A women’s guide to packing for Asia

If you are going to an Asian country for a long holiday, or even to relocate, then you might be wondering what you should be packing. Certain things are more difficult (or expensive) to find in Asia then what you are used to.

These are a few of the things a foreign woman might need to bring along to Asia.

Clothes in your size – Women in Asia are typically smaller than their western counterparts. So unless you are a petite person you might struggle to find clothing in your size. This is especially true for shoes. If your feet are larger than a size 6 you should bring along enough shoes to last for a while. Similarly if your bra size is bigger than an A.

Prescription medicines – You can certainly get the medication you need in Asia, but whenever travelling it is always safest to stock up on your prescription medication just in case there is any holdup with finding a new supply or the particular brand you prefer.

Deodorant – You might struggle to find a deodorant or antiperspirant that you like, or that doesn’t have whitening agents in them. So it is best to stock up on a few units to keep you smelling fresh.

Tampons – While this is slowly changing in some countries, tampons are not widely used in Asia. It can be quite a shock for the western woman, so unless you want to switch your menstrual products, you had best bring along a supply with you.

Cosmetic and skin products – Skin whitening is a serious trend in Asia, so it can be difficult to find products without them. That being said, you probably will be able to find a source for skincare products within time, but to make the transition easier for you it is best to come with a full supply of your own favourite products. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin or special requirements. If you have dark-toned skin then you should definitely bring along makeup.

Sunscreen isn’t widely available and can be quite expensive because it’s generally just used by foreigners. Even sunscreen is filled with whitening agents. And forget about finding certain products like bronzer and self-tan.

Razors – Again, a difference in physiology means that Asian women have less need for razors. While you can find them it will be with some difficulty and looking for them will make you feel hairy.

It probably sounds like your luggage sets are mostly going to be filled with clothes and cosmetics! You probably can eventually find everything you need in Asia, even if you have to buy online. It’s just that some of the things you take for granted will be difficult to find and likely very expensive. If there are any other products you can’t live without or brands you are loyal to, it’s best to bring them along from home.


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