Best Exotic Destinations for English Speakers

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A common question that I am asked by my students is about travel English, and how I communicate with the locals in the Asian countries that I have visited and lived. The truth is that there are many, many people who speak English, even those not fluent are usually of a good enough level to clearly communicate.

The only country in Asia that I had genuine difficulty was China, and even though I haven’t included countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia in this list, as long as you don’t venture too far away from the popular tourist areas, there will always be a friendly face nearby who can understand basic English.

So, brush up your travel English and head to one of these exotic English-speaking destinations for some sun and English practice!

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan.

Philippines: Before visiting, I knew that Filipinos were famous around the world for their English skills, but it was still a shock just how good they actually are! My wife and I arrived here after six months living in China, a country where outside of the big cities it is almost impossible to find an English speaker. To fly somewhere that is under 4 hours away and discover a country where English is practically their first language was a huge shock to us both! The Philippines is the perfect place for English speakers of any level, whether you are a solo traveller wanting an adventure or a couple in need of a relaxing, stress free couple of weeks on the beach. Even though I haven’t visited for a few years, I still find myself day dreaming of the empty white sand beaches…

India – Given its population size, I would guess that India probably has the largest population of English speakers in Asia. Anyone with any sort of link to tourism can speak great English, whether it’s a local rickshaw driver, a waiter or even the little children trying to sell you things on the beach! From the non stop crazy streets of Mumbai, to the white sand beaches of Goa, wherever you go, English speakers are never far away.

Sunset in Goa

One of the many beautiful sunsets seen in Goa.

Singapore – Due to their past links with Britain, it is perhaps unsurprising that Singapore makes this list. Famous across Asia for its high standard of living, fantastic shopping, and wonderful food, Singapore is a great place for speakers of all levels to spend a relaxing few days of luxury while practising their travel English. With the Singaporean government long ago insisting that English is used as a first language in schools and at work, there should be no concerns at all about communication difficulties here.

Others – To be honest, wherever you visit in Asia – particularly the Southeastern regions – English speakers of all levels will be close by. English is especially widely spoken and understood in all tourist friendly areas and you can be certain that with even a basic understanding of the language, you will easily be able to communicate on any beach, island or major city on the continent.

Never let fear of language barriers stop you from travelling somewhere. Of course for the best cultural experiences, there is no substitute to actually learning a country’s native language, but you can definitely still have a great time travelling using English…just remember to pack a local phrase book just in case!

***Want to practice your travel English while chatting about the countries mentioned in this article? Click here to book a free, no risk trial with me today and let me help you improve your free conversation skills!***

Vocabulary tips:

exotic – unusual and exciting because of coming (or seeming to come) from far away, especially a tropical country.

destination – the place where someone is going or where something is being sent or taken.

venture – to risk going somewhere or doing something that might be dangerous or unpleasant.

solo traveller – a person who travels alone.

there’s no substitute for – nothing is as good as the stated thing:

phrase book – a small book containing helpful groups of sentences and words in a particular foreign language, intended for use by travellers.

Please leave a comment if there are any other words that you are unsure of and I’ll happily help you to understand them.

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