A Backpacker’s Travel Guide for South East Asia

South East Asia offers tourists a huge range of experiences, including feasting from the multi-ethnic, multilingual tapestry of cultures. Whether on holiday for a short break or there for work for an extended time, you will find this region of the world to be charming, alluring and inviting. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand make up an interesting mix of countries that have many similarities but very different cultures and attitudes.

However, to experience the riches and the draw of this region, you need to pack your backpack and go. Immerse yourself in the culture, taste the food, learn the language, meet the people and marvel at the stunning landscapes. Backpacking through this rich, diverse region will not only give you one of the most memorable experiences of your life but it will introduce you to a wide range of perspectives and worldviews. If not familiar with the region, consider a travel guide for Southeast Asia to ensure you navigate your way through these beautiful countries with ease and get the most out of your backpacker adventure.   

Continue reading to learn more about travelling in South East Asia as a backpacker so you can thoroughly enjoy your experience.

Have A Loose Budget

When planning to backpack in any part of this region, always plan your budget carefully. This budget should include all of the essentials including your accommodation, whether staying at a guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Make sure to include a budget for eating out, in addition to the essentials. Anything and everything you might need from toothpaste and soap to taxi fare and fees to visiting landmarks is important to budget. At the same time, remember, the point of the trip is to enjoy yourself, so allow yourself to splurge. When budgeting, make sure to include items that are not necessarily expensive but things that might add the overall experience.

Carry The Essentials

When travelling through the less-worn parts of the region, make sure to carry the essentials with you. Soap and toilet paper are very important as not all public bathrooms will be stocked up. There’s always the chance that you’ll pull up at a brand new garage where all the modern conveniences are available, but more often than not, you will be in places where these conveniences are not available. It’s important to be prepared in case you find somewhere that is not well equipped for your needs.

Street Food Euphoria

Get a sense of what the cultural palate is like by sampling the areas’ local street food. While fine dining has its own appeal, street food gives visitors a sensory overload of sizzling, spicy fried noodles or the enjoyment of exploring more exotic delicacies like insects. Don’t be afraid to try new things, new textures and flavours and let your taste buds go wild. On-street cooking is where many chefs earn their stripes, perfecting a handful of specialities. Jump in with an empty belly and an open mind and enjoy the culinary adventure of Southeast Asia. Make sure you stay safe and healthy abroad, with more helpful tips here.

Stay With The Locals

Guesthouses are very popular in South East Asia and are usually run by local families. Many of these guesthouses provide a homestay-like experience, including homemade food and interaction with the family. Finding accommodation like this can be much cheaper than staying in hotels or even hostels and offers a unique opportunity to experience the local way of life.

Backpacking Southeast Asia

These are just a few of the tips travellers should keep in mind when backpacking in South East Asia. There is a lot to do and see in the region that the only limitation is your imagination. From world-class scuba diving and surfing to visiting street markets and getting lost in Indiana Jones style temples, there is no shortage of incredible things to see and do. Throughout the region, the people will welcome you with open arms, feed you with the most amazing food and proudly share their culture with you. As a backpacker, it’s up to you to embrace their hospitality, be kind and appreciate all that comes your way as you navigate South East Asia.


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