Packing for South East Asia + Printable Packing List

When trying to figure out what to pack for my trip of 6 weeks to South-East Asia, it was very hard to find any packing lists. There are plenty for Europe and America, but only a few for South-East Asia. In particular, there’s barely anything for countries like Cambodia.

My 6 week trip would primarily be in Cambodia, but I was also going to have a stop over in Kuala Lumpar, and possibly go to Vietnam and Thailand. I expected that it would be hot over there, but I also had to prepare for the cold weather in Australia for my departure and arrival back in the country.

So the question remained – what do I pack?

I ended up making up my own packing list and I definitely made some mistakes with what I packed. I missed things I should have bought an clacked things I didn’t use.

So now, that I have the experience of travel over there, I thought I should share a comprehensive packaging list for my beautiful readers. I’ll also include some helpful tips to help you in packing.


Packing and Planning Tips

1. Use the Style Book App

I would definitely using the Stylebook App to create your own packing list. It’s super helpful in making sure you pack only what you need, plus you can plan outfits beforehand. Click here for my post on how to use the Stylebook App.

2. Loose and Lightweight Clothing

Pack lots of items that are lightweight and not too fitted. Cotton is a great choice as it is breathable. It will also dry quickly if you need to wash it.

3. Cover Up

You will need pants/maxi skirt and a long sleeved top if you are visiting religious sites and temples. Some places will not allow you to go any further without properly covering up. Save yourself the hassle of not getting to see a beautiful landmark and just take these items.

4. Plan Around Activities

You will need to think about what you plan on doing on your trip. If you are going to be active, then activewear is a must. As a minimum, leggings, tank tops and sneakers should be packed. Oh and a sports bra as well!

Tip: if you are staying in hostel or share accommodation without air conditioning, sleep in your comfy sports bar!

5. No Heels Needed

Heels are not needed in many South East Asia places, unless you are going out in cities like Bangkok or Kuala Lumper.

6. Don’t Forget Your Swimmers & A Towel

Take multiple pairs of swimmers with you as the heat and humidity can make some swimmers take a while to dry. It’s also helpful to pack a lightweight microfibres towel as many places of accommodation will not provide towels or you will have to pay extra for that.

7. Wash clothes on the go

Remember that you can easily get your items washed for a good price if you need to. Lots of places will offer cheap laundry for $1 or less sometimes. This means you can save space in your luggage and not have to wear smelly or dirty clothes!

The other If you prefer, you could always pack your own washing powder and wash items in the sink!

See my post “Things I Miss and Appreciate When in South-East Asia” to see some more tips based on my own experiences.

Travel Outfit

A lot of people forget Planning the outf t they will wear while travelling on the plane. This is also crucial as it can be a big factor in comfort and also space in your bag.

If it is cold where you are coming from, or likely to be be cold when you return, wear your bulky and warm items on the plane. For example leggings, plain long sleeve shirt or cardigan over tank top, bulky jacket, sneakers, and scarf. Some of these items may be used again during your trip (such as sneakers, scarf or leggings) so by wearing them on the plane you free up space in your luggage. If it is warm then you can easily wear some items from the packing list below. Remember that comfort is key.

For some travel outfit inspiration, click here

What if you forget something


Sometimes there are things you can’t plan for. Or sometimes you just forget to pack a piece of important clothing.

Remember that a big part of visiting South East Asia is visiting the markets. Many markets have clothing items at cheap prices. There will be lots of opportunities to buy clothes if you have forgotten anything. Just make sure you do your research beforehand to make sure that you are purchasing items from ethical places that actually support the people you are purchasing from.

There are also places for shopping too (especially at the airports!) so you can always find something relatively cheap but also stylish.


My top, shorts and swimmers were all bought at a Cambodian market!

Packlist List + Printable

The below list would be enough for a holiday for two weeks or more. This list has a few explanations and tips with each item.

For those who want a printable version: Packing List – South East Asia. There’s some space on the printable to add extra items if you want to.

Here is the list:

  • 2 x tanks
  • 2 x tees
  • 2 x crop top – 1 casual & one dressier
  • Loose long sleeve shirt – can be used as a light jacket
  • Lightweight pants
  • Leggings
  • 2 x shorts – 1 denim cut off and 1 nicer high waist pair
  • Maxi skirt – bonus points if it can double as a dress!
  • Casual sundress such as a wrap dress
  • Maxi dress
  • Tank dress or tee dress – can double up as sleepwear!
  • Kimono or cover up
  • Thongs/Flip flops
  • Sandals
  • Runners
  • Closed toe flats
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Cross-body bag or backpack (depending on activities & what you’ll need to take with you each day)
  • 2 x swimwear
  • Lightweight scarf – can be used as a cover up for temples or even as a pillow when travelling
  • 7-10 pairs Underwear (depending on how often you want to wash your underwear)
  • 2-3 Bras – including a sports bra
  • At least 4 pairs of socks – more if doing lots of active activities
  • Lightweight sleep wear

What do you think of my packing list? Have you packed similar things for a trip to South East Asia? Let me know in the comments section!

Bye for now,

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All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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4 thoughts on “Packing for South East Asia + Printable Packing List

  1. Gary Lum says:

    What’s your advice for device internet access? Did you buy a local SIM card or did you rely on free wi-fi or both?
    Do men have to wear long trousers and long sleeves when visiting religious sites?

    • vintagebarbie17 says:

      I got bought a cheap sim for about $5 with some credit a few days after getting to Cambodia (can’t remember the company though…) but also tried to connect to free wifi whenever I could. Pretty much every cafe or hostel had free wifi so I had no issue with connecting my phone/iPad/laptop up. I needed the Cambodian number because I was volunteering for 6 weeks but if I was going for a holiday for only a few weeks, I probably wouldn’t worry about getting a sim.

      Our local Cambodian guides said that you need to cover your knees and shoulders no matter what gender you are. In some parts of Angkor Wat they would not let you go into without the proper coverage. I know that some places in SEA offer sarongs or wraps to wear at the entrance of a religious sight. I am yet to see how strict they are in other countries though about where you are not allowed to show X amount of skin or it is simply frowned upon.

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