Asia attracts thousands of backpackers each year, each looking to experience the incredible people, food and culture. On a salary of less than $1500 a month, it is possible to comfortably travel this area of the world full time.
However, before you go, there are a few things to consider. Whether you are wandering the temples of Nepal or kicking back in Thailand.
Here are 6 Important Things You Should Do Before Backpacking Across Asia.
1. Research the Weather
Asia is a vast and vastly underestimated landscape. The difference between the Indian Himalayas and Thai sandy beaches can be huge, so always check the temperature before you go. Remember that countries located near to the equator may not have hot versus cold seasons like you are used to, but rather wet versus dry. Research the weather conditions and pack accordingly.
2. Pack Light
Southeast Asia comprises 11 countries clustered together. Combined with cheap transport and accommodation, staying in constant motion is an easy and exciting way to travel. However, for this, you must pack as lightly as possible. Although a relatively safe area of the world, only take valuable items which are absolutely essential in case anything is stolen.
3. Learn About the Different Cultures
Each region of Asia has a unique history and it is useful to understand the culture of the place you are visiting. You don’t need to be an expert, but knowing your Khmer from your Kadazan goes a long way. Be aware of the local religious culture, be it Muslim, Buddhist, or anything else. Being sensitive to this information will ensure you avoid any social faux pas. Being up to date on local laws will also help.
4. Check Visa Requirements
Unlike when traveling throughout the EU or USA, each new country you visit in Southeast Asia will have its own entry requirements. You may have the documents ready for Cambodia, but when you turn up at the Vietnamese border, do you have your passport photos ready?
5. Get Immunized
Much of Asia is covered in dense rainforest, which means there are disease-carrying insects. Some vaccinations are legally required for entry, but you may want to get a few more just to be safe. Pay your nurse a visit for the most up to date advice on what immunizations are recommended.
6. Don’t Plan or Worry Too Much
There is so much to explore in Asia, but don’t overplan. The best adventures you will have will involve discovering new, unbeaten paths. Enjoy the freedom of going with the flow. Be sensible and wary, but just enjoy the journey.
Researching a place beforehand will help you know what to pack and how to legally enter the country, but don’t over plan. Visiting Asia is a chance to relax, unwind and explore. Follow the simple advice above and you are bound to have life-changing adventure.
This article was written and contributed by Lucy Edmunds.