What to pack: South East Asia

29th July 2015

I always enjoy reading packing list posts when other travel bloggers do them. It gives me the same satisfaction as digging through my granny’s handbag as a kid or looking through the drug cabinet in a stranger’s bathroom. I’m a little bit of a nosy parker. I also enjoy the sight of neatly organized things, and I know that’s not just me.

I wanted to wait a bit after leaving for my South East Asian trip before sharing what I was taking because I knew there was going to be some adjustments in the first few months, but ended up waiting one and a half year! Oops! So without further ado, here is my very much tried and tested packing list for South East Asia. Both of my cameras are busted right now (and one is missing from the shot because I needed something to snap this disaster with!), so bare with me for image quality here…

Packing list for a trip through South East Asia

BACKPACK
Osprey Talon 44L

I knew Osprey backpacks were good, but this bag has proven itself a million times over in the last year and a half of being dragged pretty much through hell and back. It’s a great durable pack, and trust me when I say it’s plenty big enough for long term travel.

UNDERWEAR
2 x pairs of socks, one short, one long
8 x panties
2 x g strings
2 x sports bras
3 x bikinis, all mix and max (also used as underwear)
1 x pair pajama boxer shorts

CLOTHES
3 x pairs of leggings, ¾ and full length (I basically live in those)
1 x more baggy/flowy long leg bottoms for temples or unshaved leg days (they happen) (a lot)
1 x pair jean shorts
1 x pair sports shorts
1 x belt (also serves as a strap for yoga)
7 x tank tops
1 x t-shirt
1 x long sleeve lightweight flowy cotton shirt (great for temples and to protect from the sun)
1 x long sleeve fleece (barely used but still handy to have)
2 x scarves / sarongs (I really don’t need 2 but I love scarves and they are just so practical!)

FOOTWEAR
1 x Tom’s canvas shoes
1 x Nike Vomero running shoes
1 x cheap flip-flops (forgot to include them in the shot)

DAY BAGS / ELECTRONICS
Fjallraven Kanken Classic Daypack
Matt & Nat Moxy Crossbody Vegan Leather Bag (hurry, it’s on sale right now!)
CANON 500D, CANON EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5–5.6 IS and CANON EF-S 55-250mm 1:4–5.6 IS
CANON POWERSHOT ELPH 300 HS
Random electronics in plastic bag (hard disks, chargers, wires, spare batteries, computer mouse, etc. See the whole of my camera bag here)
Kindle Paperwhite
Laptop (forgot to include in the shot)
iPhone
Earbuds

FOODSTUFF
Spoon, knife, bowl
Emergency food kit (at the moment: mustard, vegemite, peanut butter, dates)
Reusable water bottle

ODDS AND ENDS
Wash bag with toiletries and hair stuff (more about this later)
Makeup bag (see the content here)
Small things in a plastic bag (pen, drugs, Band-Aids, flashlight, contact lenses, sewing kit, earplugs, chap stick, etc.)
2x Sunglasses (one with prescription and one without)
Muji Neck pillow / Cuddle sausage
Yoga mat

Annnnnnnnd, there you have it!

It kind of seems like so much stuff listed here and I’ve just downsized considerably. What do you say? Do you think it’s too much? Too little?

13 thoughts on “What to pack: South East Asia

  1. Amelia

    This is perfect timing! I’m packing for my Japan and SE Asia trip at the moment and trying to work out what to get rid of and what to take. It’s amazing how much I’ve accumulated after a year of living in Taiwan.

    This is about what I was going to take, which is reassuring. I always forget a first aid kit though… I probably need to go get one. The Matt and noxy bag, is that what you put your camera in? I have a nice camera but the case takes up so much room, I’ve been wondering what to do about that.

    Reply
    1. Amélie Post author

      Yo! Wow, you been in Taiwan for a year! Teaching?

      No, the Matt & Nat bag is too small for my camera, but they’ve just sent me this one which actually does fit my camera and is super mega awesome because I can strap it to the front on my bicycle!! Generally I don’t actually put my camera in a bag though, I just wrap in a few scarves and put it in my small day pack.

      Reply
  2. caryl

    Vegemite Amelie?! You’re only forgiven for carrying mustard and peanut butter with you 😉 I’m terrible for accumulating junk… but its so hard! Carried my snorkel and fins around for 15 months until I had to accept that I just don’t spend enough time snorkelling to warrant the extra weight!

    It must feel liberating getting everything on one bicycle!

    Best of luck xx

    Reply
  3. Sam

    Oh, so it’s not just me that likes poking through other people’s stuff?! Zab has an Osprey backpack too and he loves it. Oh, and you have a Fjällräven daybag? They’re so cute. I’m in Sweden now (where they’re from – they grow on trees here or something) and I’m so tempted to buy one, but I can’t really justify it!

    Reply
  4. Franca

    You are very minimal Amelie. I don’t carry a lot myself but being in Europe and have to deal with the winter here means I also must have a warm jacket with me, I never needed it whilst in Asia. I also have some food supplies always with me which at the moment consist in Marmite, Chia seeds and almonds 🙂

    Reply
    1. Amélie Post author

      You think? I always see people with smaller backpacks than me and am always a little envious of them! I’ve given most of my clothes away in preparation for the bike tour and have replaced them with things such as multitools, chain lube and duct tape. That will make for a different post! 🙂

      Reply
  5. VeganBackpacking

    Wow, all of that, including a laptop (and flip flops ;)) fits in that tiny bag? I envy you! How come I was always able to fully fill my 60/70L backpack.. Although, I did bring warm clothing for wintery-NZ next to hot SE-Asia (and heaps of food!)
    But my next trip I’ll be more like you, I’ll even wear leggings if I have to! 😉

    Take care!
    – Mittch

    Reply
    1. VeganBackpacking

      Oh and I totally recognize the nosiness but even more the organized tendency! I often catch myself aligning random stuff such as restaurant cutlery, paintings on the wall etc.. I think that is a neurotic trait graphical people develop over time haha, but it comes in handy with graphical work I guess 🙂

      Reply
  6. Julia

    Love this list! I was wondering.. how has it been travelling with all these electronics? I haven’t got an expensive camera to travel with but considering taking my Macbook Air with me – thoughts and suggestions on this?

    There has been a 50/50 opinion whether to bring it or not but I’d like to post Youtube videos whilst backpacking abroad for 4 months!

    Reply

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