Backpacking in Asia

"Frequently Asked Questions about Backpacking in Asia"

"FAQ" was last updated on Jan 07, 2014

Want to go backpacking in Asia?

To make it easier for you, here are the frequently asked questions of this site, designed to answer your basic questions about backpacking.

This post is divided into two sections:

  • Frequently asked questions about backpacking, and
  • Frequently asked questions about the site

Hope this helps! :-)

Backpacking FAQ

I'm new to backpacking, and I want to backpack in Asia. Where should I start?

Answer: I would recommend to start reading this article Getting Started Backpacking.

After that I would recommend to read these articles in the following order:

Safe Backpacking for BeginnersMoney SafetyTravel HealthPotential Dangers in Asia, and if you're travelling alone.

When you've decided the basics, continue reading these articles in the following order:

Introduction to cheap Asia flightsCheap Airfares Asia Options, find cheap backpackers travel insurance, get information about Vaccines and Visa.

Then take a look at what to pack and not to pack in Backpacking Packing List and find the right Travel Guide Books.

For the finishing touch:

Check out the Backpacking Checklist

What is the best backpack, and how many liters?

Answer: It depends on how long you're going to travel, and where.

If the main goal of the trip is to trek as much as possible, it's obvious that you need more gear than a beach bummer.

For beach bummers traveling from 1 month up to 6 months, I would personally recommend 45-55 liters. Carrying any larger backpack than that would be too heavy and impractical for train and bus rides.

For trekkers I would recommend 55-60 liters depending on how long you're going to stay out in the wild, and the weather conditions.

Popular brands are Osprey, Lowe Alpine, Eagle Creek, Berghaus and North Face.

Try different brands and sizes - don't get blinded by the brand. Choose the backpack with best comfort.

Here's more information about Lightweight Backpacking and Backpacking Backpacks: Osprey, Lowe Alpine and Eagle Creek.

FAQ: What should I pack for Asia?

Answer: It depends on where you're going, when you're going and what you're going to do when you're there.

For backpacking packing list check out this page. Here you'll find a 'summer' packing list and 'winter' packing list. 

Do I need to bring a mosquito net/sleeping bag/washing powder?

Answer: Get your answers here Mosquito net and sleeping bag

You can get your laundry done in Southeast Asia and India. They have laundry shops in SE Asia and India. Otherwise the guesthouse you're staying at can wash your laundry for a cheap buck.

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How much money should I save for a backpacking trip in Asia?

Answer: Again, it depends on how long you're going to travel, where you're traveling and the standard of traveling. It's common among many backpackers to spend between $ 1200-1600 a month. This gives you a good margin, and should include everything (a mix of cheap and mid-priced accommodation, a mix of food stall and restaurants, a couple of beers a week, visas, transportation cost, common activities like caving, tubing, elephant riding and snorkeling, maybe even a very cheap regional flight).

Other travelers have survived on a lower budget like $ 1000 per month (maybe even lower).

Check out my Free Budget Tutorial here!

FAQ: I'm looking for accommodation in Asia. Where do I start?

Answer: Where in Asia are you looking for accommodation? And how much do you want to spend on accommodation?

If you're looking for accommodation in Bangkok, click on Bangkok on the navigation bar. Scroll down to "Where to Sleep". Read the reviews there and make a judgment for yourself.

To help you I've rated almost each guesthouse: by location, service and room.

For most accommodation pages, I've added links to best-rated guesthouses at Tripadvisor. 

Otherwise use the shortcuts as shown in the navigation bar. I've collected accommodations by cost: cheap, mid-priced and luxury rooms.

I need help regarding itineraries for Asia. Where do I go?

Answer: I've written extensively about route planners on this page: Backpacking Route Planner

If you still haven't found an answer to your question visit the backpacking forum.

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General FAQ

FAQ: Why is there no information on other countries in Asia, like Indonesia and Singapore?

Answer: The concept of this website is to provide you with real information. That means that I only include countries I've visited.

If you can't find information about the country you're looking for – that means that I haven't been there...yet.

Can I book a room through your website?

Answer: Yes, you can book a room by using the links or search boxes related to the guesthouse you're interested in. To be up front, I earn a small commission when you book through my site (3-5%). If you find this site helpful and want to help me maintain Backpacking Tips, book a room by using these links or search boxes.

PS: I don't own a guesthouse. I use external sources like Hostelbookers, Hostelworld and Hotelscombined.

Should I book a room in advance?

Answer: There are plenty of accommodations in Southeast Asia, India, South Korea and Hong Kong, and the main rule is that you don't need to book a room in advance.

There are exceptions though; here they are:

  1. If you're attending a moon party on Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Koh Samui, you should book in advance. You have no idea how quickly bungalows and guesthouses fill up during this period.
  2. If you want to visit the islands - book a room if it's the holidays, like Christmas or New Year's. Almost everyone want to spend the holidays on the beach.
  3. If you're arriving at a new destination late in the evening, you should book in advance (also ask if they can pick you up at the bus/ train station or at the airport - if possible)
  4. If it's your first time in Asia and you're arriving late in for instance Bangkok, you should book in advance - at least for one night. You'll most likely be jet lagged, tired and confused when you arrive, so do yourself that favor.
  5. Book in advance during a festival period

For example: Nov-Dec are popular festival months in India, as well as February and March.

Still unsure?

Book in advance if you're picky about accommodation whether it's about cleanliness, location or budget. You don't need to book if you don't care about where you'll end up.

If you want to book in advance you can use Hostelbookers. I've tried Hostelworld, but is cheaper and more user friendly.

When I want to book a hotel, I use Hotelscombined.

Find hotels at Hotelscombined

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Answer: Yes, you can.

Visit this site Link to us and follow the guidelines.

How often is Backpacking Tips updated?

Answer: Whenever I return to a destination in Asia, I update the information as soon as I'm back in front of my computer.

I update prices for accommodations every year, around November.The visa-articles are updated whenever there's an important change in the rules.

I'm striving to keep this site up to date, if possible.

Answer: Yes, you can. Contact me here.

When was Backpacking Tips started?

Answer: This site was born on Nov 17, 2008.

Can I borrow pictures from Backpacking Tips

Answer: To borrow pictures from Backpacking Tips, contact me.

When borrowing pictures, you MUST leave an attribution to the site.

A lot of pictures on Backpacking Tips are purchased from You can not borrow these pictures since they do not belong to this site. You have to purchase the picture at 

What kind of advertisement am I seeing on the website?

Answer: For my income, I use ads from Google,, affiliate links from Tripadvisor, Hostelbookers, Hostelworld, Hotelscombined and other affiliate partners related to travel.

Can I buy something from the website?

Answer: If you want to support Backpacking Tips, you have the opportunity to buy ebooks from my site.

By now, I have three ebooks which I sell at reasonable prices. I have sold over 200 copies of these ebooks and I'm very proud :-) They've received good reviews from travel experts and readers. Click on the links below to read more!

I update these ebooks at least once a year. The updates are sent to my buyers for free :-)

I also have an affiliate program. Join our affiliate program!

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