Southeast Asia is a region of Asia, including countries in the south of China, the west of India and the north of Australia. There are 11 countries in this region: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Timor Leste. Southeast Asia is a region of long-standing culture, with each country, has its own origins and identity but shares some common features thanks to the relationships during centuries. Despite the influence of Chinese culture as well as Indian culture, the culture of Southeast Asia remains unique and distinctive.
Southeast Asia is known as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world. Coming to the Southeast Asia tour, you will have a lot of options, many beautiful and attractive places, especially not too expensive. From hills to the sea, from the serenity of the countryside to the sophistication of the city, from delicious food to colorful festivals, all will be extremely enjoyable experiences with any travelers having the opportunity to experience traveling here.
However, because of the cultural diversity as well as the natural resources, it is easy for visitors to feel confused when coming to this land. To enjoy a full trip and experience the most comfortable feeling in Southeast Asia, there are many tips for visitors. With this article, we hope you will have a better view as well as accumulating a lot of knowledge and tips to be able to serve well for the upcoming Southeast Asian tour. You ought to keep in mind as many tips as possible because these are the conclusions that we have had the opportunity to experience in this land.
I. TIPS TO PREPARE BEFORE THE SOUTHEAST ASIA TOUR
1. Selecting the suitable countries and cities for your Southeast Asia tour
Prior to each trip, choosing the right route is always the top priority for any visitor, and the tour is no exception. As mentioned, the Southeast Asia area consists of 11 different countries, each country has many cities, and each city has many notable tourist destinations. It is very difficult for travelers to choose the right route for themselves with a little time. Of course, you can not go all 11 countries in one trip with less than 30 days because it will make you extremely tired and can not experience all the essence in each land you go through. Instead, it would be best if you prepared your own Southeast Asia tour route.
The first trip to a land is always the most memorable trip. Think about what kind of travel you love the most. If you are fancy of the scenic beauty of nature, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia are the most selected countries. Are you one who likes big, crowded, bustling cities? The capital city of Manila (Philippines), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Brunei and Singapore cannot be more suitable. For those who are interested in learning about religion and belief in the Southeast Asia area, there are two options. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar are the lands for visitors who want to know about Buddhism culture. Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, etc are the most influential Islamic places.
Your journey will also need to be sensible. You should choose countries that share borders and geographically close cities so as not to spend too much time and energy on the move. If you miss too many attractive options, do not be overwhelmed and save those places for the next trip. The first trip must always be the most memorable and fun journey, so let’s experience what you feel the most comfortable with.
2. Checking visa requirements
The first issue we face when wanting to travel to a foreign country is the visa application. Depending on the subject and rules of each country, the conditions for applying for a visa will be different, but in general, the application for tourist visa to Southeast Asia tour is relatively easy, conditions are not too strict. Citizens of many countries are exempted from entry visas in Southeast Asian countries within 30 days. You should know the information on the prestige website and complete the visa procedures before the trip from 1 to 2 weeks to avoid the unfortunate circumstances.
As this is a journey through many different countries, you also need to know the visa regime in each country. You also need to know the address of your country embassy in each country when you stop to be able to handle paperwork and procedures in case of trouble with this country.
3. Choosing the time for your Southeast Asia tour
Despite Southeast Asia is just a small area, the climate here is extremely diverse and abundant. At different times, the weather will be different. Even at the same time but in two different places, the weather is also differently intense. For every country in Southeast Asia, you can almost travel around the year because the beauty of the place is different in each moment. However, if have to summarize the experiences that many tourists have given, we will give you some information about the “peak tourism” season in some countries in Southeast Asia tour:
4. Preparing for your budget in the Southeast Asia tour
How much money do you need to have the Southeast Asia tour with the best experience? It is still one of the top questions for every tourist not only on Southeast Asia tours but also on any trip. This is a difficult but very easy question to answer. It is difficult because you certainly can not know the exact amount of money you have to pay for the journey. You can estimate the budget in about US$3000 – US$4000, however, on the arrival there are too many services and attractive dishes that you can not ignore. The amount can be up to a little. Nevertheless, it is very easy to manage the amount of money in a certain amount of time if you are prepared. In addition to prepaid expenses, you should limit the amount of money spent in a day to minimize the cost. The average cost for a 5 -6 countries in Southeast Asia tours over 30 days will cost you about US$3500 – US$4000.
5. Preparing the luggage and pick what to bring for the Southeast Asia tour
The Southeast Asia tours are always long trips, through many different countries. Looking at the beautiful scenery, culinary, and cultural experiences in the land of strange always make visitors feel excited. With this kind of trips, luggage must be carefully prepared.
First of all, is preparing the clothes. Depend on your destination, the moment of your departure, the weather in that area, you need to choose the right outfit. The general weather in Southeast Asia is hot, if it does not rain, it is also very sunny. You should bring a lot of t-shirts, pants to create the most comfortable feeling when moving. Hats and umbrellas are extremely important when you visit Southeast Asia to guard against bad weather. You should also bring a thin coat for cool weather destinations.
Next is personal packages. With things like shampoos, toothpaste, shower gel, sunscreen, etc you need to remember to wrap the nylon wrap to avoid them strapping into clothes, and try to arrange them all into a neat little bag. With sharp objects, razors or fingernails, etc you should pinch their tips and keep them in a small bag. With shoes, you should only carry up to three pairs. One to two pairs of sports shoes is to move on any terrain and take a walk and finally your one favorite sandal. You should put clean socks in the shoes to take advantage of space.
Identification and money: Passports, identity cards, VISA, air tickets, cash, and international payment cards are all required documents before each trip as well as intact after the journey ends. They must be kept in your carry-on luggage for easy identification when you need it.
It is recommended that you bring along some common medications such as cold medicine, antipyretics, diarrhea, etc and some medical dressings if you are rubbed or torn. You ought to use a mini medical bag to store them and also put some medicines and tape on your carry-on luggage to handle the problem promptly.
6. Booking your flight ticket to the Southeast Asia tour as soon as possible
Nowadays, with the development of the internet, booking flight tickets is no longer a difficult thing. You can easily find information about airline tickets of many different airlines with different quality and the price, of course, there will also be a big difference. It is important for a Southeast Asia tour across many countries that you have to calculate the duration, departure/arrival time to go and leave a country in a suitable way. You need to find out about the international airports in the countries you are going to arrive in and make the most appropriate migration decisions. Reservations and schedules should be made in advance so you can book your flight early and get a discounted rate. You can also use the shuttle buses or ships to move between several countries, but that can be further and waste more time and laborious than using an airplane. If you have an early flight ticket, you will feel much more comfortable and active during this Southeast Asia tour.
7. Checking and booking your accommodations in the Southeast Asia tour
Just like booking an air ticket, early hotel reservations will help you a lot in getting yourself a reasonable price as well as avoiding peak season room. There are plenty of companies, websites, and apps that can assist you with booking accommodations in any country you visit in Southeast Asia. Coming to Southeast Asia, large hotels are not the only option as well as the best if you want to reduce costs. In that places, the guests, homestays as well as cheap hotels are often chosen by visitors. With the development of Southeast Asian tourism, the quality and service of those places are extremely good and there are plenty of choices for visitors to keep their customers for the come-back visit.
II. TIPS WHEN YOU`RE IN THE SOUTHEAST ASIA TOUR
1. Taking care of your health
As noted above, Southeast Asia is a tropical region of hot, humid, and rainy weather. It will be hard to adjust if it’s your first Southeast Asia tour. The weather can suddenly have a big rain or sometimes a sunny day with temperatures up to 40oC that the weather forecast can not follow. You need to always remember to bring a hat and umbrella to face with sunlight and rain at any time and at any place. The journey will often end with your tired and distress so always bring a bottle of water in your bag and drink enough. If you have to walk, you should limit your carry-on to save energy for the next journey. Just like any other novel land, you will be very susceptible to allergies to the surroundings so do not forget to prepare the medicine or go to the local clinic for examination and counseling. Local food can also be one of the health hazards for you. You should always pay attention to the food outlet to see if the quality of the sanitation is good.
Health is an extremely important factor in determining whether a trip is complete. You should not just be happy and want to experience but forget to maintain your health. Since you only have one trip on your Southeast Asia tour, your first trip to this place will be a pretty bad impression.
2. Getting familiar with the weather in Southeast Asia
Weather issue is repeated many times in this article because this is one of the special points of the Southeast Asia tour. There will be a lot of people who are interested and want to experience more climate here. However, there are also a large number of people who come here and can not stand it. High humidity will make it easy for visitors from temperate regions to have a little bit hard breathe at first. Not only that, the continuous weather changes can cause the body not to get up and easily cause fatigue. Trying the first 1-2 days of the trip do not act too much, keeping eating, resting on time and moderation, you will get familiar with and adapt quickly.
3. Exchanging money in the Southeast Asia tour
You do not have to worry about changing money on Southeast Asia tours. The currency exchange here is very active, even some countries have their own streets only for the exchanging of money. You can exchange money at the airport, gold shops or even your accommodation you are in. Conversion rates are often lower than banks, especially in Europe or the United States. To convert foreign currencies into Southeast Asian currencies, the conversion rate will be much higher than usual. You can go to any country in the Southeast Asia tour and change money. Then, if the trip ends and there is a redundancy, it can be redeemed or retained for the next trip or even brought back as a souvenir. When it comes to big restaurants and hotels, using credit cards is the most useful method of avoiding the use of cash.
4. Always bringing cash in your Southeast Asia tour
Southeast Asia consists mostly of developing countries, so cash remains essential for any transaction in this region. Only in large restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets or convenience stores will you have the opportunity to use a credit card. However, you should be aware of the limited number of banks that accept credit cards. You should not carry too much cash with you because the cost here is quite cheap, the amount of cash needed is not too much, but if carrying more, it can be stolen.
You can refer to the units of some Southeast Asia countries as follows:
5. Trying as much as means of transportation in the Southeast Asia tour
In the Southeast Asia tour, visitors will have the opportunity to travel on the car with a local style. Although very rudimentary, these traditional means of transportation will help travelers explore the nearest viewing point of the attractions. Coming to Southeast Asia, there are certain types of media that you must try at least once.
Tambang (also known as water taxi) is a symbol of Brunei, the main vehicles of tourism on the canal running along the city. People use water taxis as the main means of transportation to connect the community. There are about 90 brands and more than 500 Tambangs operating day and night to serve the residents here, double than the number of taxis operating on land. From the pier in the heart of the city, you can see hundreds of water taxi cabs in activities to envision the vibrant life of this country.
Becak is the name of a tricycle commonly used in Indonesia since 1936. Today, they are favored all over the streets, for both locals traveling daily and visiting city tourists. In addition, there is another attractive mean of transportation called Dokar – horse carts, which is suitable for large groups. On average, one Dokar can carry 4 to 6 passengers.
Old tricycle trolleys, also known as Trishaws, are commonly found in urban areas in Malaysia. For visitors, they are the symbol of Penang, Malacca, Kelantan, and Terengganu. These colorful cars have become the most unique and impressive vehicle in Malaysia.
The Tatlong-Willer (motor tricycle) is a vehicle found throughout the Philippines, providing short special routes where jeeps or buses are not available. Today, E-Trikes is an attempt to replace gas-powered vehicles in the city, thus creating a lively and environmentally-friendly that very attracts visitors.
Sam-Lor (tuk-tuk) is a very popular means used in Bangkok and some cities in Thailand. Tuk originated from the sound emitted by the engine. It has become the name of this car and been a symbol of Thai tourism for a century. Thailand’s tuk-tuk ranks fifth in the “amazing taxi world” reviewed by “hotel.com” in 2010. Tuk Tuk is also a very popular vehicle in Laos.
Cyclo usually found on the streets of Hanoi capital and some other cities in Vietnam such as Hue and Ho Chi Minh City. This is a unique transport for foreign visitors to experience. This is also popular in Cambodia as well as in Myanmar.
6. Checking the cabs fare and the map before arriving
When traveling by any means, you must ask in advance for travel fare. There are many cases that foreigners must pay much higher than usual because of the fake high price added by the drivers but can not do anything. You should only go to the taxi with a clear price list, if not, ask the driver before and agree to reasonable prices before boarding. In addition, it is equally important that you know the schedule you need to go. Many taxi drivers will take advantage of the fact that you do not know the road and wait for you to go round, spending more time and money. To avoid being tricked, you should use Google map to determine whether you have the most reasonable route. If not, just choose the most reputable car companies, so that if there is anything you do not like, you can call the operator and make complaints. They will help you solve the problem quickly
7. Eating local and street food
You know, Southeast Asian street food is always in the top of the best food in the world. It asserts one thing that you should try them whenever wherever and as many types as possible. People say “food is culture”. With a land of eleven countries and hundreds of ethnic groups, dozens of regions and a variety of weather patterns, it’s natural to have a variety of dishes. Coming with the privileged nature, the food here is always fresh and has lots of nutrients. No need to be too fussy and too greasy, the food of the Southeast Asian countries brings in the very essence and the most popular from the daily life of the people. They can collect everything around as raw materials and tools to make attractive dishes. Most notably, any Southeast Asian person can cook traditional dishes as it is their life and spirit from birth to death. You should try to enjoy as much as possible the specialties of this land during the Southeast Asia tour. The best way to taste the most delicious local food is to sit at a small street eatery, watch the people around work and live right beside, and feel the food from the most idyllic.
8. Buying some souvenirs and clothes
Some of the countries in Southeast Asia are considered to be the factories of the world. Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand are well known as three of the garment producing countries for famous brands like Zara, Gucci, H&M, etc. Therefore, clothing in this area is very cheap and the quality is not inferior to any brand. You may not need to bring too many clothes to reduce luggage, shopping while traveling will be more suitable and convenient during this Southeast Asia tour. The kinds of souvenir are also very rich. Southeast Asia countries are well known for many villages with their beautiful and useful handicraft. You can buy these items together with the clothes to give as gifts to friends and relatives at home
9. Always bargaining before buying goods in the market
Just like being in a cab, you need to negotiate before buying any item at the market. Except for listed-price items, the price of an item, a dish or any other service prior to use should be carefully questioned to avoid being cheated and having other additional costs. Items that you feel are overpriced, feel free to give your opinion and negotiate with the seller. You will most likely get a discount on the item you want
10. Buying a local SIM in each country and make sure it has the mobile network
To get the best connectivity, you need to buy one SIM card in each country you visit. In often, SIMs for foreign tourists will be sold at international airports, border gates, or if simpler, you can ask receptions for help in buying a SIM card in that country. A SIM card can give you instant access to essential phone numbers such as area police numbers, ambulance numbers, or numbers of your accommodation. In addition, an internet-enabled SIM card will work as a map for travel as well as to find attractive places to have fun and eat without public Wi-Fi.
11. Showing your respect in the temples or pagodas
Coming to the Buddhist countries in the Southeast Asia tour, there are some rules you should remember when visiting the temples here. A temple is a pure place, so choosing the costume for the temple ceremony is very important. Guests should not wear too disorganized, rude, colorful, etc because that will make a bad feeling for the pilgrims. Therefore, visitors should choose the dress code which is polite, casual and clean. When visiting the pagoda, visitors should not bring too many accessories such as hats, shirts, towels, gloves, bags, etc. because it affects the spirit of this place. The Buddha ground is extremely sacred, so taking a photo or video recording is a taboo that travelers need to remember. Particularly, posing for a picture without serious is impolite, dignified, not suitable for the pure scene at the pagoda. Also, you must not rub children’s heads nor make noise, a disorder in these places
12. Being free when talking with local people in Southeast Asia
As a famous region for its agricultural development, Southeast Asia is the land of many people who come from the countryside and live in rural areas. That makes the local people here extremely be outspoken, gentle, and extremely hardworking. They are not only lovely but also very hospitable. With the explosion of travel in Southeast Asia tours, the residents, especially in tourist cities, mostly know English. They can communicate not so well but basically can understand simple words so you can talk to them a bit. Nevertheless, the special thing is that they will do everything they can to introduce you to the best things for experiencing. They are great adults, but the Southeast Asian youth is much better. The majority of young people in Southeast Asian countries can communicate fluently in English with tourists, so if you have any problems, look to those people. They are extremely friendly and will help you comfortably without changing anything. It is also a way for them to improve their foreign language so you even can speak to them all day.
13. Not bothering much with street vendors or beggars
As a growing region, the rate of street vendors, as well as beggars in Southeast Asia, is also quite high. The number of beggars and hawkers are particularly concentrated in tourist areas. They often find ways to beg you to give some money and invite you to buy goods for them. If you express pity for a person, there are likely to be more people approaching and bothering you. Therefore, to avoid nuisance, you should not be too concerned about the street vendors and beggars. You just give the money when feeling that a person has too much trouble, otherwise, ignore all.
14. Being careful with the robbers
Stealing is a common occurrence at any tourist destination, not just on the Southeast Asia tours. However, often in Southeast Asia countries, functional agencies often can not manage to protect them from all thieves. Therefore, you should be very careful when visiting any crowded area. You need to avoid carrying too much cash and expensive items along the way. You should keep your wallet in your pocket and only carry it when you need to pay by card. You should put in your pants a bit of cash to cover some of the costs incurred as well as avoid paying attention to the pickpockets. Never trust any stranger who intends to approach you, be careful in all circumstances and preferably that valuable things should stay at your accommodation.
15. Remembering your packages in anywhere
Overly moving can sometimes make you feel tired. With the heavy packages you carry, you will probably spend the rest and you may probably forget when standing up. It will be very difficult for you to find the lost item because there will be no evidence to help you. There are so many people at the tourist site can accidentally as well as deliberately take the wrong things, you should take that precaution. Make sure the items you carry will remain with you until you return to the hotel
16. Trying to take many photos to keep your memorable moment
Of course, taking pictures is an indispensable part of every trip. Recording the many moments of the first trip of the Southeast Asia tour help you to be able to post on Facebook, show with family and friends as well as save beautiful memories of an exciting journey. In addition to taking pictures, you can also make the shot videos or funny vlogs for yourself. However, be aware of places where you should not take pictures or make inappropriate poses
17. Learning some local traditional culture and norms
This is also one of the most exciting activities when you go to the Southeast Asia tour. With its diversity and climate, Southeast Asia is home to hundreds of different ethnic groups. Each has its own culture and customs. Understanding and experiencing the traditional culture of the people will help you have a better view of the lives of people in other lands as well as loving the landscapes and people where you are located more.
18. Being a good traveler and keeping the environment clean
Do not litter, do not destroy the trees and plants, do not ruin the tourism sites.
The first trip to any land is always a memorable journey and leave in visitors the deepest impression. In order to have a perfect Southeast Asia tour, you need to prepare for both mental and physical health as well as the experiment from the people who had been here. We hope that these tips will help you have a truly memorable and meaningful Southeast Asia tour. The experience of the upcoming Southeast Asia tour will definitely make you happy