Asia is a continent that has become synonymous with intrepid adventures and off the cuff travel. It’s ancient temples, crystal clear rivers and rolling hills and paddy fields have been a draw for backpackers ever since the 1970s, says NomadicMatt.com. Millions of tourists continue to flock to Asia every year – some to enjoy a luxurious, all inclusive holiday in the sun and some to experience life in a way that they never thought was possible.
Backpacking through Asia is generally agreed to be one of the most rewarding and enriching travel experiences that a person can embark on. Nevertheless, if a trip of this magnitude is going to be safe and successful, it needs a little preparation first. You don’t need to draw up an in-depth itinerary or plan your route in minute detail, but there are a few things that you should be aware of. Here’s a guide to some of the things that you will need whilst travelling around Asia.
Top Quality Travel Insurance
This is absolutely the most important thing that you’ll need to take with you on an Asian travel adventure. Some people don’t believe that travel insurance is a necessity – those same people are usually the ones that make the national newspapers when they get involved in horrific accidents and have to be flown home at the expense of their parents. You do need travel insurance to travel around Asia. Life is very different in this part of the world – the roads are different, the food is different, the people are different. The risk of injury or illness is increased not because Asia is a riskier place to live, but because you yourself aren’t familiar with it. Find a reliable insurer and make sure that you’re covered for personal injury, serious illness and the loss of valuable possessions, says TravelInsuranceReview.net journalist Damian Tysdal.
Stock up on Toiletries
The south east of Asia is one of the cheapest regions in the entire world. You can buy a bed for as little as £4 a night. You can buy a meal and a drink for as little as £2 a head. If you’re feeling extra daring, why not buy a cheap motorcycle for a couple of hundred quid and ride it through the continent? There are very few expensive commodities in this part of the world, but toiletries are one of them, says Independent journalist Hannah Al-Othman. Things like mosquito repellent and after sun lotion can be quite hard to come by, and most sunscreen in this region contains whitening agents. If you’re planning to backpack around Asia, it’s a good idea to pack lightly when it comes to clothes and leave room for the real essentials.
Carry Passport Sized Photographs
Most countries in this part of the world are happy for tourists to apply for visas as they’re passing through. However, there are a few that don’t allow this – make sure that you do your research before you jet off. Places like Laos and Cambodia are happy for visitors to fill out visas at the airport, but they will ask you for passport photographs. If you don’t want to be forced to pay for new ones, carry five or six with you in your backpack at all times. Not only will it save you money, it’ll save you time too.
A Sense of Adventure
South East Asia and the now infamous ‘banana pancake trail’ through Cambodia, Bangkok, Malaysia and Bali is one of the most diverse, unique and exciting travel routes in the entire world. What it absolutely isn’t is just like back home but with more elephants and a bit more greenery – Asia is not like Britain. Like anywhere else, it has its own rhythm, its own rules and its own way of life. You will see more rats here than at home and you will see a lot more insects, big ones. If you’re not prepared to go with the flow and adjust to life in Asia, it might not be the best destination for you. This part of the world rewards the intrepid and the daring. It enriches those who are looking for something more than the average package holiday. So, relax and enjoy this truly wonderful part of the world.