Taking the time to travel is an alternative to conventional travel. Since 2016, with my spouse, we are nomads in Asia and we have adopted a slow, very slow rhythm. This allows us to discover the countries in which we travel in a different way and to be more respectful of the environment around us.
Transport in Asia
The plane to go there
Even if the plane is not considered as ecological transport, it must be admitted that it is very practical over long distances. It takes a night of flight to arrive in Southeast Asia. Traveling slowly is a question of balance. You can get on a plane when you don't do it often and it's not systematic.
Public transport to get around
Once there, if you plan to travel to several countries, the plane is not a necessity. Public transport is your ally. The offer is great, the price is quite reasonable. Traveling slow also saves money. The bus depending on the country may be very comfortable or much less. The night bus in Laos for example is not so comfortable despite the presence of bunks. The transport offer is varied. It is easy to find taxis but ideally it is best to share a taxi with other tourists. In Luang Prabang (Laos) or Chiang Mai (Thailand), taxis can transport ten or more people. To know: it is imperative to provide warmer clothes on the buses. Air conditioning is often set below 20 ° and not all buses provide a blanket to warm up.
Follow a logical route
To stay in the slow dynamic, if you move to visit, try to make sure that it is by following a logical route and that you do not have to retrace your steps.
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Another way to discover the countries where we travel
Avoid places "to see"
The tourist places to see, the essentials praised by travel guides or certain "influencers" on the internet are an ecological disaster. Just take the example of Maya Bay Beach in southern Thailand. It was the setting for Danny Boyle's film La Plage with Leonardo DiCaprio. Due to the influx of visitors and the deterioration of the ecosystem, Thai authorities have been forced to close access to visitors. This is an example among so many others in Southeast Asia.
Focus on local cultures
So what if you don't visit all the tourist spots? Taking the time to travel gives you the opportunity to better understand local cultures. The little things you can't find in travel guides or on the internet. The most glaring example is in India. Hinduism is a very complex religion full of subtleties. A very good friend came to join us and we came across a Hindu festival. By traveling more slowly, I was able to observe some rituals for a long time that I was able to explain to my friend. These little details are not explained on the internet.
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Finally, spending longer in a city than most tourists allows you to think outside the box and discover local restaurants. Our discovery of each city and each country goes through food. In some tourist markets you can taste scorpion but it is not representative of the local gastronomy. Curry in Indonesia, Thailand or India does not have the same taste. And each time, it’s a treat for the taste buds.
A minimalist suitcase
Traveling slow is also traveling light. No need to take more than necessary. Across Asia, you’ll find effective mosquito repellents and what you need to treat everyday sores. No need to clutter your travel bag with all that. Note also that in Asia, it is strongly advised to have a correct outfit and not to show off your body too much. To visit Buddhist and Hindu temples as well as churches, you will be asked to wear clothing that covers the shoulders, neckline and knees. The leggings and the t-shirt are practical and space-saving in the suitcase. Provide a light scarf to protect your shoulders and head from the sun.
Passionate about decoration for years, Julie likes to share my inspirations, her advice and her good plans. She also writes about travel (in Asia) and slow on her blog.