This is the nasty side of traveling Australasia. It is not pretty.
You know how we always talk about the good in traveling and all the great things that comes from it? Well, this is not that post.
Warning: Explicit and gross pictures are included in this post. You have been warned.
We’ve been pretty good at telling you the positives about our time abroad: all the places we’ve been, the sites we’ve seen and the delicious things we’ve eaten. Unfortunately, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Where there’s a good, there’s bound to be a bad, so it’s time to give you the bad, the ugly and down right nasty side that comes with traveling.
Starting with the nasty. We love SE Asia but man does it bite.. literally. One of the few reasons why I know I can’t live here, as much as I love $5 massages and bangin’ beaches, is that I can’t stand the humidity, because with humidity comes nasty, winged bugs that bite. Hard. And it hurts. A lot.
We both are terrified of mosquitoes and spiders. And getting bites in the blistering summer is the most uncomfortable feeling, it can really put a damper on your trip. Our bodies don’t react well to them – Gerard’s bites turn a dark shade of red and mine swells big due to an allergic reaction.
Bug sprays are useless for us, plus too much DEET is bad for you. Most nights, we’re afraid to go out because we don’t want to get bitten and one of the reasons we splurge on air-con rooms is to avoid mosquitoes all together. It’s a losing battle for us and our bodies suffered a lot while we were in Australasia.
OK, ready? it’s not too late to leave the post. We won’t be offended in the slightest bit.
- we spent 3-days on Fraser Island doing our best, but failed, to ward off March flies and other nasty bugs. We were eaten alive, it practically ruined my island experience.
- I thought my arm was a result of bed bugs in Airlie Beach, but it turns out I broke out in severe hives from sunblock and sweat clogging my pores. I had to take anti-allergic meds and was told I could only use sun gel and Cetaphil, a special body wash to cleanse my skin.
In Ao Nang, Thailand, mosquitoes and ants got the best of my elbow when we decided to have dinner outside. In fact, they didn’t just get my elbow, I was bit on my shoulders and legs too.
In Koh Phi Phi, Gerard went hiking and got two gnarly bites that scared the crap out of me. It swelled for days, I thought he needed to go to the hospital for shots because of the unusual size. We think they were spider bites because of the size and it’s firmness. It also hurt, not itch.
In Hoi An, Vietnam, I got one of these on the back of each leg while having lunch. Guess I wasn’t the only one hungry.
I broke out in hives again while in Thailand. Gerard was so upset when mosquitoes managed to get inside our fancy 5 star hotel while in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We both experienced a horrendous night in Hakone, Japan where we spent all night fighting off ginormous mosquito-like bugs from biting our faces while we sleep. And I can’t even tell you how often we found ourselves with random mysterious and unidentifiable bites in Indonesia.
I had several meltdowns because of this. At some point, we battled so many mosquitoes Gerard and I became expert swatters, we can kill them with our bare hands.. two at a time!
So what do you think? Pretty gross, huh?! Battling with bites was something we expected when we decided to spend half the year backpacking Southeast Asia. However, I didn’t think it would affect us this much and for so long. I am still scarred to this very day from a few of the unidentifiable mysterious bites.
We’ve been through a bunch of anti-itch gels, creams and other remedies. The most effective one was Amcal burn & itch gel in Australia. The other was a simple yellow cooling gel that Thai masseuses rubbed on our bug bites. If you don’t make your way to either country, Itch-X gel is a decent solution.
What’s your go-to cure for the itch?