All posts tagged: southeast asia

Travel Dilemma: Heartbreaking Interactions with Southeast Asia’s Child Beggars

While begging occurs widely throughout Southeast Asia, we were struck by the prevalence of child begging in Siem Reap. Frankly, it caught us off guard. Should we help out or abstain? What were the economics behind it and what potential social repercussions would we be compounding? Being approached by a young child was alarming. She would hold your arm, look up at you with large brown eyes and say, “I no want your money, I am huuuuuungry.” Sure, she was small, as most Asian people are, but something was off. She didn’t look hungry. I needed to research this a bit further. Here’s what I uncovered online. Common Child Begging ‘Scams’ Kids are effective beggars because adults are more predisposed to giving children money. This encourages parents to put their children on the street, which is especially dangerous given that Southeast Asia is commonly acknowledged as a hotbed for human trafficking. It also encourages parents to pull kids from school and forces kids to roam the streets late at night as drunk bar patrons mill about. The …

Backpacking: How to survive the dreaded overnight bus trip

The best way to survive one is to avoid overnight bus travel all together. But if you really must, here are some tips to live by: 1. Never assume there will be a washroom on board. Carefully consider how much liquid you consumer prior to and during the trip. 2. Stock up on food. The bus will likely make a few stops but you’ll be at the mercy of whichever vendor the company has negotiated a stopover with. Usually they are large, cafeteria style restaurants with disappointing food options and a host of toilets around back, which you’ll have to pay to use. (Bring toilet paper!) It’s best just to order a takeaway sandwich or two for the road and hit a 7-11 for snacks. 3. Wear layers. Buses often run air conditioners overnight and it can get very cold. Make sure you bring a long sleeve shirt and consider packing a sleeping bag liner. 4. Essentials: Baby wipes and/or toilet paper, earplugs, and a flashlight if you intend to read. 5. Remember, you get what you pay for. …

Asia: What Is With All the Fish Spas? (Nasty!)

Feed the fish your dead skin? Why are we paying to feed your fish? I just can’t get on board with this but I respect that others can. Just don’t accost me (that’s looking at you Greg) to put my feet in these bacteria traps. That’s fish excrement where you’re soaking your festering, blister ridden foot in.