SE Asia FAQ’s

How will you speak to the locals in SE Asia?

The majority of locals that you will encounter will speak a little bit of English, especially in the more touristy areas since they want to sell you stuff.  I do advise to learn a few basic words of the native language.  (hello, thanks, bye, how much, etc.)  It shows that you appreciate their culture and they often will treat you better.  You can pick these up as you go along as well and even ask how to say more words, most people will even sit down and teach you.


Are the locals friendly and is SE Asia dangerous?  

There are good people and bad people all over the world, but it really shouldn’t be any more dangerous than your own town so long as you don’t go around acting stupid and drinking excessively.  Every place has its horror stories but just use common sense.  Keep your guard up if you hear a place is dangerous and you will be fine. There are plenty of tips to staying safe like – traveling in groups, especially at night.  I found that it’s the friendliest locals that are sometimes dangerous, not that they want to hurt you, but they want to scam you for your money.


What kind of money do they use in SE Asia and how much to bring?  

Each country has its own currency.  In Thailand for instance it’s the Thai Baht.  The Vietnamese currency is called the Dong.  Many countries will also take US Dollars and Cambodia ‘s economy is based solely on the US Dollar.  There are ATM’s just about everywhere so you don’t have to carry around too much money with you.  You will want to check with your bank before traveling to see what the out of country ATM fees are.


How much money do you spend per month in SE Asia? 

This depends on many things:  countries visited, type of travel (plane, train, bus), type of accommodation (hostel, guest house, hotel), food (street vendors or restaurants), entertainment (drinking), and extra activities (tours and sports).  Budgets of travelers range from $800 a month to over $2,000 a month (US Dollars).  If you are going on vacation for 2 weeks then go crazy and spend all your money, but if you plan on backpacking around for months take it easy and don’t blow your money-roll in the first month of a several month trip.


What is the difference between a hotel, guest house, and a hostel?

Hotels are the most expensive form of accommodation in SE Asia.  Bottom end hotels can cost about $30.  A Guest house is usually a step down from a hotel and range from $10 to $22 for a two bed room.  Traveling around with a second person will not only be safer but also cheaper.   The cost of many rooms (2 beds) is the same whether you have 1 person or 2 people.  If you are alone the last option is a hostel which are not everywhere in SE Asia, and are often not very clean, but rooms can be as cheap as $5.


How many weeks for each country in SE Asia?

This really depends on how much time you have.  I averaged about 3 weeks in each country and did not feel rushed.  Some people would prefer to stay longer in one country to get really get to know it, while others I met where moving at an even faster pace than me.  Another factor is what do you want to do or get out of your trip.  Are you into the outdoors, history, shopping, or partying?   If you’re not sure where to start.  Thailand is usually a safe bet.  www.wildlifeofbrian.com/se-asia/thailand/