- Iced coffee with condensed milk, freshly brewed in Vietnam.
- The random animals that are everywhere – dogs, cats, birds, geckos hanging out in restaurants, shops, massage parlours and on the streets.
- Service staff with impeccable manners and big smiles, even if they don’t understand that catching their eye means you want something.
- Fresh fruit juices and smoothies for less than £1.
- The best prawns I’ve ever tasted in excessive quantities – and not a bout of food poisoning yet.
- The fact that no one will ever tell you what is going on. If your bus breaks down they won’t tell you, if your boat breaks down they won’t breathe a word (but worrying looks in the engine hatch indicate a problem). If you’ve accidentally got on the wrong bus or boat, no one will tell you. It’s all part of the fun of travelling in Asia.
- That you can haggle for pretty much everything and anything – and the markets are AMAZING!
- The street dogs in Thailand are total mutts with about 10 different breeds mixed together. It means each one is totally unique.
- You get given free tea all the time.
- Thai massages, manicures, pedicures, foot massages – all for under £5 each. And they usually do a fantastic job.
- Wherever you are, if you get hungry and thirsty there will be a hawker in shouting distance with something to sell.
- Every kind of coastline you can imagine exists in Southeast Asia. Powder fine white dust and shallow turquoise sea barely lapping the shore; steep yellow sand with an indigo sea the perfect depth for swimming; rugged cliffs dropping down to longtail fishing boats way below, plus sunset; stunning karst islands jutting out of crystalline blue water, covered in wild jungle. Heaven on earth.