Tips & Advice for Southeast Asia Visitors

Here is an index of some of the general information you might need to know for your travels in Southeast Asia. For information specific to each country, see our "Practical Info" pages for each country.

Getting There & Getting Around

See this list of the major regional carriers, both full service and low cost.
Passport and Pens
When traveling to and around Southeast Asia, keep your passport and a pen handy, as this article explains.


Don't know what to pack, or even what to pack it in? Then read our packing tips, which includes reviews of the suitcases we've used.


Each country in the region has its own currency. Most of these are convert able, although in some cases, such as Myanmar, there is a wide gap between the official rate and unofficial rates. If you'd like to know what a specific currency is currently worth, try our Currency Converter.

As in most of the world, you do not want to change money at hotels, since their rates will be significantly lower than you will get from a bank exchange. Travelers Checks can be changed at exchanges, but are not generally accepted elsewhere. In some countries, you will get a better exchange rate for cash than for travelers checks. Keep in mind that cashing travelers checks attracts additional fees than cash does not. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are plentiful throughout most countries, except Myanmar, and most accept cards of the major international networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.)

Major credit cards - Visa, Mastercard and American Express - are accepted at most hotels and restaurants, except Myanmar. Department stores and other large shops will also generally accept all cards. However, smaller merchants may not accept any cards, or add on the credit card processing fee (typically 3% for Visa and Mastercard, 5% for American Express) to the price of items purchased.

Electrical Power & Plugs

Electrical power throughout Southeast Asia is 220 volts at 50 cycles. However, plug types vary from country to country. Bring a multiple-type adapter with you if visiting several countries with electrical items. See our Practical Info pages for each country for specific plug types.