Differentiating Asian Languages


Asia is reviewed as a mixture of cultures and unlike the western countries which has a few variety of languages used, Asian countries have distinct language differences even when they are neighbors to each other. While traveling to Singapore the first day, then country hopping to Cambodia, you might be traversing a path which can easily confuse you since Asians may seem to speak alien languages which all sound the same but are in fact different.

Differentiating it may be hard. I know saying this in an Asian perspective can be a little biased. Honestly, despite being Asian, I also have the same dilemma at first when I was still immersed with myself and my mother tongue which is the only language I know, aside from English that is. Aside from what seems to be the same faces, squinty eyes and short stature, Asians have a way of conversing only we can understand. For westerners, it may look all the same. For us, we stand out in our own right.

Westhill Consulting may be able to help you distinguish the different language flavors of Asia. Here is the list of basic languages you can use when you are traveling Asia:

1. Chinese

The largest spoken language in the world with more than 1,000,000,000 speakers, Chinese language is composed of 13 individual languages. Mandarin, Fukien and Cantonese are mostly spoken in the People’s Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore and other parts of South East Asia.

Hello – Ni Hao (nee-haw)

Thank you – xièxie (shi-she)

Sorry – duìbùqǐ (du-wa-pu-shi)

2. Japanese

Japanese also tops the rank of the world’s most spoken language taking the 9th place. Kanji is an adopted derivation of Chinese characters which is mostly used alongside katakana and hiragana.

Hello – Konichiwa

Thank you – Arigatou Gozaimasu

Sorry – Gomen nasai

Excuse me – sumimasen

3. Malay-Indonesian

Malay-Indonesian is mostly used in Indonesia and Malaysia. Although Javanese has been quite popular with 800,000,000 speakers, Malay-Indonesian is mostly used all over the two countries so it would be more advantageous to learn this instead of Javanese.

You can deal businesses in Jakarta and still use this in Sumatra during vacation when you need to.

Hello – Apa kabar?

Thank you – Terima kasih banyak

Sorry – Maafkan saya

4. Hindustani

Hindustani is the primary language of India’s crowded population, and it encompasses a huge number of dialects (of which the most commonly spoken is Hindi). The widespread of English language is a serious warning to Hindis that the language may soon be obsolete.

Hello – Namaste

Thank you – dhanyavād (da-ni-v æd)

Sorry – kṣama kījiye (kæ-sa-ma kæ-ji-ya)

5. Hangul

Korean language, Hangul is mostly confused with mandarin characters and Nihongo. Han-ja is also a derivative of Chinese characters which was used before Hangul was created in the Joseon dynasty.

Hello – annyeonghasaeyo

Thank you – kamsahamnida

Sorry – Jwesong hamnida

Threats and Warnings in Indonesia

Indonesia is one the best places to go to. With its rich natural resources, scenic views, multicultural traditions. Being one of the top go-to destinations in the world, Indonesia also has an image of being dangerous for westerners.

The archipelago of the 4th highest number of population around the world, Indonesia is also a home of the largest Muslim population. Because of the recent news of terrorism done mostly by Muslims, it is unfortunate that nightclubs, hotels and bars across Java and Jakarta are susceptible to terrorist attacks. This has in fact decreased the number of foreigners and tourists in the archipelago.

However, much to the relief of the tourism department, the Australian Government has downgraded the level of its warning to parts of Indonesia. When the neighboring country has advised its citizen to “reconsider traveling”, many Aussies have heeded, thinking of the possible high risk of going to the country.

According to Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, travel reviews of the country has dropped low on 2010 but has slowly regained its momentum at the start of 2012. Since then, Indonesia’s record is slowly recovering its rank on top tourist spot once again.

Despite it, cultural differences may also be an issue to many western foreigners visiting the country regardless of terrorism attacks. The extreme diversity of Indonesian beliefs and openness to foreigners may result to confusion. Tourist should still be careful about what they do, where they go and what they say.

The terrorism department of Indonesia also released their own list of places that non-locals should be careful of.

1. Aceh – The northernmost province of the largest island of Sumatra, Aceh is known for its strict Islamic Sharia law and for its desire to become an independent country. Political attacks in this region are preeminent and have been religious in nature. This is why it is imperative to pay respect to their laws. Women should keep their heads covered, and men should wear long pants and not show too much skin.

2. Papua – Despite its rich biodiversity and beautiful natural surroundings, Papua is currently under heavy Indonesian military occupation due to past and present political uprisings among the people for independence. The situation is such that tourists need to apply with the Indonesian government for a travel permit indicating pressing need or desire to visit

3. Sulawesi – this island is particularly violent during election time. You are also required to acquire travel permits to visit due to increased sectarian and ethnic violence.

Best Honeymoon Destinations in Asia

Honeymoon should be a time of romance and love. As a celebration of two individuals starting their lives together, honeymoon is set to be enjoyed for the more joined experiences later on. There is just nothing like the feeling of being newlyweds.Asia is one of the best places to go to while during honeymoon. As home of pristine beaches, hilly terrains and other must-experience adventures, Asia has a lot to offer to make your sweet start of life as husband and wife.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, you’re traveling guide based in Singapore, has the following list of today’s top honeymoon destinations in the heart of the largest archipelago to review and visit:


Maldives is already gaining popularity to being one of the most dreamt honeymoon destination. This tiny island offers diverse bask of adventures secluded from other prying eyes. In this island, you will find the world’s top spa retreats, white beaches and a picturesque and scenic view. No fraudulent experts can ever copy the majesty of Maldives.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is a center of diverse culture and rich heritage fit for couples who like a little adventure and peak in the past. A good honeymoon itinerary would include going through the Chao Phrya River in a canal boat ride and visiting Royal Barges National Museum. Honeymooners may also want to visit Buddhist temple and pay little homage or ask for a blissful years of couple life to come.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Despite being a city, Jakarta offers a wide variety of activities hidden within its boundaries. A good place to say would be in Nihiwata, Sumba which is perfect if you want to achieve both city and beach honeymoon. The Marangga villas of Nihiwatu in Sumba offer an unobstructed view of the Indian Ocean from the terrace of your room, complete with private pool and the privacy that honeymoon couples need.


Borneo offers more of the natural adventures of honeymoon. Seeing an orangutan during your romantic days wouldn’t seem a weird idea once you are already there. You don’t need to be a nature lover to appreciate the spectacular wildlife that roams free in this country

Lombok Island, Indonesia Lombok Island has the most heavenly atmosphere and the beautiful underwater scenery. The waves, which are not too big and quiet, of course will add romance honeymoon. Watching the sunset while holding hands by the shore is just one of the fantasies that can come true in this island.

The Different Shades of Indonesia

It is hard to travel to Indonesia without getting acquainted to one of its most priceless possession: batik. This traditional woven fabric rich in color is more or less a reflection of what the archipelago look like.

As a melting pot of races, religion or ethics, Indonesia has been complimented towards growth and fostering all the diverse culture belonging to its superfluous 17, 000 islands. Batik is only one of the cultural lifestyle of Indonesia but it has held a lot of sentiments on its Indonesia’s past, present and future. It indeed shows the different shades of Indonesia.

Join Westhill Travel and Tours as we look deeper into the discovery of this fabric which pretty much explains a lot about Indonesia.

According to UNESCO Cultural Sector, the technique, style, symbolism and culture surrounding this hand-woven Batik permeate Indonesian from beginning to end. This is one material which cannot be fabricated by fraudulent acts but can only be done by someone who has sufficient knowledge of its intricacies.

According to reviews, the word batik is thought to be derived from the word ‘ambatik’ which translated means ‘a cloth with little dots’. The suffix ‘tik’ means little dot, drop, point or to make dots. Batik may also originate from the Javanese word ‘tritik’ which describes a resist process for dying where the patterns are reserved on the textiles by tying and sewing areas prior to dying, similar to tie dye techniques. Another Javanese phase for the mystical experience of making batik is “mbatik manah” which means “drawing a batik design on the heart”.

Not only are these fabrics famous in malls near Jakarta or Java. International fashion trends are already using this material in different designs and styles. Samples have also been found in Turkey, India, China, Japan and West Africa from past centuries. Although in these countries people were using the technique of dye resisting decoration, within the textile realm, none have developed batik to its present day art form as the highly developed intricate batik found on the island of Java in Indonesia.

Traditional colors for Batik are made from natural ingredients and consisted primarily by blue, beige, brown and black. The oldest color that was used traditionally was blue. The final hue depended on how long the cloth is soaked and how often it was dipped. While the color has its explanation, the patterns woven in the fabric depended on the artistic skills of the individual.

Funny, Weird and Interesting

Indonesia is home to the most exotic and unexpected things. With 17,800 islands which can give you a variety of things to do, explore and experience, you will not run out of things which can be pretty surprising.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours has these following spoilers:

  1. Flora and Fauna

Being rich in natural resources, Indonesia has proved to be a natural habitat once again when in 2010, 200 new species of animals. Some of the most famous animals to be reviewed most of the time are:

  • Javana Rino

In no other place can you find these majestic beasts.  A local in Indonesia, they are treated with respect. If any other place claims it, they may be talking fraud.

  • Komodo Dragon

On the island of Komodo lives Komodo dragon. Komodo dragon it is a dangerous big reptile and it can eat a human. Komodo dragons live only in the national park of the Komodo Island.

  1. National Cuisine

Some people may find it weird to eat snakes or crickets but not in the streets of Indonesia. There are more than a lot of choices for those who are sensitive eaters to turn their stomachs upside down.

Rice remains a staple food just like any other parts of Asia. The combination though comes from different cultures around the world. One of the most traditional is the Soto Soup which is served differently depending on the region.

  1. Movies

Unlike other neighboring countries, Indonesians watch their movies through subtitles and prefer not to dub them.

  1. Corpse’s tea time

In cultures where passing over to the ancestors is a cause for celebration, funerals can be very grand affairs. A handful of Indonesia’s 300+ ethnic groups celebrate the death of their loved ones with ritual sacrifice lasting several days. In Toraja, in the highlands of Sulawesi, whole villages are built just for the funeral and dozens of buffalo will be slaughtered.

Death in Indonesia is a very big event even when you are in Jakarta which most practices are already westernized. In this event, the corpse serves as the host and is placed in the center of the living room.

In the south-eastern island of Sumba, the dead person sits in a specially-built bamboo chair in their own house and hosts the guests from there. They provide pork, rice and endless cups of tea and coffee every day for at least a week; on the final day horses and buffalos are killed and skinned in the village center. When the feasting is done, the host is bundled into a megalithic tomb along with the other ancestors.

  1. Forest Nomads

You might be able to meet these nomads while trekking. They set their tents on some rich part of the forest, plant their crops and hunt for food and move on when it is already infertile.