Staying Connected in Asia

Travel tips

Young Couple Using a Notebook in an Asian Hotel Room While Lying on the Bed

My backpacking days honestly don’t feel like they were that long ago, but I remember having to line up in the local telecom office, waiting my turn, paying my rupees or Bhat, and then dialing my parents to check in with them on how I was doing.

There was always that inevitable first mission upon reaching a new destination of searching out the GPO. Today, who even knows what a GPO is? The General Post Office of every city is where you’d ask friends and family to post you letters or care packages that you just couldn’t wait to open.

Post Office in the Old Town of Galle, Sri Lanka
Post office in the old town of Galle, Sri Lanka

Then came the internet houses in the early 2000s, where travellers would queue to pay a fee for use of a computer and free internet to write emails to home or jump on Myspace or Friendster.

Technology has since come a long way. People ask me, as a mother of two, how I can travel so much. “Don’t your kids miss you? Don’t you miss them?” The reality is, throughout Asia, staying connected couldn’t be easier. Many hotels, restaurants, and cafes have free WiFi most of the time. I FaceTime my children to the point where we talk as much as we do around the kitchen table each night. Sadly, FaceTime has yet to perfect the full 3 dimensional messaging experience and I still miss out on the cuddles. Really though, I’m so grateful I live in a time when I can be so connected when I travel. And it’s only getting better…

Monks on Cell Phones in Myanmar - photo by Diane Molzan
Catching up outside Manuha Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

At Goway, we try and make staying connected even easier and more accessible. When searching out new hotels to join our list of preferred properties, we choose those with free WiFi when at all possible.

In India, we offer our private touring clients a free cell phone for use, loaded with enough data to make phone calls to home and do basic emailing.

In Japan, we offer clients WiFi routers for purchase for about $10 a day, so that as they are walking the streets and exploring during their free time, they can enlist GPS to help them find the best shopping spots and restaurants.

Shibuya Crossing, One of World's Busiest Crosswalks, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya Crossing, one of the world’s busiest crosswalks in Tokyo, Japan

In Vietnam, all of our private touring vehicles are WiFi enabled, offering travellers a chance to Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook all of their friends in real time. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about time zones… yet.

Beginning this Fall, our group touring programs in Asia will all offer free WiFi in all our touring vehicles – offering both the convenience of communicating with anyone back home, plus a peace of mind while being away for an extended holiday of a lifetime!

Suggested Itineraries:
17-Day Splendours of China & Tibet
17-Day Splendours of India
14-Day China Odyssey & Yangtze River Cruise
14-Day India Odyssey

As General Manager of Goway Asia, I project that these services will be across our entire product lines within 2 years. We are getting there!

Great Wall of China, Beijing, China
Great Wall of China

Simply stated, it’s never been easier to stay in touch. No more fumbling for change when prompted to “add more money to complete your call,” or wasting valuable time searching out that elusive GPO when time could be better spent on a stop at an interesting gallery or museum.

I do appreciate that there has been a recent movement that implores travellers to “just shut down and smell the roses,” and I get that – no judgement from me. All I’m saying is that should you want to stay connected, it’s nice to know that you can, and that the option is yours when travelling on your Asia vacation with Goway.