17 Asia travel hacks

one.

If you arrive in an Asian country at night, the best option is to stay at the airport until morning. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds – most airports have plenty of nooks and crannies. So you will avoid double fare for a taxi and paying extra nights in a hotel. In the morning you leave the terminal, bypass greedy taxi drivers and catch cheap public transport to the most popular tourist area – such places are usually packed with hotels, Google Maps will not let you lie. Before lunch, you have time to go around several hostels and find the best price (I hope you did not book the hostel in advance?). Profit! Do not believe the oaths of interested parties that “we don’t have public transport here”, it is available almost everywhere. You are in Asia, but still not in the Gobi Desert.

2.

Those who stay in a hostel for a week or more can negotiate a discount of at least 5-10% on the spot. Arriving by taxi or tuk-tuk, do not let the driver follow you – the manager will realize that you are only from the airport and do not yet know the real handouts, so the price of the room can immediately jump up so that the hotel can pay the bombilla a bribe for “customer pushing”. If you need housing for a month, then it is better to use the Airbnb website or buy a local SIM card and google ads for renting apartments (you can also stumble upon them on the bulletin board in some 7-Eleven stores) – you will be without neighbors, but with a kitchen and your own refrigerator, from where no one will steal anything.

3.

If the room requires a special card to be inserted into the slot by the door in order for the electricity to work, and therefore it is impossible to charge batteries or a laptop while outside the room (because the card is attached to the key), do this: eat a penny kebab from the street tray, put the wand into the slot, feel for the mikrik button inside, press and fix. The light will burn exactly as long as you yourself (s) want it.

4.

The bathroom “pleases” with a spartan decor and there is nowhere to put even a toothbrush? The “glass” for washing accessories is easily cut out of a plastic bottle: the upper half is cut off, a hole is burned in the wall with a cigarette, the resulting glass is hung on a towel hook. Fans of more elegant solutions can leave a valve-tongue sticking up on the side of the glass in the form of a toilet lid and make a hole already in it. To prevent the phone being charged from lying on the floor, instead of a stand, the same glass, hung directly on the plug, is suitable – in this case, the hole in the valve, of course, will need more. However, a regular plastic bag with handles often helps.

five.

The guesthouse does not have a refrigerator, but does the room have air conditioning? To conserve perishable food, take a Chinese chopstick or S-shaped coat hook and stick it into the slot at the top of the air conditioner. Food is placed in a bag and hung on this “nail” under a stream of cold air. Products are stored this way for up to a week or even longer, although you will probably have to sleep under a blanket. An additional plus is that ants most likely will not get to the air storage.

6.

Street food is cheap only at first glance, a lot of money still burns up in a month. Therefore, in the long run, it is better to eat from the markets that are in any area. After dinner, prices there fall, much is given for next to nothing. Does the hostel have no kitchen? Not a problem. Buy a cheap rice cooker ($6-15) at the supermarket, install it in your room, profit! On it, with a certain skill, you can cook almost anything, up to steaks. Boiling tea is even easier. Tip: take a room with a window so you don’t have any problems with ventilation. Naturally, it is better not to show the owners of the institution a magical device.

7.

In Asia, all drinking water is purchased. In stores, it is quite expensive, but you want to drink all the time. What to do? Look for cheap water vending machines (as in Thailand or Malaysia), they are usually installed in quiet streets where visitors do not walk. You can also boil tap water in a rice cooker and bottle it. In the first case, water costs fall 10 times, in the second it is generally free.

8.

Expensive brands of cigarettes are available everywhere, but you don’t need expensive brands, do you? Look for local or smuggled ones. For example, in Thailand, at 7-Eleven stores, ask at the checkout to move the panel that hides local cigarettes. In Malaysia, ask street sellers of fruits, drinks and newspapers, there are stands everywhere. In Hong Kong, ask any street “helper” or “barker” offering to make a suit or selling counterfeit Rolexes for cheap cigarettes. The locals somehow live. And so you live.

nine.

How not to get poisoned? Don’t drink raw tap water. Take a boiler with you, and preferably two (in Asia, they are tense). Make your own ice in the freezer or buy sealed bags in decent stores.

Street food is perfectly safe in countries like the ambitious Thailand or the well-done Philippines. Trays and canteens work there only half a day, so the food does not have time to spoil even in the heat. Another thing is India or Sri Lanka, where hygiene and sanitation are not included in the list of obligatory benefactors and you can get enchanted even in a decent-looking restaurant. If your stomach categorically does not accept any local cuisine, and McDonald’s is tired, find a way to cook yourself. Buckwheat and black bread are rare in Southeast Asia, but there are many interesting vegetables – for example, delicious “lady fingers”.


Remember to wash fruits that are eaten with the skin on. Buying meat and fish in the markets, try to do it before lunch. Before the markets close, when unsold goods are often discounted, pay attention to the smell, gills, color and try to cook the meat quickly.

If the worst still happened, most likely you will get off with the usual diarrhea (activated charcoal is your best friend). More serious poisonings are unlikely. Injuries that cannot be easily healed are another matter: medicine in Asia is not cheap, so in case you go to a local hospital with a broken limb, it is very useful to have fresh insurance. Insurance issued before the crisis and taking into account the old national currency rate will help little and is unlikely to cover anything. Fisherman’s friend lollipops sold in all small shops help with sore throats: in hot countries, night buses resemble refrigerators, blankets do not always help, and not everyone has outerwear, so if you are not frost-resistant (- a), lollipops will be needed sooner or later. Malaria mosquitoes are potentially dangerous only in the wild – jungle, various damp and wetlands; they are not found in big cities, where you can score with a calm soul for smearing with repellents.


10.

Plastic card or cash? Both. The card will not allow you to steal all your money at once; if you lose it, you can quickly freeze it or transfer money to another. In the event of force majeure, homeowners will always be able to transfer money to the card. The card is just convenient: for example, if you intend to use the world’s best low-cost airline AirAsia, tickets purchased through the website will cost half as much as those sold at the box office (although if the cardholder is not among the passengers indicated in the reservation, they questions may arise). The card allows you not to waste time looking for exchangers with a “normal” rate, contact dumb Sri Lankan money changers or hang around in lines at Chinese banks; and few where exchangers work in the evenings.

But remember: in Asia, ATMs charge a minimum of $5 for each withdrawal, so it’s better to withdraw $200 at once. In addition, not every ATM will accept a foreign card and not everywhere ATMs are at hand. And online purchases often require the introduction of an additional code, which is sent to the mobile phone number registered with the bank (moreover, roaming does not always work, so it makes sense to leave the mobile phone to relatives and receive all the codes from them via Skype). Another important point: when going on a trip, you need to increase the withdrawal limit ahead of time and provide your bank with a list of countries you intend to visit so that the card is not blocked at the most dramatic moment. Use a debit card, not a credit card – it will not allow you to get into debt.

It happens that the only ATM in the area is broken, so it’s always good to have a vintage “spare” with you in the form of a hundred dollar bill sewn into your underpants.

Where else can a card be useless? Southeast Asia is a world of small shops and canteens where only cash is accepted, and even in large supermarkets, electronic terminals are only found in some places. In addition, when entering some countries, a tourist may be required to present large amounts of cash confirming his ability to pay. The same can happen when applying for visas at embassies, and there is not always time and opportunity to make an extract from a bank account.

What to do if you are forced to demonstrate a considerable cash, relying on the “rules”? Let’s say you cross the border on a regular bus that won’t wait for you for a long time – you don’t have a bank statement, or they don’t take it into account, but you don’t want to “gold the pen” to the border guard for “simplifying the procedure”. Here you can play on arguments: at times it is enough to tell the clerk that you are afraid of theft, therefore you do not carry large sums with you – and they will let you through without further questioning. When more specific evidence is required, you can present a fresh check from the nearest ATM (not necessarily yours, you can also look in the urn) showing the account balance, or, if the ATM found does not issue such checks, take a picture of the monitor with numbers on your mobile phone and present the picture to the border guard . This also often rolls. But there are usually no ATMs in the arrivals halls, so it’s better to get a check or a screenshot right before departure. And of course, it happens that the only ATM in the area is broken, so it’s always good to have a vintage “reserve” with you in the form of a hundred dollar bill sewn into your underpants – it can come in handy at the most unexpected moment.

Nota Bene: If you are leaving an Asian country, but intend to return there soon, do not spend all the local currency down to a penny, leave 10 dollars: in most Southeast Asian countries, cashing out at the airport rate purely for the sake of buying a bus ticket is rather unprofitable occupation.

eleven.

Money in a hotel room is better to hide in the voids in the case of dry deodorants. They understand easily, but usually thieves do not look there. An option for reinsurers who do not trust the local staff: unscrew the wall panel and place the treasure there. However, in some countries this is not reinsurance.


12.

Avoid all kinds of street helpers. Almost everything they offer, you can easily do yourself, spending just a little more time. Don’t be fooled by the phrases “pay what you want” or “I’ll give you a price as a friend.” In Asia, there are very peculiar concepts of friendship, and there is nothing free here. Again, nothing is free here. Tourism is a business, if not for you, then for the locals, for sure.

13.

Going to any kind of establishment with depraved women, or inviting such women to your place, drink only what you have discovered yourself, and do not let go of the drink. Do not let anyone sit down with you hip to hip – even if your hand was at the same time thrust into other people’s underpants with all the treasures of the world. Your own treasures will leave your pockets faster than you finish your clonidine-charged cocktail. Googling at your leisure the statistics of local STDs and do not forget to protect yourself. Is always. ALWAYS.

fourteen.

How do you know if something is overpriced? No way. Proceed from the fact that for you it is always too high. The pale-faced stranger will immediately have to put up with the lack of price tags in almost all places, except for chain stores, large malls and supermarkets. In private shops and at street “bombs”, the first announced amount is always doubled, and everyone understands this, so bargaining is appropriate – by offering 30% and hearing condescending laughter in response, in the end you can often agree on 50%. If the merchant is stubborn, leave. You have nothing to lose: the speculator will either run after you, shouting that he agrees, or you will find a more accommodating huckster in a nearby shop with a similar assortment.

To wash off the stigma of “loha”, a priori sculpted on visitors, for the first time it can be useful to go out for food with one of the locals

Street food prices can be trusted – they are stable for everyone, although they may vary depending on the location of the outlet, so it is better to snack in less popular places. If the price is determined by the seller “by eye”, depending on how much food from different vessels you piled on your plate, most likely you will be heated by half a dollar to a dollar – but nothing can be done about it. In order to wash away the stigma of “loha”, a priori sculpted on visitors, for the first time it can be useful to go out for food with someone from the locals or just with an experienced tourist who knows the real selling price: another time, asking on the go “it costs a dollar, right? ”, You will no longer give the seller the opportunity to wag. If the hostel tells you a base price that is very different from what is given on the Internet (for example, on the Hostelworld website),

Nota Bene: Asia is not homogeneous, and it should be borne in mind that some nations, such as the Chinese or the Filipinos, are extremely reluctant to bargain. Someone works under the mafia roof and “keeps the price”, others are simply firmly convinced that “white suckers need to be shod.” If the price is inadequate, but the seller responds to your attempts at bargaining with caustic barbs – quit this business, let him “save face” for someone else.

15.

Wiring – where without them? Do not play any games of chance in Asia. Don’t fall for the protocol statements “I didn’t have breakfast today” or “My little sister needs some milk” (the milk will be sky-high and will be returned at half price to the shop before you can turn the corner). When accepting a hearty offer from locals to go boating with them or visiting their friends for their birthday, be prepared to end up paying for both the charter of the boat and the food. The taxi driver who brought you to the striptease club will most likely try to swindle you for an entrance ticket for him as well. The young ladies sitting enticingly at massage parlors and sex bars are not at all the young ladies who will end up massaging. Filmed and delivered to a hotel room, a prostitute with a high degree of probability will send an SMS to her “brother”, and he will come to visit with documents confirming her minority. In Thailand, a prostitute can be a boy filled with silicone. At the stations, do not buy any second-hand tickets: on occasion, you will be unpleasantly surprised by their real price (however, in guesthouses in Thailand and Cambodia, the extra charges for such services are quite humane). If the tuk-tuk driver is ready to drop the price on the condition that “we’ll go to the store first, just look!”, then let’s go away: the trip will turn into an endless voyage to various ateliers and jewelry stores, where you will be aggressively sold everything from pearls to suits to order, disarming with arguments like “okay, ok, name your price.” At the stations, do not buy any second-hand tickets: on occasion, you will be unpleasantly surprised by their real price (however, in guesthouses in Thailand and Cambodia, the extra charges for such services are quite humane). If the tuk-tuk driver is ready to drop the price on the condition that “we’ll go to the store first, just look!”, then let’s go away: the trip will turn into an endless voyage to various ateliers and jewelry stores, where you will be aggressively sold everything from pearls to suits to order, disarming with arguments like “okay, ok, name your price.” At the stations, do not buy any second-hand tickets: on occasion, you will be unpleasantly surprised by their real price (however, in guesthouses in Thailand and Cambodia, the extra charges for such services are quite humane). If the tuk-tuk driver is ready to drop the price on the condition that “we’ll go to the store first, just look!”, then let’s go away: the trip will turn into an endless voyage to various ateliers and jewelry stores, where you will be aggressively sold everything from pearls to suits to order, disarming with arguments like “okay, ok, name your price.”

In Thailand, a prostitute can be a boy filled with silicone

Do not leave things unattended – neither on the table in a restaurant, nor on the beach when you go swimming. Lock the room, leaving somewhere even for five minutes. When you ride a scooter in the backcountry, do not hang your camera on your shoulder – at best, dashing motorcyclists who catch up with you can cut it off on the go, at worst – aimingly kick your bike and rob your pockets while you, stunned, admire the stars in a ditch. Don’t take an iPhone selfie on the side of the road, don’t tempt passing bikers. When going out to remote places with locals you don’t know very well, decline offers to treat you to water – carry your own in a bottle, which probably does not contain any clonidine.

Nota Bene: Don’t be fooled by the alleged liberality of the Asian authorities on the issue of drugs – most of the Southeast Asian countries are not like the Indian Goa, where no one cares what you buy from the waiters there. Despite the fact that in Thailand, Laos, Bali and in many other places, all this is also sold quite freely and causes a false feeling of “legalization”, the very first police search can send you to the bunk for a long time. Be a smart person, stay free.

16.

Rattled at the police station at night for drunkenness or an ugly fight, they demand a large fine, otherwise a prison? Asian prison is bad. A big fine is also bad. Bargain. If you are in a cell in a state of shock, let your calmer friends bargain. It is better to sit stubbornly in shackles until dawn, knocking down the amount, than to shed on an extra few hundred dollars. But do not delay too much: the next shift will come in the morning, and all bets will be reset to zero. And in prison there will be completely different conditions and other prices.

17.

Communication with the locals does not require any special skills: at least knowing English, you can always find food, housing, and transport. Of course, everywhere there are some taboos that you should know about. Entering a house shod, not wearing a sarong skirt to the temple, lying with your feet in someone’s direction, touching someone else’s head – all this, depending on the country, can be perceived as disrespect (although such ignorance is most often forgiven to foreigners).

At the same time, many Asians do not see anything wrong in scoffing at an unlucky stranger (for example, who has passed his stop), loud expectoration and spitting in crowded places, coping with a small need under a fence. But more or less universal rules of courtesy apply throughout Southeast Asia: it is better to say hello in the local language, try to answer a smile with a smile, accidentally hitting someone in the crowd – to apologize.

We are used to believing that friendship is built on intangible things, and Asians do not think so. They always remember who is the “oppressed colonist” and who is the “rich colonizer”

Asians are flattered by someone else’s attention to their culture and traditions: if you are sincerely interested in the life and problems of the local population, then you can easily win their favor. Often they themselves take the first step, because being friends with foreigners is status. But here it is important not to confuse the concepts. Asians, like us, are constantly concerned about the issue of earnings, so they will not waste their time on visitors just like that. Not everyone here is disinterested and sincerely glad to see you simply because you are a “foreign thing”. Naturally, helping you get comfortable in an exotic country, people will hope for some kind of return. We are used to believing that friendship is built on intangible things, and Asians do not think so. They always remember who is the “oppressed colonist” and who is the “rich colonizer”. And if a white man is allowed into your life, they rarely do it “just like that”, without cherishing any hopes for profit. We call this “useful acquaintances”, the inhabitants of Southeast Asia call this friendship. Be prudent, think logically – you won’t write down the first person you meet as a friend at home, will you? Here it is exactly the same, but how they call such communication is the tenth thing. In addition, be prepared (s) that communication with new comrades will be interrupted after your departure and social networks will not help to support it (except at the level of “how are you doing, it’s normal”). Falling in love with natives is also not worth it: in poor countries, “reciprocity” is a very specific feeling, the strength and duration of which directly depends on your willingness to constantly invest in relationships. Be prudent, think logically – you won’t write down the first person you meet as a friend at home, will you? Here it is exactly the same, but how they call such communication is the tenth thing. In addition, be prepared (s) that communication with new comrades will be interrupted after your departure and social networks will not help to support it (except at the level of “how are you doing, it’s normal”). Falling in love with natives is also not worth it: in poor countries, “reciprocity” is a very specific feeling, the strength and duration of which directly depends on your willingness to constantly invest in relationships. Be prudent, think logically – you won’t write down the first person you meet as a friend at home, will you? Here it is exactly the same, but how they call such communication is the tenth thing. In addition, be prepared (s) that communication with new comrades will be interrupted after your departure and social networks will not help to support it (except at the level of “how are you doing, it’s normal”). Falling in love with natives is also not worth it: in poor countries, “reciprocity” is a very specific feeling, the strength and duration of which directly depends on your willingness to constantly invest in relationships. that communication with new comrades will be interrupted after your departure and social networks will not help to maintain it (except at the level of “how are you doing, it’s normal”). Falling in love with natives is also not worth it: in poor countries, “reciprocity” is a very specific feeling, the strength and duration of which directly depends on your willingness to constantly invest in relationships. that communication with new comrades will be interrupted after your departure and social networks will not help to maintain it (except at the level of “how are you doing, it’s normal”). Falling in love with natives is also not worth it: in poor countries, “reciprocity” is a very specific feeling, the strength and duration of which directly depends on your willingness to constantly invest in relationships.

Nota Bene: Try not to put all your eggs in one basket, communicate not only with locals, but also with other travelers – sometimes they are able to tell you a lot of interesting things that have passed you by, or even throw in a couple of fresh life hacks. Be guided by common sense, and Southeast Asia will not reward you with anything bad, but will give you only good things. Happy travels!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Adblock
detector
Go up