1: Go to a zoo
This is the absolute worst possible thing you can do in South East Asia. Trust me! I made the mistake of visiting the Phuket Zoo a few years ago on a day out. I thought Phuket being such a huge tourist area for Western visitors they would have humane conditions for their animals. WRONG. I cried, I yelled, I told everyone lining up to turn away and not waste their money (no one listened.) I won’t go into details but it was awful! I found out later that before Steve Irwin died he was petitioning to have this zoo shut down. You can sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/508/253/488/shut-down-phuket-zoo-thailand.-zoo-of-death-and-extreme-cruelty-free-all-animals/
2: Drink booze buckets
OK each to their own. People love the booze buckets. In my 5 visits to South East Asia I didn’t touch them, mostly because I was afraid of the ice and contents making me sick. Until this year on a night out in Bangkok I got on the Thai Whiskey Buckets. Faceplanted the street in Khao San Road and lost an entire tooth. Yep, root and all. Read my blog, Bangkok Got Me Now
3: Wear a white bikini
I almost shat myself on a boat trip to Maya Bay. I had Asia-arse and pulling into Maya Bay in a white bikini I thought how I was going to disguise that I’d shit myself. Luckily I bolted up the beach, arse cheeks clenched together and made it to the toilet in time. Crisis avoided, but never again will I wear a white bikini in Asia.
4: Ride a scooter drunk
After a wedding and at least 30 cocktails I went joy-riding on my scooter with a mate on the back. We hit a corner we called Devils Elbow and crashed into a heap in the dirt. We were fine and I thought it was hilarious. But I probably won’t be that intoxicated on a scooter again!
5: Exchange cash
I never exchange cash on any of my holidays, I take cash out with my bank card. The fees work out better anyway. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people being ripped off exchanging cash. And these guys are sneaky! You won’t even know until you count your cash later you’re short.
6: Take your bank cards with you on a night out
South East Asia is wild! Nights out are the best of your life. You can buy the strangest and coolest things in the street, you can buy drugs, strippers, hire drivers, take part in games, get tattoos. You lose all sense of a budget when you get into Asia party zone. I leave my bank cards at home. Chances are if you do take out cash during a night like this you’ll think your budget is more like Charlie Sheen’s than your own backpacker budget.
7: Buy a product or service from a touter on the beach
You feel sorry for the lady trying to paint your nails or the guy walking the beach in the heat selling sunglasses? You say yes and you make their day. You ruin yours. Every single beach touter will be on your case because you’re the one that is spending money. Being asked 600 times to buy a fake pair of Ray Bans when you’re trying to relax and listen to the sound of soothing waves is a fucking nightmare.
8: Late night drug deals
Don’t judge me. When in Rome! I once did a late night drug deal on Gili T after a huge day & night of boozing. I pulled out my cash to count it & hand it over and when I woke up in the morning I’d spent the contents of my wallet on something worth a third of the price. OOPS.
9: Get your hair dyed black
For my birthday in The Philippines I treated myself to a hair cut & dye in a nice salon. I asked for my hair to be dyed black as always. The hairdresser was more than confused as I’m sure its a rare request given that the locals all have black hair anyway. He got dye all over my face and ears and I spent the next few days trying to cover it up with my fringe.
10: Bet on Connect Four
In Thailand you’ll be in a bar when a sweet little Thai girl will come and ask you to challenge her in a game of Connect Four and you can win a ton of money. Don’t kid yourself unless you’re some sort of Connect Four legend. I think the challenge I took part in lasted about 3 seconds before I parted with cash.