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5 Must-See Places in Southeast Asia

“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”

– Francis Bacon

I fell in love with Southeast Asia after reading “The Beach” and “The Tesseract”, both by Alex Garland. Both novels weren’t part of the reading list, which was quite unfortunate. I could compose an essay in an hour or two, but it didn’t matter. The chance to travel to that part of the world came.

I was excited with my trip, along with my course-mates. I dreamed of a Robinson Crusoe moment in a desert isle, but the closest thing to that was Ha Long Bay. Colin, one of my three travel buddies in this trip, remembered our module on Ian Fleming and James Bond. We did went to Andaman Sea, where “The Man with the Golden Gun” was shot, but that would be another tale.

What was it about Southeast Asia that the likes of Graham Greene have used as backdrop for their novels? It was different from what I’ve seen here at home, or the continent for that matter, but that wasn’t the reason. It would be the destinations, but there was more. In other words, it was anything but dull. It was also unique.

Below were my five must-see places:

1. Wat Rong Khun (Chiang Rai, Thailand)

Designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, this temple war arguably the main attraction in northern Thailand. Compared to the other monastery temples (wat), White Temple was unconventional, which drew lots of tourists. I would recommend spending half an hour looking at the wall paintings, a mixture of Buddhist images and pop culture. So imagine the likes of Harry Potter in the presence of Buddha’s solemn face, which seemed quite awkward at first. Eventually, I warmed up to it.

2. The terraced fields of Sa Pa, Vietnam

This town in northern Vietnam couldn’t be in a better location, as locals would be greeted with the panorama of Phan-Xi-Pǎng (Fansipan), the highest peak in Vietnam, every morning. It looked splendid on a sunny afternoon, but the countless terraces were the ones that tourists shouldn’t passed up. It would take a day or two for trekking, which might not be enough. Several ethnic groups lived there, and my interaction with them was priceless. Be warned that souvenir shops were ubiquitous in the village of Cat Cat, and the some of the locals were too persistent (in selling their items).

3. Angkor Thom (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

thailand travelNot that Angkor Wat was unattractive, but Angkor Thom had an august appearance. One needed an imagination, as all that remained were ruins, which looked gorgeous from certain angles. The Bayon Temple was my favourite, its solemn faces good enough for a postcard.

4. The temples of Yogyakarta, Indonesia

One must go the distance in able to see the Buddhist and Hindu temples in Yogyakarta, located in central Java. Borobudur, a pyramid-like temple, was a sight to behold. The summit looked like a page from a fairy tale, where tens of bell-like structures were arranged circularly. Not far behind were Prambanan and Ratu Boko, more reminders of a mighty civilisation that once flourished in this part of Asia.

5. Ho Chi Minh

East meets West, past meets present. This former capital of Vietnam had many landmarks that revealed its storied past. I visited the French section twice, where one of Gustave Eiffel’s creations could be found. I was referring to the Post Office, its remarkable interior had an old map of Saigon.

Lee Smyth studied Film and Literature, had a stint in dissertation writing services, and did freelancing jobs in writing and proofreading. He would pursue a graduate degree next fall. Check out his blog and Twitter account.

Things to do and see When Visiting Hong Kong

When travelling to Hong Kong, there are a lot of things that you can do. Hong Kong is one of the most beautiful and safest places in the world. It’s located in South China and is made up of the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island. There are also multiple smaller islands that surround the area. The most popular part of Hong Kong is where the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island meet. This is called Victoria Harbor. Many of the world’s ships pass through this area carrying all types of goods.

City_Of_Life_Hong_Kong_ChinaIn this area you can find many beautiful hotels and tall skyscrapers all around. The streets are narrow because all of these buildings are very close together. Hong Kong is an extremely populated city. Victoria Harbor hosts world-class fireworks displays multiple times per year. This harbor is the world’s finest harbor and has the most spectacular views. Like Hollywood, you can also find an avenue of stars here. One thing you don’t want to miss on the harbor is the Star Ferry. Take the Star Ferry from one side of the harbor to the other for a spectacular view! The best places to take photos are on the Kowloon side at Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. Another amazing thing to do from the promenade is to watch the world famous Symphony of Lights Show that happens every night for free. All of the lights from the building turn on and off to the sound of music for a few minutes. Other things to see on the promenade include the Bruce Lee Statue, Clock Tower and all of the shops you can find while walking around and exploring the city!

Also in the area of the TST Promenade you can find the Hong Kong Museum of History. The museum really shows a lot of Hong Kong’s history and you could spend hours in there learning all about the history of Hong Kong. It’s walking distance from the TST promenade. There are eight galleries spread out on four floors. The Hong Kong Museum of History is one of the best attractions in the city.

Another thing to see and experience in Hong Kong are the tramways that travel throughout the city. The tramways have been around since 1904. They travel from east and west on Hong Kong Island and transport around 230,000 passengers per day! It’s a great way to see the city without getting too tired of walking around.

One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to go to “The Peak” on Hong Kong Island. To get there you will have to take a tram up the mountain. It’s really an amazing experience. The Peak is filled with fast food and high end restaurants. It’s one of the best eating experiences in the world. You dine while looking over the magnificent city of Hong Kong from the top of the mountain. If you’re not hungry, then you can go to the Sky Terrace and take beautiful photos from above while enjoying the nice breeze.

There are so many wonderful things to see in Hong Kong. It’s one of the best cities to visit in the world. You will never be bored in fabulous Hong Kong!

Greg Aziz is a freelance copywriter with a Journalism degree from University of Toronto and with over 5 years of experience writing for hundreds of companies from virtually any industry. Feel free to connect with him on TwitterGoogle +Linkedin, or Quora

Get Adventurous – Things to do in Thailand

Thailand tourism is not only known for its exotic beaches, wonderful marketplaces and great food, but if you are an adventure buff then you can hit the coasts of Thailand for an exciting adventurous treat that is surely going to get your pulses racing.

Rock climbing- Railay is the place in the Krabi province in Thailand where you can go for rock climbing. Most people go to Railay for this adventure sport as it is one of the most amazing things to do in Thailand. There are several routes that fit the needs of all kinds of rock climbers, from beginners to the thorough professional rock climbers. You can also opt for learning the beginner course or the seasoned professional course. You can buy your own gear or get it on rent.

The Railay Bay is really very beautiful featuring limestone cliffs that jut out of water and surround the horseshoe beaches.

baliElephant trekking – There is this picturesque National Park situated in the southern part of Thailand. This National Park is known as Khao Sok and there is a good deal of elephants here that are a big hit among the crowds of people that throng here for an amazing experience of elephant trekking. An extraordinary addition to our list of things to do in Thailand, elephant trekking should not be missed at any cost.

The elephants at Khao Sok are pretty healthy and sitting on top of these fairly large creatures is a big thrill in itself. The feel that you get while the elephants take you down the steep hills and over the rough terrains is simply unmatchable. You shudder at the thought of tumbling down from your high perch but these intelligent giants manage to hold you safely all throughout.

Cave kayaking – Well, sea kayaking is quite common but cave kayaking is one amazing Thailand that you cannot experience easily at any other location of the world. Also known as inland kayaking, as you kayak on the river waters making way through the mangrove forests. You go through the lush greenery and the moment you enter the caves give you an adventurous feel, a mysterious feel of being one among nature. It is a complete thrill to paddle under the stalactites and the limestone cliffs. It is a real heavenly feeling when you reach a lovely lagoon encircled by high cliffs.

Bridge walking on the Kawai River – Call it thrill but for some it is more of fear, the fear of taking one wrong move and tumbling down straight into the river. After all, the bridge on the Kawai River does not comprise of wires or cages and you need to just walk on the planks. Bridge walking on the Kawai River is a must-do for most of the adventure freaks that visit the country seeking solace and thrill at the same time.

Travel in a Tuk Tuk – Your visit to Bangkok is not complete unless you take a Tuk Tuk ride. This is sure shot things to do as it is the local mode of transport that is not only cheap and easy to go around but is great fun as well. These are 3-wheeled motorbikes that are found abundantly in Bangkok.

So, Thailand Tourism really has a lot to offer you and fun, adventure and thrill is surely going to be a part of your trip to this epitome of a holiday destination. This guest post was by Stephenleuis, a Travel enthusiast and has written on Thailand Tourism.

Broadbeach-A Jewel on the Gold Coast You Cannot Miss to Visit

A small touristy town with sunny cheer all around is just what the young at heart looks for in an ideal vacation spot. Broadbeach Queensland offers you just that and much more, that writes ‘fun’ in bold letters on the few pages of your life that you dedicate to it. Therefore, whenever you plan to indulge in the enjoyment of Gold Coast tourism, don’t miss on the opportunity to enjoy Broachbeach.

Sure, you can’t just take your decision by reading our fancy adorations of a place we love some much. So, to convince you to visit Broadbeach, we list down a few of its lovely attractions that promise joy for all!

1)      The Divine Beaches!

With a long, long coastline adorned with lovely golden sand, and waves perfect for a joyous surfing sessions, the divine beaches of Broadbeach attract countless tourists in every season. The Kurrawa beach is pretty popular; it has play areas for kids and amazing shops and cafes all round it.

BroachbeachVolleyball, sand surfing and kite surfing add to the amusements of this beach. Another striking feature about the Gold Coast beaches is their exceptional lifeguards who keep you safe while you forget all your cares in soaking fun in the heavenly waters!

2)      Shopping

Pacific Fair is a mammoth shopping center, certainly the most exciting place to shop and spend time in all of Gold Coast. Besides offering some of the best brands and best varieties under a single roof, Pacific Fair also has amusement options for kids and adults alike; and not to forget, the food is drool-worthy!

Next on list, very predictably, has to be the Oasis Shopping Center with nearly 100 specialty shops that are bursting with discounts and delicacies. “Art and Craft on the Coast” markets are held every Sunday, and they offer some lovely handicrafts and locally-crafted products at affordable prices.

3)      Out of the World Movie Experience at Birch Carroll and Coyle in Pacific Fair

After a delightful shopping spree, you have an excellent amusement option available to you right there at Pacific Fair. Featuring all the latest flicks in 2D and 3D on 12 gigantic screens and enormous sitting areas brimming with lovely, lively viewers, Birch Carroll and Coyle is one place you cannot miss to pay homage to. It will give you a never-before movie experience, and for young couples out there, it is the perfect place to get cozy!

4)      Therapeutic Massages and Beauty Treatments

Luxury, rejuvenation, pleasure, and beauty – Broadbeach has very intelligently created spa centers and world-class beauty salons for men and women like yourself to indulge while on vacation. The city has some truly awesome spas that cannot be praised enough.

The ambience, warmth and hospitality you get to enjoy in Broadbeach spas and salons are incomparable. Harbour Day Spa, for instance, has the looks that will stun you the instant you move into it; its design is inspired by the Italian Riviera, and all the services are steered towards sending you back calm, relaxed, happy and bubbling with positive energy.

5)      Great Food

Broadbeach is loaded with eateries, cafes and restaurants serving delicious food. This is one of the places that offer authentic cuisines from the world over. Be it in Pacific Fair, Oasis, or one of the big names like Jupiter’s, the food will always get your taste buds in the mood for more.

6)      Thrilling Performances

If you love live performances, Broadbeach will thrill you. There are numerous concerts and live shows happening in the city every evening. Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant hosts spellbinding shows that will get your nerves racing; it takes you on a ghost train ride inside the Vampire’s theatre where even the waiters look like fantasy creatures from one of those movies!

Spend a few idle hours on golden sand under the golden sun, play some fun sports, shop in one of the best shopping centers of Australia, and dine in some exotic holiday restaurant in Broadbeach to make your Queensland experience worth the while.

Drive Your Imaginations Wild with Scenic Beauty of Philippine’s Beaches

Philippine is known as beach capital of the Asia. The coastline of Philippines is twice to that of the United States. Phillipines is relatively undiscovered travel destination but it has magical islands with world class surfing and diving opportunities. You can enjoy the deep crystal blue waters of the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Every beach has its own charm. If someone asks you to pick the best beach in the Philippines you will get confused. It seems that someone has asked you to choose the best child among your children. I am going to tell you the fantastic islands and beaches in the Philippines.

Chill out in El Nido, Palawan:

Chill out in El NidoIt is one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines. The Palawan is known as the last frontier of the Philippines while the El Nido is the gateway to the adventure. The fantastic views are something that is selling this place. You will love the powder fine beaches. The gin-clear water is enough to make you take a deep breath and calm yourself. When you are there capture the beauty of this piece of land in your camera. Get one and hang it on the wall of your living room to save the precious memories of Philippines. Have a lifelong adventure with fabulous surfing and diving here.

Boracay, Aklan:

It is the most visited holiday destination in the Philippines. The distinctive feature of this place is the white beach.  You can enjoy here the secluded trips to the caves, cliffs, sand and coves. The beach is famous for the night which is full of candle-lit sand castles giving a romantic and magical view. The major activity’s here are kite-boarding, scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing. You will love the place and the scenic beauty here.  The azure blue water is something that will make you turn to this place again and again. The white beach here is known as the “finest beach in the world”. So do not miss any more time and pack yourself for a wonderful trip to boracay Philippines.

Bohol Island:

Bohol IslandThe Bohol Island is also known as the chocolate island. It has large numbers of limestone hills that were formed of coral reefs of the last ice age. The things to enjoy are numerous. You can enjoy exploring the caves which are more than hundred in number. It has the wide range of animals and plant species, the Philippine tarsier is the distinctive one. The Bohol Island is bestowed with countless beaches with clear waters and fine sand. Relax yourself at these enchanting beaches and get lost in nature. You will fall in love with the water, sand and the surrounding cliffs.

Apo Island:

It is the most beautiful island in the Philippines. The dazzling clear waters and the striking coral formation are the distinctive features of this island which makes it unique to other islands in the world. The beaches of this island have white powdery sand that is perfect to lie down to enjoy the sun. The Apo Island has a wonderful and famous site for the scuba diving and snorkeling. The water here is full of marine life and the divers can enjoy some more than 600 species of marine life while diving under the dazzling waters. The coral formation here is awesome and it appears that god has places the corals here with his own hand. Besides the awe inspiring scenery you will enjoy the friendly nature of the people here. You can have any kind of help from them. So don’t be afraid of going to the Apo beach on this holiday season. These are the famous and enthralling islands with stunning beaches waiting for you.

What Indonesia has for Photography Lovers?

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world providing the stunning sites to click on for photographers. The natural serene beauty of Indonesian islands will drive the photographer mad. Indonesia has incredible natural beauty having superb mountains, world class serene beaches, awesome lakes and awe inspiring greenery. It attracts every kind of visitors including photographers from all over the world. It is the kind of sweet delight for all the tourists. Here I will tell you about some fantastic places which will treat your eyes and also a treat to the lenses of your cameras. Here is the list of photogenic places of Indonesia.

Lombok:

LombokLombok is one of the top icons of tourism in Indonesia.  It has some amazing sceneries which can amaze the people visiting it. The beautiful beaches are perfect place to take photos of the rising sun with clear waters. The white sandy beaches will make an adorable photo in the evening. The more you explore the Lombok, the more you will be surprised. The Mount Rinjani towering sky adds an enchanting charm to the island. You will also enjoy the richness of biodiversity on this island. Keep on exploring and do not put your finger away from the camera click button. You will get some extraordinary photos at this island.

Komodo national park:

Komodo national park is one of the splendid sites to visit. The komodo is the giant dragon which is the largest living reptile on earth. The park derives its name from this giant reptile. The photographers come to this place very often especially those working for national geographic channel. They shoot the dragon from different angles trying to capture each and every movement of this giant. The park has not only the giant it has many other things to offer you. It has the best spot for diving under clear waters of red beach. You will enjoy a trip to komodo national park.

Bali:

baliBali is the beach paradise. It is the top destination for those seeking to spend time on beautiful islands. It is bestowed with magical beaches making Bali a unique and distinctive tourist’s attraction. You will enjoy the magical beauty of volcanic beaches of the west and soft sandy beaches of the south. Besides the famous beaches Bali has the treasure of hidden beaches which are nestled below the secluded cliffs and are difficult to get to. These islands are perfect sites for the day light photography. So turn on your cameras, get ready to capture the scenic beauty of these beaches and later on save this natural treasure by transforming photos to canvas UK to get the maximum delight on watching them.

Lake Toba:

Lake Toba is the beautiful lake surrounded by eye catching mountains and awe inspiring scenery. It is the second largest lake in the world. It is perfect spot for nature, historic and spiritual tourism. The morning scene with the mist hanging over the lake is indescribable view. It seems that you are in heaven while the soft breezes are crossing you. The site is a good one for photographers but to capture the morning scenes more light within their camera is required.

Have fun and make as many photos as you can. You will love all of them.

Getting the Most Out of your Travel in Hong Kong-The Shopping Edition

Shopping is one of the must-do activities in Hong Kong, in fact, a trip to the Ladies’ Market or Temple Street Night Market for souvenirs is right up there on the to-do-list in Hong Kong with a trip to the avenue of stars and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to see the spectacular city skylines.

But what are the places you could visit in Hong Kong that offer a great shopping experience? Let’s run down a list of four shopping destinations in Hong Kong starting with the Ladies Market and the Temple Street Night Market.

Ladies Market

Ladies MarketClothes, accessories, and souvenirs are some of the things you could get when you visit Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street. From the name itself, you can be assured of finding a ton of ladies wear in this market. You could get shopping bags, cosmetics, costume jewelry, and even ladies’ underwear. But you’ll also be able to get the perfect Hong Kong souvenir to bring home with you. Looking for an “I Love Hong Kong” shirt? Search among the hundreds of stores along the 1 km stretch of the market and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Be wary of fake products being sold at the market, although I’m sure you’re wise enough to avoid buying a “real” Louis Vuitton bag from a stall.

Temple Street Night Market

Located in Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon, Hong Kong, Temple Street Night Market is a must-see place if you want to hear opera singers while getting your fortune told. Haggle hard for souvenirs, electronics, watches, and jade jewelry with a tasty takeout treat in your other hand. You could get to Temple Street Night Market by getting off the nearest MTR stations at Jordan or Yau Ma Tei.

Cat Street

If you’re looking for Chinese antiques, you need to go to Cat Street on Road and Upper Lascar Road in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island. The nearerst MTR station is the Central Station and once there, you could look for antique furniture or knick knacks from the Cultural Revolution. You can also shop for jade, silk products, and handicraft items on Cat Street.

Apliu Street Flea Market

If you’re itching to grab a bargain on electronics, Apliu Street Flea Market on Sham Shui Po in Kowloon is the place to go. You could get brand-new and second-hand electronics there or even antique coins and watches. Go to the market by getting off at the MTR Sham Shui Po Station, Exit C2.

Don’t Forget to Bring Cash and Your Credit Card When Bargain Shop in Hong Kong!

Ready to explore Hong Kong and take advantage of the many shopping places there? Don’t forget to bring your cash and credit card. Cash is always readily accepted by the vendors at the stalls at these markets but I’m sure your shopping trip will take you to Hong Kong’s many department stores where your credit card will be more readily accepted. You could also use your credit card at the many hotels and restaurants around Hong Kong so you don’t have to carry too much cash with you.

This article by Money Hero, a Hong Kong’s leading financial comparison website. Compare a broad range of financial products, from credit cards to travel insurance plans.

Things to do in Thailand-Fabulous Five

Thailand Tourism promises a memorable stay to all its tourists and delivers it in style. There are a large number of things to do in Thailand and one may fall short of time no matter how well he plans his vacation due to the innumerable options available to him. Here is a list of some of the things one has to do while in Thailand:

thailand travel

  • Eating: If you are in Thailand then you are in for a treat. With a score of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, Thailand is a paradise for food lovers. The Thai cuisine is well known and appreciated throughout the world due to its exotic flavours and unique preparation. There are restaurants to fulfil everyone’s appetite and to suit everyone’s style. From a quiet little place to eat and relax to a place with loud music and cheerful people. You can find cheap to moderate to high end restaurants serving delicious food with a smile. Eating will definitely be one of your favourite things to do in Thailand.
  • Sightseeing: Thailand is a country with a very rich cultural heritage and a glorious past.  There are a number of places to visit which are of great significance to the country. Wat Phra Kaew, Doi Suthep-poi National park, Dusit Palace Park, Sanam Luang, Khao Yai National Park are some of the places that you can’t afford to miss while in Thailand.
  • Shopping: Thailand proves to be heaven for shopaholics by offering a large number of spots for lightening their wallets. There is something for everyone and you can go from a market of small stalls to high end malls dealing in luxury brands to let yourself loose and shop till you drop. Some of the top shopping spots are MBK Centre, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, Damnoen Saduak Floating market, Siam Paragon and many more. Shopping is one of the things to do in Thailand which you will love to do.
  • Beaches: The beaches in Thailand are known throughout for their breath taking beauty, white sand, perfect scenery, clear waters, limestone cliffs and exotic flora and fauna. When you are in Thailand you will feel like just laying back on a recliner on one of these beaches and sipping your favourite cocktail or maybe taking a good massage. For the adventurous souls there are a number of activities such as diving, rock climbing, snorkelling etc. Some of the best beaches of Thailand are Railay beach, James Bond beach, Freedom beach, Koh Chang beach etc. These beaches are all gems of Thailand Tourism.
  • Partying: If you are a party animal then this is one of the best things in Thailand for you. Thailand’s night-life is one of the best in the world and its late night beach parties are unmatched by anywhere else in the world. With a large number of pubs, clubs and discotheques to choose from you can party according to your own style and to your kind of music.

This guest post is by Chandralekha, a Travel enthusiast, currently working with ixigo, an online India Travel Guide helps you to plan your trip. This time she has written on Thailand Tourism. Hope this information will help you to plan your trip to Thailand.

The Women of Muay Thai

The modern version of Muay Thai we see today was first developed in the 1920s. As the years progressed, there were accounts of women getting into the combat sport and fighting in small competitions that were never fully organized. The rarity of women in the sport was not just because of gender oppression, but also attributed to the fact that the women during these times were just not into it.

Women of Muay ThaiDuring the time when Muay Thai was purely a means of attack and self-defense used in real life situations, the women of Khunying Mae-yamo, meaning ‘respected mother,’ fought alongside the men who used Muay Thai to fight off territorial invaders.

When the gender renaissance swept the world during the 60s and 70s, things began to favor the female demographic. Fights were set up in Rajadamnem participated by daughters of well-known gym owners, and even the government-owned Lumpinee Boxing Stadium ran a series of female fights. However, this female surge in the sport was just momentary.

The real reason why women were hindered in getting involved with Muay Thai is a mix of the nation’s deep religious and superstitious beliefs. Since Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, it is Muay Thai tradition for monk to bless fighters in a moving ceremony, with the monk walking over a fighter’s limbs. Women can’t engage in this ceremony since Buddhist monks are forbidden to be in physical contact with women. They believe that women represent desire, which must be suppressed to achieve nirvana—a belief that is not something to be taken lightly.

This religious belief was reinforced by an incident that happened at an event in Rajadamnem during the late 70s. A female television producer stepped into the ring to direct a shoot, after which every match of the night ended with the fighters seriously injured. Naturally, her presence in the ring was blamed, proving that women did not belong anywhere near the ring. An unofficial ban was imposed on female fights and they were not even allowed to so much as touch the fighting rings in gyms and stadiums.

Fortunately, the ban was temporary. Women in families that owned gyms continued to train in Muay Thai, and it didn’t take long for female bouts to eventually resume. If there was someone fighting worth placing a bet on, the men allowed the women to fight, but just not in Bangkok’s main stadiums or the larger ones upcountry. Female bouts were then scheduled last, so the beliefs the people adhere to won’t be affected, and they even had them go under the top rope when entering the ring, so they do not set themselves higher than the spirits.

As the years slowly passed, the women attending fights at larger stadiums grew in number. As the standard of female fights improved, the betting stakes increased and the interest exploded. And with help of the World Muay Thai Council, an organization run mostly by foreigners, there was more openness in promoting female fights, further boosting its popularity.

Today, both female and male fights in Thailand are on the same level, with five, three-minute rounds that allow elbows. However, the stakes involved are still greater in the men’s bouts. Regardless, the women in Muay Thai have come a long way since then, and it looks like there is no stopping them from soon dominating the sport.

Bio: Marie Felipe is an online writer for more than 6 years now promoting the importance of being fit and healthy. She realized it is quite difficult to stay fit especially if you work online and just sits every day. Luckily with a help of a little diet and hours in a Muay Thai gym she stays fit.

The Ultimate Credit Card Guide to Traveling to Southeast Asia

If you are planning to go to Southeast Asia, bringing travel credit cards is definitely a great idea. Credit cards offer great convenience to travellers; you can use them for almost anything you’ll need on the road, and at the same time, they can give you peace of mind and a sense of security. Carrying cash going from place to place has oftentimes proved to be more trouble than it’s worth if you are in a strange land.

malaysia Along with itinerary, budget, and other important concerns, your overseas travel plans should also include financial management. This ultimate guide on the best travel credit cards discusses some of the ideal options for travellers as well as some simple but important guidelines to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for your trip.

Before You Go

  • It is an absolute must for you to call your bank to tell them that you are leaving the country. If you are a VISA credit card holder, you will be required to submit a Traveling Out-of-State Form for your own protection.
  • It would also be a good idea to check on the Credit Card Union to get information on daily spending limits, withdrawal restrictions, cash advances, and other relevant information.
  • Write down your card account numbers and keep the information secure but within easy access. You can leave it with a friend or family member whom you can call for the information in case of emergencies.
  • Save your bank’s customer service hotlines on your phone. It will come useful in case you need to report a lost or stolen card.
  • If you are going away for a long time, see if you can set up online access to your credit card. This enables you to transfer payments from other existing savings or checking accounts. At the same time, it is easier to keep up with your credit card bills.

Managing Your Travel Credit Cards on the Go

  • When you use credit cards for travel abroad, remember that you will be charged foreign transaction fees. Rates vary with each credit card, usually from 1% to 3%, and are applied on ALL transactions incurred, regardless of currency.
  • Foreign transaction fees can easily accumulate. Save up on credit card transaction fees by taking a few extra trips to the ATM.
  • ATMs are still the best and easiest way to get cash from your card wherever in the world you may be. Look at the back of your card to see which network you are on (VISA or MasterCard) and simply look for a corresponding ATM in your location. International transaction fees may apply.

Best Travel Credit Cards

VISA credit cards are accepted in more places in Southeast Asia than any other card. If you are a MasterCard carrier, you won’t have much of a problem getting by either, as a lot of banks in Southeast Asia partner with major global financial networks.

Also, note that Southeast Asia is still mostly cash-centered. You can save a lot by resorting to other options like traveler’s cheques, ATM cards, debit cards, and of course, some amount of local currency, on top of your travel credit cards.

Michael Vincent writes for Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website, allowing you to compare the prices of a broad range of financial products, from credit cards to insurance plans.