10 Things you Must Pack if You're Moving to Hanoi

Erika Braeger

24, May 2017

Sitting in front of empty luggage. Staring at a chaotic wardrobe. The rolling boil of what ifs.

Gasp! How will I live?” Using this handy list, you’ll arrive toting a treasure trove of hard to find goodies.

  1. Personal care– Avoid a starved-looking piggy bank. Stock up on these essentials.

  • Medicine: Western steadfasts like Ibuprofen, cold relief, and antacids. When feeling under the weather, it’s comforting to read dosage instructions in your native tongue. Local pharmacies rarely carry brands you’ll recognize.
  • Skincare: Some Western facial care products have a bronzing effect, likewise some products in Asia contain whitening agents. If labels in foreign languages spark uncertainty, bring your own.
  • Vitamins: These have a hefty sticker at wellness stores.
  • Ladies prepare! Certain things are expensive or hard to find.

  1. Shoes– Unless you’re lucky to have tiny feet, shoes are worth luggage space equity. Local shops rarely go larger than an EU 37. Want high quality? You’ll shell out the big bucks. Gloriously cheap night markets sell mostly fakes that won’t do your alignment any favors.

  1. Everyday clothing– Packing these wardrobe staples saves lots of money and frustration.
  • Dress Pants and Jeans: The Vietnamese population is slimmer in comparison to the average Westerner. It’s difficult to find above an EU 46 waist in mens’ pants or 38 in womens’. Luckily, there are highly talented and inexpensive tailors.
  • Shirts: A size L in Hanoi is noticeably smaller than a Western size L. Plus sizes in malls are rare and expensive .
  • Undergarments: Fabrics and styles might not be the cozy cotton you’re used to. Ladies beware, it’s hard to find a range of sizes here.

  1. Books– Bookworms prepare! English selections are limited at the used bookshops in town. Bring a kindle or dog-eared favorites.

5. Winter wear- Acclimate to tropical temperatures and you’ll be shivering when it hits 10 Celsius. Yes, it gets cold in Hanoi. Snow-appropriate gear is more common than simple layers. Pack a few favorites to stay snuggly from November to March.

6. Gloves that grip– Motorbiking on cold days is no picnic. Inclement weather commutes are more pleasant with this simple accessory. Gloves are here, but with grips are a rare treasure.

7. Plug converters– Some apartment buildings have omni-fit outlets. Avoid the costly mistake of frying your computer or phone and bring a converter. They’re pricey here, packing one is best.

8. Cooking Supplies– Local Hanoians use long chopsticks to cook, which won’t work for pancake breakfast or baking. Silicone spatulas, measuring spoons, spices, and gadgets are a must if you consider yourself an amateur chef or foodie. Kitchen stores in Hanoi aren’t always diligent about keeping stock of things.

9. Art Supplies– Many shops will stock basics. You might find yourself running all over town to buy three things. Pack essentials and restock via a visa run or care package.

10. Snacks– After a long work day, trying to remain calm in Hanoi traffic, and baking in tropical heat it’s nice to unwind with a taste of home. Import stores offer a scope of goodies, but perhaps not your most cherished flavor of gummy worms.

Arm yourself with this list. Dot your i’s. Cross your t’s. Start getting excited for your next adventure, because you’re ready to move to Hanoi.

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