Rainforests, volcanoes, beaches and rice fields—it certainly has a wonderful mix of destinations to see and experience. Southeast Asia is definitely one of the most stimulating regions to explore in the world. You can spend the day exploring Buddhist temples, try white-water rafting in the afternoon and go partying at night on the beach.
In other words, there’s enough to see and experience in the destination to keep you hooked. Here are some tips to get the most of your backpacking in the region.
1. Check the Weather Forecast
Southeast Asia sits near the equator and, therefore, generally experiences hot and humid climate. However, keep in mind that every country has microclimates, so make sure to check the weather forecast to see the possible weather in your destination during your excursion.
2. Try the Street Food
Southeast Asia is the home of the most flavourful and exotic cuisines in the world, and the best news is that the cheapest is often the tastiest. Hawker stalls and night markets are great for trying many different dishes at very low prices.
3. Budget Carefully, But Splurge a Bit
Your everyday budget depends on your destination and how comfortable you want to be. You can get through the day, though, on a budget as little as $30 a day, but for this amount, you will likely sleep in a basic accommodation, travelling on non-air conditioned buses and eating on food stalls. For a more convenient trip, consider shelling out a little more.
4. Embrace the Outdoors
There are plenty of activities to satisfy your adventurous heart. You can go biking in the north of Vietnam, kayaking in Thailand or surfing in Indonesia—that’s for the starters. For trekkers and hikers, Laos and Malaysian Borneo have some of the best outdoor venues to explore.
5. Take Public Transport
Public transport in Southeast Asia offers better value than public transport in Western countries. This is often one of the things westerners want to experience when in Asia. Not only it’s affordable, it also gives you a chance to socialize with the locals. However, be prepared as you might get stuck in terrible traffic at some places.
6. Stay Healthy
Majority of travellers who get ill during a trip in Southeast Asia suffer nothing more than an upset stomach. But it’s still vital to secure a health insurance before leaving home and get vaccinated before going on a trip. Also, keep in mind that some illnesses may not show up immediately, so if you become ill weeks or months after returning home, it could be something you caught during your trip. Make sure to see a doctor right away.
Explore as much as you can and try things you’ve never tried before, but above all, don’t forget to be a smart traveller.