It’s only fair after I have spent two days short of 14 weeks in East and South East Asia that there should be some recognition of some of the best and worst, so without further ado.

The best things I found about Asia are:

  • #5 – China.  Just because I had a great time there, independent travel through there is a hoot.  Genuine interest from the locals, get there before the scamming tourist culture arrives.
  • #4 – The Weather.  It has been simply phenomenal, I mean I had planned to be in these parts during the dry season/cooler times, but I never expected it to be this good.  In the 96 days since I arrived in Beijing I have had only two wet days.  Therefore I throw my weight behind the recommendation of travelling China in October and South East Asia in November and December.
  • #3 – The inexpensive travel and accommodation.  Most local buses and trains are between USD $1-2 per hour of travel. E.g.  Equivalent of Auckland to Wellington by bus for less than NZD $20.  Besides Singapore, the majority of guesthouses/backpackers have cost between NZD $4-10 per night.
  • #2 – Market/street food.  It’s tasty, cheap, at every turn, wide in variety and directly supports those that need it most.
  • #1 - And the #1 thing I have found about Asia is: the richness of life.  The people, their culture, their commitment to their religious beliefs, their communal lifestyles, the landscapes they create and of course the fresh food markets.

Where there are pro’s there are usually con’s, so the worst or annoying things about Asia were:

  • #5 – The Vietnamese bus rides which encompass the potted state of the coastal roads and their ‘compulsive disorder-like’ use of the horn in place of mirrors, lights, basically any other driving aid.
  • #4 – Ignorant/rude tourists that talk down to locals.
  • #3 – The spitting/throat wrenching the Chinese seemed to have mastered.
  • #2 – The touts and scammers who constantly badger you or simply see you as cash machines (South East Asia).  I guess you just have to remember they are trying to make a living, but flat out ripping us off isn’t playing ball.
  • #1 -  And the # 1 annoying aspect I found about Asia was: not being able to speak the local languages so that you can actually engage in a conversation with the friendly locals you meet.  Sure the locals involved with tourism can speak a bit of English, but it’s not the same.

Distinction in the category of randomness or humorous:

  • Seeing 6 people on a motor scooter in Phenom Penh, Cambodia.
  • Chinese toddlers crutch-less pants
  • Chinglish on signs!
  • Elephant walking down Th Kho San Rd in Central Bangkok
  • Laos malaria poster

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