Visiting Asia has resulted in a major culture shock for Taragh Bracken. At first, she wasn’t quite sure how she felt about the change. Living in both Canada and Europe (Ireland) have allowed her to integrate well into different ways of life, but the culture that encompassed countries such as China, Thailand and India brought a whole new notion of life.
They say you’ll either love or hate your experience in these countries. Taragh ended up loving her time in Asia, causing her to stay more months than she first sought out for. Society
However, one should not muster over the advice that can be found online concerning the risk levels that you may encounter. For instance, when Taragh was researching about Thailand, a dream location that she’s always wanted to tick off her bucket list, she found notices alerting travellers of the Zika virus as well as the southern provinces that one should avoid for heightened political violence and criminal activity.
Safety and security is always a concern in developing countries, prompting Taragh to rent an Airbnb for a month as opposed to staying in hostels. The pro to travelling to developing countries is that it costs very little for accommodation and food. The greatest expense you’ll pay is the plane ticket to the country.
Taragh’s Enthrallment with Thailand
Waterfalls, hiking trips, ocean swims, wildlife sanctuaries… These are a few of the wonders of Thailand that you can expect to take pleasure in. If you’re looking for a vacation that is beaming with lazy days and adventure, then you’ve got to travel to the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Nangyuan for beach fun. Here, you can take one of the top-rated scuba and snorkeling classes in the world, where you’ll discover incredible marine life.
If you wish to dance with elephants, then a trip in the outskirts of Chiang Mai will leave you breathless. Get up close and personal with baby and adult elephants, you’ll even have the opportunity to feed and pet them! Observe them in their natural habitat as they play together, eat lots and bathe.
When in Thailand, you’re going to want to temple hop. A must-see is the Hindu Khmer temple, as it habituates on the foot of a dormant volcano and originates from the 10th century. Discover how Khmer’s influence has spread across Thailand. You can even visit natural landmarks, such as the Mor Hin Khao, where it was said that white light would appear over the landscape’s large jutting rocks during the rituals of Buddhist Sabbath nights. This landmark is often seen as England’s Stonehenge, but in Thailand.
When in China…
In Taragh’s blog, she likes to give away many friendly traveller trips that would otherwise not be found on generic packing and knowledge lists. China is a particular country, and so we’ve decided to shed light on some of the less known facts.
Always Bring Cash
Only recently are businesses, such as large or luxurious restaurant and hotel chains, open to accepting known American credit cards such as American Express, Visa and Mastercard. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you can either open up your own UnionPay account or bring cash. Especially when traversing through small villages, cash will be the main go-to. Make sure you only bring RMB (also known as the yuan) as China does not accept any other form of currency. The Hong Kong dollar or the United States dollar are a no-go in this country.
You are not expected to tip in China, so no need even if you are at a sit-down restaurant.
When it comes to drinking water, never use the tap water. You must always purchase bottled water in China, or else you risk getting sick. Most restaurants and corner stores will offer cheap chump change for bottled water, so it is not a massive expense on your list but definitely a necessity. Consider using bottled water even when brushing your teeth.
Finding a Pharmacy
You don’t need a pharmacist’s approval to purchase prescription drugs in China. All you need is your identification, and then you are good to go. If you do get into an unfortunate incident or get sick and need to take a visit to the hospital, Bracken recommends opting for a foreigners hospital due to the sheer crowds that inhabit Chinese hospitals.
A Gorgeous Country
Despite the extra care you need prior to visiting China, it is a gorgeous country all on its own. You will feel inspired as you walk through the grandiose landscapes and monuments that are found within. Mountains and pine trees shouldn’t be overlooked as they provide a moment of reminiscence and deep thought as you get away from the bustling, daunting city. Taragh Bracken loved to bring her laptop around with her in the renowned Chinese Gardens, where she would become infused with creativity as she wrote her next travel blog post.