How to Travel The World: One Bitcoin at a Time — Prologue
How I lived in SE Asia for 6 months on one Bitcoin.
This is the followup from the introduction found here:
Asia at first seemed the same, to be honest, but all airports look the same, we took a bus from one airport to another, I can’t remember now which one. (Might reference later by searching emails).
So anyways we smoke a cigarette, hop on the bus and roll out. I remember being like, wow. Is this Asia? Don’t get it, looks like America, it’s like 4am and I have no idea what’s going on.
I remember grabbing some airport snacks and was literally blown away (silly in retrospect) by the different coins, languages, and there was humor between my friends and me.
Like is what we’re eating even edible, (it was) just joking at who possibly made the worst menu decision.
Fast forward we grab food, hop on WiFi, smoke a cigarette, then head to Bangkok! Bangkok, immediately off the plane, you’re like this isn’t America anymore!
See no one really tells you anything when you get off a plane in another country, like nothing. Your phone data doesn’t work, nothing is in English, you’re not sure about local transportation to your hotel and you don’t have any money that works. Well except in Vietnam they take US dollars, in some places!
Also be sure to sort your Visas for Vietnam before arrival, it’s the only place in SE Asia, that as a US Citizen, requires one for entry! Meaning if you don’t have one when you arrive you have to leave immediately 🙈
As of October 2018, countries I’ve been too that don’t need Visas or Issue Visas on arrival include Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Vietnam is the only country where if you don’t order your visa online, beforehand, you might as well leave because they won’t let you enter!
Back to Bangkok, and travel overseas life pro tip. Bring $100 USD cash minimum for light necessities in any country.
The first thing to do is immediately exchange it for local currency, debit cards are great, but when you try to withdraw and your card doesn’t work, and your Phone doesn’t work, it really fucking blows. And you’d be hard pressed to get a complete stranger to give you cash in a foreign country, although one random guy in Tokyo spotted me $20! Thanks, Matt!
So anyway get that $100 USD and convert it into Thai Baht, since we’re in Thailand remember?
From there… LPT first move is to buy a prepaid SIM card. DATA 💪
Should run you about $15-$30, always try to get unlimited data for a week and then you can always top up later at any 7/11. From there, at least your phone works, and you should have $50-$80 left.
LPT: you can call all your favorite friends back home using FaceTime Audio, over data, it’s the easiest way. Downloading what’s app is the second easiest way. Also if you’re in crypto you can Telegram call, which kinda sucks but whatever.
So next, after you got data from a Kiosk at the airport, grab some food. Thailand is like 100–500 BAHT for a meal, anywhere from $3-$12 in an airport. Figure it out.
Next, you’re going to want to go to your hotel or hostel, and in my opinion, the best way to travel is using Grab. Download it. It’s Uber of SE Asia, except you pay at the end of the ride with cash, or you can always pay with a card.
Type your destination then your off.
Next best bet is Taxi, where you should demand they use the meter. Just say, meter, most of the time they don’t want to because they make more overcharging tourists.
The third best option is just jumping in and showing them the address and negotiating a fixed price, and whatever they say for the price, you can pretty much cut it in half. They’ll say something like 800 BAHT, you can hit back with 400BAHT, and settle at 600. I mean you can always argue more, but in my opinion, it’s not worth it, plus let the man make his money. $2 isn’t going to affect me the same.
Another life pro tip, before I forget.
Have 3 copies of your Passport. Very IMPORTANT.
One in your Wallet/person, one in your main bag, and one in your side bag. Trust me, you don’t want to be in a situation where you need it and you left your main passport at the hotel, me and Nye got shaken down in Bangkok a few months later. It’s my only run-in with law enforcement overseas.
So you’ve made it right? Negotiated you a taxi or used Grab, and now your at your hotel, and since you were smart and got a sim card you were able to check Google maps the entire time there, to make sure you were going the right way and not getting screwed over or kidnapped.
Bam, now your checked in either your hotel or hostel.
LPT: Your first two nights overseas you might have serious jet lag. I’d recommend getting a hotel to shake back those first two days. You can always party at the hostel after you recover.
So boom, get some rest. Big day tomorrow.