Featured writer: : Joe Platt
There are things out there that you don’t know about. I’m lucky in that I’ve been to places that people don’t know exist. However, no matter how things are for you or where you live Your Backyard is Another Person’s Mystery Land.
Top 10 Cool Things You Don’t Know About in Asia
10.) Thai menthol
Poy-Sian menthol–dropper on far left, inhaler and cap. source
Thailand was the first country I went to in Asia. The cab drivers and tuk tuk drivers were sniffing this little bottle of something. Had I been in the U.S., or anywhere else, I would have thought it was some kind of illegal substance. Thai menthol comes in this little bottle with an inhaler. You can unscrew the cap and use the dropper. You put two small drops of it on your temples and you feel like you are in a halo of menthol–like floating in space.
9.) Betel nut
Betel nut in Myanmar (Burma) source
I admit, I still don’t know exactly what betel nut is. I made loop in Asia and in Myanmar there was this strange red substance in people’s mouths and on the ground. I thought “oh what is this?” So I bought one and began to chew it. It is a little nut wrapped in leaves and it makes you feel happy when you chew it. I’m not classifying it, because I don’t know what it is.
And I thought when chewing it…”this is stupid…this is stupid…WOW I FEEL REALLY HAPPY ALL OF A SUDDEN!” Then I started laughing for no reason.
8.) Cheap street food
She is so happy because she knows she is making a killing in the tourist part of town.
This is just to scare people.
–and awesome. It doesn’t matter if you are next to a garbage can or roaming around at 3 A.M. chances are someone is grilling something. Not only that, a lot of the food tends to be very healthy, so you’ll lose weight without trying.
7.) Really large bottles of beer. That you can drink–in public–while walking around in most places–for a very cheap price.
You probably couldn’t get away with this sign in more tame Asian countries like Singapore. Khao San Road, Bangkok 2011.
6.) You want a bowl of hot soup for breakfast? Done. In Thailand.
5.) If you’re from North America, the overcrowding is something to fathom and take in over there. The stores tend to be spotless and clean–people make use of what little room they have.
A lot of people everywhere for Thai New Year. A giant water fight.
4.) Large amounts of opportunities for English teaching if you are a native speaker. If you fly into Asia and decide you want to stick around, there may be a job for you!
3.) Temporary celebrity status if you are not of Asian descent in parts of Asia–And it is not because everyone wants to rip you off either. If you are the only different looking person in a sea of 100,000 or more people, you tend to be pretty popular. I don’t know if that is cool or not. You can decide that for yourself.
2.) Modernization that may make your city look like it is behind the times–in some areas. A lot of Asia is developing so quickly, that you’ll blink and miss the old Asia. I couldn’t believe my eyes at the border of Singapore–there were more people waiting to stamp our passports than people waiting in line.
1.) Cool places that are still developing that people don’t travel to that much. I think Laos and Cambodia were two countries I would recommend as the people are very nice and no one would go there unless they were driven to. Myanmar as well–although I think tourism there is exploding or about to explode. They are still very inexpensive, so your main cost is flying there and back. If you only have a week or two, Thailand would be your best bet for something different.
Luang Prabang, Laos 2011
Are you ready to take a risk? Fly away to Asia!