1. Walking into a phallic shrine
And just when you hadn’t seen any penis in a while you bump into this shrine in Krabi, Thailand. There are penises in all colours and sizes. Apparently they’re there to make offerings to Phra Nang, a Princess Goddess who lived in the cave centuries ago.
2. Sharing a sleeperbus bed with a stranger
When you’re a solo-traveler you find yourself sharing the (already too small) sleeperbus bed with a random person. It can be really awkward if you have to spoon with a stranger! If you’re lucky, it’s a tall German guy who smells like sweat and drinks beer the whole ride. Good night!
3. Getting attacked by a ladyboy
Partyplaces like Vang Vieng, Siem Reap and Patong have ladyboys who approach (especially) male farangs to spend the night with them. Be carefull, not all of them are friendly! Some travelers get attacked or robbed by one. If you’re looking for a nice ladyboy experience you should go to the Ladyboy Cabaret in Chiang Mai, it’s a fun night out!
4. Waiting for cows crossing the road
But also other animals like dogs, goats, buffalo’s and chickens may cross your path while driving. The good thing is; there’s no rush getting somewhere so just stop and enjoy the beautiful view and animals!
5. Taking a shit without toiletpaper
Yup, shit happens! The squat-toilet, no bumgun, only you, your hand and the water. We’ve all been there.
6. Asked to be in pictures
Sometimes there’s even a queue to take a photo with you. SMILE and get used to the fact that even monks want to take a picture with you!
7. Having a motorbike accident
But what did you expect? Most backpackers never drove a motorbike before they came to Asia. They learn how to drive one in the most chaotic traffic ever (Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City). Hitting a dog, slipping on a dirtroad or crashing into another vehicle are common accidents. You’ll see many people with bandages in Pai and Koh Phangan for example.
8. Camp at the beach
As a backpacker you don’t have the money to stay in an expensive bungalow or hotel at the beach. Solution is: buy a tent or a hammock! Nothing is more peacefull than falling asleep and waking up with the sound of the sea. Enjoy the beautiful sunset and drink some beers at the bonfire.
9. Getting proposed by a local (or proposing one and getting rejected)
“You’re so beautiful, will you marry me?” A phrase a lot of farang girls will hear from Asian men. But it also works the other way around. My friend proposed a Birmese girl but unfortunately for him, she said no.
10. Meeting the most adorable kids
Back at home you don’t like children at all but in Asia they’re all so cute! The kids look happy to see yo and you want to hug them all the time.
11. Falling in love with mango (sticky rice, shakes etc.)
Mango in Southeast Asia doesn’t taste like the mango back home. The taste is indescribable! It’s perfection and because of that very addictive. You find yourself drinking multiple mangoshakes a day and having mango sticky rice as dessert every night.
12. Getting involved in a car crash
No rules in traffic means; a lot of collisions! And there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. Your life is in the hands of the driver and you can only pray you’ll arrive safe and well at your next destination.
13. Buying tourist clothes
You don’t need to bring any clothes with you to Asia, you can buy them all there! Tourist clothes are relatively cheap and you can find them everywhere. Plus you’ll feel brand new AND you can recognize your fellow travelers easily!
14. Visiting countless temples and pagoda’s
Buddhism is the biggest religion in Southeast Asia and there are temples and pagoda’s everywhere! Because of that you get spoiled and tired of visiting all these beautiful buildings. For Buddhist people they are unique but for you it’s ‘just an other temple’. Definitely don’t skip Bagan and the Temples of Angkor when you’re in SEA! It’s an indescribable feeling to visit those old ruins.
15. Drinking beer with locals
Everyone of us is going to a country to learn something about the culture. Sometimes it’s hard to understand a culture if you don’t speak the language. But what do we all have in common? Yep, drinking beer! After a Chang, Beerlao, Angkor or Bia Saigon it’s suddenly very easy to communicate. Chok dee!