CULTURAL practices across the Asia-Pacific vary from place to place. Generally locals are very forgiving of visitors who don’t know the ins and outs of cultural protocols, but there are certainly a few things to keep in mind in order to avoid giving offence. Here’s a look at just some of these basic practices that…>
“I advise you go to Halong Bay now before the next typhoon. There was one last week and there may be another again soon.” This isn’t the kind of travel advice you expect in a travel agency in Hanoi when all you really know about beautiful Ha Long Bay on Vietnam’s north east coast are the idyllic blue skies and limestone islets featured in magazine pictures. But this part of Vietnam can experience several typhoons a year – time it wrong and you may find your holiday blown away in water and wind.
I took off on a three month trip around Southeast Asia, and while a good time was had, I fell for some of the most common scams out there. Therefore, I’ve decided to write up a bit of a guide for other travellers to Southeast Asia intent on squandering more money than they can afford. Here’s four easy ways to get scammed in Southeast Asia.
THE days of ‘border runs’ in Thailand are coming to a swift end. Immigration is putting a stop to these brief overland trips in and out of neighboring countries, popular among long-stay travelers and tourists who want to extend their time in the country. Even those on valid tourist visas may be denied entry if immigration officials suspect feel they are spending too long in the country or working illegally.
THE Indian visa office in Kathmandu’s Thamel district has long held an allure for spur-of-the-moment travellers. Located on a cramped street flanked by open sewers and loitering rickshaw peddlers, it is one of Asia’s few Indian visa offices that issue all foreigners tourist visas on short notice.
PASSPORT: Check! Wallet: Check! It is a familiar routine when traveling and often has us patting our pockets every time we leave a hotel room or shuffle out of a cramped airplane. However, when you travel in Japan another vital item is added to the checklist; a Japan Rail Pass.
NOW that Thailand’s martial law has turned into a full-blown coup, there has been much discussion about what the political situation means for tourists, both those entering the country and those already here.
Places to stay
Hintok River Camp @ Hellfire Pass
Kanchanaburi, River Kwai, Thailand
The Chedi, Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai, Chang Khlan, Thailand
Luang Poj Boutique Hostel
Ranong, City Centre, Thailand
Chaweng, Koh Samui, Thailand