Things I've learned after coming back from my first SEA Trip

Everyone has an image of different places in their heads before actually seeing them. Before leaving to South East Asia I read a lot of articles, watched documentations, got informed in Facebook Groups. I wanted to know everything before leaving, to be prepared and to know the best places to go to. I did not wanted to miss anything out and do the best with my time. I searched for the best hostels to chill at and to socialise. I printed out pages of medical informations and not to forget I, of course brought a bunch of travel guides. 
Well after coming back home I realised, yes it might be good to get informed about some stuff, but in the end, everythings turnes out to be way more relaxed than you thought it would be.

"hope I will not die"-  Me, everytime
Before leaving I kind of panicked just thinking about getting sick or dying of Rabies and Malaria.
I got the Malaria Tablets, some vaccinations but decided to skip Rabies and just to avoid streetdogs and other maybe infected animals. Before leaving I thought I would anyways always be not far from a Hospital.
I got me tons of different mosquito sprays and I was sure I would protect me with it three time a day. I saw me with Malaria or Japanese Enzywhatever in a hospital, writing goodbyeletters to my family...
During my time there Dengue Fever was a big thing. "Everyone" kind of got it. In every Facebook group people where telling their stories. I already accepted the idea to spend half of my time over there being sick. So basically I flew there with the idea in my mind to be always sick, to dye of Malaria and to get bitten by death by a Chihuaha...

After coming back I survived a little cold, that I got from the AC in the Airplane. I touched way to many cute puppies from Hostels (Of course I wasnt that stupid that I let them lick over my face or wounds or anywhere else). I sold my Malaria tablets at the airport. Forgot to use my Mosquito spray some days and ended up with five or six mosi bites... I also never got Dengue Fever.
I realized that Thailand is not that far behind time and that there are even in little cities in Laos  some good hospitals.
There where just two places where I realized, that it might be a bit dangerous to get sick. The Island Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia, with basically no infrastructure, no pharmacies, shops or tourism and the four thousand Islands. Getting sick there, would mean to find a boat, getting you to the main island and than to a bigger city.
Anyways, you need to be careful but not super extremely cautious. You're not going to die of a little mosi bite. And there are definitely less streetdogs than I thought there would be. Most of them definitely do not attack you, unless you really provocate them.

Before leaving I was sure I would never brush my teeth with tab water, that I would never drink any Fruit Shakes and that I would cook most of my food at the hostel kitchen (by then I didn't even know that most of the SEA Hostels do not even have a kitchen..).
I tried the best to keep my mouth closes while showering and I asked to leave out any kind of Ice in my drinks. I was so sure to get food poisoned like at least 50 percent of the SEA Travelers. 
After some days I realized if Malaria wouldn't kill the hunger would, so I decided to be more "risky" and to try some fucking amazing tasting Fruitshakes. You can't travel around SEA without trying those Shakes. Of course I only took Shakes with peeled fruits. I mean who knows maybe that Strawberries where washed with tab water and I would get some weird parasites. As you can see, I had more paranoia than people have after three tablets of LSD... 
very dangerous fruit shake ;) 
Its true, you should avoid to drink tab water and you should take care to not wash food with it. But I used it for brushing my teeth and I also forgot sometimes to close my mouth while showering. (No joke, its such a weird feeling to be focused not to open your mouth haha). 
I know some people that got food poisoned, especially on Koh Rong Island, Cambodia, it was kind of a thing to get sick. I was happy not to be one of them. But me as a Vegetarian might be a bit more on the safer side, skipping infectious meat. 
I got foodpoisened once. But it was not so dramatic. Maybe it was just a heavy motion sickness because of some insane driving skills of a minibus driver in Pai.

Another huge subject was safety. 
My dad said I should sew some money in my underpants, just in case I lose all my stuff. Haha. Well no I did not do that. I brought me a Funny Pack or a "Bum Bag" however you want to call it. 
I put my important stuff in there while traveling around the cities. While staying in the hostel I put everything in my locker. At the beginning I was super paranoid. I hold my Backpack in front of me like a mother of a newborn child. I sat in buses cuddling with my stuff, because I was afraid the Bus Stewardess would jump on me every second trying to get the bag I brought for 200 bath at Khao San Road. 
I thought about skipping Cambodia because it should be such a dangerous place in South East Asia. I ended up loving it.  I had such an amazing time there. I need to say I skipped Phnom Pen because I heard that it should be very dirty and way more dangerous than other cities. I think I would have gone if I would have had more time. 
Anyways, I also thought about skipping Sihanoukville and Koh Rong because I heard about some horror stories of dead backpackers getting in traffic with Cambodian Mafia. Well after being in Pai where a Tourist and a local got killed, I thought whatever, cant get worse. 
No what I want to say is, that of course you should not walk around as free as you would do it in your hometown. We are in poor countries with a high poverty rate. Most of the people have nothing. And of course If you walk around with two Iphones and four credit cards in your hand during the night on the Khao San Road  and get pickedpoked its your own fault.
Be safe, more when you are a women, do not walk around during the night alone on lonely streets. Go out with people, there are a lot of other backpackers. Stay in groups and take care of the stuff you take with you. I often put my money in my bra or my pants. I had my phone there as well. But thats kind of everything I took with me for the night. 
Sometimes I went to buy some stuff during the day on my own, but there are so many people out there, you are really never alone. 
Sometimes you are at the wrong time at the wrong place, but if you plan carefully and you don't arrive at three in the night in Phnom Pen you will mostly be alright. I am sorry for the people losing their stuff. I know three girls that lost their phones or got them stolen during my time there. This happens, sometimes you can't change it, but you can prevent it. 

Our bus broke down...
What else did I learn on my trip? Well before arriving I booked three of the hostels in advance. I ended up screwing my plans, canceled two reservations and stayed longer at one of them. Before you arrive there you can never say if you maybe like to leave earlier or stay longer. Sometimes you meet people you want to travel with. Sometimes you fell in love and you go with your south american hot chico to the paradise like Islands in South Thailand. Trust me, your plans will never work out like you thought they would. I ended up staying way to long in Laos. I ended up on the maybe most wild island I have ever seen in my life. Anyways, you cant plan so much. In the end I booked my hostels two or three days in advance. I asked people, got recommendations that where not from facebook and I trusted actual humans about their experiences. 
Same with buses or trains. You cannot really book it from your homecountry. You book it some days in advance. Try to find out when they get sold out, so you can be sure to buy it in time. But sometimes you just screw your plans and live your life. 
I went from the jungleparty in Sihanoukville directly to the bus station, got me a bus to Bangkok, where I got dropped of at the Airport instead of Khao San Road and arrived two hours before Departure at the Terminal. 

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