Asia is a feast for the curious mind and wondering feet alike. A continent rich in culture, culinary delights and natural beauty, Asia is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s immeasurable delights attract a staggering number of guests; some 308 million in 2016 alone.
Many people choose to adopt the rough and ready approach when travelling across Asia, favouring backpacking and hostels over a 5 star getaway. With the stimulating sights, sounds and tastes Asian affords its visitors however, also comes an unwanted detraction – biting insects.
Asia is one of the world’s hot spots when it comes to biting insects, with a mirage of nasties, from leeches to mosquitoes. Not only can these creepy crawlies pack a punch when it comes the the bite they inflict, but can also carry a variety of diseases, such as Malaria. Avoiding the bite is important to making the most of your Asian adventure.
By following our top tips, we’ll help you get the best from your trip:
1. Insect Repellent
One of the most obvious, but important allies you can take with you on your travels is a trusted repellent. Find a lightweight repellent that will be both effective and kind to the skin. Some chemical-based repellents can dry out the skin with repeated use, leading to skin irritation.
By finding a chemical-free, natural repellent you’ll help keen your skin in tip-top condition. We’ve come across some great options including the chemical free moisturisers and perfumes from Alfresco, that have the benefit of smelling great too!
Remember to re-apply several times during the day, especially so after showering or getting caught out in one of those Asian “showers!”
Taking protective clothing with you will help ensure that you minimise the bare skin at risk of insect bites. At sunset and sunrise, be especially alert, and cover up as much of your body as possible.
Harem pants will help keep your legs cool, while ensuring your legs are covered. There are also a variety of clothing products available with insect-repellents already impregnated through the fabric, which are especially helpful in both covering bare skin, and deterring insects from landing.
3. Keeping Water Covered
Uncovered water attracts insects. If you are spending time outdoors, ensure than any water is covered. Mugs, bottles and buckets should all be emptied and turned upside down, when left for any period of time. If you really want to stay away from biting insects then ensure you don’t spend too much time directly on a the banks of a water source too.
4. Shower Regularly
The tropical climate means humidity is high across Asia, and even after a short walk, you may find yourself profusely sweating. Sweat can actually attract biting insects, and therefore keeping yourself clean is imperative. Shower regularly, and apply generous amounts of anti-perspirant.
5. Feet Protection
One area of the body that is often neglected when it comes to insect protection are the feet. It can be oh-so tempting to grab a pair of snazzy flip flops and live in them for the duration of your trip. Ensure that at night and when sleeping, you cover your feet. Wearing socks will help minimise the skin on show. Also be religious in applying insect repellent to your feet
6. Anti-Insect Nets
When spending time in a particularly prone area, nets are a fabulous way for keeping biting insects at bay. If you are camping, ensure you sleep within a net that covers your full bed. Face-sized nets that attach to hats are also a great way of keeping pests at bay when you are in particularly mosquito prone areas such as forests.
7. Repellent Candles
Bug-busting candles are a fabulous addition to your kit. Most of these candles contain Citronella, a naturally derived product from Lemongrass, which contains insect-repelling qualities. Keep a candle lit on the balcony of your hotel room, or outside your tent at night, to both provide a lovely light source, but to also ensure that insects are kept away.
Travelling across Asia finds itself onto many a good bucket list. From gap-year adventures, to a place to blow those retirement savings, it has something to offer all ages. Ensure you make the most of your time by keeping yourself safe from biting insects.