20 things nobody says when backpacking in Southeast Asia

20 things nobody says when backpacking in Southeast Asia

I’ve blogged extensively about my travels in Southeast Asia, backpacking through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (someday I’ll go back and visit the rest).

I’ve written about the highs and the lows, the best things to do and places to visit, the food and some events that shouldn’t be missed. Want travel tips? I’ve got a ton of those. One time, I even pitched three countries in a fictional boxing match to see which country would win in a fight.

Now I’ve come up with a list of 20 things no-one says when backpacking in Southeast Asia – without sarcasm, anyway.

If you haven’t been to SE Asia yet, you mightn’t understand some of these. But hopefully those who have backpacked through this part of the world will agree.

About visiting Angkor Wat…

“Angkor why bother? I’m not impressed.”

“Wearing high heels was a good choice.”

When drinking…

“No, I will not have another beer – 30 cents per bottle is far too rich for my blood.”

“I’ll have a glass of your finest local wine.”

“Can I get a glass of tap water please?”

20 things nobody says when backpacking in Southeast Asia

About taxi drivers…

“Boy, I’m really glad so many taxi drivers toot their horns at me every time they drive past. How else would I ever find a taxi when I need one?”

“No, I don’t want you to turn on the taxi meter. I trust you to quote me a fair price upfront.”

In Bangkok…

“Ping Pong show? Sounds like fun for the whole family.”

“Let’s hire a bicycle and go for a relaxing ride through the city.”

“Let’s not bother going to the islands – Bangkok is already so easy-going and relaxing.”

“Smell all that fresh air!”

In Vietnam…

“The best strategy for crossing the road is always to wait for a gap in the traffic. So far I’ve only been waiting an hour…”

20 things nobody says when backpacking in Southeast Asia

About the food…

“Pad Thai is disgusting.”

“I hate Asian food. Let’s go find a McDonald’s.”

When buying things…

“Haggling is for suckers. I always pay full price.”

“A hidden extra fee, you say? Sounds legit.”

“Everything is much cheaper in London.”

“Are these designer goods authentic?”

On travel in general…

“An overnight, 14-hour bus journey? That sounds like fun!”

“Let’s fly Malaysia Airlines – I hear they have a perfect safety record.”

Got anything to add? Give me your own things no-one ever says about travel in Asia in the comments section below…

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.


  1. Or….

    “Oh the Egyptian museum is closed today? How lucky for me that you’re a security guard on his day off who hangs around the museum in plain clothes. Why yes, I’m sure it’s a great idea to go to your cousin’s store instead. Let me just follow you blindly down the street!”

  2. How about:

    “Really, my train from Delhi to Agra has been cancelled and now I need to get in this taxi that has magically appeared, and buy another ticket from your friend’s agency in town, then catch a train from a different railway station later in the day? Sounds legit.”

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