In Vietnam, the dress code is casual. Unless you wish to dress for dinner in the top-end hotels and upmarket restaurants, there's no need to bring smart outfits and accessories. When thinking about travelling to Vietnam, don't be misled by cinema images of hot, steamy jungle. Although the country is located entirely between the Equator and the tropic of Cancer, the northern part of Vietnam has a subtropical climate and can even be decidedly chilly in the winter months. However, there's no need to stock up with clothes for all seasons.
Except in the north during winter, Vietnam is generally hot, and
Light strong shoes are advisable, but high, narrow heels are not. If you’re visiting Ha Long Bay, walking in rocky areas and similar activities, it’s wise to wear shoes with
If you’re visiting the north
It rains a lot in Vietnam, and particularly so in the summer! If you want to bring your own rainwear, it’s sensible to have material that is ‘breathable’ as the humidity build-up, and consequent
Shorts and tee-shirts are OK, but not too skimpy. It’s respectful not to wear shorts or expose lots of flesh when visiting pagodas and temples, although this is often overlooked in places heavily visited by foreigners.
Laundry services are common and cheap, although some hotels blatantly overcharge – check the prices first! Beware, though: apart from in the higher standard hotels, the washing process is likely to be enthusiastic rather than skilful, washing instructions will be ignored (they’re incomprehensible to the Vietnamese), and you may end up with an indelible laundry mark on your favourite shirt or blouse. Delicate fabrics are at considerable risk! Dry-cleaning is OK, but the same caveats apply.
You’ll definitely need to bring swimming
Have a nice Vietnam holiday!