On my bucket list is to spend more time exploring Asia, in particular, Southeast Asia. I love beaches, diving, watersports, and amazing hiking. that's why I reached out to my peer travel writer and fellow adventurer, Dariel Smith, to share his Southeast Asia travel tips. Although he is originally from the U.K., Dariel is currently in Bali.
Enjoy Dariel's Southeast Asia travel tips!
Southeast Asia is a backpacker’s paradise as it is cheap to live and has some of the friendliest people in the world. The tropical beaches and clear blue waters are a tropical wonderland, and when you visit islands like Bali and Java, you may well stay longer than you intended. They are havens for people of all interests and places that every backpacker in Southeast Asia should visit. They are not just perfect for backpackers though. They are ideal vacation destinations as the millions of people that travel to Southeast Asia every year will confirm.
As well as the mainland there are more than 20,000 islands in Southeast Asia many of them uninhabited. The ones that do have people living on them have a diverse mix of cultures and you are likely to encounter different traditions and festivals on each one. You need to be aware that what is good on one island may not be so good on another, so watch out for the way different cultures handle their lifestyles.
Learn To Ride A Motorbike
The large cities of Southeast Asia have b very good public transport, but move away from them is it can get a bit unreliable. Learn to ride a motorbike and get yourself around to everywhere you want to go. They are very cheap to rent, not overly sized engines so very manageable and you will probably see more of the countryside than any other way.
If you are not sure you want to learn to ride, you will usually find motorbikes that are prepared to take to wherever you want to go. Just agree the price before you set off so that they cannot just take the longest route and charge you more.
It does not matter where you are in the world, you should always keep your documents safe. Being stuck in a foreign country with no passport can be a nightmare. If you look at the site uspassporthelpguide.com it has all the information you need from the places to find the cheapest acceptable passport photos should you need them if yours is lost or stolen. You can also find information on what to do about your predicament at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/after/lost-stolen.html.Bookmarl these sites and you will be well prepared.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Regardless of whether you are backpacking through Southeast Asia on a budget, or there on a two-week vacation with money no problem, travel insurance is a must. No one expects to become ill or be injured while they are away, but it does sometimes happen. The cost of medical treatment can be high and you need the peace of mind of knowing that you can get whatever treatment you need, and be flown back to the US if necessary.
Embrace the Cuisine
Southeast Asia has many street cafes where you can watch the fresh local produce being cooked before you eat it. You can have a meal for less than $2 and it will be more than enough to satisfy your appetite for quite a few hours. There are places that sell foods from different countries from all over the world, and if you have a hankering for burger and fries you will find somewhere serving without too much difficulty. Leave those behind you for a while though. The food in Southeast Asia is tasty without being too spicy and so diverse you will enjoy delights you will not find anywhere else.
This part of the world has so much to offer to visitors of all ages and interests, you just have to remember that you are in another country and respect their way of life.
**Post contributed by Dariel Smith from the U.K., but currently in Bali. His next stop is unknown.**