Trekking Tips


Trekking is one of the most popular activities for people visiting South-East Asia. But there are few key factors in every trekking trip that you should be aware of before you set out. These include…
1. It will always be muddier than you were told it would be. This applies even if you were told it would be really, really muddy. Because it will be muddier than that.
2. There will be stepping stones that aren’t really stepping stones as there will be at least one significant gap. This will mean you either need to take your shoes off and tread into water of unknown depth with bare feet, or you’ll have to take the same gamble with the certainty of getting your shoes wet for the remainder of the trek.
3. No matter how tame the trek, you will end up bleeding at some point. Unless it is due to leeches, you will never quite work out how you’ve cut yourself.
4. You will forget to bring something, even though you’re given a clear list of what to bring with you. It’ll never be disastrous, but it will be a nuisance. Ie. You’ll be without water for the first couple of hours, you’ll not bring a towel so you have to drip dry, you’ll forget sun cream and go back bright red. Or, more likely, you’ll forget to bring anything to swim in so you either have to get your shorts soaking wet or do it in your pants when you get to that lovely waterfall pool.
5. If you go swimming in your pants, lots of people will turn up as you get far enough into the water to make backing out an impossible option. By the time you leave the water, there will be a herd of people, all disgusted by your clearly outlined genitalia.
6. You’ll always do the trekking trip when you really need to get laundry done and you can’t do it the next day due to needing to catch a bus or plane. That means your only clean clothes to wear will be a heavy pair of jeans and the tacky souvenir T-shirt that you were given in a bar/ terrible tourist attraction. You’ll also have to lug a set of filthy, wet clothes around with you for a couple of days.
7. You’ll learn something you don’t want to learn about the local wildlife. Never, ever ask whether snakes live in the area. You will not like the answer.
8. There will an excruciatingly awkward point of the trek where you are taken to a village and introduced to a villager in their house. The conversation will consist of saying hello, nodding and smiling. For at least ten minutes.

You can get Thailnd and Laos included as a stopover on your RTW here




Bangkok on your RTW


It’s the gateway to Thailand: There are ways of going to Thailand without going to Bangkok, but chances are that if you’re planning to spend a bit of time in the country, you’re going to have a day or two in Bangkok. So you may as well embrace it rather than fight it. And, whatever you think about Bangkok, Thailand is a fabulous country to travel around.

It’s wonderfully affordable: Compared to other major Asian hub cities – such as Singapore, Tokyo, Beijing, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur – Bangkok is really cheap on the ground. In the other cities, you find yourself watching the wallet. Not in Bangkok – food and drink is marvellously cheap, especially if you avoid flashy air-conditioned strictly-aimed-at-tourists restaurants.

That applies to hotels too: If you want to pick a city to splurge on a good hotel in, Bangkok is probably it. The Thai capital has arguably the best quality to price ratio in the world when it comes to hotels – and even flashy five star joints can be relatively affordable. The good news for the traveller is that there’s an oversupply of accommodation in Bangkok – and that means prices are driven down.

It’s a place that really grows on you: The secret to Bangkok is to stop trying to make it something it isn’t. It’s not the best place in the world for tourist attractions – once you’ve seen the temples and got on a boat, there’s really not all that much to grab your attention. Stop trying to charge around all the tourist attractions, however, and it’s far more enjoyable. Sleep in, stay out late, hit a few bars and generally be a bit lazy – Bangkok’s far more likeable that way. It’s a city that’s at its best when the sun has gone down – and once this is embraced, you warm to Bangkok frighteningly quickly.

It’s people-watching Nirvana: So much of what Bangkok is about happens out in the open. It’s about little street stalls selling food, markets flogging such obviously fake goods that they’re funny, and seedy bald men parading around with recently purchased Thai girlfriends. Bangkok is somewhere you can spend hours sat back bitching about the people that go past – whether the numpty with dreadlocks and a guitar, the hormone-ravaged horny backpackers or the local man trying to sell dodgy watches. It is, as a result, somewhere that is almost always engrossingly fascinating.


You can get Bangkok included as a stopover on your RTW here


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