A school trip to Asia can sound like an exhilarating journey, especially if you are traveling for the first time. While it could be one of the most exciting yet daunting experiences to have as a first-timer, traveling to Asia also has the power to leave a lifelong impression on you – in a very good way! Check out a few of my top tips for first time travelers to Asia that can help you craft your journey into something immersive and adventurous.
1. Essentials Although it may seem too obvious a point to highlight, there are three things that are absolutely crucial to organise in advance
Your Passport with Appropriate Visas Firstly, you’ll need to apply for a passport in your home country if you don’t have one. This can take up to several months for your passport to arrive but those who need it in a hurry can pay an extra amount to receive it within days.Next, apply for visas through the embassy of the country you wish to visit. Some countries such as Thailand issue visas upon arrival so it’s crucial to check the guidelines and policies of the places you plan to visit in advance. GROUND Asia staff can offer expert advice for each country and can help you apply for necessary visas.
Book your Flights While you can browse for more economical tickets online, you can also consult through your local travel agent and get the best possible deal.
Money! While there are many currency exchange services and ATM machines in most Asian cities and towns, we’d recommend exchanging a little bit of currency in your home country so that you have cash on your arrival.
2. Food A lot of people raise eyebrows or express concern over street food in Asia. This is mostly to do with hygiene or its presentation. Part of the charm of traveling in Asia is about embracing that risk and chaos. It might seem a bit mundane to travel around and eat from western restaurants all the time. My own travels around to Southeast Asian countries have proved how misleading these concerns are!Here are my top chow items that you shouldn’t miss:
Sri Lanka – Kottu, comes in a variety of choices like chicken, vegetable, cheese, beef or crab.
Indonesia – Sambal, a chili paste that makes your life a little more interesting!
Thailand – Somtam, the healthy green papaya salad, and of course, mango sticky rice.
Vietnam – Beef Pho, a delicious noodle soup made of stewed or red braised beef, beef broth, vegetables, and Chinese noodles. Mmm… yum!
3. Clothing in Asia Dress to be comfortable! For those who are traveling to Asia for more than a week, it’s best to pack lightly. It’s also important to take in to consideration what type of climate the country you are traveling to has. Some parts of Asia can be a little cold due to their altitude, while others have a hot and wet tropical climate. Also, it’s very important to pack a few items of clothing for when you visit religious places like temples. For instance, in Sri Lanka, it is always respectful to wear long white pants and white tops with short or long sleeves.
4.Traveling Around On a GROUND Asia travel program, we’ll arrange all transfers for you. During your stay you’ll get to experience a variety of different types of transportation too, including trains, minivans, taxis, boats and of course, tuk tuks!
Like what you see? Get in touch with GROUND Asia to create an amazing journey focusing on experiential and educational travel in Asia.
More to about Before Your Trip
GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.