Haggling Tips

Haggling Tips 960 636 Greg Ellifritz

Bargaining and haggling in local markets is a favorite pastime for many tourists traveling in foreign countries.


I think the best advice about the bargaining/haggling process was written by Christopher Blin in the book Swimming to Angola.  In that book, he wrote:


“1) Think of what they want you to pay- eye level

2) What you want to pay- chest level

3) Where you are after bargaining- somewhere around the neck

4) What the locals would pay- knee to ankle level

5) What they would charge if you forgot to ask the price beforehand -above the top of the head


You win the game if you can keep your transaction within the “strike zone”- from knees to chest.”


If you want some more haggling tips, I think you’ll like the article below.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Haggling in Southeast Asia

Learn Some Chinese

Learn Some Chinese 657 664 Greg Ellifritz

I think it’s really important for all travelers to learn at least a few words of the language spoken in their vacation destination countries.  There are lots of good ways to learn.  I prefer using either DuoLingo or The Pimsleur Audio lessons.

You can also learn some words the original way, by simply studying them.


The link below is a great resource for learning some elementary Chinese before your next trip to Asia.


108 Basic Chinese Words: Essential Chinese Vocab for Beginners




Begpacking? 470 301 Greg Ellifritz

Have you heard of the latest “begpacking” trend?  It’s when a Western tourist runs out of money in a foreign country and sets up as a beggar asking locals for money.  What a strange phenomenon!


I can’t say that I’ve seen this more than a couple times in my travels.


For more information, take a look at this article that describes the practice in Thailand.


Begpacking is shameless behaviour that is outlawed in Thailand and poisons goodwill between cultures


Ignorant, ‘cool’ trend continues

Despite this, this ignorance is now a ‘cool’ trend among hip young millennials some of whom continue to come to Thailand. The activities are insulting to the occupations of Thai men and women as well as their right to a livelihood in their own country, something many of these young people have no understanding of apparently. It also, inherently, deeply disrespectful to the laws of the kingdom.”


I haven’t been to Thailand since 2013.  With their crazy Covid-19 restrictions, it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back anytime soon.  I’ll give you a “begpacking” update the next time I make it to Asia.