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Asia is a very diverse continent rich of history and culture, Tiplr split the area in four regions to offer the most detailed travel tips: Southern, Southeastern, Eastern and Central Asia:
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Southern Asia is the region comprised of the territories that are bound by the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal. This landmass is also often referred to as the Indian Subcontinent because it geographically sits on the Indian Plate and happens to be made up predominantly of the country of India. The other countries that make up this region include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The region covers 11.5% of the continent of Asia and accounts for almost 40% of Asia’s population. This makes Southern Asia the most populated region in the world, making up about a quarter of the world’s population overall. Southern Asia is a popular backpacker destination because of the ease of experiencing the nuances of different, yet similar cultures all in one general area. Smart travelers flock here because of the endless opportunity for authentic travel without breaking the bank. There are loads of places to crash, cheap public transportation to get from city to city, and of course, street food all around to keep your belly happy. The geographical diversity in Southern Asia lends itself to countless activities. Relax on the beach, walk the crowded cities, practice yoga on the mountaintops, explore the countryside, join in on a festival, shop the bazaars, the list goes on. Pop into the Gandhi Museum in Kanyakumari or spend the entire day in Fort Kochi for the Indian Art Biennale. See a traditional dance performance or dip your feet where the three seas meet! The great thing about finding sleeping accommodations in Southern Asia is that you can opt for a super basic hostel, one with more amenities, or a nice hotel, all for great prices. Hostels tend to offer both public and private room options, ranging from $2 to $15 a day, like this amazing hostel in Varanasi. If you’re looking to splurge, there are also a number of luxurious options. Still, you’ll often find luxurious places to stay at a cheap price. This eclectic gem hidden in the jungle of Sri Lanka is an example of one place that offers all of the above. Religion is very important to the local cultures around this region and tends to be a large part of tourism. The most predominant religions practiced in Southern Asia are Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. Many travelers are eager to experience these holy spaces and festivals but are unaware of the cultural norms. Luckily, our explorers have shared their experiences while traveling this region and provide their own tips for how to be respectful of traditions and customs. With that being said, there are always so many religious events happening throughout these countries, and experiencing them can be heartwarming, eye-opening, and loads of fun– a moment you’ll never forget! If you’re visiting Nepal, you’re bound to be there during the time of a festival since Nepal is known as the Land of Festivals. Because of the diverse religious communities throughout Southern Asia, there is also a diverse array of cuisine served throughout the region. Meats that are most used in south Asian dishes are goat, fish, lamb, and chicken. Beef and pork are rarely used because cows are sacred to Hindus and pork are often avoided by both Hindus and Muslims. Vegetarian meals are popular as to accommodate most people. Rice and delicious bread, like Chapati, Roti, and Naan, are popular alongside the many types of curries served throughout the region. The scent of chili, turmeric, pepper, coriander, cloves, ginger, and other common Indian spices is aromatic throughout the streets. Some people might be wary about street food, fearful of the worst– food poisoning — or simply choosing the wrong meal. Our explorers have tips and suggestions for where and how to nail the best street food. Southeastern Asia is the subregion of Asia situated south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea, and north of Australia. Geographically, Southeast Asia has two subregions of its own: Mainland (also known as Indochina) and Maritime (also known as the East Indies). Mainland Southeast Asia includes Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and West Malaysia. Maritime Southeast Asia is made up of the islands known as East Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, East Timor, Brunei, and Indonesia. Because this region is spread across three bodies of water (the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Pacific Ocean), it is very culturally and ethnically diverse with hundreds of languages spoken throughout these countries. Like Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia is a big attraction for backpackers because of the easy ability to travel on a low budget. It’s also fairly easy to enter these countries without a visa. Cheap flights, both internationally and throughout the region, are plentiful. With enough planning, smart travelers can get by, comfortably, on $20 to $40 a day in cheaper countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Expect to spend a bit more in the more economically developed countries like Singapore and parts of Vietnam. You can typically find a nice shared accommodation for as cheap as $10/night, and you can even wait to book until a night or two before you arrive. Our community of travelers has the best suggestions for unique retreats like this colorful independent hostel in Thailand. Travelers gravitate toward Southeast Asia for its generally tropical climate. The white-sand beaches, warm waters, and luscious greenery make way for both relaxation and adventure. Snorkeling and diving is a popular activity in the East Indies because of the incredible, lesser-known coral reefs. Our community can not only guide you to beautiful hidden beaches but also provide you with tips that will help you plan your entire adventure and stay safe along the way. We’ll point you in the direction of attractions that the bulk of tourists don’t know about or make the effort to travel to. El Nido of Northern Palawan in the Philippines is definitely a gorgeous spot that’s often high on tourists’ “must visit” list, but what about visiting the just-as-amazing, less populated attractions like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park. There are a number of remote locations spread across this region that are home to local communities that would love to share their culture and traditions. There are so many opportunities to experience nature, have fun, and learn a bit of history from a local. Spark conversation with a wise fisherman in this Myanmar fishing village, or learn firsthand about the tiny country of Brunei by the people of Bandar. And who could forget about the food? Southeastern Asian food is influenced by Indian and Chinese cuisine, while also incorporating staples of its own geography. Coconut and peanuts, for example, are common ingredients used in Thai food because of the availability of crops. These flavors have helped to create unique, signature meals throughout the East Indies especially. In parts of Indonesia, like Bali and Lombok, you can find cafes that utilize these traditional flavors in health and eco-conscious dishes. One of our explorers recommends the Yellow Flower Cafe in Bali for an experience of “love and food.” Another explorer suggests perusing the street food vendors for a yummy, authentic, cheap meal in Singapore. The countries of Eastern Asia have historically been under the influence of China, which as a superpower has spread its religion, writing system and philosophy since ancient times. Despite that, each one boasts marked cultural differences that make it unique. Traveling this part of the world means diving into spiritual atmospheres while surrounded by the most pristine nature, as well as visiting intricate, futurist city jungles. As many destinations in this region are relatively cheap, a large number of travelers enjoy backpacking, but, if looking for a more sophisticated experience, you won’t leave disappointed either. Food, traditions, languages, temples, beaches, islands and mountains: get ready for a most diverse and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re traveling to see Eastern Asia’s biggest attractions, or you prefer a longer cultural immersion in one or more of its countries, the area relies on a good transportation system. Low-cost companies connect the capitals with a reasonable budget, while an extensive network of trains and buses allows you to transfer internally almost everywhere without having to book in advance. Of course, these means of transport won’t always be the most comfortable and clean, but you know you can count on them and, as many of the best travel tips say, they will be part of the whole experience. On Tiplr you’ll find a lot of travel recommendations about food. Don’t be squeamish. Don’t limit yourself to familiar sushi and some spring rolls. Try new things and keep in mind that exploring food is an essential element in understanding any culture. Try raw pork, a South-Korean specialty in Seoul; eat snake meat at Snake Alley, a night market in Taipei; enjoy authentic ramen in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan or, have a tea on top of Mount Hua, in China (yes, that’s possible!). While big cities are really interesting and villages utterly charming, don’t forget that most of the Eastern Asian beauty lies in wild nature, whose breathtaking landscapes will be difficult to forget. As you can read in some of our best travel tips, here natural elements worked together to create wild green islands surrounded by coral reefs; endless, spectacular rivers that play a central role in the region’s economy; vast lands that hosted the origin of nomadic civilizations; stunning travertine pools protected by UNESCO; and incredible bamboo forests, just a few kilometres from a city center. Last but not least, these countries are imbued with spirituality, as you will notice from outstanding monuments and temples built all over the region with divine inspiration. Get used to incense scents, barefoot monks and family altars. Take the opportunity to boost your spiritual side. Respect the unfamiliar habits and long-held traditions of your hosts and those around you. You may leave changed for the better. Central Asia is famous for the legendary Silk Road routes, passing through KazakhstanUzbekistanKyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. The native cultures in this region are remarkably rooted in nomadic people, who have been living in the steppes since the early ages and were pioneers in domesticating horses. Except for Afghanistan, Central Asian countries are former Soviet republics and Russian remains as a common language. The country names with the suffix “-stan” may be completely foreign to you and their political situation may discourage you, but the biggest challenge for travelers, however, are the bureaucracies. For adventurer travelers willing to discover Central Asia, applying for the visa is the first step. There’s no coordinated visa regime amongst the Central Asian countries. According to Steve, from Caravanistan, it’s still the Soviet bureaucracy, and it’s very slow. Applying for visas requires an invitation letter from a local travel agent. In some countries, you may need to book a tour with a local guide plus registrations with local police and authorities after arrival. Borders and visa services may close on specific dates. Such bureaucracies keep Central Asia off-the-beaten-path, full of unexplored destinations despite its historical richness, multicultural background, and breath-taking nature. Deserts, mountains, lakes, steppes, even ski resorts are present in local landscapes. Central Asia is a place where Islamism and vodka can live in peace side by side. Religion is only a matter of faith, except in Afghanistan, where fanaticism is expressive. By flight, Almaty and Tashkent (less safe, avoid at night) are the hubs in Central Asia. By train, Russia is a safe hub from Moscow (Kazansky Railway Station) and from Kazan. From China, there is a train from Urumqi to Almaty, as well as a bus. Astana, Almaty, Bishkek, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Dushanbe and Kabul are the main cities in Central Asia. One travel tip is to look for local events and experience the culture firsthand. Festivals like Nowruz feature nomadic games, horse riding, medieval monuments, mountain sceneries, rafting, and kayaking. Soviet culture is one of the experiences to take advantage of in Central Asia. Between April and October, the weather is okay for most of the activities in Central Asia. And from June to September is the best time for open-air activities. Temperatures in summer are around 40ºC/104ºF and drop to -30ºC/-22ºF during winter. In desert areas like Turkmenistan, summer is not the best time to visit, since temperatures can reach around 50ºC/122ºF For female travelers, one final travel tip is to say you’re engaged or married, behave like local women do and don’t go out alone at night. Being aware of local customs and beliefs will keep you safe.

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1. Eligibility: The Tiplr’s Best Travel Tip Award (the “Contest”) is open to all the users of the digital platform Tiplr who are 21 years of age or older as of time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors of Tiplr, Inc., and any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliated companies, dealers, sales representatives, licensees, service agencies, independent contractors, advertising and promotion agencies, web hosting and service and fulfillment providers (all of the foregoing, collectively, “Contest Entities”), and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses) and those living in the same household of each (whether legally related or not), are ineligible to enter or win the Contest. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and to Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning the prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. Sponsor reserves the right to verify the eligibility of the Grand Prize winner.

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