While you are traveling you almost can’t avoid meeting other travelers, tourists on your way. But let’s be clear who is “tourist” and who is “traveler”. The most common definition of “tourist” is “a person who is traveling, especially for pleasure”. “Traveler” – “someone who is traveling or who travels often”. I think (and I use this description in this post): “tourist” a person who comes to a place just to take what he wants, needs, “check” on the “been/seen/done” list. He thinks everything goes only around his needs; “traveler” – a person, who comes to a place to give, understand, be a part of local culture. Who wants to make the trade – take but as well give something in return.
If a tourist wants to get the most benefits of being a tourist, be noticed by local people, other travelers – he should follow these guidelines. Then he can claim to get an award of most annoying tourist in Asia.
How to become the most annoying tourist in Asia
#1 Become a speaker
How will people know you or understand better, if you won’t share how you feel, think without saying it? It’s too tiring to speak with each person about yourself? So just be sure to speak as loud as you can with a person in front of you. Then everybody who is around (workers, other tourists, travelers) will hear you and you will get attention, even if you are not the most important person in that place.
#2 Be proud of your success by showing how much money you have
You feel that people won’t give attention to you if you won’t start to show/tell how rich you are. And because of it, you can get everything you want? So do it! Don’t accept any negative answer to your wishes, just tell people that you have a lot of money and you can buy everything you want: respect, justice, people and etc. Like you believe people in Asia are poor, so money the only way to solve problems, get anything.
#3 Forget your clothes
You have worked so hard in the gym a month before the holiday (just to look good in photos that you will share in your social profiles). So why you should cover your body with clothes? The swimsuit is not only for the beach, walk with it in the city as well. Why you should dress properly in front of local people, respect their religion and culture? Who are they – just locals, don’t care about them. Don’t forget you are the main person!
#4 No need to use simple humanity rules
Local people don’t understand when you are polite to them. Only if you scream, showing disrespect – they will solve your problems. They are not normal people like you or those with whom you deal in your own country. So act differently than you do in your country.
You respect only those who are worth it, right? Who are the local people? You don’t know them, you don’t understand them. So, why you should respect them? Don’t do that, act with them like they are not humans.
#5 Delete words “local rules” from your vocabulary
You should forget the expression “local rules”. You are not local, you are a tourist, just temporary staying for your vacation. You should have a good time, do things that you don’t do in your own country, without thinking about anything. Remember – “rules” are not for you! Drive motorbike without a helmet, as fast as you can, with as many people on a motorbike as you can take and etc. Don’t think that it can be dangerous for you and other people. If others do like this, why can’t you? You don’t need to think, you left your brain at home and want just follow others’ behavior – it’s much easier.
#6 Make a challenge for yourself
Alcohol in your country too expensive? Don’t have reasons to get drunk there? Yes, vacation in Asia is the right time and place to be the drunk the whole day! Get drunk till stage when local people try to help you find where are you staying or call for help like you can’t even stand up (and your friends just left you lying somewhere). A holiday is all about it – be drunk all the time.
#7 Take pictures of local people like in the zoo
While you are completing you “been/seen/done” list, you will meet local people which maybe you will find interesting. So just go to them, put a photo camera in front of their faces, no matter what they are doing at that time, and try to get the best shot. Don’t forget to make as many as possible shots. As well don’t think to be polite and ask people permission to take their picture. Some locals in Asia don’t speak English, so why you need to waste your time asking for permission? Feel free to just behave with them like with animals in the zoo.
#8 Follow your animal instincts
You feel passion here and right now? So have sex straight where you are, for example in the public hotel swimming pool. Who cares if somebody will see you? You feel the passion and want to demonstrate it. After all, you do the same in your country, in other countries outside Asia while you are traveling. So, why you can’t do it here as well? And don’t forget to “order” local females/males for your sex games – like “it’s part of the culture”, “you can help them to earn a little money” and they “enjoy working this job”.
#9 Leave your brains at home
You worked hard for a long time to get these couple weeks of pleasure. So just leave your brain at home and do things that you never do in your country or outside of Asia. Get crazy, do dangerous things, don’t think about anything. Try everything that locals suggest even if you don’t know what this is. Vacation is the time when you don’t need any limits. And Asian countries just waiting for your craziness. Here is one of the crazy things which you can do in Asia.
So it’s all my tips to get an award of most annoying tourist in Asia. Maybe you have suggested other tips?
I hope I haven’t offended any of you. But at least you know now how sometimes your behavior looks like from another point of view. And why local people treat you in a way which you don’t like. Keep in mind that everything is written in a sarcastic way from my personal experience during traveling in Asia.
Do you think only on Bali island you can find crystal clear water and white sand beaches? NO. There are many such beaches in other Indonesian islands as well and they are not so crowded yet. In the neighbor Lombok island, you can enjoy the same or even better beaches. Maybe it’s time to consider Lombok island one of the options for a holidays destination? Besides beautiful nature, it’s a bit cheaper than in Bali.
There are so many beautiful Lombok beaches that during 3 weeks trip we didn’t manage to visit all of them. But here are my favorite ones where I would love to come back one day.
Lombok beaches which I recommend to visit at least once
Selong Belanak beach
The most beautiful beach I ever saw in Indonesia till now! Wide and long, soft, white sand coast and crystal clear, clean, warm water. The beach is having a curvy shape with hills on each point. The waves are not so high, so you can enjoy swimming (even if it’s not recommended to do because there are fishing boats but from my experience they are too far, not disturbing at all). As well have sunbathing or just a relaxing walk along the beach. As well it’s a perfect place to learn how to surf.
HOW TO GET TO SELONG BELANAK BEACH:
Beach located ~49 km from Mataram (~1,5-hour drive). From Kuta Lombok, it’s ~ 17 km. From Mataram, you just need to take the route to Lombok International airport. If you have reached Jami’ Penunjak Mosque, you should turn to the North until you find the beach. Make sure to ask around on the way to Selong Belanak beach because there would be no road signs that can lead you to this beach.
If you will be lucky, you can buy fresh seafood from local people. Most of the people living near Selong Belanak are fishermen, so sometimes they will come back from the sea with fresh seafood. As well you can have a fishing trip with local people.
The beach will be very crowded during the holiday season. If you can, try to visit Selong Belanak beach on weekdays.
You can find many beach vendors there, rent a cot.
To make your time more efficient, you can visit as well Mawun beach, Kuta beach, Seger beach, Aan Bay, or Sade beach in one day. But I would highly recommend staying in Selong Belanak beach all day long.
One of the Lombok beaches is cozy, peaceful, surrounded by 2 hills on the West and East sides. Has white, soft texture sand in the middle of the beach that turns to rougher, mixed with small rocks near the hills. Has clean, blue water where you can enjoy swimming (but near the hills, the waves are higher and stronger). Not too many people come to this beach, so you can feel like it belongs all to you. On this beach you can have a relaxing time, sunbathing, climb the hills and enjoy the view of the Indian Ocean.
HOW TO GET TO MAWUN BEACH:
Mawun beach is ~60 km from Mataram city (it’s ~1,5 hour drive). From Kuta Lombok ~20 min. drive. The route is Mataram-Cakranegara-Kediri-Praya-Penujak-Selong Belanak-Mawun, or Mataram-Cakranegara-Kediri-Praya-Batunyale-Sengkol-Rambitan-Sade-Kuta-Mawun. If you are visiting Selong Belank beach, Mawun is only ~9 km from there.
You should be careful if you will decide to swim near the hills because there are no lifeguards on this beach.
Take some snacks with you because there are only several beach vendors, who sell things for extremely high prices.
If you will be lucky, on the way to this beach you can see farmers harvesting tobacco leaves.
On the way, you can visit as well Selong Belank beach and others around (see above).
Even if it’s not my favorite place (because it’s too crowded) but it’s a strategical good place to stay a couple of days and explore the South part of Lombok beaches (and not only). There are many places to stay, to eat, order some extra activities or trips to other parts of Lombok, as well as make laundry if you are on a long trip.
Kuta beach has ~7 km coastline with some small hills where you can climb. The sand not so soft and you can’t properly swim, as well it lays near the main road. Here you will find many people who come just chill out with a drink in a beach bar or see the sunset. But ~2 km from Kuta beach you can find as well Seger beach (it’s a good place for snorkeling, a more calm beach just to spend some time). and other smaller ones.
HOW TO GET TO KUTA BEACH:
Kuta beach located ~50 km from Mataram (~1-hour drive). If you are in Bali or in one of the Gili’s island, many tour operators suggest trips to Kuta Lombok from there.
Bargue the price before renting snorkeling equipment.
There are many places to stay, depends on your budget and wishes.
We stayed in Seger Reef homestay. It’s located in front of the beach, has hot water, WI-FI (in the lobby) and it’s a safe to place.
Tanjung AAN beach
This Lombok beach surrounded by some hills that you can climb. In the middle of the beach also have one small hill that you can hike. Unfortunately, the sand not so smooth like in mentioned other beaches but still you can have a nice time swimming in blue water, enjoy the beautiful scenery of ~2 km coastline or have a walk. It’s a good place for snorkeling as well.
HOW TO GET TO TANJUNG AAN BEACH:
It’s located ~75 km from Mataram (~1,5 hour drive). Or ~3 km from Kuta beach. The route is Mataram – Cakranegara – Kediri – Praya – Batunyale – Sengkol – Rambitan – Sade – Kuta and finally Tanjung Aan.
There are many beach vendors, some local “warungs” to eat.
You can be a bit annoyed by many street sellers who on each step suggest buying something.
The name “pink” was given because it’s the only beach on Lombok island which have pink colored sand. Some of the locals call this beach “heaven beach” as well. Because it’s a cozy, quiet beach, seems untouched by people. But if you want to reach it you need to pass the “hell road”. When we were there, the road condition was so horrible that ~10 km we were passing more than 1 hour. But we saw that people were fixing the road, so I hope now it’s much better.
“Pink beach” surrounded by cliffs that you can climb and have an amazing view of other close Lombok beaches, panorama below the cliffs. Also from the top, you can see a more clear pink beach color. The sand on this beach so soft and the water so blue, calm. It’s the perfect place for 1-day trip. As well, like the road to this place so bad many people don’t come here.
HOW TO GET TO PINK BEACH:
It’s ~82 km from Mataram (~3 hours drive). From Kuta ~ 53 km (~1,30 hour drive). But going to this beach takes the safe route and don’t go by the quickest way.
The more clear pink color you can see either in the early morning or in the evening, so try to visit it during that time.
You can reach Pink beach as well with short boat trips from Tanjung Luar or Telong-Elong.
Take some snacks with you because there are only several beach vendors who sometimes not open during the work week (only on weekends when coming more people).
If you don’t want to drive through “hell road” by yourself you can order a tour from tourist offices in Kuta.
While you will be in Pink beach, visit as well amazing Tanjung Ringgit, like it’s on the same road.
I like to book via Airbnb while I’m traveling because it helps me to save some money. As well it makes me feel like at home. For example, if I stay in a flat I can cook there and do other things that I usually can’t do in the hostels, guest houses. Also you can find some authentic places to stay, be a bit closer to a local culture. Here you can check more my pros and cons about staying or renting through Airbnb.
If you are new with Airbnb, I suggest to try it at least once and see by yourself if it suitable for you. But before booking via Airbnb you should pay attention in some things that I learned during my experience. I believe that these tips can save you a bit money and will help you avoid surprises.
How to start use Airbnb?
Create informative profile and verify it. Some hosts may not accept you’re booking if you don’t have a verified profile. You want to book a place with host who tells more about himself? Host wants to know more about people which he will let inside his home as well.
TIP: you can check places in Airbnb (see the prices, free days in calendar and etc.) without signing in, but some of the functions you won’t be able to use.
You sign in. What’s next?
Write your destination, how many days you want to stay and how many people will be (in search box that appears in the Airbnb landing page). You will get all results that suit your search request.
Now you can mark, choose, use all filters to get only those results that fit exact your needs: choose room type, price range that you want to pay for a stay. Click “More filters” and check all boxes that are important for you. Then click “Apply filters”. You will get all results in the list that suits your search. Also all those places will be marked in the map on the right side of the list. So you can easily see which place is in which part of the city/island and etc.
TIP: in the right-bottom of the page you can change the currency and language. All search result information will be given by currency, language you want.
What you should pay attention first before booking via Airbnb?
When you will get all list that match your detailed search, choose some hosts that you like.
Check the pictures of the place – is it exactly what you are searching for?
Read the reviews about the place – but be objective reading them. People’s understanding of cleanliness, distance and etc. can be different from yours. But those reviews can give you general impression of the place. As well what I like in Airbnb – reviews appears only when both sides (guest and host) write them. So if guest wrote bad review, host don’t know it till he will write review about guest – there can’t be “revenge” – you wrote bad, I read and I will write bad about you as well.
Check the profile of the host – you will find there information that host provides about himself, picture, guests reviews and list of other places that he rents (can be that host have several different apartments or renting more rooms in the same house but with different conditions). I had experience in Oslo, when the couple was renting 2 their rooms – one was bigger and more expensive, other – smaller and cheaper. I didn’t know that because I didn’t check the listing of the host, so I booked bigger one when the smaller was free as well. At that time I could save a bit more money. But it’s my lesson that I learned for next Airbnb booking.
TIP: if you like several places add them to wish-list (button under the calendar – see the picture above). If during booking via Airbnb process something won’t work out with your choose place, you won’t need to start the new search and spend again your time. You can pick the places from your wish-list and contact those hosts.
Places that you picked match your needs? Check other important things
Till you won’t make booking via Airbnb you won’t see exact address but it will be shown rough area where it is. Usually the host in the place description writes distances till main tourist objects. If not, sometimes you can find this information in guests reviews.
Check carefully host information about the place. What is the place rules, check-in, check-out time, booking cancellation policy (different hosts can have different cancellation rules), is it easy to get to the place with local transportation, what kind of equipment host provides and everything else that is written
You should know that host can put different prices depending on the dates. For example on weekend or holidays the price can be higher than on low season. When in the first search step you add dates you want to stay, the prices already shown of those dates. But if you will decide to change the dates, the price can be different. As well Airbnb take some service fee – it can be different amount depends on duration of your stay, the booking price. Some hosts as well put extra fee for cleaning, extra bed and etc. (even if you selected that will be 1 guest and later change your mind – will come 2 people, the price can be not exactly just double, but even more). Sometimes depends on some countries rules, can be added even special tax fee. So final sum can be a bit different that was shown in the beginning.
Some hosts allow you to book the place instant (please, check the first photo, I marked it near the price). In this case you don’t need to get any approval from host. You like the place, rules and etc. you just book it.
If the place doesn’t have instant booking, after you will make reservation, the host during 24 hours can accept it or reject. Yes, sometimes even if you choose free dates in calendar host can cancel booking without any explanation (maybe he doesn’t find information in your profile, maybe he didn’t update calendar and those dates already booked).
Different hosts can choose different cancellation policy. Before booking via Airbnb be sure about your will to stay there, dates. If you will change your mind and the host has strict cancellation policy you will lose some of your money, if it’s flexible cancellation policy – only Airbnb won’t return their fee but other money will be refund to your account.
CONTACT THE HOST
If in place photo you saw that something is missing what you need or you didn’t find information in the description – before booking via Airbnb, contact the host and ask what is important for you. As well if you need something extra to be prepared for you, you can ask host if he can organize it. If it’s not written and you didn’t ask but expected that something will be – don’t be disappointed. The host provides all information that he thinks it’s important, but for you can be important something else.
People are different and different things matter for them, but I usually ask such things (if don’t find it it in description):
What is in the neighborhood? Who is living around? Is there are any noisy bars, busy streets around?
How far is the public transportation stop?
Will I have separate set of keys? Will my room where I will stay have a lock?
Is there is coffee, sugar that I could use?
Will be there any other guests during my stay (if I’m renting a room in several rooms apartment)?
TIPS: some hosts give discounts if you stay longer – for a week or month (it’s written in place description). I never tried but I know that you can contact the host and negotiate the price as well. Even if he don’t give the discount for longer stay – you can ask for it.
Time for booking!
Final step from your side – click the “Request to book” and booking process will start.
The booking should be accepted or rejected by host during 24 hours otherwise the system without host approval will reject it automatically. If it will happen – no worries – you still have other places that you liked in your wish-list.
When host will approve your booking you will get email with all information. The phone number of the host, most of the time the exact place address (if you won’t receive it – ask from host).
After booking is accepted your money won’t go straight to the host account. Airbnb will “keep” it till your end of the stay. So if something will be not exactly how was agreed and etc., you can claim for Airbnb, they will inspect the case and if you are right – they will return your money back.
Keep in touch with host – before coming agree the time and how you will meet, how you will get the keys and etc.
What else you should know about booking via Airbnb?
Not only local people rents their homes, sometimes you can find hostels, guest houses and etc. who suggest to stay in their place. If you find such – before booking via Airbnb, check their prices in other websites, for example Agoda, Booking, Hotelscombine and etc. Maybe in these websites have extra discount or even better price (you can see below one of examples of different prices of the same place).
Sometimes it happens that the host cancels the booking even couple days before you arrive. Not nice, but no worries, try to contact other hosts from your wish-list.
If the host asks you to pay in cash or make a transfer straight to his account – never do it. If something will go wrong, Airbnb won’t protect you or refund your money. All renting through Airbnb should be done only by their system.
If you found amazing place, the price looks extremely cheap and there is no review yet, be vigilant, maybe something is not right. You can just save picture of the place on your desktop and add it to google search. If it’s not real place or the picture is stolen you will find it in google. In this case you can report Airbnb that somebody try to cheat.
Don’t book the place instead of your friends, because if something will happen you will take the responsibility for it (because you booked the place).
Using Airbnb doesn’t mean that the host will be all the time around. The host can help you as much as he can but don’t expect that he will become your guide.
After your stay don’t forget to leave the honest review that could be useful for future guests.
Let’s see quickly in practice how to choose the best place, for example inBali
In price range I choose the cheapest places (9-20 EUR/per night). The result – more than 300 offers. I pick randomly 4 of them.
No air condition, now parking (but if you want to reach this place you need to drive a motorbike).
This room by itself doesn’t have reviews yet, but host in general has 160 reviews.
If you click for host listing he offers 10 different rooms in the same villa just conditions are different. For example, other rooms have air condition, strict cancellation policy, check-in, check-out times, free parking and etc.
Even if the price written 9 EUR/per night, already in March all dates are with higher price. No matter 1 or 2 guests the price the same 10 EUR/per night. Service fee – extra 1 EUR. In total for 2 people will cost 11 EUR/per night.
Already from the name you see that it’s not a person’s home it’s guest house with breakfast, 24 hour check-in, but no WI-FI (just simple internet).
You can book it instantly.
The prices changes to higher after April.
If you click for host listing, he offers 10 different places in Ubud. From guest houses to hotels and villas. I hope I won’t offend anyone but renting via Airbnb it’s this person business.
Like it’s guest house I found their offer in Booking. The same dates for 2 people there costs 12 EUR/per night. But they charge extra 2 EUR for breakfast. As well in booking.com written check-in/check-out times, in Airbnb it’s not mentioned. If you would like to rent this place – this time booking via Airbnb is cheaper (except if you have some discounts in Booking or rewards that you can use and get better price).