How to Get Ready for Outdoor Activities in Asia
Approximate Reading Time: 6 minutes - This is a guest article by Harper Reid.
Our modern lives are becoming increasingly sedentary, with many of us having to spend time at the gym just to ensure we’re doing more daily exercise than walking up the stairs to our offices. While our local gyms are indeed convenient places to exercise, the outdoors are even better at helping us to maintain healthy lives.
Exercising outdoors excellent for our physical health and fitness. Spending time out in nature can also help us to feel less anxious and stressed. Outdoor activities can also make great hobbies, which help with creating a sense of fulfillment.
So if you’re eager to see the world, why not combine outdoor activities with travel? Asia, being such a diverse, well-populated continent, is an incredible place to go if you’re interested in outdoor activities – plenty of Asian nations cater to their overseas visitors by offering a wealth of exciting ways to explore and experience their countries. If you’d like to plan a trip to Asia to partake in outdoor activities, try the following tips to prepare:
Plan your activities in advance
Before you get on that plane, you’ll want to have at least a general idea of where you want to go and what you want to do. Winging it, to some extent, is fine, and might even make for an exciting adventure – but to pack efficiently and use your time abroad wisely, it’s best to do some research before you head off.
First, think about the types of activities you’d like to do. Do you want to try adventure activities like skydiving or whitewater rafting? Would you like to go kayaking? Perhaps you’d even like to stay somewhere rural where you can meet the locals and go on long walks through the countryside. Once you know how you’d like to spend your time, you can pick your countries; Vietnam, Thailand, and Nepal are some of the cheapest for Westerners to visit, and they’re great for outdoor activities (a walk around Mt Everest, anyone?).
Consider the weather in the countries you want to go to. Will you be spending most of your time in a country with an incredibly hot, humid climate, like Singapore, or are you planning on hitting South Korea or Japan in winter?
Packing accordingly will mean you don’t end up wasting valuable days trawling malls when you realise your clothes aren’t appropriate for the activities you’ve got planned. Invest in decent footwear – you’ll likely be spending a lot of time on your feet, no matter the activities you plan to do, and purchasing good quality shoes will ensure that you don’t have a footwear emergency halfway through your trip.
Additionally, check out the rules for visiting temples or churches in the countries you’ll be visiting, and make sure you have something appropriate to wear – most won’t let you in if you’re wearing shorts and a sleeveless top. Leave your expensive jewellery at home; you certainly won’t need it if the majority of your activities will involve the outdoors, and for other occasions, costume jewellery will do the trick.
Exercise daily in preparation for your trip
If you’re planning on doing multi-day hikes or other activities that’ll involve a high level of fitness, you’ll need to be prepared. Work towards your goal gradually; if you plan on leaving for Asia in two months.
For example, start your preparation by taking short walks every day, then longer walks over a few weeks - and gradually switch to running for longer periods. Preparing over time will be easier on your body, and you’ll be less likely to have any problems when you attempt that eight-hour hike or day of kayaking in Asia.
Learn about the cultures of the countries you’ll be visiting
Asia is incredibly diverse, and behaviour that might not be a problem in one country may well cause you issues with authority figures in the next. Before you head off, read up about the cultural dos and don’ts in the places you want to visit. For example, in Japan, it’s seen as offensive to stick your chopsticks into your rice vertically, while in Thailand speaking ill of the royal family won’t do you any favours with your new Thai friends.
Additionally, keep in mind that possession of drugs of any kind can result in jail sentences and even death penalties in some Asian countries. What might warrant a slap on the wrist in your own country could see you sent to a very uncomfortable prison in places like Malaysia or Thailand!
Be prepared to practise self-care
Outdoor activities are great for a multitude of reasons, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit of time to relax on your travels. Have a plan in place for what you’ll do if you start feeling burnt-out; you might like to bring your favourite face masks along or find out where you’ll be able to find your favourite food in your destination country.
As far as outdoor activities go, Asia’s got it all; whether you want to go sailing, cycling, trekking, or diving, you’ll be able to do it here. Take a trip to this beautiful continent, and it’s likely you’ll already be planning your next adventure on your way home!
As an animal lover, one of Harper’s favourite memories from a vacation in Japan was getting up close with the deer at Nara Park and getting the chance to feed them! Visit Harper’s Tumblr page to read more of her published work.