You will find here some advises on :
Learn a bit of Khmer
Get off the tourist path
Take the time to listen to stories, even if they are not very joyful
In remote areas, keep on the road. Mines !
Test local snacks and eat at the market or food stalls
Try to test the train at least
once, if possible on the more reliable west line, and always after having
checked the latest safety bulletins.
How to keep the low cost even lower ?
Visit during the low season
Bring your International Vaccination Certificate : at some border, you get fined (50 Bahts) if you can not show it (or a photocopy), the latest scam to get money from the tourists !
Spend a week in Angkor and use a bike instead of a motorcycle driver : Actually, the best way to save money would be to avoid Angkor altogether but this is a bit extreme...
Avoid express boat trip if possible
Travel in the bed of the pick-up
Eat in small local restaurants priced in riels or, even cheaper & colorful, at food stalls in the street.
Ask for free tea in the restaurants or at food stalls. Most of the time, ice cubes will be provided as well for free (sometimes for R200). I did it for months and never got sick but, of course, there is always a risk, in particular if this is your first trip in Asia...
For IDD calls, use the public MPTC or Camintel card phone boxes. Cards are available everywhere.
But remember that enjoying a trip is sometimes or from time to time worth a little bit more... Backpacking is more about the bag than the money !
Cambodia is not too bad for vegetarians. Especially when you have those legendary baguettes in the streets with cheese and vegetables. I cant tell about distant areas but i can tell about Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that it was pretty easy to me as a vegetarian, although the Cambodian kitchen is not amazing.
Vietnam is tough with all of this sea food everywhere. It is recommendable to memorize "no meat" sentence in Vietnamese (if they can understand you). Count on a diet comprised of baguettes, fried rice with vegetables and fried noodles with vegetables. Its not as bad as it sounds though and in Saigon in the touristy area there is a street with many (good and quite cheap) vegetarian restaurants. I don't remember exactly the name of the street though. Also in Hanoi there are several vegetarian restaurants but more fancy ones and expensive.
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