1) Always add 2 or 3 hours to transport time

This is mostly applied to bus and coach travel. If you need to be anywhere for a certain time give yourself a few extra hours. Bus drivers tend to do what suits them despite having a bus full of people!

2) The western world should really think about using bum guns

Honestly, homage needs to be paid to the bum gun. They’re actually way more hygienic than toilet roll, and more importantly, SO much better for the planet. Every day twenty seven thousand trees are chopped down just for toilet roll. Think about that one.

3) Having lunch/dinner for breakfast is no longer strange 

Most places I’ve been, the locals have what we’d have for lunch/dinner for breakfast. I love cereal and eggs on toast, but things like noodle soup or eggs and rice or even curry really fills you for the rest of the day.

4) Gekkos are friends

They eat mosquitos! At first I was quite conscious of them being in the room but they’re just part of the furniture now. They’re actually quite cute.

5) Saying you don’t like it spicy doesn’t mean anything 

Mild, medium and spicy are usually combined into whatever the cook deems suitable for you. So it’s always best to test a curry first if you don’t like it spicy!

6) Food cravings can take over 

Asian food is amazing, but there will be days when it doesn’t matter how low your budget is, you just need to buy that sandwich or pizza or expensive salad or whatever it is you’re craving. This happens a lot when severely hungover.

7) The English language is so polite 

By default native English speakers, particularly English people, are so mannerly. We say please and thank you and generally beat around the bush with most things we say. Languages like Thai and Vietnamese don’t really use manners and get straight to the point when asking for something. It’s not rude, it’s just the language. I love how different they are.

8) There needs to be more awareness about recycling and the environment

I’ve been in shops where bananas are wrapped in plastic film. Bananas! They have a natural wrapper?! I also hate the endless use of disposable cutlery, chopsticks, plastic bags and burning rubbish on the street. There just isn’t the same awareness and attitude about the environment in Asia and pollution levels are so high.

9)  The longer you travel the bigger the gap will be between laundry trips 

You just kind of get to a point where if you sniff your clothes and they don’t smell bad, they’re still fine for a wash. When you start wearing bikini bottoms as pants, it’s time.

10) Getting scammed 

Unfortunately this is just one of those things that continues to happen. Always know the rough prices for day-to-day things and always ask the price before you buy something. Sometimes scams are unavoidable like visa prices at border crossings. It’s unfair, but it is what it is.

11) Nothing surprises you anymore when it comes to road safety 

Everyone drives whererever there want, how they want. When it comes to motorbikes anything goes. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a family of blindfolded monkeys driving!

12) You can’t always trust farts

Enough said.


3 thoughts on “12 things I’ve learnt from spending 1 year in South East Asia 

  1. This was such an interesting post for me to read. I have never been to South East Asia myself but my brother used to live in Hong Kong, and though that is quite westernized, I had to giggle a little when you mentioned the animals, because he said something similar. Now excuse me while I google what a bum gun is haha. Really fun post!

    Would you by any chance be interested in sharing some of your travel experiences? We’ve got a cool contest running at Creators.co that I think might be right up your alley. Be sure to check it out at https://creators.co/@creators/4231162! There are some pretty sweet prizes up for grabs too!

    Liked by 1 person

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