3 Reasons Backpacking In Southeast Asia Rocks

by Marc Valentine

When we started thinking seriously about taking time off to go travelling – Southeast Asia was the first place we thought of to get our travels underway.

Deserted Island beaches… sprawling capital cities… ancient cultures & food that captivates the senses. The travel destinations of Asia are diverse enough in scenery, weather & culture to continue providing new and exciting experiences for even the most seasoned traveller.

Here’s The 3 Biggest Reasons Why We Keep Coming Back To SE Asia.

Affordable Travel At It’s Best

Asia is one of the more affordable places in the world to go travelling.

 

Travel in Asia is Cheap

Travelling in Asia on a "Shoestring"

The cost of living in Asia is cheap, and the type of holiday you experience is restricted only by your imagination and your travel budget.

You can eat well in Asia for a few dollars a day… with decent meals from around $1.

Accommodation ranges from luxury beach side resorts – to dingy $3 windowless rooms and everything in between.

$20 per night seems to be the average cost of a room for us during our most recent trip…

Although some would argue that puts us firmly in the “flashpacker” category – that gets us…

  • a clean room, with a queen size bed
  • air conditioning
  • our own private bathroom
  • a TV that we never switch on
  • and usually free wifi

Getting around Asia is inexpensive.

Whether you have time on your side and choose to save a few dollars by travelling via bus or train – or your trip is shorter & you prefer to fly with one of Asia’s budget airlines like Air Asia… you can usually get between cities and countries in Southeast Asia without blowing a massive hole in your budget.

Although there are a few acceptions (there’s always a catch right?).

The Cultures Are As Diverse As The Scenery

 

Angkor Wat - Cambodia

Ancient Angkor Wat At Sunset

One day you can be marvelling over Bangkok’s floating markets… and the next you can be wandering between the Ancient Ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia…

Introducing yourself to one of the “longneck” Karen Hill Tribe… sipping locally grown tea in rural Northern Thailand where the Thai & Burma borders meet…

Or crawling on your hands & knees through the Chu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam.

You’re never more than one overnight train or a few hours flying time away from the next amazing travel destination or experience.

4 People Can Ride 1 Motorbike!

 

scooters in asia

How They Ride Scooters In Asia

Asia is not as heavily regulated in comparison to western countries (certainly Australia).

In Australia you can no longer skipper a boat without a license. Let your teenage kids take the jet ski out for a squirt while you watch from the shore… don’t even think about it unless they’ve got their own skippers ticket.

Want to take your 9 year old son fishing on a Sunday afternoon & create some father son memories? hope you haven’t forgotten to purchase your recreational fishing license before hand? or you’ll probably catch more than a few snapper… a fine for illegal fishing perhaps!

In Asia (rightly or wrongly) none of this applies. You can do, see & experience things that would get you arrested 100 times over in most western countries.

A family of 4 or 5 heading off to school or work on the one motorbike is commonplace in Asia (absolutely hilarious the first few times you see it then it just becomes normal – thats just how they roll!)  5 on a bicycle was spotting record.

Have fond memories of Dad letting off fireworks in the backyard as a kid & fancy lighting a few of your own… like I did one night on the beach in Koh Samui? No problem.

Like to enjoy a cold beer while wandering through the street markets in the evening without getting a fine?

Or maybe you’ve always wanted to play Rambo & find out what it feels like to hold an AK47 in your hands or fire an M16 rifle on automatic? Well you can do that too in Cambodia.

Amid Asia’s plethora of problems stemming from poverty and government corruption – it can be a liberating place for travellers – where  you’re largely insulated from attracting unwanted attention from the police for petty sins like sipping a can of beer on the street or forgetting to buckle your seatbelt.

Whatever it is that blows your hair back about travel… Asia offers an incredible travel experience…whether you aim to soak up some rays on a tropical island – or prefer marvelling at ancient stone temples – you’re all but guaranteed to find something to excite & stimulate your senses in Asia.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joey July 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I have been reading several of your posts today about SE Asia, as I’m heading there in October for 6 months or so. And I must say I really have been enjoying all your posts on the subject. Lots of insight and fun things to consider doing.
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Marc Valentine July 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thank you Joey – glad to hear we are helping plan your trip. That’s what were aiming for.
Have an awesome time in Asia – it won’t disappoint.

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