Cheap Travel

Australia, Japan & Asia

Australia:

Hitchhiking, although not always easy, is the way to go in Australia. Sometimes we had to wait for quite a while but as always, it was worth it. You can hitch pretty much anywhere – we made it as far as the tip of remote Cape York, Thursday Island and other off the beaten track places.

Got a few interesting, unconventional rides, like with a traveling carnival or a tour company bus – both of which ended up giving us a job. Otherwise it’s mostly private cars, often four wheel drives, especially in the outback. Not many trucks stop but if they do, you can count on a very long distance ride.

New Zealand:

Quite a pleasant country for hitchhiking and traveling in general. Easy and developed, with picturesque nature and convenient distances. Hitching a ride across to the South Island and back was a challenge but we made it. Both times with private boats out of yacht clubs. New Zealand is also a good place for trying your luck with some longer distance ocean crossings. We found a yacht that took us to Vanuatu.

Brunei:

It’s a tiny country and we only stayed in the capital but we managed to get one ride within the city – with no problems. Other interesting way of transportation there are one dollar water taxis that will take you pretty much anywhere in the city.

Japan:

Almost as good as Taiwan. Almost – because here, many times, we actually had to wait for a while. But there is no trouble to get anywhere within Japan by hitchhiking.

There is one thing to learn though – when a Japanese person stops and picks you up, they feel responsible for you and many times feel obliged to drive you to your destination. The most puzzling thing for them is if you don’t have one, if you are just traveling around. Many times when we mentioned a place, the drivers just said:

“OK No problem.” – it took us a while to learn that it didn’t mean they were also going there – it meant they have just decided to drive us there! It takes patience and good communication skills to explain to them that it’s not necessary, that it’s not what hitchhiking is about. We learnt that the trick is to ask them where they are going before they ask you and then not let them go much farther out of their way.

Taiwan:

So far – the easiest country for hitchhiking during our journey. We traveled all around the island and never had to wait more than a few minutes. Many times arrived faster to our destinations than friends starting at the same time by bus. Not all the people speak English, but they are very friendly and any western looking person will have no trouble hitching anywhere on the island.