Southeast Asia is definitely on the map as a great place to travel and explore. With so many countries to visit and enjoy no wonder many travelers make their way there. While the countries in Southeast Asia are developed and have their own standards of living and such there are still many issues that need to be bettered or structures that can be put in place to make the overall quality of life there better for the people. You may have read our previous article on the plumbing and sanitary water issues that many face throughout Southeast Asia. While traveling there is always a great experience for many travelers, what if you could also make a difference on one or many of your trips to these fine countries?
Kainui, a young man in his mid-twenties from the Big island of Hawaii took a trip to Southeast Asia with a couple of his work friends. While there exploring he began noticing the areas he was in and their use of electricity and somewhat lack of solar energy use. Kainui works for Big Island Solar, a leading solar company on the Big Island and is always interested in what can be done to utilize renewable energy and solar energy resources. Upon talking with locals and looking into things a bit more he found that Southeast Asia in general is one of the best places to increase solar energy and one that would benefit from it the most. Not only would solar energy help the people of Southeast Asia and stabilize the cost of living, it would also help climate change because of the reduction in fossil fuels that are burned to create the energy sources they now utilize! That’s when he decided that his next trip over would not only be for leisure and pleasure but to offer his help in building solar energy usage for Southeast Asia! Should you be looking to travel and also lend a hand in benefiting our world please feel free to contact Kainui at Big Island Solar! The three countries he has focused on to get started are:
Southeast Asia Solar Power Projects
Thailand- As of now Thailand has the 2nd largest economy in all of Southeast Asia. It is projected to increase its power consumption by 75% in the following years to come. It has a huge reliance on fossil fuels for energy and the older energy structure it has in place is a great obstacle for the country’s overall economic growth. The AEDP or Alternative Energy Development Plan has been put in place as of 2015 and is projected to continue to 2036 to shed light on the country’s energy security, protection against the rise of cost of living and to help aid in the fight against climate change. There is a definite focus on the roof-top solar market and Kainui wants to aid in any way he can!
Vietnam- With VERY good conditions for the use of solar power especially in the country’s Southern region, renewable energy has yet to take off here. To help with establishing solar power, solar power energy projects are eligible for incentives. With a goal to increase solar power energy to 7% by 2020 and 10% by 2030, aiding in solar power installation and introduction is highly sought after here!
Malaysia-Right now Malaysia is the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia after triumphantly recovering from 2 seperate recessions! Because of the land and region of the country solar power here is a bit trickier but has been found to be a great place for off-grid solar!
No matter where you visi in Southeast Asia there are so many beautiful sites and things to do and see. Immersing yourself in the culture, trying the food and simply enjoying the beautifuk sites makes for a spectacular vacation! Thailand seems to be one of the top travel destinations for those visiting Southeast Asia. So e thought we would share some of the best things to do and places to see when visiting Thailand. Check out this shirt video!
One of the things you won’t want to miss out on when traveling in Southeast Asia is the food! Although the food and different delicacies are delicious all throughout Asia, the is something to be said for the more intense flavors and spices that seem to be used in the Southeast compared to the other parts of the country. It doesn’t matter if you are in the Philippines, Singapore or Thailand, there are many delicious dishes to enjoy throughout your many stops! Check out our list of some of our favorite must tries!
Dishes to Try In Different Places
When In Indonesia– Indonesia is home to Nasi Goreng, which basically translates to fried rice. However it is not like the Chinese version of fried rice. Instead it is orange in color brought forth by a blend of spices and chili. Served with breakfast usually but can be enjoyed ANY part of the day. Simple, cheap and so tasty!
When In Vietnam- Pho which is pronounced fuuuu, is a beyond delicious broth based soup. The broth is made with bones and meat choice. Next rice noodles, cilantro, onion ginger and cinnamon are added. Each bowl is served with a plate of fresh basil leaves, green onions, lime wedges & chili peppers so that the person enjoying it can season it to their exact liking. Trust us you will be glad you tried it.
When In Thailand-Pad Thai is a dish knon very well in the U.S. many enjoy it in their favorite thai restaurants, but trying it in native Thailand is definitely a must and can be found for less than $1! Made of flat rice noodles, egg, spices meat or shrimp with a citrus zeest such as lime to add a little pizazz!
Southeast Asia to Malaysia– Durian fruit is known for its STRONG very PUNGENT smell which deters most from trying the creamy, delicate fruit. Banned on public transportation because of its smell, if you can get past it you won’t be sorry! Durian fruit is grown & enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia but most find that the best fruit comes from Penang, Malaysia.
When in Myanmar-A favorite of many in Myanmar, this rice noodle dish is made from catfish stock and spices such as coriander 7 lemongrass. It’s topped with crispy garnishes, hard boiled egg and served really hot!
Although there are so many great dishes to try when traveling throughout Southeast Asia, these are a few of our all time favorites by countries. We suggest researching the delicacies and dishes of where you will be visiting and making a list of different recipes to try. Part of the fun of traveling is experiencing the different cultures and food of where you visit. You never know you just may come home with a love for something you may never have thought, like durian fruit! We promise if you can get past the smell it’s a definite must try and delicious at that.
While Southeast Asia is an incredible place to visit and a country that is full of scenery and great experiences there are a few things that you may not have thought about, but most definitely should know, before setting out on your journey to one of the travel destinations found there. One very big factor to consider is the lack of plumbing and very possible contamination of the countries drinking water. We reached out to a fellow travel buddy who also is the owner of a reputable plumbing company to better understand the water contamination issue in Southeast Asia and the lack of what we deem as “normal’ plumbing facilities. Not only is the information we gathered from John beneficial for travel purposes it also can save many from getting incredibly ill and potentially endangering their life and health. Not to mention cutting your travel abroad short because of poor health.
Plumbing & Drinking Water Issues In Southeast Asia
Open Defecation- An estimated 300 million people defecate in open areas because of the lack of proper plumbing facilities. Fecal matter and other contaminants from human waste eventually make their way into the groundwater and nearby rivers & streams contaminating clean water sources
Lack of Sewage Treatment Plants- With the rapid growth of population and the lack of sewage treatment facilities or older facilities unable to handle all the waste, sewage disposal can not be handled properly and again finds its way into ponds, rivers, streams, etc.
Leaking or Misplaced Pipes- often times sewage pipes and water pipes are next to each other and when old or faulty sewage lines leak the contaminants find their way into the neighboring water pipes which then affects drinking water quality.
Fluoride & Arsenic Contamination- contaminated water is not only linked to sewage contamination but also chemical contamination. Fluoride, Arsenic, manganese, heavy metal, nitrate and iron contamination are all very real things when it comes comes to chemical contamination in drinking water found in many of the countries making up Southeast Asia and should be taken very seriously because of their effects on human health.
Manufacturing & Processing Industries- Because of the lack of proper plumbing and disposal of industry waste and contaminants often times they are release into the environment and end up in different surrounding bodies of water. This all plays a huge part in the contamination of ground and drinking water
These are just some of the various reasons that water is unsafe to drink and swim in, in many places found throughout Southeast Asia. While many of us are used to the way of life and the plumbing and water systems found in the U.S. or other more developed countries, it is VERY important that you take into consideration not all countries are to those standards. Bottled drinking water is relatively cheap in Southeast Asia so always aim to have some on hand especially when hiking through the jungles and stay clear of bodies of water that you are unsure of. With any type of traveling on the horizon it is also important that you research and get to know as much as possible about the country or countires you are looking to visit. Having a better understanding of their ways, lifestyle and culture will better prepare you for your travels abroad and keep you safe and healthy while doing so.
You have decided on visiting and exploring Southeast Asia for your first adventure and you couldn’t have chosen a better place! Filled with beaches, cities, temples and jungles to be explored you will have no shortage of adventures! But what are a few things you need to know to not only have the best travel experience and trip possible, but to also stay safe while doing so? We have a list of advice and guidelines to follow to make sure your trip is the best it can be!
Southeast Asia Travel Tips
Choose your cities- While you may be ready to explore multiple cities on your trip to Southeast Asia we suggest you study a map and choose either one city you can leave no stone left unturned in or a select few. Study a map and check travel distances and travel time. Even though Bali, Indonesia and Vietnam are all found in Southeast Asia they all are a LONG plane ride away from each other. To maximize your travel time and experiences have a plan and an idea of what you will have time to see and do before commiting and making travel arrangements in each city.
Pack Lightly- You will probably be doing a lot of walking and traveling around with your luggage attached to you. So think of packing lightly and doing laundry on your trip verses packing a big ol suitcase and having a large load to carry. Think lightweight backpack and necessities. Trust us you will be glad you followed our advice.
When Visiting Temples- Be aware that when visiting the historic temples of Southeast Asia you will need to have modest clothing to wear. Things that cover your shoulders and fall below the knees. You are in another country and respecting their practices especially while visiting one of their temples is respectful and proper etiquette.
Health First-Check out required or suggested vaccinations before traveling and make sure you get them. Also make sure to pack a first aid kit and stomach medicines. The citizens of Southeast Asia may be accustomed other health concerns but why take a chance with your health and diseases. Plus you ant to stay as healthy as possible so that you may enjoy your trip!
Learn To Bargain-You don’t want to be taken advantage of and you should not be afraid to bargain with street vendors etc. Being confident and able to bargain can help save you money and keep your funds going for your entire trip That being said it is best to wait until you arrive in Southeast Asia to exchange your money for the country’s currency. Exchange rates will less expensive than those in the U.S or at the airport. Also be aware that many smaller vendors and taxi services don’t accept credit cards so you will want to make sure you have cash on hand at all times.
These are just a few of our tips when planning your travels to Southeast Asia or anywhere in Asia for that matter. Being prepared will help result in a better trip and uncomfortable situations. Being prepared and safe are key items priorities when it comes to any type of travel! But remember to enjoy yourself and embrace the country that you are visiting always respecting the land that you are exploring and their customs.
Hello All!!East Asia is probably one of the most beautiful places to travel to and explore. With so many sights to see, incredible jungles, historic temples & landmarks, cities and beautiful beaches to visit there isn’t a shortage of things to do and be explored. We have brought to life our site to share travel and safety tips while on your east Asia adventures and to provide a little insight into the beautiful country of Asia. Whether it’s your first trip or you’re returning for new experiences and memories we hope you find our site knowledgeable and helpful while planning and executing your travels! We wish you the best and may all your travels be great experiences you will forever cherish!