The city of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh is generally warm year-round due to its location and topography, the temperature rarely drops below 25°C, however, you can expect colder weather up north of Vietnam.
Saigon has coped up with modernization and tourists flock the place to study or work. The locals have learned to embrace the western’s way of living and thus follow clothing trends.
So, what you would wear in any Western city will fit in. It is not a necessity to cover up whilst wandering around the country. However, there are instances wherein you are REQUIRED to cover-up which means, cover up from shoulders down to below your knee (about 3 inches below the knee is great): • When entering a temple, church, mosque, and other prayer building • Visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
It can be warm and humid during the day so it is best to pack light, wear loose-fitting clothes in linen, silk or cotton to avoid bathing in your own sweat as you move along – comfy and cool at the same time!
In choosing your top, bear in mind that you will be travelling to a tropical country albeit there is some unpredictable rain as you go on your day-to-day activity, a good ol’ loose shirt with cool fabrics is surely to help you battle the heat.
As a typical Asian outfit, a combination of sleeveless and short sleeve tops is ideal for Vietnam.
Casual quick-dry tees are a game-changer especially on super hot days. Look for tops that have performance properties and at the same time do not compromise the need of fashion; style it up by pairing the top with a cute skirt and some accessories of your own choice.
A packable raincoat is also essential during the mid-day thunderstorms, and can be used as a third layer if the temperature drops unexpectedly.
Dresses and Bottoms
Imagine wearing your favorite blue jeans while walking under the scorching heat of the sun at around 25-30 C, uncomfortable and undeniably “warm”, right? Your jeans might not be the perfect match for the humidity Saigon has to offer, it is advisable to go for loose-fitting jogger pants for male and flowy dresses/skirts for females.
Pro tip about clothing anywhere you go is avoid wearing black – this color absorbs the heat rather than bouncing it off. So basically, it’s like you are welcoming the heat with arms wide open!
However, wearing dark colored shirts will help conceal the sweats. For days when the humidity is at its peak, your go-to OOTD will be fabric shorts and flowy dresses. A multi-colored, patterned short will easily match with an assortment of solid tops. Airy, lightweight shorts can also double as swimsuit cover-ups or sleepwear.
Also, a trendy version of the jean shorts in Saigon is the denim mini-skirt (or skort in some countries); this button up version is really popular right now. It’s a great option for exploring South Vietnam’s cities during the day or while having the best time of your nightlife.
You really don’t need a lot of pairs when travelling to Vietnam. Bringing along stilettos might not be the best option knowing you will be walking around exploring the city. Basically, your shoes depend on the type of activity that you have in mind for most of your trip.
Your first choice should be lightweight sneakers or for easy maneuvering – a slip on shoes can help too. They are breathable enough to wear in the heat and great for walking around the city.
If you think you need to pack another pair, make it a comfortable travel sandal — it’s a plus if it comes with a style to easily transition from day to night (you’ll never know when you stumble upon party invites from fellow travellers).
As you plan what to wear in Vietnam it’s also important to note that the shoe of choice for both travelers and locals are flip-flops. It doesn’t take a lot of space in your luggage and can easily be worn on short walks around the neighboring area, and most, all the locals wear them, too. Should you have any water-related activity such as snorkeling and kayaking, aqua shoes is also something that you can add to your packing list!