Southeast Asia is a difficult place to live or work. But there are some key things that you can do to make your life easier while there.

Things You Will Need

- A good backpacking backpack. Though you may want to find a permanent residence it is good to be able to move easily at a moments notice.

- A decent amount of cash. Most things in Southeast Asia are dealt with in cash including rent, hotels, food, clothing shops etc. It is good to take more cash out at a time than you wish because in some parts ATMs can be few and far between.

Step 1

Even if you want to buy a house or an apartment in a new city, it is best to stay in a hotel for at least the first week. Find the local expat hang out. There you will often find nice locals that speak English, and many people that have made the same transition you have. You will also find a strong sense of community in these places.

Hotels allow you get your feet wet without diving in. As touristy as it is, go on a tour, chat up the guide, get to know the city that you want to embrace. Even for those people moving to Southeast Asia because of work, a good knowledge of the city will help your rapport with the locals.

Step 2

- Try to avoid outside food vendors. Their food may be good but your chances of getting food poisoning go up exponentially. If you must eat at one of these places eat whatever is most fried, this way you avoid food poisoning from undercooked food.

- If you decide to buy or rent property try to find a local friend of yours to go with. You have a much better chance of getting a lower price. Make sure to inspect the property thoroughly and draw up a contract, even if they say you don't need one.



Southeast Asia is a fun place to live. It is hard sometimes, but worth it to get to know the culture. Be open minded, but also careful. Have a safe and fun journey.

Tips & Warnings

- Do not carry too much cash on you at once. Though most places are safe, it is better to leave some spare money at home.

- Do not go out at night alone. Like in most places in the world, it is good to act with common sense.

- DO NOT go with any local who tells you he will take you on a tour or get you a good deal somewhere. Use your knowledge and your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.