did pose some probs with uneaven sidewalks and insane trafic...

NOTE i was on a 3 month trip so i needed a 22' suitcase and my timberland midium sized back pack..
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Feb 25th, 2005, 09:30 PM
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Make sure your 22" roller has decent and relatively big wheels. In most cities in Asia, including developed ones like Hong Kong, there are no wheelchair ramps at pedestrian crossing on sidewalks. If you have to cross multiple streets, you'll need to lift your suitcase many times, if the wheels are small.

Mine are okay, but it still requires a harder pull to get it up the curb. Try to see if yours need lifting when fully loaded, at a sidewalk curb.
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Feb 25th, 2005, 10:03 PM
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Clothing - yes it should be conservative in Asia generally. For visiting temples you need to be reasonably covered!!! at least short sleeves and a longish skirt or trousers - shorts and sleeveless tops are not appropriate - so to cut down on luggage its better to take things that will suit more occasions and you may be find you want to go to a temple on your way someway and being dressed in shorts could be a problem. Such things as well as strappy sundresses are just fine and quite acceptable in the beach areas. I doubt that you will need any formal clothes - even the good hotels are okay with neat casuals except in the top restaurants. Actually I find a bit extra coverage in the heat to be an advantage not a hindrance (mind you there would probably be a mass exodus if I appeared in short shorts!!!!) Keep things loose and natural fibre where possible. Don't bring too much - as Orgy7 said clothes are cheap and readily available. Things like tee shirts are everywhere and cost next to nothing - mind you some don't stand up too well - you need to have a decent look at them. We have bought some that lasted 1 wash and others that last years. I'm older and wiser now so know what to chose!
MaryW is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 02:25 AM
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..just a few more tips re "ladies" packing..agree 100 per cent re laundry..relatively inexpensive and certainly mine was carefully done..let me tell you about the things I did well and the goofs I made..1. I took far too much! I think I could have easily managed with 2 casual skirts, 1 pr black cotton trousers for night and 2 pr chinos (mine are smart casual-Banana Republic and have a bit of lycra so they stretch). I like casual skirts as I find them cooler than shorts (i did not go to a beach..if I had I would have subed 1 pr shorts and a golf skirt..for almost 3 weeks. I knew it was the "cool season" but even then found things quite warm..1 cotton very light weigh (almost Tshirt material) and a very light sweater would have beeen fine (though my travel bud was in Hanoi end of jan and it was drizzy and cool so I would be sure I could layer the jacket and sweater. I am not so sure I would trust finding clothes other than a T shirt. I am 5'10 and slim(ish) and I just am outside any N size in Thailand. I really would stick to cotton and avoid synthetics. All the comments about modest attire in the cities are true. I would be sure to bring golf socks..I ended up walking barefoot through most temples and if I had socks in my pocket...dont underestimat the number of tops you need. You may go through 2-3 /day..They can be literally soaked through with sweat..so I would bring 6..(they really dont take up much room)..I was really happy I had 3 pr of shoes..nice sandles, a pair of really comfortable flats which are great for walking, and a pair of funny sneaker type flats..Dont bring heavy shoes..your feet will literally stew. I used scarves and "fake baubles' to jazz up a simple top..Dont do sleeveless in a city unless you intend to wear it under something else and ditto (in capital letters) for tank tops or camisoles. I did buy a cotton tote and a small hand bag for the evening as i really didnt need my usual purse on days I was touring but staying in one place (ie not travelling from one hotel to another). I looked at the clothes that I brought and realized I didnt wear half the stuff but wore my chinos and one of my skirts to bit and bought 2 t shirts (rather dressy ones from Jim Thompson). I probably sound like my grandmother, but I certainly noticed that if you looked well dressed- clean, covered that response in hotels and even in the airport was quite different that those who sported the back pack look..and yes you can carry a back pack without the look and look like a backpaker with a suitcase..so dont worry about the wardrobe, keep it simple, versitile and of one color palate so you can mix and match..next time I will cut way done and have a half empty suitcase..at least until the way home!
travelbunny is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I agree with travelbunny. Pack light, pack modest. One other thing I often wear in Asia is a long, loose, flowing light cotton dress. It looks dressier than most of the rest of my wardrobe and is very cooling to wear, and can be dredded up for a fancy restaurant.. Remember than covering skin often keeps you cooler in such hot climates.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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"dredded up" I love my typos- should be "dressed up"
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Feb 26th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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i secret that i share sometimes here is that my wife likes to wear mens cotton boxer shorts under a dress in these hot climates...she says it prevents any chaffing????
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Feb 26th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Dredded up! LOL. I WONDERED what that was. Figured maybe it was some way to wear a scarf or a belt. Thanks for all the tips. Ok - a couple more questions for you!
- I'd like to take a very lightweight duffle of some sort to bring souvenirs home in (or dirty clothes and put the souvenirs in my suitcase). Anyone know of a good brand that is very lightweight and will fold up to a very small size?
- And what about capris? Are they practical for Asia? Seems they would be because they're relatively modest yet cooler than slacks. What say you?
- Are sport sandals for the most part ok for touring during the day? (Great tip on carrying socks to slip on for the temples!)
I'd like to limit my shoes to what I wear on the plane - flat walking shoes - and my sandals. (We won't be going anywhere very dressy, and the sandals are nice enough looking that they'd do in a pinch with a nice pair of slacks and nice top.)
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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Oh, and one more (for now!).
What about things like mosquito netting? I'm assuming repellant, yes, but is netting necessary? Anything else in the toiletries department that I shouldn't forget? (Sunscreen, for sure, right?)
althom1122 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Travel Bunny, what is N size?
Since natural fibers wrinkle, do hotels such as the Marriott have irons? If we pack light (and have more room for shopping purchases!), we'll need to do laundry often or have it done. I think rhkkmk mentioned a laundry in the Marriott neighborhood.
What is the turn-around time?
What should men wear? Would not-tucked-in, collared shirts (similar to aloha shirts in Hawaii)be better than Polo-type knit shirts? Long pants? Bermuda shorts? Shoes? Leather sandals (w/cotton socks?)?
Do you need some sort of cover-up to wear to-from the pool?
institcher is offline  
Feb 26th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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..a few comments..by N size I meant a normal size range for thai women. I did not notice an iron or ironing board in my room anywhere. I did not call the desk to inquire. I had my laundry done at the anatara (golden triangle) and it was quite reasonable...If I sent it before 9 it was back in the room by 5pm. The Marriot was more expensive. I did see a number of small laundries in various cities near the tourist hotels which advertized one day service. I did do undies in the sink. I think cropped pants or capris would be great for temple tramping but might be a little underdressed for Bkk shopping or evening. Sandals do have a down side.It was very dry and dusty at times and the grit would get between feet and innersole creating a rather discusting and uncomfortable film. I think a pareo is a greatcoverup for a bathing suit..packs flat. I felt much more comfortable walking from my room well draped . my roomate had a gorgeous silk one from Jim Thompson which she could also use as an evening shawl. I dont think you need mosuito netting unless back packing. I did see a number of guesthouses with netting in Laos and obviously this supplied by the hotel. I cant comment on male attire- will leave that to the other half except to say please no speedos over 35.
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Feb 27th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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The Marriott laundry was expensive , relatively speaking (about US prices), but I remembered Bob (rhkkmk) posting about a laundry near the Marriott, so I took a walk on the main street in front of the Marriott & found a great place. Walk out the front door of the Marriott, go through the outdoor mini mall across from the Marriott & turn right on the main street. It is about a block & a half down the street on the right hand side of the road across the street from a suzuki dealer. The woman who runs the laundry didn't speak English but we managed to communicate, & laundry was returned beautifully washed, ironed (I swear I think she ironed our underware & cotton night gowns!) folded and wrapped. I brought it in large shopping bags & put it all back in the shopping bags when I picked it up. Very easy, nice to interact with a local service provider, and the price was so reasonable. Less than $9 for a weeks worth of shirts, underware, cotton pants, etc for my husband & I.
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Feb 27th, 2005, 10:42 PM
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I bought backpacks on wheels for my daughters for our trip to Vietnam and Thailand.
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Mar 1st, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Yes, your underwear probably was ironed. Thais like to iron everything! It also helps to dry the clothes faster.
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