Where to go?

August 11, 2016

Quite a lot of people we met on the way asked us where to go and what to visit in the region. We decided to share with you few of our thoughts. Below you can see a list of places we spend more time in, they are good for visiting or volunteering for a while. If you look for restaurants, shops or travel agencies, please have a look at the list of changemakers attached at the end of this post. You can find names, websites and short descriptions of many amazing places. You can search through them using country or one of the possible categories. If you have any idea how we could make this list more useful for users, let us know, we are grateful for any feedback. Enjoy and good luck with your travel! In case of any question, just contact us, we will be more than happy to share our experience.

 

THAILAND

 

Thai Jungle Life

An amazing community living in the middle of the jungle. Staying with them was one of the most beautiful experiences we had. If you have at least 6 weeks of time you can go there as volunteer otherwise it’s still worth to pay a visit as a tourist and enjoy a truly community based tourist experience.

Read more: Booking in the Jungle

 

Always Reading Caravan

Mobile library project in Phrao, two hours from Chiang Mai, Thailand. You can volunteer in the library or one of their Children Centers in the small highland villages.

Read more: See more

 

Social Giver

If you plan to go for a trip, good meal or book hotel, instead of using a commercial website, have a look at Social Giver. You pay the same, but all your money will go to support local NGOs and social initiatives thanks to the amazing deals Social Giver made both with local organizations and businesses.

Read more: Social Giver

 

Place to see/visit:

- Pai. Avoid the downtown and roam the outskirt. You will find slow style cafes and bars where you can meet the local community.

 

Advice:

- Very easy country to hitchhike and sleep in temples or police station ;) , worth a try!

- Be careful with food: it is really spicy!

- Be careful with people answering your questions for directions. They want to help but they won’t admit they don’t know the answer. So they say whatever, for example they point left even if in fact you should go right.

 

Read more: First days of our adventureBeing tourist in BangkokMoney in BangkokAfter one month in Thailand

 

LAOS

 

Mulberries farm

Organic silk farm in Phonsavan, Laos. You can tour it to discover the process from a silk worm all the way to a scarf and buy handmade, organic souvenirs both on the farm and in the shop in Vientiane.

Read more: Along the Silk Road

 

Advice:

- Getting out of the trodden path is not easy. Neither hitchhiking nor sleeping in temples was working for us.

- Visit … museum in Vientiene and discover why Laos is the most bombed country pro capita in history.

 

Read more: First days in LaosLaos - impressions and factsLaos - last impressions

 

VIETNAM

 

PepTalk English school, which we found thanks to couchsurfing. They offered us a place to stay, even for a short period of time (which is generally quite difficult). We slept in the classroom, so we didn’t have to go too far to help them with English conversations during the evening classes!

 

Place to see/visit:

- Worth to go from Hanoi to Saigon (or opposite) along the coast and stop in the small towns on the way.

 

Advice:

- Check the price before you buy anything, especially bus tickets. They cheat on tourists a lo

- For food try to find local places with a lot of choices. For one euro you can have a plate of rice topped with 3-4 different things: a huge amount of very good food for cheap.

 

Read more: How to survive in VietnamHanois Hustle and BustleI like Vietnam

 

CAMBODIA

 

Edu.cam

Teaching English to some of the poorest children of Phnom Penh. Quite hard and touchy experience, but they constantly need somebody and are happy if you come even for a few days.

Read more: Education in Action

 

Cam.CEA

Teaching English in a small Cambodian village. No running water, little access to electricity but a lot of love and caring which you will experience from local people every day. One of the most touching weeks during our travel, strongly recommended!

Read more: Be the Spark

 

Soria Moria

Hotel which supports a lot of social initiatives and put a lot of afford to educate and empower its workers.

Read more: Stake Hotel
 

Angkor hub

Co-working and co-living space. You can go there if you need a place to stay and work or just as volunteer. A cozy nest for digital nomads.

Read more: Angkor Hub

 

Place to see/visit:

- Angkor Wat, heaps of tourists but definitely a must.

 

Advice:

- Ask for price before buying, they tend to cheat on tourists.

- Public transport in Phnom Penh was just settled. Many still prefer tuk tuk out of habit, but it’s worth to consider the bus as well. The city is way less hectic than other capitals in the region, going around with a bike is also good idea.

Read more: Downtown by bus

 

 

MALAYSIA

 

Cultural village

The cultural village is a place for those who look for easy going and relaxing time. You volunteer few hours per day and in exchange can learn about the local culture.

 

Blue life on Mantanani island

Mantanani is one of the most beautiful places we visited. A small island with crystal clear waters and postcard-like beaches. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of rubbish and tourists. That made it for us a life changing experience.

Read more: Hell and Paradise

 

Min Camp House

A place found by couchsurfing. We stayed there only two nights and it was definitely not enough. It’s worth to stay longer, help a little bit and enjoy local people, culture and nature.

Read more: Min Camp House

 

Advice:

- One of few countries in the region where hitchhiking is working pretty well.

 

Read more: Malaysia

 

PHILIPPINES

 

Green Warriors

Permaculture farm and school, open for anybody who wants to help and learn about this practice. They often organize 7 days trainings.

 

Place to see/visit:

- The Enchanted farm from Gawad Kalinga, two hours to the north of Manila. A self-sustainable farm, where about 30 social enterprises operate to fight poverty. 

 

INDONESIA

 

OMAH Backpacker

Stay for one night in exchange for one book or one English class and explore the amazing beauty of Malang, on the island of Java. Great place, great people, very open for all foreigners.

Read more: One night, one story

 

Places worth to see/visit:

- Ubud, in Bali, a place where everything is organic, community based, fair, everybody does yoga and meditation. Very interesting place and amazing people.

 

MYANMAR

 

Thabarwa Meditation Center

You can show up there wherever, without earlier appointment and stay as much as you want. Your help is appreciated although nobody push you to do one thing or another; so you have to have your own motivation and creativity to make a difference. It is above all a learning center where you can work on yourself attending meditation sessions and Buddhists classes.

Read more: Be only

 

Places worth to see/visit:

- Small villages around Inlé lake (they can be reached by bicycle; most people don’t really reach far out so they are still very open and curious about foreigners)

 

Advice:

- Take into account that hosting foreigners is forbidden by law, so couchsurfing and similar rather don’t work.

- The trains are not as bad as you can read in the net. The second class you can survive it, the third, though is quite challenging.

 

Read more: Traveling in Myanmar

 

 

 

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We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish-Italian couple traveling around the world. We are looking for changemakers,  in order to describe and share their stories.

Our journey is based on exchange: story telling and other skills in exchange for a place to sleep and food. 
 

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