Tips for Student Travelers in Southeast Asia
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The popular tourist routes are laid in the Southeast Asia: people like to travel here in winter, as most of this region is in the tropics, where there is always good weather. There are exotic, ancient cultures, reasonable prices for everything and hospitable locals, but you can count on the hospitality only when you are aware of the local customs, traditions, and are in compliance with all regulations.
Many students travel abroad to have a rest from their studies. If you are willing to spend your time with benefit, ask a travel guide to help you and there will be someone who can help you with budgeting and explain you where you can use the discount.
If you want to have a rest you can receive help with writing papers, delay all your matters, and enjoy the travelling. The countries of the Southeast Asia are Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and some other states. They are known for the mixture of religions and cultures.
That is what puts a unique stamp on them. Buddhism and Islam are going together here and the ancient pagodas coexist with fast food; tourists should understand that there are strict rules and traditions that are obligatory in all countries without exception. These traditions operate throughout the region. Whether Myanmar and Brunei.
Do not touch head and feet
For instance, in the Southeast Asia you must not touch the head or the shoulders of local residents. The explanation is very simple. People believe that there is a kind spirit guarding the person somewhere on the shoulder and when you touch the shoulder he will fly away. Touching the head can be the risk to impose the spell. That’s why only the elderly relatives can touch the heads of children. In the Southeast Asia, the head is a “clean” part of a person, and feet are considered to be “dirty”. You should keep in mind these tips, and must not touch the feet of Asians.
Rules of the fast
If you travel to Indonesia or Brunei, you should be very careful: there are people who observe Islamic laws very strictly; the observation is even stricter than in the well-known United Arab Emirates. Happy tourists from abroad must keep in mind that during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan you must not eat and drink, if there’s someone fasting in the daytime. You should understand that in both of these countries it is not so easy to buy alcohol drinks. Best of all if the visitor will buy alcohol in bars and in the hotels.
How to welcome people
All people observe this custom: they bow to welcome: in Thailand, it is named “wai” in Laos – “nop” – no matter how it is named in different countries, the essence of a mini-tradition is that instead of a handshake Asians bow. They have folded hands and touch their chin or forehead and this depends on the status of the interlocutor, but we do not recommend welcoming others the way they welcome you. Here it does not work during the trips to Asia.
Rules in the temples
There are many temples in Thailand and Cambodia, which the tourists like to visit and entering them, the student should not forget that they can enter the temples only clockwise. Similarly, you need to go inside the temple clockwise. When you walk into the temple, take off your shoes. In any church, you can take pictures, but on one condition: you have to leave a donation, even a small one. But it is not necessary to give alms to the monks who are sitting at the streets of Asian cities as these monks can be impostors.
All the donations can be made in the temple. Keep in mind that there are two prohibitions: it is forbidden to take pictures with arms around the Buddha statue. If you are a woman, it is prohibited for you, even accidental to contact with the monks. Keep in mind that it is not allowed to you to touch the monk even for their mothers.
Thailand attracts many people because of Thai massage: here this great massage costs no more than 20 dollars but it is much cheaper than in Europe or even at the United States. That is cheap. It is possible to pay for it at the hotel but understand that it is cheaper to visit large massage parlors. It is inexpensive to pay for a massage on the street but the quality of the Thai massage will not be high, and the room will to be small and dirty.