Asia Cheap Travel, Screw the Research & Planning!

One of the biggest problems that I face when planning Asia cheap travel is trying to set the main things that I want to do and then to come up with a reasonable time frame and importantly for me a cheap travel budget that is realistic to the goals that I have identified. Research is the key to having a great vacation or an OK holiday, screw this part up and regret it you will. Time and money always being the major influences for me as a professional Cheap Charley, I want the best chance of having a great time so I work it hard before I go on the road.

I go to the travel blogs for my main research once I have an idea where I want to go to, one that I lean on is Travel Blog.org. The people that write on that particular blog have no financial reason to give you slued information and they tend to be more seasoned travelers than the great majority of new guys on Thorn Tree. I look to see what they did and see if it interests me, always keeping in mind that I do not want to follow exactly the hobbit trail, otherwise why bother, just read about it. Now it is safer to follow exactly what other people have done but the surprises that you encounter sometime good, sometimes bad are the stuff that stick in the old cranium.  

For instance the clock tower in Mandalay in Burma Myanmar, why bother unless you need to set the time on your watch, for me it was a waste of time, we did however have a great time at a restaurant that had duck and goose hanging in the window which was not a tourist place as it was not listed anywhere just down the street, just a regular local restaurant that we stumbled into just because the stomach said a stop was in order.  I did really dig sitting in the Savoy hotel having tea which is listed and the time in Bagon was priceless. I tell everyone that they need to make Bagon a priority if they are going to be in that part of the world. Had I did proper research, I would have know that the boat only runs on certain days between Mandalay and Bagon, Major Bummer! The boat was really cool looking when we checked it out on the dock after taking the boring flight because the planner in the research phase missed that one.

Time is always a nuisance, so I recommend that you plan so that there be flex days when you can get the cheap travel on demand, usually bus or train segments, and then if you find a place that really interest you, you can hang longer and really dig into a place. Quiananmen South of Tiananmensquare in Beijing was one of those places for me that created a dilemma as I had a really cheap flight to Bangkok on Air Asia out of Xiamen , which was a very cool place worthy of more time, but I was having such a great time in the Quiananmen Market section to the south of Tiananmen square that I wanted to stay in that area longer, which I did, and was rewarded late at night just before the cheap noodle place closed, to watch a local family restaurant dynamics at the end of the day. The bus boy dishwasher was worked about something and he was letting everyone know in a voice that would not be out of place between me and my precious pussy cat “Mangler”  when I am standing on her tail as she is shredding my leg with her razor sharp mouse killers between the bathroom and my morning coffee, anyway, the fur was flying and the  back and forth was hilarious as they kept at each other with about 6 staff all interacting for about 5 minutes and at the end of the day they all started laughing, now I don’t speak any Chinese but have been involved in that kind of tit for tat and for me that was the highlight of the trip, as I connected with that family group intimately as the fly on the wall contentedly slurping my excellent late night local noodles.

Money is the other thing that I spend a lot of time researching. I ran a small business and the rule of thumb that I learned is that you should have 2.5 times the budget that you think you need and for cheap travelers this is a bit higher than you want to hear I am sure but I would suggest that you have 1.5 available and that you have a reserve of at least 1 times more should something unplanned for happen, nothing worse than being a stranger in strange land making the universal rabbit ears distress signal with your pockets. 

Credit cards are good but bless that little Murphy’s impish soul, in times like these they can shut off for no readily apparent reason and if that is all that you are counting on life can get really interesting. I suggest that you have lined up in advance some back up like a rich uncle or other family member that you know will step up should the need arise. Major tip: People that owe you money are not good bets! Have your checking, saving, debit, Visa, MasterCard card information ready so that they can either do a bank to bank transfer or make a payment direct to your credit card. . American Express works great, but if you qualify you wouldn’t be reading this now would you! The safest bet is having a debit card with a easy pin as you can have someone make a direct cash deposit to your bank and then you get immediate access via a cash point or ATM.   Today banks have real people hours so the longest possible time would be 48 hours.   They can also make a Visa or MasterCard payment but they still might not sort you out and turn you back on if they know you are broke and playing in Asia instead of working hard to pay their legal loan sharking rates, and it usually has at least a 3 day wait.

I send all that banking information to a email account that I can get to from anywhere label it baby pictures or something else totally boring and send it to a Gmail my preference or Hotmail or Yahoo email account so that you can get at it. I also scan a copy of my passport and visas that are in it that you will need on your travels and my drivers license or ID card this makes a for an easy ID if you should lose your passport at the embassy or a bank.

Hey if I see you in Asia with the old look at the rabbits in my pants trick I know that you skipped the planning and I will gladly help you out with some good advice like put a bell on your precious pussy cat!

Golfing in Asia

Whether you’re an old pro, an amateur, or a rank newbie, you’ll find a place to play the game of golf almost anywhere in Asia. From Singapore to South Korea, golf has gained tremendous popularity both as a relaxing pastime, and as a way of forging tight business connections.

Some of the best golf courses in the world are in places like Thailand and Singapore, with incredibly beautiful and challenging courses adjacent to luxurious resorts. Besides the golf itself, the surroundings are incomparable. Even in major congested cities, golf courses are set in gorgeous surroundings, often just out of town in a relaxing countryside setting. Many have been created by world-famous designers with consultation by some of the game’s most prestigious players, creating courses that stand out among all others. You’ll find all the amenities of the American course and then some, with excellent clubhouses, restaurants, and spa facilities. If you’re golfing your way through Southeast Asia, the heat may be stifling, but you’re never too far away from a relaxing glass of cold tea, and a comfortable place to sit in the shade for a while and enjoy the tropical scenery. You’ll find the service to be second to none, and in some of the courses, you’ll enjoy seeing some things you’d never expect at a Western golf course. If you’re playing near the jungle, you may just hear a high-pitched, two-tone cry off in the distance, and if you get a little closer, you’ll see a gecko crawling around the green. In Thailand, some golfers have been known to see a monitor lizard on the course from time to time-but if you do, don’t look at it, it’s considered bad luck!

Seal the Deal at the Course

Golf has always been considered a “businessperson’s sport,” but it is even more so in Asia simply because of the business culture. In most Asian countries, business is transacted on a much more personal level than in America. In Japan for example, it is very important to make a personal connection with someone before conducting business or making a deal. It’s never “just business” when you make a business trip to an Asian country, and if you go with a hard-edged attitude of getting right down to business, you won’t get far. More deals get made on the golf course there than in the conference room, and your Japanese counterpart will want to know you on a personal level before signing any contracts. This may take place over a few nights at restaurants and bars, a geisha house, and more often than not, a round of golf.

Many of the best courses are private, with open golfing limited only to a couple days a month. But chances are, if you are on a business trip, your Asian counterpart will have a membership, so you’re in luck. If business isn’t part of your agenda, don’t worry, there are still plenty of options-and if you sign up with the right tour guide, you may even still be able to get inside some of those exclusive private clubs. And the public courses are often equally stunning and beautifully designed, with greens fees that compare quite favorably to those in America.

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, you won’t have to look too hard to find a good course, wherever you may be. In legendary golfer Tiger Woods’ ancestral home, Thailand is rich with very well-developed and well-played golf courses, offering a very high quality environment at low cost. In many of the Thai golf resorts, the pleasures don’t stop at golf alone, with extensive opportunities for elegant meals, traditional massage, and the ultimate in relaxation.

Finding Golf Everywhere

Even in less-developed areas like Cambodia, you can find some place to play, so don’t forget to bring your clubs when you go to Siem Riep to see the magnificent Angkor Wat. India too, with is rapidly emerging economy, has a newfound respect for the game of golf, and courses are starting to spring up to accommodate the country’s rapidly emerging middle class.

And regardless of politics, golf still persists-and Communist countries are no exception. Vietnam has opened itself up to trade and tourism, and yes, you can find a good game there too. Despite the country’s war-torn past, Vietnam is a beautiful country with incredible scenery and wonderful hospitality. It has become a popular tourist destination, and the Vietnamese are very accommodating. The surroundings are varied but always exotic. And three hours or so outside of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find one of the top ten courses in Asia, right along the coast of the South China Sea.

When you visit India, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the vast array of golf courses, and in fact, India has had a long-held fascination with the game ever since the early part of the 19th century. New golf courses spring up on a regular basis, and the game is enjoyed by a surprisingly large diversity of people from all walks of life in India.

Golf Holiday Tours

If you’re a golf fanatic, you don’t have to miss your favorite game while on holiday. Several tour operators offer fantastic golf vacations that are all-inclusive. No need to worry about finding out where to go or how to get there, your tour operator will take care of all the details for you. And if you’re lucky, you may just find a tour package that gets you into some of the more exclusive clubs.

Part of the Package

Wherever you go in Asia, incorporating golf into your vacation is a wonderful way to see the country. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to incorporate golf into your family vacation or your business trip, because of the incredible popularity of the game and the wide selection of available courses. Also, many of the courses offer extensive amenities, and are close by to cultural centers, special events, and other prime tourist destinations. Golfing on holiday in Asia doesn’t mean you have to spend time away from the family-many of the courses are part of very large resorts that include a little bit of everything for everyone.

Touring Asia and Making the Most of Your Travels

Asia has so much to offer to those who choose to visit. There are many elements of Asian culture that truly intrigue people all over the world. Asia embraces a unique way of life and brings a whole new perspective to the table as far as everyday life is concerned. One can truly learn a lot by exploring different areas of Asia. From China to Japan, to Indonesia, each Asian country embraces a one-of-a-kind appeal that no other country can quite compare to. Unique clothing like the kimono, historical sights such as the Great Wall of China, and religions such as Buddhism are just some of the factors that make Asia into a wonderful place to visit, learn about and explore.

When travelling becomes increasingly important in your life and you have more time to spend exploring the world, Asia is one of the best places to choose. For children and adults alike, Asia can bring a lot to the table and open your eyes to cultural differences and lifestyle choices that differ immensely from those that we have grown accustomed to. Broadening your perspective on Asian culture is extremely interesting and appealing, on a number of different levels. If you are planning to pack your bags and embark on an Asian journey, you will want to be sure to make the most of your trip by documenting it with photos and videos, but you will want to go above and beyond to ensure that you are making the very most of your trip.

If you are going to be spending time in Asia, it would be a fantastic choice to make the most of it with the help of one of the Asia escorted tours that are available these days. Asia escorted tours are ideal in making sure that you do not miss a thing when it comes to exploring new territory. We all know that Asia is a large continent, flooded with knowledge and beauty. There are so many famous sights to see, but there are also hidden treasures that only an experienced tour guide could familiarize you with. Asia escorted tours are effective in making sure that even the most sacred treasures of Asia are revealed.

Whether you are a college student majoring in Asian studies, or an executive who travels to Asia regularly for international business matters, there are a number of influential and valuable things to be learned through Asia escorted tours. There is nothing quite like the refreshing feeling of travelling to a beautiful place, rich with culture and history.