Don’t judge me – the Asian things I pack

You can take an Asian out of the country, but you can’t take the Asian out of us. What can I say, I need my soy sauce.

Asian condiments

And not just soy sauce, but Sriracha too. When we stay in hostels or apartments with a full kitchen, we’d sometimes cook breakfast and soy sauce on our over-easy eggs in the morning is a regular for us. Full size condiments and spices were wasteful and expensive to buy. Now we just bring our own little emergency kit of condiments.


Ca phe (Vietnamese coffee) and green tea bags

Vietnamese coffee is amazing, and I’m not just saying that because I’m Vietnamese. And Vinacafe 3 in 1 instant coffee mix is just pure genius in a bag! Each packet is complete with sugar, cream and coffee — just add hot water! It’s perfectly appropriate for those lazy rise to jump start our morning before heading out to explore a city. In addition, this is not related to tea, but I know you’ll need this before exploring, a skincare product that will build your confidence to face people with confidence! got your back!


Ramen noodles

As much as we love trying new foods and enjoying local eats wherever we are, some days we just crave the comforts of home and MAMA’s silver bags of ramen noodles hits the spot every time. I even bring my own plastic bowl and chopsticks, it’s that serious. We always had a cup o’ noodles on hand for long bus rides, waiting in train stations and late night arrivals to an unfamiliar city.


Dau xanh

Dau xanh (literally translated to green oil) Is like Tiger balm, but much stronger.. and smellier. The Eagle Brand Medicated Oil is magic healing solution in a jar. Most of the time, I dab it on my belly for tummy aches and rub it on my chest for chest pains. Other times, just the smell of it is comforting and soothes my bodily aches and pain.

Photo Nov 02, 7 28 45 PM (1)


For all the lumpy beds and deflated pillows stressing my shoulders and giving me neck aches and lower back pains, Salonpas is my savior! Gerard hates the smell, but I like it! Not to mention the aches and pain are gone by the morning and I wake up feeling super relaxed.


Japanese face mask

I may look ghostly and funny for a good 15-minutes, but at least my skin feels re-hydrated afterward. Between traveling by planes, trains and automobiles, different climates and road conditions, long days on the road really takes a toll on your skin and your face. These are great to refresh and recharge especially right after you’ve just landed in a foreign place. Switzerland also boasts some incredible skin care products which are among the best in the world so see here for the best skin care products in Switzerland.


What’s a comfort item you take with you while traveling?

P.S., it doesn’t have to be Asian. 🙂


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  • Rika – Cubicle Throwdown

    Such good ideas, especially the Salonpas!!

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      I swear by those! Haha

  • Edna

    Ha I used to eat those white packs of ramen all the time in Paris! I’ve never seen them outside Paris actually, I thought they were a French ramen brand! another time I had two couchsurfers bring me that exact pack of ca phe, and I had to ration them haha. Also, we have that green stuff in China too and I used to douse myself in it as a kid because I’d get so many mosquito bites!

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha I would probably ration the ca phe powder too if I had a ca phe crisis. Hehe and oh that green stuff works great on mozzy bites!

  • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer

    Love this post 😀 I am not Korean but after living in Korea for a couple of years I crave Korean things like kimchi and gochujang when traveling. While I cannot pack kimchi in my purse, I certainly might pack some gochujang in my bag from time to time; I like it spicy!

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      I LOVE that stuff! How do you pack them to-go? We should figure out how to bring kimchi on the road — that would be awesome. haha

      • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer

        Gochujang can sometimes be found in small squeeze tubes!

  • Traveling Ted

    Cute post. I think I need to make a trip to the local Asian grocery store.

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL thanks Ted. Let us know if you need help navigating the aisles. 😉

  • thetravelchica

    No judgement whatsoever. In Latin America, I traveled with a pepper mill, Splenda packets, and way too many tubes of Burts Bees lip balm. Next time I go back, I’ll be bringing my Aeropress and hand-grinder for making a decent cup of coffee 🙂

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      A pepper mill, classic!

  • Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels

    I usually pack a few Tetley tea bags if I’m travelling out of the country. You just can’t get a good cup of orange pekoe tea in most places. Yeah, yeah I know it’s essentially tea dust but it’s tea dust that’s familiar and comforting.

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      No judgement from me. I like a good cup of Japanese roasted green tea and you just can’t substitute that taste anywhere so I started bringing my own. 😛

  • The British Berliner

    I like to take teabags too. I really can’t do without my English cuppa. In this case PG Tips LOL! I live in Germany and the only place to get them is ironically either in the British expat shop, or the local Vietnemese supermarket!

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha you can find anything in a Vietnamese supermarket huh!! So funny.. glad you’re able to get your English tea fix in Germany. 😀

  • TripsByLance

    I’m really struggling to think of something I can’t live without. I would say coffee only because if I go more than one day without it I get headaches. But as long as I can get a cup of tea I’m good. When we traveled to Europe a couple of years ago with our then-5-year-old son we had to carry a large peanut butter jar with us for his snacks. Now, he won’t even eat peanut butter.

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      Oh I know a couple of people who packs peanut butter jars with them too! Haha so funny your son won’t eat them any more. Packed one too many jars I guess 😉

  • finelinetravels

    We always have some instant coffee in our backpacks just in case! We also just finished a 20 day East African safari, and I came with a my backpack full of gluten free cereal, bread and protein bars! Lol.

    • Kieu – GQ trippin

      Us too! First time we ever brought protein bars.. and actually ate all of them in East Africa. We even tried to find more on market run days for our long bus rides. haha