Singapore to Perth & Tips for Traveling Asia

Perth Travel Blog

 › entry 34 of 34 › view all entries
So today really culminates my trip! 8 months of travel; 6 countries, a bunch of monkeys and a lotta, lotta memories.

I could write some utter shite about how it was a life-changing experience and blah blah (it was of course, if only because I achieved a life-long dream and not everyone gets to), and that if you're thinking of going traveling you should just go (honest, book it now!). But instead, I'll just write some travel tips that seem to make sense now I've done it.

Travel Tips for Asia

- Some people say dump the Lonely Planet - if you are on a tight schedule and need to know everything without trial and error, get the book. If you are not worried about unexpected or unprectable delays and want to get off the beaten track (probably more by error than judgement), by all means dump The Book.
- Try local sweets and fruits (only peelable ones, or ones you have watched been peeled in front of you). It's a real pleasure finding wonderful new flavours you like.
- On bus journeys, buy lots of provisions (fruits, biscuits, sweets) and share them around. In some countries it's common to do that anyway, but even if it's not a local custom it's a nice gesture to local people, and also to other travelers who might become friends.
- Explore shops and supermarkets - I love looking at all the brands and types of products I'm not familiar with and trying them out.
- Don't buy all your toiletries or travel gadgets at home. Adaptors, toiletries, cushions and eye masks can be picked up at a tiny fraction of the cost in cheaper countries.
- Do NOT buy the Lonely Planet at home. Pick one up for the country when you arrive; hostels/book shops/part exchange shops/street vendors will sell them at a tiny fraction of the cost. Do not be ripped off at home! (eg $40 per book, compared to $4.50 or less in Asia)
- Don't bring too many clothes, you'll be buying new ones in every country.
- Bring proper walking shoes, even if you're not inclined towards exercise. To see the best stuff you often have to walk, trek, climb or cave and having durable shoes that support is important. They don't have to be heavy-duty, Merrell are light as normal trainers and well worth the expense.
- Don't expect to pick up cheap shoes and trainers in Asia if you have bigger feet. They are small-boned nations, they don't cater for giant western feet (anything above a 6).
- Don't use the hotel recommendations from Lonely Planet; commonly they are ruined by their own success and have little interest in good service and competitive prices since the advert brings them regular business regardless. If there are touts at the bus drop ask for photos, prices etc and if it sounds alright most drivers will drive you there for you to look. If you don't like it fine, but you have a free lift and doubtless there will be plenty of other guest houses in that area to look at too. Chances are though you'll get a great guesthouse that will bend over backwards for you since they all also want to be in the Lonely Planet.

So the only question that remains to be asked is... where shall I go next time? :)

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photo by: cimtech