The things I learned during my first solo backpackingtrip in Southeast Asia, March to June 2012:
Where asked to fill in ‘residence in …’ on a visa application, but you don’t know yet; just put in ‘backpacker hostel’ and no more questions asked.
Do not try to understand the logic. Like for instance: why the bigger bottle is cheaper. Just don’t.
Teach yourself some card tricks and silly simple games; locals love those and they can keep you entertained through long evenings by the campfire.
DO NOT look up when you’re in the shower; there will be spiders and things, you will want to get out, and you will not be able to, being buck-naked and all wet in a hostel etc… Just don’t.
It’ll take little over two weeks for your body to adjust to the heat and for you to get used to that sweaty feeling.
Look for the fans and then pick your table.
Malaria pills: are you super super sure you need them? Than can you get the one you take once in 14 days? And buy them out here, a sixth of the price…
It kills you skin; the sun and bugs constant attacks despite deet, which is pretty bad for your skin anyway, and sun block. Just is.
Plan things when you get out here, not from back home; you’ll save money and gain adventure, and locals are always willing to help you out.
Asian business mentality means getting the best deal for everyone – yes they want to sell you something; they need to make a living, but they also want to make you a happy customer.
If you have dixiefobia… well, you’d better get over it quick and get used to squatting, no seats, no toilet paper and flushing by hand.
Book bus trips etc through your hostel; they’ll be able to get deals and will be very helpful to you as you are their customer. Plus your pick-up will be right there.
If there are no lockers, don’t let your guard down or think this place might be as friendly as all the ones before, but wear your money-belt when you go to sleep.