5 mistakes you’re making in Asia

Southeast Asia is a favourite destination for Australian – it’s cheap, has delicious food and vibrant culture. But before you jet off  – take some time to brush up on some of the local customs.
Southeast Asia mistakes

Floating fishing village and rock island in ” Lan Ha ” Bay, Vietnam, Southeast Asia Picture: Shutterstock

The Global Work and Travel Co specialise in ethical, humanitarian and environmental holidays and working holidays. This week they put together a list of the five cultural mistakes first-time visitors to Southeast Asia make. Are you guilty of any of these?

Bad clothing choices

Southeast Asia is really humid. You’ll likely be drenched in sweat from head to toe within minutes of stepping outside when travelling in SouthEast Asia. Ensure you pack light cotton clothing and clothes that can be easily hand washed. Leave your expensive and dry-clean-only clothes at home.
Seat mistakes Asia

This is not good. Wear light breathable clothing in Asia. Picture: Shutterstock

Forgetting to get cash

You need to carry cash when travelling in Southeast Asia. You will hardly ever pay for anything using your card. If payment is required by card, you’ll likely be charged a 3 per cent fee on the total price. Things are cheap in Southeast Asia, so smaller notes will come in handy.
Cash SouthEast Asia

You will need cash to pay for that. Picture: Shutterstock

Shoes off

The “shoes off” custom stems back to ancient times and hee act of stepping up symbolising entering someone’s private space. Guests were expected to remove their shoes before stepping up to the main house. This is a mark of respect to the hosts and is a big no-no if you don’t. Plus it keeps the place cleaner. Keep your shoes outside the front door.
Southeast asia tourist mistakes

Always take your shoes off at temples and people’s homes. Picture: Shutterstock

Haggle – but don’t take it too far

For many of us, haggling or bargaining is hard to get used to when you first arrive in Asia. Not only is it accepted in the majority of places in Southeast Asia, but it is also expected. It is the way business is done, deals are struck and livings are made. Many items form food to clothing to souvenirs are cheap compared to western prices. Remember you are a foreigner here and whoever you are dealing with is just trying to make a living, so be fair with your haggling.
Southeast asia tourist mistakes

You can haggle – but remember these workers are trying to make a living. Picture: Shutterstock

You can eat street food – but be careful

Street food is common in Southeast Asia. It’s cheap and it’s delicious. However, it is important to proceed with caution and only buy food that is cooked in front of you. You should also avoid cut fruit and fresh juices.
Street food rules Asia

Street food is cheap and delicious. Picture: Shutterstock

READ MORE:

This week’s cheap flight deals

5 tips for safe solo travel

What to look for when buying travel insurance

Holidays You May Also Like

Top Cruise

16 Night Travel Australia & New Zealand on Serenade of the Seas

On a magical round trip from Perth, explore Australia's top attractions, enjoy a day of discovery in Sydney, Newcastle, Airlie...
16 Nights
Relaxed
Bucket list

22 Night Brisbane to Singapore on Queen Victoria

Sample diverse destinations on a luxury Brisbane to Singapore Cruise on Queen Victoria, from Whitsundays beaches to street food in...
22 Nights
Relaxed

64 Night Sydney to New York Cruise on Queen Mary 2

Embark on a grand odyssey across five continents on this luxury Sydney to New York Cruise on Queen Mary 2.
64 Nights
Relaxed
Bucket list

10 Day Classic Singapore & Malaysia - Save Up to $570pp

Soak up a melting pot of cultures on this Singapore and Malaysia tour covering the best of Singapore, Melaka, Kuala...
10 Days
Moderate
Bucket list

15 Day Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia

Linger in the aromatic streets and open air on this Vietnam and Cambodia tour showing off highlights like Halong Bay,...
14 Nights
Moderate

19 Day Indochina Explorer

Enjoy the benefits of small-group touring with this unique 19-Day Indochina Explorer tour in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
19 Nights
Moderate