Backpacking Trip Southeast Asia Etiquettes – Dos & Don’ts


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Backpacking in Asia can be an incredible adventure, but it’s important to be aware of the dos and don’ts when it comes to etiquette.


From understanding cultural norms to respecting local customs, this blog post covers everything every backpacker should know before embarking on their journey through Asia.


Whether it’s proper temple etiquette or how to dress respectfully, Lub d will help you navigate the diverse cultures of Asia with ease.





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Backpacking Trip Southeast Asia Etiquettes – Dos


1. Have a Flexible Itinerary 


When planning your Southeast Asia trip, it’s smart to keep your schedule flexible.


While a basic itinerary helps with visa and budget management, staying open to spontaneous experiences allows you to dive deep into local culture and extend your stay at places that truly captivate you.


Embrace the unexpected, from local festivals to hidden spots and unplanned adventures that might become the highlights of your journey.



2. Use Hostels to Meet Other Travelers 


One of the highlights of backpacking is the chance to meet fellow travelers.


Opt for hostels that are known for their vibrant events and welcoming atmosphere.


Such places offer the perfect setting to connect with like-minded individuals, share stories, and even team up for adventures.


This can greatly enhance your backpacking Southeast Asia experience, making it richer and more memorable.



3. Always Wear a Helmet 


Wearing a helmet while riding during your backpacking in Southeast Asia is crucial due to unpredictable traffic and challenging road conditions in Southeast Asia.


Even if you’re an experienced rider, helmets provide necessary protection against injuries in the event of an accident.



4. Dress Modestly 


Southeast Asian cultures value modesty, especially in religious sites. During your backpacking adventure, dress conservatively to show respect.



5. Respect the Monks


In Buddhist countries, monks are held in high esteem.


When interacting with a monk, ensure that you are both seated, and that the monk is in a higher or equivalent position to yourself.


Additionally, it is forbidden for women to make physical contact with monks. If a woman needs to give something to a monk, she should either place it within his reach or on a piece of cloth he provides for receiving items.



6. Insist on Taxi Meters


Taxi drivers often try to overcharge tourists by avoiding the meter. During your backpacking Southeast Asia trip, insist on using the meter to ensure fair pricing.



7. Leave Your Shoes at the Door 


In Southeast Asia, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering temples, massage parlors, and many other buildings.


You will often find a designated area at the entrance where you can leave your footwear. Failing to do so might result in being asked to step outside.



8. Download Travel Apps 


The right travel apps can streamline your trip. Use Trail Wallet helps track spending, for offline map, and Grab for transportation and food


Read more on essential travel apps to use when backpacking Southeast Asia: Essential Travel Apps For Backpacking In Southeast Asia



9. Use Your Right Hand


The left hand is traditionally considered unclean in Southeast Asia, so always use your right hand for greetings or passing items.




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Backpacking Trip Southeast Asia Etiquettes – Don’ts


1. Don’t Touch People’s Heads


On your backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, remember that in Buddhist culture, the head is considered sacred and symbolizes one’s spirit.


Touching someone’s head, especially if you don’t know them, is seen as disrespectful. Be particularly mindful of this cultural norm to avoid unintended offense.



2. Avoid Drugs Completely


Drug laws in Southeast Asia are exceptionally strict. Violations can result in heavy fines, long prison sentences, or even the death penalty. Avoid drugs entirely on your backpacking journey to stay safe.



3. Don’t Ride Motorbikes Without Experience


Motorbikes are a common mode of transportation for backpackers, but the chaotic roads in Southeast Asia can be hazardous.


Without experience and a proper license, you risk accidents. Opt for taxis or other transportation instead.



4. Don’t Flush Toilet Paper


Many places in Southeast Asia have plumbing systems that can’t handle toilet paper, which can cause blockages.


During your backpacking trip, dispose of toilet paper in bins to avoid plumbing issues.



5. Don’t Drink Tap Water


Tap water in Southeast Asia is not safe to drink due to potential contamination. Always rely on bottled water or other purified sources during your travels.



6. Don’t Shout


In Southeast Asia, remaining calm and composed is the best approach to handling any conflict that arises on your backpacking journey.


Shouting only escalates situations and draws unwanted attention.



7. Don’t Point Your Feet at People


In Buddhist culture, the feet are considered the lowest part of the body. Avoid pointing your feet at people or sacred objects while backpacking Southeast Asia.



8. Avoid Pointing at People with Your Hands


Pointing directly at someone can be seen as rude or accusatory. Instead, gesture with your whole hand if you need to indicate something or someone.






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Your Adventure Starts at Lub d




Lub d is the ultimate destination for modern travelers seeking affordable yet chic accommodations. Strategically located in some of the most exciting cities across Asia, Lub d boasts prime locations in BangkokKoh SamuiPhuketMakatiSiem Reap, and Osaka.


Each Lub d property is uniquely designed to cater to the dynamic needs of today’s travelers, offering a blend of co-working spaces and sociable environments.


Whether you’re a digital nomad in search of a creative co-working hub or a leisure traveler eager to explore the local culture, Lub d provides an ideal base with its budget-friendly, comfortable, and stylish accommodations





Read Also: 


Solo Backpacking in Southeast Asia: How To Stay Safe and Budget-Conscious

Top Budget-Friendly Activities for Backpackers in Southeast Asia

8 Ways to Connect with Fellow Backpackers While Traveling in Asia