MALCOLM W. BROWNE:
Saigon AP Bureau Handbook
South Viet Nam has three seasons: The hot season, the monsoon season, and the dry season. These seasons are not uniform in all parts of the country.
In Saigon, dinner clothes are sometimes useful for resident correspondents at diplomatic functions. Dinner jackets (white) and trousers can be made up in the city for about 3,000 piastres.
Dark suits and ties are standard for all receptions, cocktail parties, dinners, and most government press conferences. Suits and ties when the presidential family is involved in any function.
Sports shirts and slacks (but not shorts) are appropriate for everything else in Saigon.
For the field, a light sweater and pancho or plastic raincoat are advisable in the highlands, especially in the dry and monsoon seasons. In some mountainous areas blankets are needed at night.
Cotton bush jackets and pants or ordinary army fatigues are best for the field. Bush jackets have pockets that hold more than fatigues. They can be made up at local stores.
Shoes or Vietnamese combat shoes are not recommended. The soles will not stop foot spikes. If a correspondent expects to be in Viet Nam for some time, he should buy a good pair of boots. They can be custom made for about 1,000 piastres. Some correspondents have had bootmakers install steel plates inside the soles, for extra protection against spikes.
SPIKES ARE VERY DANGEROUS AND PAINFUL, ALL OF VIET NAM ABOUNDS WITH THEM, AND THEY SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED.
Gear should also include a light, cheap hat and sun glasses.
Locally made clothing is cheap.
Courtesy Malcolm W. Browne.