Traveling from Asia to Australia: 23 Things To Get Used To (Again)

When traveling from Asia to Australia, you’ll have to get used to certain things (again). Here’s a list of what you can expect. Some to look forward to, some not to look forward to..

1. High Prices

6 dollars for a bottle of water?! 40 dollars for 1 night at a hostel?! People had warned me it would be expensive, and I thought I was prepared, but no such thing. Shit’s really expensive here!!

2. Easy Communication

Being able to communicate with the locals without any problems.. actually having a meaningful conversation or making a joke.. Understanding the signs around you… Even being able to understand what the people behind me on the train were talking.. Its something that made me genuinely really happy as this was something I found really difficult in Asia

3. Western Toilets

During my Great Ocean Road tour from Melbourne we stopped at a gas station for the bathroom. ‘Ieeewl! Its so disgusting. It smells!’ was what my fellow tour buddies said, while all I could think was ‘Ow wow, look at that, so pretty.. a seating toilet, toilet paper, no mud on the floor or cockroaches on the walls.. amazing!’.

Traveling from Asia to Australia

4. Lack of Street Food

Where did all the nice (and sometimes food poisoning) food go!? Where’s the huzzle buzzle on the street late at night? Why do they sell disgusting Pat Thai in fancy restaurant for 15$ instead of a fancy Pat Thai from a disgusting street cars for 2$? I didn’t even eat that much street food to be honest, but now that it is no longer around, I miss it.

5. Safety Measures

‘Seat belts? What are seat belts? Ow right. Those things I didn’t use the past 2 months.’ ‘What is this fence doing here? I can’t climb down that cliff? Why not?’ ‘A bicycle helmet? Aren’t helmets only for driving motorbikes through crazy traffic..? If you really feel like it..?’ Whereas in Asia no one really seems to care too much about safety, in Australia they do. Camera’s watching you everywhere, signs stating what you can and cannot do, (enough) life jackets on boats, rules in the first place.. Probably till the same extends as in Europe or the US, but it feels a bit patronizing when just getting in from Asia!

6. Tipping

Uhm, I’m already paying you $12 dollar for breakfast.. That’s 3 nights hostel stay in South East Asia. Am I supposed to give you even more??

7. Proper Public Transport

Finally being able to truly get around by myself is amazing. In Asia the public transport is either non-existing or not easy to understand. You usually rely on tuk tuks, or privately booked ‘tours’ from place A to B. And if you do, you always need someone, ask for directions, ask them to make sure you’re getting on the right train, you can’t read the names of the stations, etc. But in Australia, especially in cities like Melbourne and Sydney, you can just buy a metro ticket and figure it out yourself!

8. No ATM fees

Usually that is. Very few banks here charge me, hurray!

9. General Cleanness

Everything is clean and organized here. No trash (like piles of it) on the sidewalks, no half fallen apart buildings, streets, sidewalks, no mud all over the place, no massive insects crawling on the insides of your bathrooms/bedrooms..

traveling from asia to australia

10. Organized Traffic

There are traffic rules here and people who actually follow them! Next to that, the roads are in perfect conditions, traffic lights all over the place…

11. (Student) discounts

Ha! Look at that! The entry fee used to be $25 and now I just show this card and now its only $20! Magic!

12. No Bargaining

You cannot show up at Aldi and start negotiating prices. It will not be appreciated.

13. Openings hours

For some reason it seems like shops in Asia are just always open. I now have to keep in mind that Aldi closes by 8pm. Like what is that? As if I don’t need to buy stuff after 8pm!

14. Liquor Stores and Brown Bags

Most supermarkets such as Aldi and IGA are accompanied by a separate liquor store. This is the place to buy your booze. Few places other than the bottle shops sell alcohol. And when you do buy it, its nicely put in a brown bag for you so that no one notices you’ve actually bought this hideous stuff!

15. Bring Your Own Booze

On that note.. you can/need to bring your own alcohol basically everywhere. Few places have a liquor license, especially the cheap ones that backpackers use. So you need to bring it yourself. Whereas in Asia, there’s like no escape.. alcohol’s everywhere.

16. Cooking

Hostel’s here have kitchens! Because its too expensive to eat out all the time and because there’s no street food.. Pure necessity. But its nice though, if you like cooking, to improve those rusty culinary skills again. Or you can just stick to macaroni.

17. Key Deposits

In Thailand you had to leave your passport behind when checking in, because the government required you to do so, but in Australia you’ll be asked for an additional $30 as a deposit for your key. You’ll get it back, don’t worry, but its not nice to see your money evaporate from your wallet the moment you arrive somewhere.

18. Getting ID’d

Embarrassing and offensive! Just give me the beer and movie ticket!

19. The amount of bored, spoiled, broken party backpackers on a working-holiday visa

Now I don’t want to nag about this, but seriously.. in Asia everyone seems to be having a good time, *yay vacation*, while in Australia I’ve already encountered so many bored, spoiled, semi-broken, lazy backpackers. I think many people expect to get here and get a cool job in a nice coffee place, or as a surf instructor or something like that. But in reality.. most people I’ve met have had jobs they didn’t like. Flipping burgers 40 hours a week, working in a call center, or at a dirty farm. And then they go out at night to party the boring day away, to again wake up in the same place they’ve been stuck in for 3 months, without money, but an attitude like they own the place. Obviously not all of them, but the general mentality seems a bit different.

20. Sharks, crocs, jelly fish

Maybe there are dangerous animals in South East Asia as well. I’m pretty sure there are. But in Australia you get confronted with them more directly. My dive got cancelled because a great white shark was spotted. No biggies, happens all the time. During a snorkeling trip I had to wear a stinger suite as there were jelly fish all over the place. And when I dropped my lens cap in the water I couldn’t jump after it cause there were crocs around. Typical.

traveling from asia to australia

21. Being specific

Whereas in Asia you can get by with a good doze of pointing at things, and accepting the fact that the things you get are sort of similar to what you had in mind (‘same same’), in Australia they want you to be/you can be precise again. ‘I would like a burger’ ‘What kind of burger, we’ve 6 options’. ‘I would like the pancakes and a frappuchino’, ‘do you mean the hotcakes and the frape?’. Whereas in Asia I missed the lack of organization, I’m now finding it annoying and limiting at times.

22. Paid internet in hostels

Most hostels across the world offer free Wi-Fi, but not in Australia! On the other hand, there are tons of travel agencies around that offer free Wi-Fi in their shops.

23. Even more travel agencies!

Traveling the east coast of Australia is probably one of the easiest things ever as the travel agencies are everywhere. You can easily find 3 or 4 competitors located literally right next to each other. There are tons in Asia, but it doesn’t even compare to Australia.

Have you traveled from Asia to Australia? What did you have to get used to again? Let me know in the comment below!

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4 Responses to Traveling from Asia to Australia: 23 Things To Get Used To (Again)

  1. If you stay for a few more months, they you can add item 24: Minions in the summer! Minions are insects that are 100 times worse than mosquitoes, and they only happen in Australia during summer, at least from what I read from numerous Singaporean migrants to Perth/Melbourne.

  2. Ooh dit heb ik juist een keer andersom gedaan en ik kan je vertellen, ook dat veroorzaakt een mini cultuurshock haha! Leuk om het tegenovergestelde eens te ontdekken :)

  3. Great, that is an awesome place and it have so many good things to enjoy. i really like beauty of that place. Australia are the best attraction and so good experience you shared of your trip.

  4. Wow, it can be a culture shock to travel from Asia to Australia. Happy travelling, Hester!