Sunday, August 5, 2012

For Josephine: South East Asia 101

"I want to look back on this trip and think it was the best initiation I could get"- Josephine 



French Stereotypes Party, Paris (I'm politically incorrect or..a Racaille)



When you're a serial nomad, you become all of your friends' travel spirit guide. The constant flood of Facebook messages asking about cheap flights to Turkey, best party spots in Asia, decent hotels in Bali etc etc gets me super excited, because my friends are doing the best thing ever.  So, every once in a while I'm going to dedicate a posting to a friend. Cuz like, if one person is wondering these things before travelling, isn't everyone?

Anyways, here's one message from my lovely and beautiful Parisian friend Josephine who just booked her flight to Thailand and has no idea beyond that. No worries, girl. We got this.  Jo and I studied together at SciencesPo, travelled together in Patmos and she is one of the people that have made my life in France a better place. Some people say French girls are bitches, this girl is just ol' bitchin'.  And while it seems she's freaking out a bit about travelling to South East Asia for the first time (justifiably), she asks some important questions that is advice I'd like to share with all my Asian virgin friends.  Uh..

Felfel!!Please let me know all the places I shouldn't miss if I want to look back on this trip and think it was the best initiation I could get! I planned everything last minute, just bought the tickets to Bangkok and have no plans there. Should I get a backpack and a camera (do you think it's worth buying a new nice camera btw?). Let me know about survival skills, like what to bring with me if I'm gonna be backpacking like a hippie for 2 months but still want to look proper if I visit friends in Hong Kong or Singapore for a weekend (you never know, is this expensive?)GUIDE ME!!!! Also, should we go to BALI together??? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Star gazing on the pier, Patmos Greece

Having interned in Bangkok, travelled Thailand and South East Asia several times and now working in Jakarta here's what I had to say.


Coucou Jo!
Sorry for the delay, been trying to bash some order into my life!!

Nice New Camera: 
  • It's a pain in the ass to carry around. iPhone 4 works amazinglingling. I'd buy a shockproof waterproof one because it's bite sized and convenient and you can pretend you're Kevin Costner in Waterworld. 

Packing List

  • One pair of versatile heals for HK, BKK, JAKARTA WHEN YOU VISIT ME; 
  • Black tights. Covers you up in muslim countries, keeps you warm on cold bus rides, and it's light weight in your backpack). BEST THING EVER;
  • Travel Blanket. Steal the wooly blanket from the plane or have your own small fleece number. For me this is my secret travel weapon. Don't go anywhere without my Dog Blanket (its name. Lame). 
  • AVOID JEANS: They're heavy in your backpack and you'll never wear them. I'd pack one pair of pants and lots of summery dresses (great for beach bum and HK swag). 
  • Don't overpack. You'll be scared of getting cold so you'll probalby bring sweaters and jackets. Just bring one cool sweater! Shopping in Asia is amazing anyway, so you'll buy whatever you lack. 


Key Places


1) Vang Vien, Laos: Tubing on a river with bars and debauchery. Partying with Paulsen is NOTHING COMPARED TO THIS.

2) Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan: Read my blog postings about it. Second most insane thing I've done in my life.

3) Koh Phi Phi: Fun Partying in Thailand

4) Pai, Thailand: Chill out, rent motobikes, check out the mountains.

5) Hong Kong: BEST SHOPPING EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER in Shen Zhen.

6) Bangkok: Chatachak Weekend Market is second fav' shopping place in the world. Indie designers, vintage, cheap things, souvenirs, everything.


7) Gili T, Indonesia: Fun parties, cheap drinking, good crowd.

8) Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Chill out, best art scene in the country. It's wonderful.

9) Jakarta, Indonesia: I'M HERE. COME STAY WITH ME. I WILL SHOW YOU THE MOST MIND BLOWING TIME EVERRRRR. Party till we die.

Flights

  • HK is expensive from South East Asia, Singapore is so cheap. Let's go together! 
Don't worry about planning everything last minute. It's better that way.  Everything is possible. Can't wait to see you and Caro!!! Asia won't know what hit them, two Aryans and a lil'Brown!

Je te kiffe grave, meuf!!!

Ps. Didn't write this in the Facebook msg, but yes, let's plan Bali and Singapore with Kro!! When is good?

Jo and Caro. IT WILL BE A PARTY

Friends of the World! Am I missing any key advice for the lovely Jo? What do you tell your friends who are going to South East Asia for the first time? 


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