Southeast Asia has long been a favorite for budget travelers (I believe), almost to the point of becoming a cliché. There is a reason that the place is so popular though, one is because Southeast Asia has a lot to offer any other places or regions.
Plenty of my friends went for a backpacking trip to Europe and other Western countries with good reasons too, but in my opinion nowhere in the world is more backpacker-friendly than Southeast Asia (Malaysian people are one of ‘em ?) The combination of their cultures, fascinating foods and cheap prices make it the ultimate for backpacker living and a must for anyone planning a trip (weekend getaway is normal for some of us).
Some people questioned me, “why do you like going to these places all over again?”, “why the third world countries?”, “there’s more things to see in the Eastern Europe countries”, “why this, why that?”.
Truth is, I super loveeeeee tropical countries. I love the climate and the weather, I love the food and the culture. I love the greens and the blues.
“Eleh. Macam lah negara sejuk takde semua tu.”
By actually putting down some roots and living in the tropics, you’ll gain a much better perspective on just how awesome the warmer part of the world is. With the sun, sand and sea at your doorstep and a relaxed way of life, the tropics has it all.
Here’s why I think tropical countries beat out anywhere else:
1. The vibe
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the Caribbean, Asian countries or Central America, I think the vibe in tropical climates always seems to be chilled out kan? I love how laid-back these people are and no one seems to be in a hurry for anything. Everyone is happy and life still feels relaxed and stress-free. Local people walk around barefoot, talking randomly with tourists, they laugh and they dance in the middle of the road. Everything looks beautiful to me.
2. The People
We’re friendlier! (LOL) Yup, seriously hahah. Of course, the smiling faces come up at the top of the list! Do you guys even realised that everytime you travel, no matter where you are, those smiles that come straight from the heart of the locals, they just warm the soul of any travellers. Often I see these mat salleh talk to local people in the country, I came to realised that their heartfelt welcomes are one of those things I remember when looking back on my trip.
3. Food! Food! Food!
The abundance of unique fruits found in the tropical countries is incredible. Aside from fruits, living near the water means being able to enjoy fresh seafood! Whether you struggled to catch the fish yourself, or went to the docks searching for the catch of the day, it’s guaranteed to be fresh and delicious.
Take my country for example – Malaysia. If you’re coming to Malaysia, you’re in for a real treat when it comes to food. I can honestly say that out of everywhere I’ve traveled in the world, Malaysia ranks very high in my stomach for its outstandingly tasty food, and the mixture of what’s available. Or maybe because it’s my Malaysia and Im just hungry all the time hehe.
Malaysia is a country of diversity, and the food reflects that. Chinese, Indian, and local southeast Asian Malay flavors are the trio blend of ingredients and cooking techniques that have been adopted into Malaysian cuisine.
4. You live in between the forest and the ocean
I just love these two elements whenever I travel! There’s something special and calming about the sound of the sea lapping at the shoreline. Most tropical countries aren’t landlocked and being able to go for a swim whenever you want, lay on blindingly white sands, or simply gaze out to sea is pretty amazing. Feeling hot? Jump in the water! Feeling bored? Head to the beach! The most beautiful, picture-perfect islands and beaches are found in the tropics.
Meanwhile, the jungle is a great place to go hiking and trekking. Aha! This is my favourite lah! Plus, it’s usually the best place to spot interesting animals, plants and trees. The sound of the birds and frogs chirping, the bamboo cracking and swaying and walking through the dense and muddy vegetation gives a sense of true exploration, you never know what you’ll find. It’s best to plan a trek that ends at a waterfall! You’ll definitely want to cool off after a hike through the humid jungle.
5. The Activities
You’ll never be bored while living in a tropical paradise. If you’re especially adventurous, you could don a mask and fins and explore the underwater world. The scuba diving and snorkelling is excellent in the tropics, the colours of the coral and the marine life are all top-notch. Even if you’re not interested in what the ocean has to offer, there are many volcanoes to be trekked, jungles to be hiked and waterfalls to swim in. There’s something for everyone. Again, ikut suka you guys lah.
Many places in the tropics are quite expensive to live in, but if you know where to travel especially in the Southeast Asia, you’ll definitely be coming back cause the travel expenses is sooooo cheap! (as compared to the Western Europe etc). You can also find affordable apartments to rent (through Airbnb etc) with lots of travelling packages that come with it.
There are so many reasons why living in the tropics is awesome and after a few months, you’ll probably find yourself sauntering along at a slow, local pace and enjoying a more relaxed, stress-free lifestyle. There’s just something about a tropical climate, once you’ve experienced it, you’ll be coming back for more.
Share with us why you love going to such places, perhaps we can tick ‘em off in our #pawahtravelogue ‘s bucket list too ?