Backpacking Southeast Asia is full of surprises for both new and seasoned travelers in the area. And with these travel tips I promise you will be way more prepared to travel Southeast Asia and know what to expect. Trust me when I say that some things you don’t want to be a surprise.
I’m sharing my best Asia tips on saving money, necessities to pack (it’s a good time to treat yourself to a travel gift or two), how to keep healthy and the top things you must know when you backpack Southeast Asia. But make sure you also know the basics of how to travel safely too. The only place that most of these don’t apply to is Singapore.
Need to Know Tips for Backpacking Southeast Asia
Do not leave for your trip without reading every one of the Southeast Aisa travel tips in this category. These are the basics for backpacking Asia and the most important.
1. Always have toilet paper – There is never any around, but when you do find some, stock up! Seriously you will realize that you need it when travelling Asia.
2. Research cab fares before you arrive – One of the biggest scams in Southeast Asia is with cabs ripping people off. Know how much it should cost to get from where you are arriving to your accommodation. You can usually figure out what cabs should cost by asking others you meet on the road. Or find out what cab companies are trusted. Email a hostel and ask.
3. Know if there will be an ATM – You won’t have a problem with finding ATMs in most of Southeast Asia, but there will be the odd spot where there are none. Plan ahead! Some examples are El Nido, Philippines and Koh Rong, Cambodia.
4. Wifi is everywhere, no need to buy SIM cards – Free wifi is honestly way easier to come by than expected and for the most part it is decent. That being said, SIM cards are super cheap so you’re not breaking the bank buying them. But why spend the money when you could easily save? And if you’re worried about getting lost, download Maps.me, an app that doesn’t need wifi to use maps!
5. Always have USD – If you ever run out of the local currency USD will be accepted. Most boarders require you to pay in USD as well. I recommend getting some in your home country and bringing it with you, though some countries (like Cambodia) dispense USD as well as the local currency. I use XE Currency for up to date conversions.