Traveling in Asia – What to Look Out For

June 7, 2011 by  
Filed under General Fun

Asia is a bewilderingly large continent, home to an incredible range of different cultures and languages. It not the easiest of places to get around, and even the most seasoned of travellers will come across some hurdle or other – though how high it’ll be is anyone’s guess. Here are 10 basic tips to see you through your trip with relative ease…

1. Learn the lingo

Although people on the Asian continent aren’t particularly snooty about whether or not you speak their native tongue, being able to communicate is always a bonus, and knowing the word for ‘please’, for example, could make all the difference in some situations.

2. Know your Asian countries

As we’ve already said, Asia contains more countries than any other continent, so learn about where you’re going and make sure you know which gestures and/or words denote respect and which denote derision. Don’t get it wrong, or you could find yourself in a heap of trouble.

3. Make sure you always carry US dollars

While currency exchanges will always recognise the American dollar, some hotels and tour operators in places like Cambodia and the poorer Asian countries won’t accept anything else.

4. Dip your toe in

If you are travelling around South East Asia, start off in Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore – these cities will gently ease you into Asian culture. For those in Asia for the first time, some degree of culture shock is inevitable. The language is completely alien, the food is often like nothing you’ve ever tried before and the manner of the people quite different to those we might be used to at home.

5. Go local

While you might at first feel out of your depth when it comes to eating out, make sure you dive right in. You can always refer to your guide book for help, and because Asian people are generally so friendly, they won’t mind you pointing out what the guy next to you is chowing down on, and it might even win you a bit of a giggle.

6. Know what’s in store

Asia can be a place of political and social unrest, so it’s crucial that you check out the news and contact your embassy, if necessary, for the latest travel advice.

7. Learn how to haggle

Every Asian community, urban or rural, revolves around a market. Most items will have a marked price, but that’s a mere formality. Be reasonable, find a happy medium and smile at all times. It’s considered in many places to be a snub if you don’t haggle, so give it a go – you’ll only get better, and it’s a lot of fun. Always remember that if you feel pressured, the vendor won’t mind if you walk away from the transaction.

8. Beware of scams

While Asia is rich in culture, breathtaking scenery and generous people, it’s also riddled with poverty, which can make people creative when it comes to a bit of a tourist scam. Keep your wits about you. While most scams are relatively harmless, having things stolen from you will certainly put a downer on things. It’s best to get covered before you go away, so for worldwide travel insurance moneysupermarket is the best place to look.

9. Don’t be afraid to break away from your itinerary

Don’t make rigid plans – you’ll meet people with great stories of where they’ve been, make friends with people you’ll want to travel around with, and may love somewhere you visit more than life itself. Before you go, make a general bucket list and make sure you leave plenty of room to ad lib.

10. Most of all – be patient

Traveling through most parts of Asia can be tricky and rough. The heat, the alien cultures and the language barriers can take their toll if you let them, so whenever the adverse happens, don’t rise to it. Saving face is an very important part of Asian culture, so losing control of your emotions could render you a fool in Asian eyes, and most of all, it won’t get you anywhere.

Unearthing Asia is a travel magazine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best cheap maldives holidays ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia.