The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books ever and I’d like to start with a sentence from it:
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.”
I agree. Though for me, it’s not a towel, but a sarung. And well, I’m not a hitch hiker, but a traveler.
The one item that I always bring whenever I travel is my sarung. Sometimes I even bring more than one. I normally bring 2 when I travel in South East Asia. And 1 when I travel outside of South East Asia. It’s the most versatile item in my bag and I use it in so many ways. So here are 11 reasons on why I always travel with a sarung:
1. It’s great as a cover up to enter a religious place.
Many temples and religious places require both male and female to cover their legs. So if you’re in a hot country and been traveling in shorts, you can easily use a sarung to cover up. For females, you can use it as a head cover when you visit a mosque.
2. Perfect as a blanket or a wrap if you’re cold
Whether you’re on the train or in the car or airplane, Sarung is a great way to warm yourself up if you’re cold.
Or if you go to a hostel and find out they don’t have blanket (which happened to me before), you got your sarung!
3. Of course you can simply use it as a sarung
Often times I love wearing a sarung instead of a skirt. I use it around the house/ hotel. I even use it with my top to go out. And as how it’s most commonly used, sarung is a perfect body wrap when you go to the beach or to swim.
4. Or be creative and turn it into other items of clothing!
You can turn a sarung into a dress, a top, a belt. Or even a hat! Check out Harper’s Bazaar’s idea on turning a sarung (a large scarf in this case) into various dresses on this link.
5. To cover up before you shower/ To cover up while you shower
This is actually one of the essential and traditional use of sarung in South East Asia.
If, like me, you stay in many hostels with shared bathroom, sometimes, the shared batrooms are located down the hallway where you gotta pass lots of people. And sometimes the shower cubicle is so small that it’s impossible to put on your fresh clothes without getting them wet after the shower. So, in those situations, I use my sarung before and after the shower so I can walk past people and not worry so much about hanging my clothing items in the tiny cubicle.
In rare instances where you end up in a monastery or a village and have to take a bath from a bucket behind a 1-side-only wall that is as high as your chest (true story of a traveler), you can use your sarung to take a bath. This was how south east Asian ladies take baths in the river back in the days. Since then, our mothers bring us sarung when we girls go camping. Cause well, there’s only a river to take bath from, and ya gotta cover up!
6. Use it as a towel replacement when you go to the beach.
I did this so many times in this last trip to Bali. Just cause I only had a small exercise towel with me. So normally I use my small towel to wipe my face and wipe the rest of the body with the sarung.
7. Use it to cover yourself when you need to change in public place or places like the car.
Use it to cover your legs if you need to change your pants in public. Wrap it loosely around your top if you need to change your top in public.
8. Lay it on the ground when you go to the beach or picnic
Pretty self explanatory. I think we do this all the time.
9. Turn it into a bag if you’re in desperate needs to have an extra bag.
You can follow the steps on this link to make your sarung bag. Or be creative and make your own!
10. Make your own makeshift tent to give some shade when you need to.
Find a branch or any stick to prop it up. And go underneath it. Some places get so hot you’ll be glad you got a sarung to get a temporary shade.
11. Use it as a table cloth if you have a special event and need something nicer to spruce up the look.
Or it can also be used as a wall decoration or any other part of the decoration!
If you don’t have one yet, I say, get yourself a sarung!
Do some shopping around and find one that suits you best. You want one with soft material that dries easily. And also large enough to be wrapped around your body.
I personally love my 2m x 1m sarung cause I can turn that into a wrap dress. I also tend to bring my beach sarungs rather than my batik cloth cause the beach ones are more versatile for traveling. I keep my batik cloth for special ocassions where I have to dress up and use my kebaya.
If you need any advice of recommendation, just holler and I’ll be happy to help you!
And if you have an item that you can’t travel without, I would love to hear it!
And with that, I hope you continue to explore this magnificent world we live in.