Here is a detailed packing list for your trip to Southeast Asia this summer. Remember that you will be responsible for carrying your belongings everywhere you go, so PACK LIGHT! If your bag weigh more than 35 pounds you have probably over-packed!
Weather in Southeast Asia
The summer time is known as the “rainy season” or the “green season” in Southeast Asia–days are generally hot and humid, with brief and refreshing showers that keep everything lush and green. Temperatures cool off once the sun goes down making for pleasant evenings. Because of the heat, you will need to drink a lot more water than you are used to drinking to stay hydrated!
Important Notes About Your Luggage
Everything should fit into one checked bag since you will be moving around and will be traveling by car, boat, bus, etc. A backpacking backpack will work best, but we strongly recommend that you do not use wheeled bags as they are cumbersome when moving around villages, and take up lots of space at homestays. Do not forget to bring a small backpack as a carry-on that you can use to fit your daily gear. The clothing that you bring should be able to get wet, dirty, and/or destroyed during service work and program activities. Make sure everything you pack in your carry-on complies with the carry on regulations of the TSA: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm
When visiting temples you will need to dress appropriately. Wearing clean, modest clothes that cover the knees and shoulders is a must. Being respectful is the name of the game!
A Note to Females About Attire in Rural Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian cultures are very conservative. Despite the hot climate, you will almost never see women with their shoulders exposed or wearing low cut shirts or short shorts. As we seek to respect and preserve the culture of the communities we work with, we strongly urge you to dress respectfully. Students and staff must realize that when they dress improperly, they are embarrassing everyone around them. If you are not wearing proper attire, you may need to change your clothes or abstain from the service project of the day.
To dress respectfully in Southeast Asia, please don’t wear short shorts, low cut tops, or tank tops while out in public areas. In most cases, shorts that cover just above the knees are fine. As mentioned above, yoga pants and leggings are not appropriate.
Access to laundry can vary, but you will have access to laundry at least once a week while on the program. Expect to pay between $8-$22 per load.