Essential companion in everyday life, hard to imagine going abroad without a smartphone. For travellers who don’t know or don’t want to use a compass, map, getting life harder … you are in the right place.
Here 13 useful applications that should absolutely being download before going on a trip in Asia.
Backpackers and globetrotters please pay attention !
Never too cautious, having a doctor on hand is possible even on the other side of the world!
With Hellocare, consult online a French-speaking general practitioner or specialist with very short or instantaneous delays: 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
You can therefore perform a teleconsultation immediately or make an appointment at a time that suits you via smartphone or tablet (provided you have a viable internet connection). If necessary, a prescription can be delivered to you, and the teleconsultation will be billed at 20€. Super useful when on vacation in linguistically different environments or with limited medical services.
If you are traveling with friends, this useful application easily keep track of them. Manually enter each expense by indicating the person who paid. The app then takes care of calculating and balancing the accounts instantly. By indicating who owes money to whom, Tricount decrease the number of transactions to get reimbursed.
3- COUCHSURFING OR HOSTELWORLD
For making new encounters, Couchsurfing is an international network of 10 million travellers located in more than 179 countries. The app allows you to find hosts on the spot by staying with local people. Note that there is no obligatory financial compensation: everyone is free to participate according to their own means.
Otherwise for those who prefer youth hostels, Hostelworld is the leading app to find one. Book your bed at a low price anywhere in the world, with your criteria and with the help of the user’s opinion.
Leader of online hotel reservation sites in the world, it is also a must in Asia, closely followed by its competitor Agoda. Pragmatic, it goes to the essential with complete search functions and detailed description. The opinions of users are numerous and helpful.
On the reservation side, it’s the best: no reservation fees and often no deposit required to confirm a reservation. The same goes for cancellation fees, they are rarely binding and allow last minute changes, within the limits of reasonableness. In conclusion, Booking offers a wide choice of hotels, meeting your criteria, without necessarily taking a long time in advance.
Nostalgic of postcards in the era when social networks and smartphones had not yet become so famous? Or was it customary to send a nice card to your loved ones? For those who wish to perpetuate this tradition in a modern way, Fizzer allows travellers to send personalised postcards directly from their smartphones.
The download is free of charge but will cost around 2.39 euros to send a card.
6- UBER OR GRAB
When one is lazy about using public transportation or simply because of a lack of infrastructure, it is always convenient to have a driver nearby. With Uber you can order your cab in just a few clicks. The fare will be automatically debited from your credit card directly to your account. However, Uber is no longer available everywhere in Asia. It has recently withdrawn from the Southeast Asian market in 2018 on which it has not managed to make enough profit.
The specialised VTC services company is therefore being replaced by Grab, a Singaporean company and leader in the region for passenger transportation and food delivery.
Similar to its ex competitor, Grab is a widespread application in Southeast Asia. Multifunctional, you can use it to book a cab, have a meal delivered, and pay at local merchants without a credit card! Available in the following countries: Cambodia, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam …
One of the best flight comparators to get the best price all around the world. Skyscanner could be useful if you haven’t taken your tickets yet, if a change of itinerary occurs during the trip or if something unexpected happens!
For all backpackers who like to go on a road trip to the other side of the world off the beaten track, maps.me will be a faithful ally. This GPS application gives you access to thousands of very detailed maps.
Download them and reuse once offline on the spot. Go and hike through the jungle and the most remote hostile countryside on the planet without ever getting lost.
9- FLUSH OR WHERE IS THE TOILET
Extreme emergency situation? This is the quickest and easiest solution to find a public restroom nearby, when you’re out on a day trip abroad.
Where is public toilet (Android) counts more than 280 000 “little corners”; Flush (iOS) about 200 000. They are present all over the world in large to medium-sized cities on the Asian continent. These useful applications also works without internet connection!
10- EXPRESS VPN
Especially in China, where censorship of access to information persist. A good VPN will be helpful to bypass firewalls and browse quietly everywhere on the Internet. Same for your favourite instant messaging applications: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp or Google are strictly forbidden. Without Express VPN, they will be impossible for you to access.
Please note: the application is free for 30 days, then costs between €8 and €10 per month depending on the subscription chosen.
11- XE CURRENCY
Asian currencies are generally different from one country to another. Each country has its own money. A real headache when it comes to converting or knowing the rates, XE Currency is considered the most useful mobile application to do so.
12- GOOGLE TRADUCTION
When going abroad you do not systematically master the language of the country. In Asia dialects are very diverse, hard to learn and the mastery of English is not unanimous.
Until today google translation is the most ergonomic, efficient and free platform of all. Translate texts, pictures, vocals in more than 70 languages. Also benefit from the “without an internet connection option”.
Finally, how can we talk about Asia without talking about WeChat? This social network counting more than 650 million users and leading instant messaging platforms in China. Without doubt the most complete and useful applications there, with various convenient features for travellers : messaging service, video calls, streaming, location sharing, in-store payment option, marketplace, translator … A must-have in China !
Moreover, in the land of the rising sun, the use of QR code has widely developed and is spreading all over the world. Discover here its importance in the tourism industry, especially in times of pandemic.