10 Things We Won’t Miss About Asia

Lack of Sidewalks

Sidewalks are one of those things you don’t ever think you will miss, but when people drive like they constantly have road rage and you have to walk anywhere, man do you miss them.

Squat Toilets

the first time you use a squat toilet it is an experience, to say the least. I slipped in, couldn’t figure out how to flush, and peed on myself a little but hey, I did it… kinda.  Growing up in a Western country I don’t think I will ever quite master the art of a squat toilet.  Some people say it is better for your body but splash back is a real problem and I don’t like walking around with pee (or worse) on me all day.

The number of showers you have to take in a day

Asia is hot, really freaking hot! Most days it was around 40+ degrees C which means you sweat a lot.  Add any movement into the equation and your entire body becomes a slip and slide.  I can’t even count the number of times I ran to the hotel, dropped my bag beelined it for a cold shower out of fear of melting.

Garbage

Garbage is the one thing that would make it hard for me to live in Asia. It is everywhere.  People seem to have a real lack of respect for nature and their countries when it comes to garbage. The streets, rivers, lakes, public spaces are all filled with garbage. I saw countless people just throw plastic out the window of boats, buses, cars like it was nothing.  Even worse they burn it. You will see small fires burning along the roads and in towns.  These days most garbage is plastic so you can imagine the horrible smell.

Lack of Safety Standards

While I feel like North America is a little crazy with safety, Asia is on the complete other end of the spectrum. Every day we would see 100 things that would have a child taken away by child protective services in North America including; 4+kids on a motorbike oh and the driver was 10; 5 year old’s making weapons with machetes with no supervision.  While taking the bus don’t be surprised if they fill up the bus with gas (not diesel), while it is on and smoking a cigarette or decide to overtake another car on a blind turn, often resulting in slamming the breaks to avoid a near crash.

The Bad Roads

Most places we visited the roads aren’t exactly the safest. Potholes, blind turns, driving on the wrong side and a lack of road signs make driving here an adventure.  While it was ur… um… interesting I won’t, miss being scared for your life every time you get in a vehicle.

Bartering

Bartering may be a fun challenge for some people but I personally constantly feel like I am going insult someone or get ripped off. While I will miss feeling like I got a deal, having the price be the price is just a lot easier for us non-bartering masters.

Buses

Buses in Asia are one of those things that can take some getting used to. Not only do they often sell more spots than there are seats, they leave when they are full which can make planning difficult.  Once we had the experience of the 10 am, 11 am and 12noon bus all leave by 9:45 because they were full. They also tend to drive like formula 1 race car drivers including blind passes.

Inefficiencies/ Unorganized

If you have any type A in you like me, you are going to see so much that will drive you nuts. If there is a more difficult inefficient way to do things they are likely doing it. You will see it everywhere try not to stress.  As a wise bus driver once told us “{Asia} is (Asia), don’t bring your countries expectations”.

Cash Only

Most places you go in Asia are cash only. It was very rare that we could actually pay for anything on a credit card.  They were only good online to book our hotels.  When you are used to taping for everything having to shell out cash is a pain. Not to mention the points we didn’t collect!

Have you been to Asia? What will you not miss?  Anything on this list?  Let us know in the comments below!

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