Clothing, etc.?

I know this is a bit superficial but as I pack for trip next week (Jan 13) could use some guidance from those who have been.
Do women wear shorts & tee shirts during the day for sight-seeing?

Does one change into other attire in the evening?

How often is there time to visit a hotel fitness center?

Are hotel laundry costs outrageous?

Any other tips for what to pack?

Thanks.

Comments

  • edited January 2017
    I take this tour in 2018, so it will be interesting if you get some replies. Could you post some tips when you get back?
    If I compare other tours, I found there is not much time to exercise, even on free afternoons, because we would rather do extra sight seeing or maybe a spa treatment that we can't so easily organize at home together. Exercise, Routine goes by the wayside for us on a Tauck tour, if there was plenty of time to go to the Gym, we would feel we were not getting our money's worth out of Tauck.
    Changing for dinner, sometimes there is not time, which is why I generally wear clothing that is good for day or evening, like decent capris, a nice t shirt and scarf. Or a little costume jewelry. In some countries, it is not appropriate to wear shorts and t shirts, I haven't done the research on this yet. This tour is going to be steamy whatever time of year so you may be desperate to shower and change after a day of being out in the humidity, just rush, get in and out of the shower and rush down to dinner which on some days is at a set time, others you can chose your own time.
    Laundry, the hotels are pretty nice, so I am guessing laundry will be expensive, some people just use it anyway, I usually do not need to do major laundry, just a few pieces of underwear on a tour. Careful packing avoids needing me to do laundry. The only place I have been where laundry is cheap or free is the African safaris.
    I was talking to an English friend recently and was staggered to learn that when she goes on vacation, she unpacks her suitcase and irons every single item! My answer to that one, I never pack anything that needs ironing, the odd piece of linen, carefully rolled doesn't look too bad when you have hung it for a while.
    Enjoy the tour!
  • edited January 2017
    I took this trip in December 2015. It was fabulous!! The weather was very comfortable in the Vietnam and Laos portion....at times a light jacket was needed. Layers were the key! The early morning in Laos with the monks was quite cool...I definitely wore several layers and unpeeled throughout the day. For us, the heat was in Cambodia...but I still wore slacks/capris with a tee shirt. We went into temples where shoulders and knees needed to be covered. A hat or even an umbrella was important! It was hot!! I carried a wash cloth from the hotel with me and doused it with water throughout the day to wear on my neck!

    Most evenings, I changed for dinner. It feel great to 'clean up' after an active day of touring. I wore some simple dresses or slacks and tops. It was very casual. Laundry in the hotels was readily available. My friends used the laundry service quite a bit and found the costs to be reasonable (not sure what that means!). I just did hand wash of underwear and my favorite white tops as needed.

    There really was not a lot of free time. However you find bits of time between the day touring and dinner to use the gyms or pools. I used every little bit of free time to explore ... Went to a silk factory to see the process in Phnom Penh, went to a lacquer ware factory in Saigon and of course went to markets and craft fairs at every stop!

    Tips for packing: leave room for purchases!! The hotels have fabulous shops with reasonable pricing. In Hoi An, there are beautiful crafts and artwork. Back to packing: comfortable shoes!! Slacks, capris, tops, hat, sunblock, bug repellant, face wipes, light jacket, bathing suit if so inclined (beautiful pools), medicines (Advil etc is not readily found). You can buy scarves there to enhance your outfits...gorgeous textiles of silks, linens, cottons.

    This is an amazing trip...if you have any questions, please ask!!
    Nancy
  • edited January 2017
    We took the Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand tour in 2012, beginning in the last week of January. There are some similarities in the itineraries. We began with a 3-day cruise on Halong Bay, and the weather was rainy at times and gray the rest of the time. The sun was out on our ride back to Hanoi, and that was the last time we saw it until we got in the southern areas. I would strongly suggest checking out the extended weather forecast (Accuweather does a 30-day forecast). Everyone on our tour was unprepared for the cold, bone-chilling weather in Hanoi. I literally put socks on my hands as they were so cold! I don't know if that was an anomaly, but it is worth checking out. By the time we got to Saigon, we were roasting.
    Most of us did wear shorts in certain areas (Angkor Wat) and some areas not on your particular tour. As Nancy says, we were mindful of temple days and I even wore covered shoes (not sandals) in some of the more populated temples.
    One of the best things I travel with (beside my handy buff) are those sun shirts (Columbia, North Face, etc.) The ones I have are wrinkle-free, and dry quickly. They are nice to layer on an airplane and throw on if you are wearing sleeveless and want to enter a temple. Also good for sun protection.
    We always try to shower and change for dinner. We like to relax with a nice meal, a glass of wine (or two) and recap the day's events and/or plan for the day's adventures. White/black pants, skirt, sundress all work...
    As far as working out...where there's a will, there's a way! I can't think of any Tauck tour (except Africa) where there is not a lot of walking. Combine that with going off on one's own, and you might find that you are getting some decent exercise.
    It looks like you will be there for the New Year. We were there during the New Year celebrations which were fascinating. While it made some of the attractions very busy and resulted in many businesses being closed, observing the rituals and families celebrating was worth it!
  • We will be taking this trip in a week...November 2019....will the weather be hot and steamy everywhere? Will a light jacket be needed ? We have been on other Tauck Trips and know that almost every minute is planned...are the hotels in secluded areas or areas where one can walk to markets etc? There are several plane flights on this trip...how does that work? Do we leave super early and hit the ground running??

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