Travel in Southeast Asia can be a bit rough at first as you step off the plane and experience culture shock, are bombarded by the smells of bustling cities and feel like your head is spinning with the amount of chaos and traffic.
But rest assured, there is a method to all of the madness in Asia and with some tips you’ll be able to travel Southeast Asia smoothly in no time. Just by knowing these tips and what to expect you’ll be prepared to handle almost all of what Southeast Asia throws at you. I say almost because you can never be fully prepared for Southeast Asia travel!
To make things even more simple I’m sharing the top sites to check out when travelling in Southeast Asia to help you save money, save time and to be in the know. From travel to destination tips, meeting fellow travellers and accommodation, add these sites to your favourites and thank me later!
Travelfish is my favourite go-to when researching pretty much anything in Southeast Asia from accommodation to how to get to a destination, things to do and more. Travelfish is an independent travel guide that covers the Southeast Asia region and is special because it is updated frequently and is written by people who live in or around the areas. Everything you read on the site has been researched and visited by the writer so you know you’re getting the best information you can.
Haven’t heard of Traveloka before? I didn’t either until long into my travels through Southeast Asia and I wish I had heard of them sooner! Traveloka is a one-stop site that specializes in travel by air and accommodation in Asia. But you can also book flights through Traveloka to places outside of Asia from Asia and vice versa.
Traveloka is the first site that I ever used to book flights where the price actually went down when I clicked book. You read that right, the flight prices went down when I booked for not one but two flights that I booked through Traveloka. I was cursing myself for all of those times I was using Skyscanner to book flights in Southeast Asia when really I should have been using a local site that could give me more options and better deals.
Traveloka connects you with the top airlines across Asia including budget airlines such as Scoot, local airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and international airlines such as Delta and Virgin Australia.
AirAsia is the most popular airline in Southeast Asia by far not just amongst backpackers, but also locals and other travellers alike. AirAsia claims that they make flying affordable for everyone and they really do with prices so low that I had no idea a flying could be so cheap.
AirAsia flies all over Asia and they have plenty of sales through the year plus you can collect points to get free flights as you’ll most likely use AirAsia multiple times. I tend to use sites such as Skyscanner or Traveloka to find the cheapest flights and if it’s AirAsia I will double check AirAsia’s site to see if the flight is cheaper by booking direct.
If you need to get somewhere in Southeast Asia then check out 12Go. This site is all about transportation across Southeast Asia and covers trains, buses, flights, ferries and transfers. All you need to do is search for where you want to go from where you are and 12Go will give you all of the options, times, details and prices. Trust me, this site will save you time and give you a good idea of what to expect for price even if you don’t end up booking through the site.
Agoda is another site that you may not heard of if you haven’t travelled through Southeast Asia before, even though they have accommodation options around the world. It is the king of accommodation in the Asia-Pacific region with the most options for you from budget hostels to guesthouses to 5-star hotels. It’s worth checking out along with your usual Booking or Hostelworld because Agoda may offer more options for you to choose from as it is the most popular accommodation booking engine in Asia and could also help you find some sweet deals.
Southeast Asia Backpacker Magazine
Southeast Asia Backpacker Magazine is available to read at accommodation around the region but the online website has also created a great go-to for information regarding visas, local phrases you should know and stories. There is also a forum on the website to ask questions and you have the option to meet up with other travellers that you connect with through the website. It’s definitely worth checking out and totally worth reading some of the stories!
Now you’re set to travel Southeast Asia like a pro!