Basic tips to take into account
This was my first trip to Asia and not all things went as they were planned because of small issues that we didn’t take into account. So these tips are for you if you plan on spending a lovely time in Asia in the near future.
Keep in mind:
Even if most of them try to speak English, not all succeed so that means you need to try hard to understand them or be prepared for almost anything that can happen and have at least an idea about a possible solution for that problem.
Always have cash in the currency of the country you are travelling in or through. Not all accept credit cards or European money. And what we noticed it that nothing is logic in ASIA. We had to pay a visa in Krabi and they would only accept Bahts, but there were no exchange before the passport control where we should have shown them the visa, so we had to be escorted out to change money and then come back to pay in their currency.
Cab drivers don’t know English well, so we took Uber which was a better idea but still, not all knew English. One of them asked for cash to pay highway tolls on the way to the other airport, which is very weird.
If you know you are right, be sure to insist even if they don’t really understand what you are saying. We had a booking problem in Kuala Lumpur. The guy at the reception said he couldn’t find our reservation because we had to check in a day before. We lost our flight in the way to Kuala Lumpur and arrived a day later but I sent them an email via Booking.com to let them know about the problem. They just said they are fully booked and our reservation has been cancelled by Booking.com even if I never got a cancellation email. I insisted, then a manager came and we finally got our room. Basically if I would have taken for granted what the guy said I would have went to another hotel just like that.
Dress casually and modest especially when visiting temples. They will give you a long scarf or skirt to wear it over your clothes if you have skirts or shorts above your knees(only women).
Be sure to keep your eyes on your belongings because there are pick-pocketers all around.
And because I told you about our lost flight, you should consider taking about 2 hours for your visa on arrival in Thailand. No need for a visa in Malaysia.
What you need for a visa on arrival:
- Hold the citizenship of a country on the list issued by the minister under the consent of the Council of Ministers of Thailand.
- Aim to enter Thailand for tourism for the period of not exceeding 15 days.
- Submit one 4 x 6 cm. headshot photo taken no longer than 6 months.
- Does not fall into the category of aliens prohibited from entering Thailand under the Immigration law.
- Possess the return ticket within 15 days.
- Truthfully notify the verifiable places to stay in Thailand.
- Present evidence of adequate finance, not less than 10,000 Baht (250US$) per person and 20,000 Baht (500US$) per family.
- Possess a passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months.
- Pay 2,000 Baht for the visa fee (Thai currency only)
Food is basically cheap, but I have to admit I haven’t tried any specialities because I was afraid of getting sick to my stomach. I don’t usually eat fried things, and no meat so I lived on italian and mediteranean food. It’s a shame, I know but well, I didn’t want to risk it, I know myself very well and it wouldn’t have been good. Plus, as they don’t really speak much English, it would have been weird ordering something I wouldn’t know what it is. But I stuffed my face with fresh fruits daily and at least 2-3 watermelon drinks a day. I still miss it so much:(
As for transportation, Kuala Lumpur had Uber, so we took it regularly because it was also cheap. We also used Uber for rides in Bangkok, but Krabi didn’t have it so had other solutions. You can easily take a bus a taxi or tuk-tuk depending on the comfort and quality you want. But if you wanted to go on pre-organised trips, you would be picked up with a kind of open taxi that had benches in the back of a pick-up truck. The comfort wasn’t that great, but it was surely fun. The beached are incredible and you should go and visit as many as possible. You can book a taxi-boat, speed boat or just join other tourists on special trips.There are so many places to visit, you just need to make a list and prioritize everything. This trip was on short notice so we didn’t actually know what to expect and we didn’t do much research either so basically we went with the flow.
If Kuala Lumpur wasn’t that spectacular, to me at least, I would go back to Thailand anytime!