Due to the sheer number of fellow travelers there’s an endless stream of trains and buses from one spot to the next. South East Asia is a transportation treat for backpackers.
You’ll have to venture further from the backpacking circuit, head into the city centres, dress up smart and bring plenty of cash! However, if you want to don your gladrags and paint the town red, there are ‘real’ clubs in most cites, ones where you’ll get turned away in an instant if you’re wearing a vest and sandals. For hardcore clubbing, most capitals offer a wide variety of options – there’s always the backpacker scene, which is full of foreigners, cheap drinks and flip-flops.
Thoughts of island paradises, exotic cocktails and lazy hammocks may well represent a slice of what South East Asia has to offer, but in reality, there’s so much more. Flights booked, visa’s ready, but no idea what you’re letting yourself in for? Weather in Southeast Asia is hard to predict and for most of the year, there are showers almost everyday.
When there’s a sauce of some kind, it lands on a piece of my clothes. One reason is that I’m very clumsy when eating. I’ve met people who used ONE pair of shorts for an entire month of travels.
Note: You can go REALLY frugal in clothing and bring a lot less than this. I’d say 2 per week of travel with a limit of 4, but this depends on where you are going. I tend to use t-shirts for urban” days, and sleeveless shirts for outdoors.
They’re the best for humid climates, but you can’t enter some temples showing off your shoulders. Flip-flops are enough for most of the days. Most countries in Southeast Asia have high temperatures all year round, so there’s no reason to pack warm and volumous clothes.
The best clothing tip is to dress like a local. They need it to carry them over their heads the entire beach to where the paved roads start. The last time I island-hopped Thailand I couldn’t help to find silly to see people disembarking the longtail boats on the beaches with fancy carry-ons.
Now that you know the basics, let’s go into more detail about what to bring for Southeast Asia. I do it all the time and is a win-win: you make room for new things and you get to renovate your closet. Give it away to someone in need if possible.
Bring old clothes/items that you plan to ditch during your trip. When you travel southeast Asia you want to make sure you have the proper clothes News for asia travel information heat and culture reasons. Locals here are honestly some of the kindest around (a refrain we’ve repeated too often, but one we really mean) and the 2,000+ brick and gilded ruins you’ll see at Bagan are truly life-affirming.
If Myanmar isn’t on your radar yet, it really should be. It isn’t all temples, pagodas, ancient towns and quaint villages, but there are enough that you’ll be left feeling zen and inspired in equal measures. Because why not end on a high? We’ve made a list of the best countries in Asia for independent explorers (though we’d love to hear where else you’d recommend in the comments below!).
And this is certainly the case for solo travelers, who will feel right at home provided they pick the perfect destination to visit. Some even have names like rescue center”, but then you’ll see the elephants giving rides with harnesses or performing tricks and the whole concept starts to seem questionable. I saw dozens (maybe even hundreds) of animal attractions advertised across SE Asia, and only a very small fraction of those seemed to be dedicated to conservation.
Sadly though, I wouldn’t say it’s a few bad apples” – it’s the majority. Catch up with her travel stories and expat adventures at Ways of Wanderers. She’s lived in 7 different countries, doing everything from painting houses to teaching English.
Jessica Dawdy is a serial expat who has been slowly working her way around the world since 2011. If you want to interact with animals in SE Asia, it’s important to do some thorough research into the program you’ll be participating in and ensure that you’re supporting an ethical organization.