Having lived in Korea for the last two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to explore many countries in Asia. Each country that I’ve visited has its own unique culture, food, and attractions. If you’re thinking about visiting Asia for the first time, you may be looking for some tips. Here are 6 tips for travel within Asia:
Know the Customs for Each Country
While you may notice some customs are similar when traveling between different countries in Asia, they’re not always the same. It’s important to do a bit of research before your trip so that you can be prepared and be respectful. Learning how to dress appropriately is one way in which you can make sure that you’re meeting the local customs.
You may choose to visit temples while on your travels. When visiting temples, make sure that you’re legs especially are covered up — you should not be visiting in short shorts. If you’re looking for an easy fix, consider throwing a sarong in your bag to cover up when you arrive at a temple. Additionally, when visiting South Korea, it’s important to take care not to expose your shoulders or to have cleavage exposed.
As a guest to each country, you want to give your best effort and be respectful!
Learn A Bit of the Language
It can be very beneficial to learn some of the language before visiting each country. Depending on how rural of an area you plan to visit, there may be almost no English spoken. In addition, you want to try your best to make an effort with the locals. It can be fun to learn some new words before visiting each country.
Here are 5 ways to say “Hello!”
Vietnamese: Xin chao (sin chow)
Here are 5 ways to say “Thank you!”
Thai: Kop Khun Maag
Vietnamese: Cám ơn
Don’t Forget About Budget Airlines
If you’re looking to fly to different countries within Asia, make sure that you take a look at the budget airlines. This can be a great way to cut costs significantly so that you have more money left in your budget to explore and eat all the delicious food. Plane tickets don’t have to be priced outrageously and thanks to some great airlines — they aren’t! Note that you need to check baggage allowances — I am now used to only bringing a small carry on bag. It makes life easier once I reach my destination as well!
I took a look back at a few of my flights to see the costs (note — you can probably get even better deals as these were booked while working as a teacher in Korea — and sometimes I didn’t find out my vacation until 6-8 weeks ahead of time!)
$234 R/T through VietJet Seoul to Hanoi
$116 One-Way through Peach Aiation Seoul to Osaka
$154 One-Way through Jeju Air Tokyo to Seoul
$208 R/T ticket through Jeju Air Hong Kong to Seoul
Be sure to check the following airlines: Air Asia, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Jetstar, V Air, Scoot, Peach Aviation, VietJet, Cebu Pacific Air. Why not save money on airfare so that you can spend more on hotels, food, and attractions?
Make Your Money Last Longer in Southeast Asia
There are so many great countries to choose to visit while in Asia; You may not know which to pick! If you have a set budget in mind or are low on funds this trip — consider visiting Southeast Asian destinations. This can be a great way to stretch your dollar more. There are many great destinations to choose from — Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia — just to name a few. Here, costs are lower and there’s a lot to see and do. Save even more by checking out the delicious street foods.
Make sure that you visit your dream destinations — but also consider Southeast Asia if you want to save some cash!
Be Prepared for Cash vs Credit Card
If you’re used to traveling within the US, Europe, or other destinations — you may be used to swiping your credit card wherever you go. Credit cards may be accepted in some locations within Asia — but in some countries or cities, it may be less rare to have this option. Make sure that you look into each country’s cash vs credit card situation so that you’re prepared and have enough funds. In Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, I mostly used cash. While in Indonesia (specifically Bali) recently, most places did take credit card — but some of the smaller shops and cafes did not. I personally like to travel with some cash and also like to have a credit card just in case.
Plan a Layover in Incheon International Airport
And my last tip for travel with in Asia is this — If at all possible, I recommend planning a layover in South Korea! Incheon International Airport has a lot of great amenities and services for individuals traveling through. You can read about the many benefits of Incheon International Airport, but some of the highlights include free showers and rest areas while you wait for your next flight and free transit tours! If you want to experiment a bit of South Korea while on the way to your next adventure, I recommend a stop here. Of course you should plan a longer trip as well — here’s 15 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Seoul.
And there you have it — 6 tips for travel within Asia. I hope you find this post helpful for your upcoming adventures!