South East Asia is a beautiful place to travel, with a wide variety of cultures to experience. But there is plenty you need to know to survive and not sweat the small things on your trip. If you've already travelled there, these might re-kindle some memories!
You Know That “Mild Hot” Means VERY Hot
You may have wanted to eat a spicy dish in Asia and ordered the mildly hot. But when you taste it, your mouth is on absolute FIRE! Everything in Asia is purposely 10 time hotter than anything you've ever tasted before! You are better off just avoiding the hot sauce all together. Especially if you don't want to keep making runs to the toilet constantly throughout your travels.
But if you’re into the extremely hot, Asia is also known for it’s great chilli eating contests. It seems as if some people are born with already numb tongues and crying eyes because of how much the contestants can withstand. The Thai's are notorious for the love of anything hot. Evidenced by the fact they even have absurdly hot sauce on their breakfast!
Travel off the beaten track, Rent-A-Moto/Scooter to gain more mileage on your travels
You will see plenty of travellers renting scooters in South East Asia, especially in Vietnam and Thailand. But if you have been to Asia, chances are you had plenty of Band-Aids on your knees if you were a first time rider. Lots of travellers fall on their first attempt to ride one of these. Even we had some problems! The locals will make it all look easy, navigating around the congested city streets, but be mindful that they have many years of experience under their belts.
The fares for renting a scooter around Southeast Asia are usually $5 a day (US dollars), depending on where you go. You also have to be careful of other motorists on the road as it gets a bit hectic with both car and scooter riders on the same road!
Deviously Cute Monkeys
It is known in Asia that the monkeys are cute but a tad devious. They will try to play tricks, whilst you are standing there and act cute right afterwards. Monkeys are also notorious for trying to pick something from your pocket. But you will forgive them quickly because of their adorability – you might have already if you have been to Asia!
Monkeys may jump on your back from behind or they may play with your hair and give you a scare. If you've come into contact with a monkey in Asia, you can probably give your first hand experience of these adorable creatures that are extremely intelligent.
Sandals in Restaurants
You will most likely have to take off your sandals before entering a place of worship or a family home, which is fine and dandy. But if it’s your favourite pair, you may want to put a tag of some sort on them as many people mistake their sandals for someone else’s. If you have been to Southeast Asia, you may have left a restaurant with mismatched shoes. Who knows, you may be walking out and complimenting someone else’s sandals not knowing they are your own!
Tips on keeping your sandals/avoiding a sandal-tastrophe:
- Putting a lock in between them (this sounds a little crazy but if they’re a designer pair, it could work – although this may draw attention).
- Put them in your bag/satchel/purse.
- Buy a cheap pair and don’t care if they get taken by accident – always keep an extra pair in your bag!
- Many popular places of worship provide lockers for a small fee.
If you want to stay in and eat, stream some Netflix – just make sure you read our ‘Keeping Safe Connecting to Public WiFi in Asia Guide‘.
Fire Dancing Is For Professionals Only
If you attend somewhere that has a cultural performance, parade or street party, you may see a fire dancer or two. While it looks amazing, the drinks you just had may also play a part in your thinking. Leave it to the professionals and keep your hair un-singed. Take out your camera and leave it to the artists of the craft.
South East Asia is an amazing place with many different countries that offer a variety of things to do. There are hundreds of different cultures, types of people, food and more. Take some common sense and you will have no problems surviving the awesomeness!
Guest Post Written by Jess, Tripelio:
My parents were travelers since before I was born. Even in the womb, I was able to travel all over the place! Boy, did things NOT change as I grew older! Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble I live in made me want to travel even further. Traveling is my drug and I’m addicted. (Please, no intervention!)
Check out Jess's Blog: www.tripelio.com