Over the past four weeks I’ve picked up one or two more bits and pieces, which I think are helpful hints while travelling through South East Asia – hope you enjoy 🙂
1. Travel with a sarong. It doubles as a head wrap when the sun is scorching, a sheet when you need a thin layer, a shawl when visiting sacred sites and it dries quicker than a towel and scrunches up for more efficient packing.
2. Learn a few Thai words – not only out of respect for the country you are in, but the Thais really love, appreciate and enjoy when you try. Every time I rub my tummy and say “arroy” (meaning delicious) I get lots of smiles.
3. If you are travelling in the hot, dry months don’t bring jersey knit-cotton sundresses from home – the fabric is too heavy for the heat in the South.
4. Watch where you hang your clothes on bamboo, there are often ants’ nests in the holes and those pesky little things will eat through your clothes (trust me, it happened to us!)
5. If the receptionist at the guest house you are staying in tells you it is loud at night (three times while you are checking in) believe her!
6. Carry a couple of extra passport-size photos with you. You need them to apply for visa extensions and visas when crossing borders. It’s super handy just to have them because plans change very quickly over here.
7. If you are going to travel with US currency (and it is a good idea to have some in reserve) travel with larger denominations such as $50 and $100 because you get a better exchange rate than with $20 or $10.
8. If you travel via overnight train or bus try to snag a bottom berth – much more comfortable and certainly easier to get in and out of.
9. If you’re visiting certain sites that you know won’t take more than 2 hours to see, go later in the afternoon after the crowds have thinned and the sun has ceased to beat directly overhead. On this note visit view points mid to late afternoon to ensure optimum lighting for photographs.
10. If you want to leave the electricity running in the room, but you need to take the key, put a toothbrush in the slot (one of our hotel bell-hops taught us this little trick)
11. If you’re travelling for a long period of time divide your cash into envelopes and write the name of the month on the front. Only start using the money when you get to that month. This really helps pace out your money and avoids the – oh crap I’m broke syndrome.
12. Pack a deck of playing cards – always fun to have when you’re waiting for a meal.
13. Don’t take anything from anyone without asking how much first!
14. If you go to the Night Safari sit in the middle of the tram because when it stops so you can feed the animals this is the optimum spot. If you are in the front the driver keeps going and if you’re in the back you don’t get very long,
15. Enjoy every single minute 🙂
in each new place