25 Backpacker Tips for South East Asia

Heading for a trip to South East Asia and not sure what to expect? Trying to get your head around all the stories (good and bad) to work out what to do? You know to eat from the street stalls, and to always haggle but what about the little things, the things no one talks about until you are there? See below for a list of 25 backpacker tips for South East Asia on how to survive one of the most exciting, random and colourful regions in the world.

25 travel tips for south east asia

  1. “Thai time” is any time except the specified time – no point getting angry that the bus is six hours late, pull up a piece of curb and get used to the wait.
  2. If you pay the actual price for ANYTHING – you’re being ripped off. Having said that, sometimes think about what that last dollar you are haggling over means to you and what it will mean to the other person.
  3. A “little hot” means – very very hot, so hot your eyes will water and your lips will go numb. Chilli eating contests are fun… just make sure you have a large beer handy to numb the pain.
  4. Prepare yourself for food poising so bad that you will wish you were dead – it will happen at least once.

25 travel tips for south east asia

  1. Don’t think about what the black stuff that soon covers your feet in sandals or thongs is as you tramp the city streets actually is.
  2. Embrace the taste of pancakes and fruit shakes. They are amazing!
  3. Sitting in a “friends bar” is the best way to cure a bucket hangover. Let the antics of Joey and Phoebe wash away the pain of the night before (Koh Phangan and Vang Vieng have the best ones complete with fruit shakes and pancakes)
  4. It is impossible to have only 1 bucket…
  5. Have a few drinks with your fellow backpacker before you agree to spend the next few days travelling with them.
  6. Motos are fun… and dangerous – pack Band-Aids… lots of Band-Aids25 travel tips for south east asia
  7. Try to acclimatise yourself to the hot weather by not using air con; don’t be disappointed if you don’t succeed.
  8. It is impossible to drown out the Cambodian/Vietnamese pop played on the local buses with your iPod.
  9. Don’t expect Western food to taste anything like you have ever tasted before – give it up otherwise your taste buds will hate you
  10. The longer you travel the less you use the hand sanitizer as you realise that it really makes no difference except in your head.
  11. Take a cooking class or three – best way to experience the local food, meet people and spend a pleasant evening.
  12. Don’t trust monkeys – they are cute and devious
  13. All material possessions are replaceable – repeat this to yourself as you realise something of yours has been stolen.
  14. Fire dancing is best left to the professionals if you care about your arm hair and dignity
  15. Nobody can get an audience moving and grooving like a Thai cover band.
  16. Careful when taking off your thongs (flip flops) when entering most shops and restaurants, someone else may mistake them as theirs and you will leave with mismatched thongs
  17. It is inevitable that your bus will break down… On a hill.
  18. That girl, is actually a guy – get over it.
  19. All the good temples are at the top of hundreds of stairs… your thighs will burn baby burn!
  20. You will plot the DJ’s death once he has played the same song 6 times in the last two hours
  21. You are having the time of your life – don’t sweat the little things!

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