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Nine Shocking Facts About Asia Travel Told By An Expert

Our breakfasts here are great, too - both Western and Cambodian.

We do eat a lot of rice, and the curries here are great. A guest we had tried the crickets and said they weren't half bad; I'm not convinced. It's fascinating to see the staff eat crickets, snakes and spiders, but I steer clear.

A: Brandon tried deep-fried tarantula the other day, but we tend to not be too exotic in our taste. March, April and May are the worst time, when the country gets very hot and dry. Things are still green, but you can get to the more outlying temples.

The official high season is from October to February, when the rains stop and it starts to get dry. We encourage guests to stay an extra day and head out to the remote temples to get away from the crowds. This includes not just the must-see" temples but also glimpses into Cambodian life that we feel are so valuable to a trip here.

A: The highlights can be seen in three full days. Operating a new business is a daring venture for anyone, but for Andrea and Brandon, both graduates of Chapman University in Southern California, the added challenge is the Khmer language. By e-mail from Vietnam, he writes that his visit to Journeys Within was a four-star experience.

Among their recent guests is Steve Bartmasser of Berkeley. I figure there's no way my life is harder than theirs and you can't help but smile back," he said. When Brandon feels stressed, he says he goes in front of his building to watch everybody laughing and smiling.

Brandon's favorite quality of the Cambodian people is their smiles. The girls' efforts prompted Brandon to form a non-profit organization Journeys Within Our Community to help. The drive fulfilled the community service component of their International Baccalaureate curriculum.

McAleer inspired her friends Alison Modrovsky and Kailey Slusher, two Treasure Mountain International School seventh-graders, to collect money for the Killing Fields school last year. She never heard back from the school, so she contacted Brandon to see if he would check on it. The article reminded McAleer of an impoverished school/orphanage she had visited there, the Killing Fields Pagoda School, so she collected and sent school supplies to them.

Spurred on by a little publicity, a displaced Parkite in Cambodia is changing lives there with the help of some here in town. Give Big: $5,000 will sponsor a language school in Cambodia for a year; $400 will provide a one-year university scholarship. The travel planners on the following pages all have on-the-ground experience that is both extensive and recent — making their advice more timely than what you'll find on a lot of websites — and also have insider connections and special access that no site can duplicate….

To earn a spot, after all, you must be able to do for travelers what they cannot do for themselves. Over the past nine years, as online travel-planning tools have gotten better, our standards for the travel specialists on this list have gotten higher. Once a recipient has paid back the original loan (beginning at $100) and interest, he or she can take out another, larger loan.

Journeys Within Our Community runs a Village Microfinance Fund with profits from its tour business and guest contributions. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here's hoping that this year's winners are flattered by every other airline, cruise line, hotel, and tour operator on earth. From building schools and furnishing much-needed medical supplies to restocking wildlife reserves and dispensing micro-loans, these World Savers are models for their peers—each story an inspiration for others to follow.

But the process of arbitrating the awards belies the human drama of the achievements themselves. The 17 judges—academics, activists, CEOs, and philanthropists (see page Jeffrey Sachs)—looked at five areas: poverty alleviation; cultural and environmental preservation; education; wildlife conservation; and health. See Andrea and Narla discuss Journeys Within, JWOC, and the potential Cuisine of Asia philanthropic travel live on ABC News Money Matters.

I can't go back to seeing things the way I did before," he said. At the same time, it changed him fundamentally.
11.9.17 08:19

Asia Travel Is Your Worst Enemy. 8 Ways To Defeat It

The weather outside is very hot.

We think this is a mistake. Also, a lot of people will tell you not to bring a jacket of any kind, or just a rain poncho. If you don't already have one, buy a sarong.

Southeast Asian night markets are full of T-shirts, beachwear, and other warm weather clothing and accessories. Packing less clothing means you'll have room to buy a few new items along the way. If you travel in places like Thailand, Taiwan, or the island of Bali, family-run laundry services are cheap and common.

Lots of AirBnB places have a washing machine but consider laundry services as well. You really don't need many clothes if you plan on doing laundry often. If it takes an additional 30 seconds to pull off, you usually stop theft from happening altogether.

Therefore, if you make that opportunity a little more difficult or time-consuming, it doesn't happen. Keep in mind that a lot of theft in Southeast Asia is simple opportunism. You can find yogurt drinks in most convenience stores in Southeast Asia.

Also, yogurt or yogurt drinks can help with an upset belly. Make sure to bring meds for diarrhea and digestive problems. However, if you're not used to it, your stomach might rebel after your first meals.

Southeast Asia has one of the most vibrant and delicious street Best food in Asia scenes in the world. They're for sale all over Southeast Asia in night markets and elsewhere. If you don't have one, get one.

The solution is usually simple: cover your legs and shoulders. At other times, old ladies may just stick out their hands and grab. Sometimes this is a respectful request.

With the above in mind, visit some places in Southeast Asia with kids and you should expect people to ask to hold your baby. However, take care to make sure that you aren't tricked, either. Don't believe anyone who says that everyone is out to scam you.

You can too, but it may require certain combinations or trust and caution. We've met some amazing people while living in Southeast Asia with kids. For example, Georgetown, Malaysia may be a UNESCO Heritage site, but gaps in the road lead to open sewers, and steep steps lead to many store fronts.

There are curbs, steps, and potholes. In general, the roads and sidewalks of Southeast Asia are not designed for strollers or wheelchairs. However, there is a relationship between them and pedestrians.

Believe it or not, most Southeast Asian traffic has a rhythm and flow to it. The thousands of motorcycles and scooters may not seem to be following any rules. It's not as dangerous as it looks, but if you're not careful, it can be. One of the biggest concerns about traveling in Southeast Asia with kids is the crazy traffic.

Car seats usually need a seatbelt to attach to. You're not going to find those seatbelts in a lot of Southeast Asian vehicles. Any more expensive than €2 per hour and you should look for alternative modes of transport. For example, Bangkok to Chiang Mai by bus takes around 10 hours and will cost around €13.

Transport is reasonably priced across the region so expect between €1 and €2 per hour of transports. Trains are only common in Malaysia and Thailand, other than that and you'll be on the bus. Drink local alcohol, pre-drink in your hostel with your new friends, buy booze from the supermarket or 7/11 and your money will go a lot further.

Booze is often not as cheap as you think and drinking imported alcohol will cost you similar prices to home (tequila, Guinness, wine). Undoubtedly one of the biggest expenses a backpacker has to endure so be smart. The food varies dramatically from country to country, and generally speaking South East Asian cuisine isn't as spicy as people say - sure Thailand may set your mouth on fire (SomTam/spicy salad anyone?!), but other than that you'll be fine.

Holidays can also cause stores and hotels to close, so call ahead just to double check. If either of these are your reason for traveling, then grit your teeth and expect long lines, automobile traffic, as well as crowded airports.
11.9.17 08:10

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