How to Travel like a Local in Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific is a unique and diverse region of the globe filled with amazing cultures, cuisine, historic sites and natural wonders. Travelers could spend years exploring the region and never run out of amazing things to see, do and experience. However, many travelers from around the globe end up visiting the same few major destinations and attractions and miss out on some of the most enticing experiences Asia Pacific has to offer.
To travel like a local, you don’t need to speak the local language or spend months living in one specific area. It’s possible for individual and group travelers to have unique experiences that reflect the local culture without getting too tied up in the typical tourist activities. With the help of an experienced local destination management company (DMC), visitors can travel like locals with confidence.
What does it mean to travel like a local?
Traveling like a local is different from traveling like a tourist in a number of ways. Although travelers visiting another country are still tourists, they don’t necessarily need to do and see all of the same things that tourists usually experience.
For example, while a tourist might only see the most popular attractions in a particular city, someone traveling like a local might take the time to experience what daily life is like in the destination. Rather than going to a museum, someone traveling more adventurously might visit a small market or head off the beaten path to find out what the locals do for fun.
Locals travel more affordably, because they skip out on expensive tourist attractions where meals and nearby accommodations tend to be more expensive. Overtourism can make areas feel artificial – like they exist in bubbles that only serve the needs of tourists and do not accurately reflect the local culture and way of life. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that visitors should ditch their travel guide. The experts who work at local DMCs can actually tailor trips to show travelers what it’s like to live like a local.
How to find off-the-beaten-path sites
There are two main barriers to traveling like a local: language and local knowledge. If travelers can’t speak with a country’s residents, it might be difficult for them to find the gems hidden in a particular destination. Likewise, if travelers stick with the guide book, they’ll simply end up visiting the same tourist spots as everyone else.
One way to get off the beaten path is to leave the major city of the country. For example, if travelers fly into Hanoi, Vietnam, they can find plenty of worthwhile day trips outside of the city. Plus, the further away from a major city travelers get, the more natural wonders there are to experience. A hike through a secluded mountain trail can be even more rewarding than visiting a popular tourist attraction.
Speaking with a DMC representative can help travelers and travel planners determine the best possible itinerary for experiencing the destination from a local’s perspective. In addition to creating unique itineraries that showcase the local culture, the experts who work at DMCs can help travelers stay safe. Going off the beaten path can be potentially dangerous if travelers aren’t aware of their surroundings. By working with a DMC, travelers can avoid places where they are more likely to be taken advantage of.
How DMCs can make group travel feel like a local outing
Asia Pacific can be a difficult region in which to travel like a local as part of a group. Crowded cities may be difficult to navigate with a group, and language barriers can cause further complications. Our local DMC Tour East is highly experienced in putting together unique trips that allow groups to experience destinations that might not be well known, but that are highly engaging.
For example, a local DMC can work with local vendors to get reasonable rates on unique experiences and excursions like:
- Tuk Tuk rides
- Floating market excursions
- Trips to secluded villages
- Visits to authentic restaurants to try the local cuisine.
With the help of a guide or translator, travelers can engage in more meaningful conversations with local residents, making the trip more unique and memorable. In addition, working with a DMC can help travelers support the local economy in a more sustainable way. For example, Tour East promotes the fight against animal cruelty by comitting to only partner with Elephant Camps that prioritize the welfare of animals.
Traveling like a local in Cambodia and Myanmar
Situated on either side of Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar are great destinations for travelers looking to experience a different pace of life. Each country has its own unique culture that offers something for everyone.
In Myanmar, visitors can travel to places like Bagan, an ancient city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Spending the day visiting temples from the 9th to 13th centuries is a memory that will last a lifetime.
In Cambodia, travelers can partner with a guide to experience the various natural wonders of the country. Empty beaches, roaring rivers and remote forests offer moments of tranquility and calm that can’t be found in a bustling city.
From Cambodia and Myanmar to Vietnam and Thailand, travelers from around the world can experience the cultures of Asia Pacific the way locals do. To learn more about how to book unique trips for individuals and groups, get in touch with one of our trusted DMCs today.