waste in Asia 1 | reasons asia | Wereldreizigers.nl

Reasons why you absolutely DO NOT want to travel to Asia

when you pass Asia As you travel you will experience one surprise after another. Mostly positive, but sometimes negative. The modern world traveler usually only talks about the positive side of Asia, especially visible on social media. The most beautiful places, the perfect Insta photos and always those sweet pictures. Nice, but is that reality?

Plan your holiday to Asia here

culture shock

There are plenty of things in Asia that cannot tolerate the light of day. Some (especially novice) travelers therefore experience a huge culture shock. In this article we try to prepare you for the world trip of your life where you will certainly end up in Asia. In this honest, (sometimes sarcastic) article I take a closer look at some of Asia's terrible topics.

The following may not always be neatly worded, but this is how I have experienced it over the years. Don't you want to know what's so terrible about Asia? Then don't read any further or take it with a grain of salt….

Reasons why you absolutely DO NOT want to travel to Asia

Negotiate, haggle and haggle

Let's start with an easy one. The moment you take one step into a place with your white face, the prices have already gone up five times. Negotiating is difficult at first, you are not familiar with the currency and you have no idea what it should even cost. After a while you start to understand how to deal with prices and haggling. You even think you're good at it and you're actually starting to enjoy it!

handmade soaps from thailand no negotiation on price | reasons asia | Wereldreizigers.nl
Handmade soaps in Thailand. Beautifully handmade and of course paid the full blow (tourist price)

Yet every now and then you ask other travelers and friendly locals a checking question. What did they pay for that souvenir or tour? And right there the misery begins. You have been cheated on again and again. After hard bargaining, you still paid twice as much as the other traveler and even three times or more as much as the locals. Goddamnit! Then you enter every shop or stall with your poker face determined to do better next time. Unfortunately, this quickly seems like an impossible task.

It takes a lot of effort and you don't really feel like doing it at all... You are traveling and want to enjoy it. You just want a price tag, pay it and get out. Delicious Dutch. Not having the feeling that you are being cheated every time is secretly nice.

Write that down for now, because that's just not going to happen in most Asian countries!

Smack, spit, spit and shit

This varies enormously per country and it is extremely difficult not to make this come across as racist, but I will try anyway. We are going to talk about a specific population group. You probably guessed it: the average Chinese tourists† Then you think that's not a problem because I am or am not going to China† UNFORTUNATELY! The Chinese economy has been booming for years and they are here to world to take over, starting in Asia itself. Everywhere you go in Asia these days there are a lot of Chinese people and it will probably not decrease in the coming years.

Chinese tourists are feared even in Asia

~ said the Hotel Manager in Thailand

Locals, hotel owners and other travelers are usually very annoyed to (a large part of) Chinese tourists, although they are less likely to show this out of respect. Yet they regularly let their opinions shine through, perhaps in a slightly more flexible manner than we do Dutch people usually do that.

Note: before I go any further I want to make it clear that I understand that the Chinese have a completely different culture, that the norms and values ​​are different there and that their upbringing is not the way we are used to.

All nice and nice… But that dirty taste en ridiculous slurp from the table next to you when you're just having a nice meal, go-ver-damme! It's one of those standards annoyances in Asia† As a Dutch person you just really don't want that. Are you just enjoying your dessert? Then the smack is casually followed by a farmer so gross that your neck hairs stand on end.

Despite everything, do you still want to enjoy your food in peace? Then go well prepared for your trip with a pair of good earplugs. Also useful if your neighbors are having sex again in that 'oh so cozy' hostel with only a curtain between them. Brrrrr.

Saying no is rude

Only in Asia… Yes is yes, and no is yes. Everything is yes? How the hell is that? To get mad. Especially in Thailand en Indonesia a big problem.

Hello, do you know where I can find the nearest ATM?

A frequently asked question by travelers. People say 'Yes' wholeheartedly and then you try to find out where that ATM may not be. Not much comes out of them, so you just point in one direction and ask; †Is it this way?'† To which Mr. or Mrs. neatly answers with "Yes, yes, yes."As a beginner you make the stupid mistake of believing it right away and an hour later you're still standing somewhere in the middle of the jungle looking for that damn ATM.

Always ask the control question! Also point in one or two other directions and ask the same question! This way? Or that way? You will regularly notice that people say 'yes' to everything and that you have not actually progressed an inch.

Ask for directions in Asia: Yes yes yes. This way yes yes.
Yes yes yes. This way yes yes.

In some countries in Asia it is rude to say 'no'. super handy!


Cause it's like this: in some countries in Asia it is rude to say no, especially to strangers. You will often notice that yes is said when actually no is meant. This does not only apply to questions about your route. Even in restaurants if you have the wrong meat on your plate, you will notice that it is virtually impossible to exchange it with what you actually ordered.

When you ask your hostel to arrange a taxi for your ride to the airport? No problem! People say 'Yes' wholeheartedly, but then this is often not arranged at all. Did they promise you breakfast on-the-go at 6 a.m. because you have to check out so early for your flight? Then let me tell you that there is a good chance that you going to be hungry the next day.

Comfort zones do not exist

Why are you standing up to me, and stop pushing! In Western countries people respect your comfort zone, your personal space. Usually this is half a meter to one meter that people stand away from you when they talk to you or stand next to you in a tram or public space. Just throw that whole thought overboard as long as you are in Asia. If you stand in line somewhere, you just don't feel his pressing your genitals against your buttocks† In any case, it doesn't matter much.

Or that hand you suddenly feel on your shoulder, from the person behind you in line. You become light pushed forward and that, to your great surprise, that hand remains there indefinitely! Full of surprise and pent-up aggression, you look back angrily to see which idiot did it gets into his head to touch you and push you, but then you suddenly get a friendly smile from an elderly woman of 1 meter 50... Getting angry suddenly doesn't seem like an option, so just accept it.

Then there is public transport... What a treat. On the tram or metro, so many people are squeezed in that you will undoubtedly be surrounded by dirty sweaty armpits† You feel people leaning against you on all sides. They breathe the garlic smell in your face and if you are unlucky do they bark their smokers cough in between for a while full in your faceWelcome to Asia!

The gigantic plastic problem in Asia

Own photo: monkeys digging through the garbage bags left behind on the Rinjani volcano in Indonesia every morning
Own photo: monkeys digging through the garbage bags left behind on the Rinjani volcano in Indonesia every morning

Finally, a slightly less sarcastic but an actual huge problem… There are really a lot of beautiful places in Asia. Nature wonders of the world, grottoes, waterfalls, jungles and bounty islands with the most beautiful beaches. That's why you go to Asia. That's what you want to see.

But when you arrive at idyllic destinations about which you have read so much, and discover that they are littered with plastic bottles, bags and other junk?

Then that hurts.

When you can hardly take a picture without all the junk in the foreground, it is frustrating. Not just for your photo, but just because you realize that people just really love the destroys nature without them seeming to notice.

The photo below proves once again what world we live in. This cute little crab walked by during our breakfast Canareef Resort on the Maldives† She found a little house made of plastic, a sad sight if you ask me.

Also read: Tips for a plastic-free trip | 9x sustainable must-have luggage items

Crab with a plastic house
Crab with a plastic house

Ignorance and mentality

When you ask a random local why there is so much plastic If you are on the banks of the river, people in Indonesia will explain to you that it will rain hard again soon.

The river will clear up all the junk on its own – it just needs to rain just as hard

~ according to a random local in Bali, Indonesia

Sorry, WHAT??? On the one hand you want to laugh, but deep down you just want to cry. You actually want to get really angry, but you realize that they just don't know any better. Or that they just don't care. Anyway, the huge plastic problem in some countries hit me hard, especially in Thailand and Indonesia.

To give you an idea of ​​the scale of the problem: during our trip to Indonesia I took pictures of one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Rinjani volcano. Unfortunately this one bucketlist.-worthy place completely polluted. The entire national park is full of plastic and there is a huge rat plague. You can see it in the photo and video below.

When you see this during your trip through Asia, you start to imagine all kinds of things. To clean it up, for example. But where is the education, waste management and government support? It's just not there. In the meantime, we are pinning all our hopes on the Dutchman's Ocean cleanup project Boyan Slat (click). Maybe one day that will make a difference.

Until then, we'll just have to lead by example. Because yes… besides these (sometimes sarcastic) downsides of Asia is and stays it's my favorite continent to travel to.

Plan your holiday to Asia here

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Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!
- Full-time blogging world traveler.
- Writes about travel, photography, sustainability and gadgets.
- Likes to discover extreme and unknown places.

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