This Thailand-based platform will match travelers with locals

Posted by - June 26, 2018

MODERN DAY TRAVELERS seeking off the beaten path attractions and experiences at their destinations like a true local will appreciate TakeMeTour.
Created by robotics engineering graduate Taro Amornched, the online platform aims to match travelers with locals – but not in the sleazy Tinder kind of way.
Bali’s ‘Airbnb Experiences’ second most popular in Asia Specifically, it matches travelers with locals who can show them around.
So whether it’s a gastronomical tour of Bangkok’s Chinatown, a hiking trip along Japan’s nature trails, or a dance in a sunflower field your heart desires, TakeMeTour will connect you with the experts with all the know-how.
“On our website, a traveler can browse tours, itineraries, and experiences that are offered by locals. Currently, we have more than 20,000 local experts from 55 different cities. It’s like having a friend, some people you can trust, to show you around,” Amornched said in an interview with The Jay Kim Show.
Let’s get started Log in to the website and select a city you’d like to visit.
Source: TakeMeTour.
Then, choose from the list of one-day tours and experiences available. Once you find what you like, pick a date on the calendar or chat with said local for availability.
When all details are confirmed, book with them directly. Bookings will only be valid once the payments are made through Take Me Tour with a valid credit card.
It’s like making one new local friend with every booking.
“All the local experts speak Thai and English. We have been focusing on English-speaking travelers in the past two years, but starting this year, we will start focusing on a third language. That means you would see local experts who can speak Japanese, Chinese, and French as a starting point,” Amornched added.
About safety and security Is it okay to throw caution to the wind and simply follow a local around in a foreign country?
How safe is it, really?
A post shared by TakeMeTour (@takemetour_thailand) on Mar 23, 2018 at 10:30pm PDT
“We have very strict security measures. We check the ID, bank account, criminal record, and the like to make sure these local experts are actually legitimate. We also make sure we know how to find them,” Amornched explained.
Newly-listed tours will go through stages of approvals by both TakeMeTour as well as its network of bloggers to assure they’re meeting quality standards.
What if things go bad?
“If something bad happens, we can still make refunds. We also provide accident insurance for both travelers and local experts,” Amornched said.
Every listing also includes reviews from previous guests so travelers can gauge if the experience is something that they’d like.
Healing on a holiday: Cheap rehabs boost Thailand’s medical tourism Currently, the Asian countries that TakeMeTour covers are Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan. The platform is looking to expand to Myanmar next month.
Check it out here.
The post This Thailand-based platform will match travelers with locals appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Don’t make these cultural Pho-pas when eating in Asia

Posted by - March 22, 2018

YOU may think you’re being polite by eating everything on your plate.
Perhaps you think everyone else around you is being rude as they slurp their soup and suck up the slithery noodles while making an almighty racket.
But you’re wrong.
Asia has a rich history of culinary etiquette, but it’s not continent-wide. So there are lots of variations of eating rules.
Breaking these established rules may get you disapproving looks, while others will get you chucked out of the restaurant entirely.
Totoro fans listen up, we’ve got a tasty surprise for you Here are a few tips and tricks to make you look like an Asian-dining-etiquette pro.
Japan A post shared by Meliina (@meliinaida) on Oct 1, 2012 at 4:05am PDT
Sticking chopsticks in your mouth to resemble a vampire-walrus isn’t cool and neither is standing them upright in a bowl of food.
Doing this is thought to bring bad luck, so make sure you use the chopstick holder beside your bowl when you’re not gobbling down your dinner.
Also, avoid passing food from chopstick-to-chopstick as this is a process done at Japanese funerals. However, it’s not food that’s passed around, it’s bone fragments from the deceased.
A post shared by Johnny (@johnnytonton) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:38pm PDT
Some other points to remember, if you don’t want to feel like an ignorant tourist, is to not wave your chopsticks around or point them at people.
Equally, don’t scratch yourself with them, because that’s gross. And while you may be new to the chopstick game, try to avoid stabbing your food. Take the time to learn how to use chopsticks and impress the locals.
A post shared by Victor Chien [簡VIC] (@natureboy.vic) on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:41pm PDT
In Japan is it entirely fine to make as much noise as possible while eating as it tells the host and the chefs that you’re enjoying your meal.
Malaysia A post shared by Febiyani Sitepu (@febiyanisitepu) on Oct 7, 2017 at 2:43am PDT
If you’ve ever traveled to Malaysia, you will know it is a nation of multiculturalism, stunning natural beauty and home to some of the most delicious Pan-Asian cuisine.
There are three different types of dining etiquette here: Malay-Malaysian, Indian-Malaysian and Chinese-Malaysian, each with their own set of rules.
Malaysians strictly eat with their right hand as the left is for washroom purposes only.
A post shared by Melissa Calvi (@mel_calvi) on Jan 21, 2018 at 2:54am PST
It is polite to let the elders take the helping first if you are eating at someone else’s house. Always remember, only take what you know you can eat as every grain of rice is sacred and should not be wasted.
If you’re devouring a dinner of delicious Chinese-Malaysian food, then be prepared to share. Often, the Chinese will order dishes for everyone and then you pick what you want, place it in your bowl and nosh away using chopsticks.
Perhaps one of the most famous Indian-Malaysian dishes is banana leaf rice. Rice, curry and a selection of scrumptious pickles, chutneys, and accompaniments are served on a giant green banana leaf.
A post shared by Leong Li-Ern (@liernleong) on Mar 20, 2018 at 3:09am PDT
Always show utmost appreciation when dining with Indian-Malaysians and never eat in a hurry. Once you’re done, make sure you fold your banana leaf towards yourself, as folding it away tells your host you hated the meal…which is virtually impossible.
China A post shared by Tabemachita (@tabemachita) on Mar 20, 2018 at 10:13pm PDT
The same chopstick rules as in Japan apply to eating a Chinese meal. However, there are a few added rules.
Never leave your chopsticks pointing directly at someone across the table and don’t suck the grains of rice off your eating utensils even at the end of a meal.
Unlike in Malaysia and Japan where it is good practice to eat everything on your plate, in Chinese etiquette, it is polite to leave some food at the end of a meal as a sign that the host went above and beyond to provide you with a good and ample feast.
If you’re dining out, it is courtesy to argue with your host about paying the bill. Insist at least two or three times that you will pay for it or split it. However, don’t ever fully insist on paying the whole bill as it insinuates your host can’t afford it.
Equally, don’t just let your host pay without putting up a fight as it implies your host owes you.
There needs to be a fine balance and one that will take practice.
Thailand and the Philippines A post shared by Bangkok foodies (@bangkokfoodies) on Mar 18, 2018 at 7:20am PDT

Anyone who has a fear of using chopsticks can heave a sigh of relief as Thailand and the Philippines use forks, knives and spoons to eat.
A post shared by Jemi (@jemstagram21) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:21am PDT
Both nations pride themselves on having a friendly hospitality industry. Filipino and Thai hosts will go above and beyond to create a great dining experience so it’s important to remember not to lose your temper or get angry in a restaurant if something doesn’t go your way.
This is called “losing face” and you will end up embarrassing yourself more than those you intended your yelling at.
Cambodia A post shared by Marlon Julius (@marlon.julius) on Mar 20, 2018 at 12:39pm PDT
This is a nation where you can expect more to be plonked on your table than you ordered, but nobody is complaining.
Often, restaurants will bring out food you didn’t order. It’s worth trying a bit of everything but don’t worry, as you’ll only be charged for what you eat.
A post shared by Cem Akkaya (@cemakkaya) on Mar 20, 2018 at 7:50am PDT
On the table, you will find forks, chopsticks, and spoons. Avoid eating with forks. Instead, use it to place food on your spoon or between your chopsticks.
Vietnam A post shared by Siobhan Moss (@shivmossy) on Dec 22, 2017 at 9:31pm PST
Expect eating here too big a family affair. The Vietnamese tend to eat together with family or friends and order plenty of dishes for everyone to share.
You should do the same, as it’s the best way to try everything. Also, if you’re dining out, expect the men to be first served first (quite literally feeding the patriarchy).
A post shared by 플리페 현경부원장 (@pllipe_kyong) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:26pm PDT
Also, make sure you always get up and ask for the cheque as it is considered rude for the server to bring it to your table.
Never feel obliged to tip in Vietnam either, it is entirely at your discretion, but everything is so cheap in Vietnam and the food is some of the best in the world – so you’ll probably want to show your gratification.
Get your Obama fangirl on at this Vietnamese restaurant South Korea A post shared by Tomáš Pek (@tominopek) on Feb 14, 2018 at 1:18pm PST
The chopstick rules that apply to all other Asian countries apply in South Korea too.
In South Korea, make sure you let your host know how much you’re looking forward to the meal and always thank them after you’ve finished. Gratitude and politeness are the biggest etiquette winners in South Korea.
A post shared by Sangho Lee (@sang_ho_u) on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:40am PDT
Don’t be surprised if your host or servers at a restaurant encourage you to drink, as this is a big part of the South Korean culture.
In fact, it is considered rude to turn down alcohol, but remember to always top up other’s glasses before your own.
The post Don’t make these cultural Pho-pas when eating in Asia appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.