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December 12, 2017 0 Comments

  Words and photos by Ambassador Josh Martin ( @joshmartinphoto )

 

Traveling through South East Asia may seem like it’s a world away. Culturally it can be different from anything you’re used to before. The area is known for landmarks like Angkor Wat, cities like Singapore, and beaches like Boracay. It’s vast differences make it such a phenomenal place to travel, but it’s prudent you find yourself prepared for the adventure it truly is. With all the inexpensive adventures, beautiful sights, and cultural heritage, this is a place you really want to be able to Live More & Worry Less.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your adventure.

1. Southeast Asia is humid … like really humid

 

Pack light cotton clothing and clothes that can be hand-washed easy. You’ll sweat through clothing in minutes. You’ve potentially never interacted with humidity this stifling. Keep bottled water in hand, and be prepared at the end of the night to rinse your shirt in the sink.

 

Tegenungan Waterfall, Bali

Cloud Forest Botanical Garden, Singapore

2. Change your money before leaving a country

 

You’ll get a better exchange rate to keep currency in a country. If you wait till you land in the next country to exchange currency, you’ll get a less advantageous exchange rate. So make sure to exchange currency the day before leaving, or at the airport. Shop around different currency exchanges and make sure you capitalize on changing money. Depending on where you exchange money, the extra fees may cause you to lose money that could have gone to lunch. Also, Small bills potentially can’t be changed back. Make sure to spend from Small to Large so you can exchange back to your home currency.

 

3. Cash is king

 

Simple. Cash in hand makes things move. When traveling, Cash is the best way to do anything. Bartering, Shopping, Traveling in Asia when it comes down to it. Cash is the one clear way to get everything done.

 

4. Bring insect repellant and sunscreen

 

Seriously. I spent 3 hours at the Marina Bay Sands pool with SPF 70, and I got torched. You’re literally on the equator, and often spending time in a Jungle/Marsh or near the ocean. Always have sunscreen and insect repellent on hand. They’re easy to get when you get there and it’s cheap. Run by a shop and have some on hand.

Uluwatu Cliffs, Bali

5. Keep an umbrella handy

 

Think South Florida. It’s uncommon for rain to last more than an hour, but you could get rain for 30 minutes every day you’re in south east Asia. You don’t need a big umbrella but if you can throw a little hand umbrella or Poncho in your Loctote you’ll be happier for it.

Tegenungan Falls, Bali

Walkway, Cloud Forest Botanical Garden, Singapore

6. Enjoy street food! Just be careful.

 

Every travel show has someone eating street food. Those people have stomachs that are galvanized by travel. A rule of thumb, if they don’t cook it in front of you… don’t eat it. Also avoid juices as they use water to mix with the juice to thin it out. Unless they cut the fruit in front of you, don’t eat it. Illness from food is common. I even recommend bringing a Z-pack. Travel antibiotics to just take with you for this reason.

 

7. BARTER, BARTER, BARTER

 

You can barter at most places while you're shopping. Now it’s not every place, but it is important to ask. Some places are even offended if you don’t barter a little. It’s an expected part of the culture or process. Never show how much money you actually have with you. Set a price you’re willing to pay for an item, and be willing to walk away.

*Note: Culturally, if you’re the first person in a shop in Asia… It’s bad luck if you don’t buy something. So if you’ll get a better deal, but you also have to be prepared to buy that item.

 

8. Get used to getting your pictures taken with locals

 

Locals in Singapore probably won’t take pictures with you, but it’s not uncommon in Bali, which sees less foreigners, to have people take a picture with you. Ask what they’d like you to do, and take the picture with them. You’re potentially making someone’s day.

 

9. They are the friendliest in the world

 

In SEA people will go out of their way to help you. If you’re lost, someone will take you to someplace to help you get directions. You’ll hear many stories of people getting trapped in rain and people opening stores, porches, patios to wait out some of the sudden downpours. It’s honestly heartwarming how friendly they can be. Do your part to pay it forward while you’re there. It’s a beach culture type of living.

Marina Bay Sands Pool, Singapore

Merlion Park, Singapore

10. Do NOT sweat the small stuff

 

It’s Southeast Asia, Planes will take off late. It will rain, there may be animals in the road. Traffic could be 20 minutes or an hour and a half. A family business may not open right at 9 AM. Be prepared to not sweat small things. Keep plans a little fluid and be willing to go with the flow. South East Asia has its own kind of lifestyle, and when you’re there, just go with it!  

 

Travel safe, Travel More!

Overlooking downtown Singapore.

Stepping through a gate to a different culture in Bali .

  Words and photos by Ambassador Josh Martin ( @joshmartinphoto )

 

Traveling through South East Asia may seem like it’s a world away. Culturally it can be different from anything you’re used to before. The area is known for landmarks like Angkor Wat, cities like Singapore, and beaches like Boracay. It’s vast differences make it such a phenomenal place to travel, but it’s prudent you find yourself prepared for the adventure it truly is. With all the inexpensive adventures, beautiful sights, and cultural heritage, this is a place you really want to be able to Live More & Worry Less.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your adventure.

 

1. Southeast Asia is humid … like really humid

Pack light cotton clothing and clothes that can be hand-washed easy. You’ll sweat through clothing in minutes. You’ve potentially never interacted with humidity this stifling. Keep bottled water in hand, and be prepared at the end of the night to rinse your shirt in the sink.

 

Tegenungan Waterfall, Bali

Cloud Forest Botanical Garden, Singapore

2. Change your money before leaving a country

You’ll get a better exchange rate to keep currency in a country. If you wait till you land in the next country to exchange currency, you’ll get a less advantageous exchange rate. So make sure to exchange currency the day before leaving, or at the airport. Shop around different currency exchanges and make sure you capitalize on changing money. Depending on where you exchange money, the extra fees may cause you to lose money that could have gone to lunch. Also, Small bills potentially can’t be changed back. Make sure to spend from Small to Large so you can exchange back to your home currency.

 

3. Cash is king

Simple. Cash in hand makes things move. When traveling, Cash is the best way to do anything. Bartering, Shopping, Traveling in Asia when it comes down to it. Cash is the one clear way to get everything done.

 

4. Bring insect repellant and sunscreen

Seriously. I spent 3 hours at the Marina Bay Sands pool with SPF 70, and I got torched. You’re literally on the equator, and often spending time in a Jungle/Marsh or near the ocean. Always have sunscreen and insect repellent on hand. They’re easy to get when you get there and it’s cheap. Run by a shop and have some on hand.

Uluwatu Cliffs, Bali

5. Keep an umbrella handy

Think South Florida. It’s uncommon for rain to last more than an hour, but you could get rain for 30 minutes every day you’re in south east Asia. You don’t need a big umbrella but if you can throw a little hand umbrella or Poncho in your Loctote you’ll be happier for it.

Tegenungan Falls, Bali

Walkway, Cloud Forest Botanical Garden, Singapore

6. Enjoy street food! Just be careful.

Every travel show has someone eating street food. Those people have stomachs that are galvanized by travel. A rule of thumb, if they don’t cook it in front of you… don’t eat it. Also avoid juices as they use water to mix with the juice to thin it out. Unless they cut the fruit in front of you, don’t eat it. Illness from food is common. I even recommend bringing a Z-pack. Travel antibiotics to just take with you for this reason.

 

7. BARTER, BARTER, BARTER

You can barter at most places while you're shopping. Now it’s not every place, but it is important to ask. Some places are even offended if you don’t barter a little. It’s an expected part of the culture or process. Never show how much money you actually have with you. Set a price you’re willing to pay for an item, and be willing to walk away.

*Note: Culturally, if you’re the first person in a shop in Asia… It’s bad luck if you don’t buy something. So if you’ll get a better deal, but you also have to be prepared to buy that item.

 

8. Get used to getting your pictures taken with locals

Locals in Singapore probably won’t take pictures with you, but it’s not uncommon in Bali, which sees less foreigners, to have people take a picture with you. Ask what they’d like you to do, and take the picture with them. You’re potentially making someone’s day.

 

9. They are the friendliest in the world

In SEA people will go out of their way to help you. If you’re lost, someone will take you to someplace to help you get directions. You’ll hear many stories of people getting trapped in rain and people opening stores, porches, patios to wait out some of the sudden downpours. It’s honestly heartwarming how friendly they can be. Do your part to pay it forward while you’re there. It’s a beach culture type of living.

Marina Bay Sands Pool, Singapore

Merlion Park, Singapore

10. Do NOT sweat the small stuff

It’s Southeast Asia, Planes will take off late. It will rain, there may be animals in the road. Traffic could be 20 minutes or an hour and a half. A family business may not open right at 9 AM. Be prepared to not sweat small things. Keep plans a little fluid and be willing to go with the flow. South East Asia has its own kind of lifestyle, and when you’re there, just go with it!  

 

Travel safe, Travel More!

Stepping through a gate to a different culture in Bali .


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