South East Asia: Backpackers Guide
I’ve spent the last two summers traveling around South East Asia – it definitely has a big place in my heart! It’s a region that’s becoming increasingly popular for tourists although it still has a rough, adventurous side. You never know what way your day will end up on an island off Thailand or up a mountain in Vietnam.
If you’re starting to plan your trip to the East and don’t know where to start, I have a few tips to make sure you can make the most out of your holiday.
Whether you’re traveling to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam or further east to the Philippines, the cheapest flights are often flying from Dublin/Paris/London or Amsterdam to Bangkok. If you want to stay in Thailand or not, it works out much cheaper to book connecting flights separately from Bangkok. In general, I used skyscanner.com for the long-haul flights and ended up flying with Lufthansa, Emirates and Malaysian Airlines. For the shorter flights, Air Asia is a lifesaver! It’s like an Asian Ryan air.
Now you’ve got the flights booked, make sure you’re well prepared in terms of everything you need to organize before you leave! From visas to vaccines and stocking up on insect repellent and sun cream, there are certain things that you definitely don’t want to be attempting to buy when you’re already in South East Asia. I always seem to forget until the day before I fly but travel insurance should probably be item number one on your list of things to organize before stepping foot on the plane!
What to pack?
The first time I traveled to Cambodia I brought a huge suitcase – the worst decision ever! Although you might not necessarily be hiking around with all your luggage, you’ll be bringing it with you everywhere so don’t bring too much. Last year, my 15kg backpack for a 3 month trip comprised of 6kg of cosmetics/beauty products/first aid. Also, always have toilet paper with you! The other half was clothes, one pair of sandals and a pair of canvas Tom’s that were completely destroyed in Thailand. It’s so cheap to get everything washed and ironed while traveling in Asia that it’s not even necessary to bring a lot! My number 1 tip for packing? Bring a good camera!
I’ll be writing more detailed blogs over the next two weeks about what to do and where to go in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Ciao for now,