Hi again, my my you do worry a lot but the good part is that once you come back from your Philippine trip you will realise that most of your worries were unfounded, I promise!! Most hotels have a laundry service. However, I find the cheapest way to get your clothes washed and ironed is simply to ask one of the housemaids in the hotel providing you have overnight to do it for you. She will be very happy with a little extra cash and you get your laundry done. As a guide, most chambermaids would be lucky to make around 200 pesos a day so even if you gave her 100 that would be generous and it would cost you about $AUD2.50. Don't worry about her stealing your clothes - she would not risk her job for your undies!!!.
Safety deposit boxes are 99% safe. My advice: Have a photocopy made of the FACIAL page of your passport making sure that the number is clearly readable, put that on your body when going to Subic and leave whatever else in the hotel safety deposit box BUT!!!! DO NOT LOSE THE KEY because that is expensive and a bother.
WARNING/ADVICE TO ANY TRAVELLER: Everybody should always have a photocopy of one's passport facial page and put it elsewhere in your luggage. If you lose your passport you are nobody. Same advice for your airline tickets - unless you have the original in your email address, at least that way you can print it again at some Net cafe - and isn't the internet cheap in Philippines!!! Enjoy your trip - watch the pickpockets in jeepneys around Subic - they are brilliant at it. Cheers, Henk.
Miscellaneous: I've visited all the provinces of China since 2007. So, anyone interested in getting to the more isolated places and have some questions regarding these areas may write me a personal email about your journey should you need some help in getting around. I'll try to respond but at times due to lack of time it may take awhile, so write me while you're planning and not 2 days b4 arrival please!
Luggage and bags:
Do you want your own clothes? 5% of ALL bags get lost or delayed by airlines. Mostly because they do not have a luggage tag! Put the details of your hotel. They can find you!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A good pair of shoes/boots and light coloured clothes, preferably a tan colour. You will get dusty and dark clothes show it more. Unless it’s the rainy season. A good pair of boots would be advisable. Do not take old worn out boots. Not many shoe stores where you may be going.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sterile wipes for sure and your own soap. Many toilet facilities do not have any sort of soap. Diarrhoea tablets. They can be hard to find and only a few Pharmacies actually sell them. Aspirin. Very expensive in most of the developing world. Bandages for those blisters. Tissue for toilets that do not have any.
Photo Equipment: A lot of film or a large memory card. You will take a lot of pictures. The whole continent is one big photo opportunity.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Sunscreen. The sun is strong most of the year. You need an electric torch and/or a candle. The power does go out. Water. Water can de disrupted as well so always have some for your accommodation.
Miscellaneous: US Dollars or a strong currency like Euros or British Pounds. Some local currencies are not convertible. Exchange before you leave for the airport! A good Guide Book and some reading books would be handy.
REMEMBER: MALARIA CAUSES DEATH.
No one is immune, even locals. You need 100% DEET repellent, Malaria Tablets and coils. Malaria tablets must be started 2-3 weeks BEFORE you leave. Do not gamble with your life.
Luggage and bags:
I took a big backpack and a small daypack for 18 months in Asia with me! It is a strange experience to live just with the things you carry with you. That limits the number of t-shirts and trousers. Carrying everything on your back makes you think about, whether it is really nessessary to carry 10 books or 5 pairs of shoes with you.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the photo you also see my boots, which brought me around Asia. They were made of leather and a good quality. I don't know, what I would have done, if this shoes would have been lost or broken somewhere in Asia. In Asia they don't sell shoes in my size for women.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: I always had a small pack of basic medicine like aspirin, something against diarroeh(did I spell this right??Hmmm) and against cough. But you can easily buy all this in the pharmacies in Asia.
Some Facts of India
Area: 3,287,263 sq km (1,269,219 sq mi).
Capital: New Delhi (301,000).
Language: Hindi, English & 14 other official languages.
GDP Per Capita: US$2540.
Some Facts of Vietnam
Area: 329,560 sq km (127,244 sq mi).
Capital: Hanoi (3,822,000).
Language: Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese, Khmer, tribal languages.
GDP Per Capita: US$2,100.
Some Facts about Thailand
Area: 513,115 sq km (198,115 sq mi).
Capital: Bangkok (7,527,000).
Language: Thai, English, ethnic & regional dialects.
GDP Per Capita: US$6,600.
Some Facts about Indonesia
Area: 1,904,570 sq km (735,358 sq mi).
Capital: Jakarta (11,429,000).
Language: Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, Javanese & other local dialects.
GDP Per Capita: US$3000.
Some Facts about China
Area: 9,572,855 sq km (3,696,100 sq mi).
Capital: Beijing (10,836,000).
Language: Chinese (Mandarin), Cantonese & other dialects & minority languages.
GDP Per Capita: US$4600.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather is hot and humid. Lightweight clothing will be more comfortable to wear. There seemed to be no strict regulations about how men or women should dress, but due to the strong religious customs, modest attire would be best. Especially when visiting a Mosque or Hindu Temple the arms, (also head for women) and legs should be covered.
Luggage and bags:
A big scarf is a must! It can be very usefull. A scarf protects your head against the sun or against rain.
A scarf can be used instead of a basket, when you buy fruits on the market.
A scarf covers the cushion, so you don't need to sleep on dirty sheets. Folded the scarf can be used as a cushion itself.
A scarf can even be used as a rope or a skirt or...
A scarf is a very helpful thing.
Thermal or silk underwear in Winter, layering to a padded jacket which can be taken off indoors. Casual light clothing for the summer months. Leave the mini skirts and low cut tops at home. Good pair of flat walking shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Packets of tissues. Moist towelettes. Bar of antibacterial soap. Sunscreen in Summer, moisturiser in winter. Lomotil (just in case).
Luggage and bags:
When you're backpacking, weight is everything. When I first started my trip, I thought I was traveling light when my pack weighed something like 45 kilos. After about 2 days of carrying that monster around, I realized I was going to have to rethink my essentials and leave some things behind! Every few weeks I send a package to my friend Omar in Hong Kong full of things I've bought or decided I don't need to carry around anymore. Now my pack is much lighter, although most backpackers pack even lighter still!
Miscellaneous: My packing list consists of (more or less): 5 shirts, 3 pairs of shorts/pants, 1 pair of long johns, sandals, tennis shoes, 2 pairs of socks, 8 undies, 3 bras, swimsuit, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, a silk sleepsack (for when the hostel sheets are icky), inflatable pillow, an inflatable globe (so I can daydream and plan on those long train rides), toiletries, toilet paper, flashlight, camera, adaptors, a towel, a tiny travel alarm clock, an mp3 player with 19 songs on it (which I've heard at least 1,000 times), a Rough Guide and Lonely Planet guidebook, a few books for when I'm tired of reading my guidebooks, notebooks for journaling and pens.
Miscellaneous: I learned about a wonderfully simple e-mail service for travellers and used it on my last trip to Hong Kong. It worked perfectly! Mailstart.com allows you to retrieve all of your e-mail messages directly from your own internet provider at home. Just set up your account and password with Mailstart prior to leaving (it’s free), receive your instructions and you’re ready to go. Do yourself a favour and check it out at http://www.mailstart.com I loved it!
Miscellaneous: I always take a small flashlight and extra batteries when travelling. It has saved me during a stay in an apartment when the fuse blew and I had to go down four flights in the dark to reset it. It also comes in handy when visiting museums and other dark places (caves etc.) when you can shine a little light on things. And, a flashlight is particularly good when your travelmate wants to sleep and you want to stay up and read about the sights you're going to seethe next day.
More Countries in Asia
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