Transfer from the airport
If you arrive in an Asian country at night, the best option is to stay at the airport until the morning. Don’t be afraid, it’s not as scary as it seems – most airports have enough nooks and crannies. This way you will avoid a double fare for a taxi and paying for an extra day at the hotel. In the morning, you leave the terminal, pass by greedy taxi drivers and catch cheap public transport to the most popular tourist area – such places are usually packed with hotels, Google Maps will not let you lie.
Before lunch, you have time to go around several hostels and find the best price (I hope you didn’t book the hostel in advance?). Do not believe the vows of interested parties that “we do not have public transport here”, it is almost everywhere. You are in Asia, but still not in the Gobi Desert.
Those who stay in a hostel for a week or more can agree on a discount of at least 5-10% on the spot. Arriving by taxi, do not let the driver follow you – the manager will realize that you are just from the airport and do not yet know the real situation so that the price of the room can immediately increase so that the hotel can pay a bribe to the bomb for “fitting the client”. If you need housing for a month, it is better to use the Airbnb website or buy a local SIM card and Google ads for renting apartments (you can also stumble upon them on the bulletin board in some 7-Eleven stores) – you will be without neighbors, but with a kitchen and your refrigerator.
Street food is cheap only at first glance. Therefore, in the long term, it is better to eat from the markets that are in any area. After lunch, prices fall there, a lot of produce is given away for almost free. There is no kitchen in the hostel? Not a problem. A cheap rice cooker is bought in the supermarket ($ 6-15), installed in the room. With a certain skill, you can cook almost anything on it, up to steaks. It is even easier to boil tea. Tip: take a room with a window, so as not to have difficulties with ventilation.
In Asia, all drinking water is purchased. In stores, it is quite expensive, and you will want to drink constantly. What to do? Look for cheap vending machines for selling water (as in Thailand or Malaysia), they are usually installed on quiet streets where tourists do not walk. This way water costs decrease significantly.
How not get poisoned? Don’t drink raw tap water. Carry a boiler with you, and preferably two (in Asia, they are strained).
Street food is completely safe in countries like clean-loving Thailand or the Philippines that respect good roasting. Trays and canteens work there only half a day, so the food does not have time to spoil even in the heat. Another thing is India or Sri Lanka, where hygiene and sanitation are not included in the list of mandatory benefactors and you can enchant yourself even in a decent-looking restaurant. If your stomach categorically does not accept any local cuisine, and McDonald’s is not an option anymore, find a way to cook yourself. there are many interesting vegetables – for example, delicious “ladies ‘ fingers”.
Do not forget to wash the fruits that are eaten with the peel. When buying meat and fish in the markets, try to do it before lunch. Before the markets close, when unsold goods are often pushed off at a discount, pay attention to the smell, gills, color and try to cook the meat thoroughly.
Street food is completely safe in countries like clean-loving Thailand or the Philippines that respect good roasting
If the terrible thing still happened, most likely you will get off with ordinary diarrhea (activated charcoal is the best friend). More serious poisoning is unlikely. Another thing is injuries that can’t be cured so easily: medicine in Asia is not cheap, so it is very useful to have fresh insurance in case you go to a local hospital with a broken limb.
Plastic card or cash? Both. The card will not allow you to steal all your money at once; if you lose it, you can quickly freeze it or transfer the money to another one. In case of force majeure, the household will always be able to drop money on the card. The card is just convenient: for example, if you intend to use the world’s best low-cost airline AirAsia, tickets purchased through the website will cost twice as much as those sold at the ticket office (although if the cardholder is not among the passengers indicated in the armor, they may have questions). The card allows you not to waste time searching for exchangers with a “normal” exchange rate, to contact the creepy Lankan money changers, or to stand in queues at Chinese banks; and few exchangers are working in the evenings.
But remember: in Asia, ATMs charge at least $ 5 for each withdrawal, so it’s better to withdraw 200 dollars at once. In addition, not every ATM will accept a foreign card and not all ATMs are at hand. And online purchases often require the introduction of an additional code, which is sent to the mobile phone number registered in the bank (and roaming does not always work, so it makes sense to leave the mobile phone to relatives and receive all the codes from them via Skype). Another important point: when going on a trip, you need to increase the withdrawal limit ahead of time and provide your bank with a list of countries you intend to visit, so that the card is not blocked at the most dramatic moment. Use a debit card, not a credit card – it will not allow you to get into debt.
It happens that the only ATM in the area is broken, so it is always useful to have a vintage “spare tire” in the form of a hundred-dollar bill sewn into your pants
Where else can the card be useless? Southeast Asia is a world of small shops and canteens where only cash is accepted, and even in supermarkets, electronic terminals are found only in some exceptional places. In addition, when entering some countries, a tourist may be required to present large amounts of cash confirming his solvency. The same can happen when applying for visas at embassies, and there is not always time and opportunity to make a bank account statement.
How to recognize that the price of something is too high? Very easy. Proceed from the fact that it is always too high for you. A pale-faced stranger will immediately have to put up with the lack of price tags in almost all places, except for chain stores, large malls, and supermarkets. In private shops and street “bombs”, the first announced amount is always doubled, and everyone understands this, so it is appropriate to bargain – offering 30 % and hearing a condescending laugh in response, as a result, you can often agree on 50 %. If the merchant is stubborn, leave. You have nothing to lose: the speculator will either run after you, shouting that he agrees, or you will find a more accommodating merchant in a neighboring shop with a similar assortment.
Prices for portions of street food can be trusted – they are stable for everyone, although they may vary depending on the location of the outlet, so it is better to have a snack, not in the most popular places. If the price is determined by the seller, depending on how much food from different dishes you have piled into your plate, most likely, you will be charged an extra dollar-but there is nothing you can do about it. To wash off the stigma of “sucker”, a priori molded on visitors, for the first time it is useful to go out for food with someone from the locals or just with an experienced tourist who knows the real selling price: another time, asking on the go “it costs a dollar, right?”, you will not allow the seller to wag.
When you know all the tricks, it is easy to travel on a low budget, even if you are a student. After all the exciting experiences students have more energy to study and can provide their peers with chemistry homework help and advice.