What we have learned so far…

This will be a simple list page where we will mention some of things we have learned along the way.  Some are also linked to some relevant blog posts as they may have a story behind them.

Travelling by bus or coach in Asia:

  1. If your ever travelling on a bus in Asia, bring loo roll. If it has a toilet on, trust me the contents of it will be all over the bowl and floor. Also as there are no taps or flushing systems you may want to see tip 2…
  2. Have some anti bacterial gel, you can guess why…
  3. Don’t leave any valuables in the luggage you leave downstairs. We knew about this before coming out and low and behold both of our bags had been searched through, but guess the drivers weren’t in the mood for dirty laundry and cheap clothes, phew!

Staying in a mosquito zone:

  1. Do NOT spray DEET on any open wounds – infection is almost a certainty.
  2. But do spray mosquito repellent everywhere, including on your clothes as these critters will bite through anything your wearing for a taste of some blood.
  3. Toothpaste and vinegar are good and cheap anti itch alternatives
  4. And for another alternative, apparently Coconut Oil is a decent enough sunblock that won’t cost 2 nights accommodation. However it has about an SPF of 8, so do BE CAREFUL!

Hitch Hiking, Drinking and Eating

  1. When Hitch hiking make sure you have enough room in the vehicle, otherwise it could be a very long and painful journey
  2. Get a local to write you out a sign, you’ll be picked up within 10 cars at the most, apparently this is the best rule of thumb
  3. Opt for local food, even if you are partial to western junk food joints. It’s 1/4 of the price and will leave you satisfied for much longer, don’t make the same mistake as us!
  4. Add some electrolytes to your water, most of the drinking water lacks the minerals we need so you can get pretty lethargic after a while

Monkeys, Snorkeling and Ton Sai / Railay

  1. Don’t feed the monkeys, no matter how darn cute
  2. Wear flip flops on rocks. You probably don’t yet have those permanent shoes you think you have
  3. Sleep in Ton Sai, it’s much cheaper than Railay West and East
  4. Don’t rock the kayak, or if you are going to, keep your clothes on before the sea steals them. Oh and bring a dry bag.

Top 5 Tips for Koh Phayam

  1. DO take advantage of random cultural experiences.
  2. DO rent a moped, it’s much quicker than walking 😉
  3. DO pre-book/ pre-arrange your taxi ride if you know it will be a late one.
  4. DON’T stick to the same meal just because you know it’s safe or have heard of it, you could be missing out on some real culinary delights.
  5. DON’T worry if you get a dodgy stomach in Thailand, just find the nearest 7Eleven or corner shop and purchase “Flying Rabbit”.

Tips for those Long Journeys

  1. Buy bus tickets from the station and not the travel agencies. The busses are better and they’re the ones the Thai travellers use so apparently no dodgy goings on with your bag on the lower level.
  2. Take the taxi buses instead of the Tuk Tuks they are about half the cost, even if you pay them to leave before they’re full.
  3. Make sure your electricals are charged before a long journey, you will soon regret it if you don’t.
  4. Prepare to be delayed and do your research into local busses and where to get them from, otherwise you will be sitting around longer than planned.

Don’t be left out of pocket

  1. hold on to your bags when in and around cities and towns. Robbers will either snatch or more commonly as we hear, when they pass they will snip your bags straps and be away with all the contents before you get a grasp of anything
  2. Be careful using you Credit Card in guesthouses and hotels, as they opportunistic amongst these will copy your card details and get a good slice of your cash before you realise
  3. Lock your luggage even when it’s in your room.  We have heard many stories from fellow backpackers about their bags being opened and stolen from whilst they were out enjoying the sights of the city. Mainly small items which are noticed until it’s too late
  4. Check your change – if you are given any US Dollar notes which have even the slightest rip in them, you will NOT  be able to use them anywhere. This cost us only 5 USD luckily, but could have been much more, so just check those notes before you walk away.

Shopping Etiquette

  1. When it comes to queuing forget everything you’ve ever been told. No one queues in Asia. Just prop up your shoulders and shimmy your way to the front. It’s what everyone else will be doing.
  2. Barter, Barter and Barter some more. You may think you are being harsh, but it is like a sport over in Asia, and if you are paying more than 70% of the original asking price, then the seller has won the game. Always try and walk away spending 50-60% of what they originally tell you.
  3. If you are offered to try some food, have a taste. The looks you get if you don’t can be pretty nasty. Just be grateful that you’re getting a freebie and return the kindness by giving their food a try. Also if you don’t like, they instantly stop any hard sell and move on to the next passer by.

 

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