10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia

10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia

If you haven’t been to Asian countries yet, now is the time to go there. It’s warm, tasty and beautiful there all year round. But there are unexpected things that everyone who comes to Asia will inevitably encounter. We’ve put together a short list of things that might surprise or slightly shock you.

10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia

1. Local trips are fun

You should not take traveling by car or bus as a prelude to travel. In Asia, you will definitely learn about the existence of night buses (sleeping buses) with round-the-clock Asian films without translation, you will certainly get acquainted with motorcycle taxis that cut at high speed along busy roads, and with three-seater tuk-tuks that can accommodate 10-12 people . Any of these trips will remain in the memory for a long time.

2. Everything is relative, especially time

Thanks to the complex combination of traffic, bad roads, rain and the occasional hangover, you’ll soon get used to the fact that arriving at the meeting point on time is almost impossible. Booking a hotel in advance is something of the past, as is planning a trip further than 2 days. Over time, you will stop being upset by temporary collapses and will even begin to enjoy them. And this is perhaps one of the best lessons that Asia can teach.

3. Tourist offers are a complete disappointment

It will take a lot of time to develop a defensive reaction to the “brilliant” offers of street vendors. They will offer you visits to orphanages (not real ones, of course),

group transfers to nearby attractions at triple prices and “secret” entertainment venues. At first it will seem that there is no escape from all this, but soon you will understand everything and learn to find inexpensive accommodation, professional guides and friendly drivers yourself.

4. The nicer the restaurant, the worse the food

In Asia, you are more likely to get poisoned in a restaurant than in a street cafe. If pasta or steak is on the menu, be prepared to end up with something completely different. Even salads with familiar names will taste different. The most delicious food is always found in unsightly-looking establishments.

10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia

5. Knock-knock as affordable luxury

Knock-knock can be very different. Sometimes it’s a falling apart 30-year-old motorcycle with a sidecar, and other times a tuk-tuk can look cooler than a convertible. And its capacity (especially after dark) will confuse you at first. But if you know how to bargain, the trip will be not only unforgettable, but also very cheap.

10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia

6. The ubiquitous smell of durian

Durian is a fruit that looks like a huge chestnut, and its smell cannot be confused with anything else. Imagine a mixture of garlic, sweat and paint perfume. It doesn’t sound very pleasant, and in Asia you will feel it all the time. And if you taste durian, you will either immediately love it or hate it forever. And there can be nothing else between these extremes.

7. Friendly reptiles

Don’t be alarmed if you have small lizards running along the walls of your beach house. Geckos live in all countries of southeast Asia and are generally completely harmless. Leave the light on at night – small geckos will quickly rid you of mosquitoes, ants and other uninvited guests.

8. Thai Red Bull is not what you are used to

Energy drinks were invented in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand. Here it is called Krating Daeng and it turns out to be much stronger than what you could try in Russia or Europe. Just one jar and you won’t be able to sleep all night. By the way, the creator of the original Red Bull was inspired by Thai invigorating drinks.

9. Unexpectedly strict laws

If you are going to Singapore, be sure to familiarize yourself with its laws. This country imposes huge fines for seemingly minor violations. You can lose thousands of dollars for eating on the subway, and $5,000 for throwing a cigarette butt past. In addition, you cannot enter the subway and many buildings with durian. So if you have already fallen in love with it, try to enjoy it exclusively on the street.

10. The Other Side of Asian Friendliness

Asian countries have experienced a lot: periods of colonization, absurd, destructive wars, corruption, and poverty, but it seems that they have always smiled (and will smile). It is this inexhaustible friendliness that can make traveling to Asia one of the best experiences of your life.

10 things that surprise and shock in Southeast Asia


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