Asia provides travellers of all ages and tastes with a bountiful supply of wondrous adventures to experience. As such, it’s hardly a surprise the Eastern continent has become one of the most popular for younger people to explore on their gap year. Today, let’s run through some top tips for your year out in Asia.
Vegan food is certainly not hard to come by in the Orient. Here is a list of the 10 best cities to find vegan-friendly food in – so you’ll never have to worry about going without a bite to eat if you’re not a fan of eating meat or animal products.
At the same time, more adventurous munchers will be able to chow down on a wild and varied assortment of grub. You’ll without question have the chance to try something you never have before.
It probably feels customary to leave a tip after every meal at a restaurant where you’re from, but this isn’t actually a custom which has developed across the vast majority of Asia. You might get some funny looks if you leave additional money behind after you’ve paid.
That said, as time progresses and the cultural boundaries between continents become lessened, eating establishments have started accepting and even expecting a tip from western tourists. In Thailand, an additional 10% service charge is added onto some meals. Make sure not to tip if this has been added to your bill.
Sadly, just like with anywhere, you’ll find a selection of scams which are targeted at tourists. One of the most common comes in the form of cab or rickshaw drivers who take you on long-winded routes around the city that take twice as long and cost twice as much as they should.
A more alarming form of scam comes in the form of “accidental damage” which you’ve allegedly caused to a roadside vehicle. You may find someone knocking on your hostel door asking you to pay compensation. It won’t be a huge charge, and you’ll be tempted to pay it just to get them to go away. Don’t fall for it.
4. Tourist traps
Practically a scam in itself, tourist traps can be found strewn across the entirety of Asia (and the world, for that matter). The What’s Dave Doing blog highlights a series of the worst traps in the continent, with his list including:
- Kuta Beach – Bali
- Vang Vieng – Laos
- Phuket – Thailand
While you might find something you enjoy there, they’re largely overrated, and will probably charge you silly prices for barely any real value. That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit these spots, but you do need to be careful.
Always do you research, no matter where you’re headed. Find out as much as you can about local customs (you don’t want to offend anyone) and the best places to see. Absorb every sniff of information you can before travelling and your trip will be all the more amazing.
Have these tips for travelling to Asia on a gap year made things easier for you in the long term? Bear all of these factors in mind when you’re out there.
This was a guest post written by Isabel Leong from belaroundtheworld