Luggage and bags:
A day pack to bring on your treks is a good idea. But these can also be baught in Sapa
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring clothes to suit the local weather! In January to March it can be quit cold, foggy and rainy. A fleece, raincoat/windbreaker, and good trekking shoes is advisable! These items are available here, but at not so fair prices... Rubber boots are cheap in the market, though!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It is always smart to have a first aid kit, at leat when you go trekking. And ladies, tampons are hard to find here...
Photo Equipment: Bring your camera! Any camera will do. You will regret it if not bringing one!
Luggage and bags:
Most trekking tour agents in Sapa have temporary room for trekkers to wash up on arrival or departing from/to Hanoi. Most trekkers leave their main luggages in the room and take a lighter backpack for the trek. To avoid missing out on important items, it will be a good idea to prepack your backpack ready-to-go in Hanoi as you have only about 2 hours upon arrival from the train station before you start trekking. Bring spare locks for your main lauggages and your backpack.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sleepers can be a common hall or private room, comprising foam bedding and mosquitoes net. The bedding seems clean enough, but if you are concern about bugs, a good idea is to have a silk sleep-sack to keep any crawling bugs away. I had a poncho, but did not see the need to use it. I brought mosquitoes repellant and anti-bacteria gel but didn’t notice any mosquitoes (perhaps was too cold in winter).
Essential items to have for the trek are some layers of warm & light clothing (morning can be cold but get pretty warm during the day as you trek), a torchlight, hand towel & toiletries, spare clothing and socks (I ran out of socks & clothing to change on my 3rd day as my washings couldn’t get dry in the cold and damp air. A pair of sturdy trekking shoe is essential but trekking stick is optional.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: December is cool and dry, which is great for trekking. Drinking water and food are widely available in villages. Homestays that I stayed have clean but basic hot shower, flush toilet with toilet roll and power socket for recharging your phone and camera.
Photo Equipment: Bring your chargers for camera, handphone, Ipod etc, but bring along an adapter if your power oin is not a 2-pin power pluck.
Miscellaneous: Dinners are mostly stirred fried greens, tofu, and meat and of course rice wine. I found the food delicious especially the garlic French fries. Breakfasts and lunches are light - loaves with cheese and greens or instant noodles. You may wish to bring your own food to complement what are been offered. I brought along a can of chilly tuna and several energy bars. Bottled water is availalble in villages, and your guide will provide you with one each day.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The trek along the mountain in Sapa is really bad, due to the rain the nite before. A pair of wellies is the best to battle through the muddy trek. None of us have it with us, but you can get it fairly cheaply in the market in the town area.
In Sa Pa it is frequently wet. You will be very uncomfortable if you don't have something to keep you and your gear dry. You can buy cheap rain poncho thingies easily at Sa Pa.
It also can be pretty cold - so don't be caught without something warm to wear.
Luggage and bags:
Keep your luggage as light as possible as you'll be hiking with them! Please bring ample water and minimal change of clothes!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Shoes will have to be good enough for hiking on rough and muddy terrain for long distances. Basically we can spend the whole morning hiking from a village to another.. but it was a nice experience!
Miscellaneous: A sturdy walking stick (or your camera tripod/monopod) will be useful. When navigating steep slopes, these will come in handy. Alternatively, you can purchase a sturdy stick from little girls peddling them - knowing tourist will find it hard to navigate. Your can make your own too!