Is Southeast Asia Secure for Vacationers?

A bright shot at night of tuk-tuks in Southeast Asia
Posted: 6/22/2019 | June 22nd, 2019

Southeast Asia is among the hottest areas on the earth for backpackers and funds vacationers. It’s residence to a well-worn journey path that dates again to the 1960s and ’70s, stretching throughout Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore.

I’ve been visiting the world often since 2004 (I even spent a number of years dwelling in Thailand). It actually does have one thing for everybody: bustling cities, scrumptious meals, spectacular diving, a number of outside actions, historic websites — the listing goes on.

Better of all? It’s funds pleasant!

However is Southeast Asia secure?

That’s a query I get requested usually, particularly by solo vacationers (or their nervous households).

Usually talking, Southeast Asia is extremely secure. In actual fact, it’s one of many most secure areas on the earth.

You aren’t going to actually face any bodily hazard, and it’s uncommon to even get robbed or mugged. Individuals are good, respectful, and pleasant.

That stated, right here’s the whole lot you might want to know to remain secure in Southeast Asia!


11 Methods to Keep Secure in Southeast Asia

Staying secure in Southeast Asia doesn’t take numerous work. Southeast Asia is an extremely secure place to backpack and journey – even in the event you’re touring solo, and at the same time as a solo feminine traveler. Violent assaults are uncommon. There are some frequent scams round, just like the bike rip-off the place distributors attempt to cost you for harm to their bike, however for essentially the most half, this can be a secure place to journey. Individuals are good and useful and also you’re unlikely to get into bother. The individuals who do are usually concerned with ingesting or medication or intercourse tourism. Keep away from that stuff and also you’ll be nice. That stated, listed here are 11 methods to make sure nothing goes to occur in your journey:

1. Look ahead to purse-snatchers – Purse-snatching is uncommon, but it surely does occur. To keep away from the commonest forms of theft, don’t put on your purse or bag over only one shoulder — as a substitute, put on it throughout the entrance of your physique. Additionally, many purse-snatchers will likely be on a scooter, so take explicit warning when strolling alongside site visitors.

2. Be additional cautious in site visitors – Most accidents in Southeast Asia are brought on by autos. Be particularly cautious strolling in hectic cities like Hanoi or if you’re driving (particularly scooters).

3. Don’t do medication – Medicine like marijuana are simply accessible in Southeast Asia (particularly in occasion areas, just like the Full Moon Occasion). However they’re unlawful! Fines are heavy — and in the event you get caught, anticipate to spend time in jail or pay a hefty bribe. Save your self the trouble and don’t do any medication whilst you’re within the area.

4. Put on a helmet – In case you’re renting or driving a scooter or bike, you should definitely put on a helmet. Additionally put on correct clothes and footwear. I’ve seen numerous street rash throughout my time in Southeast Asia!

5. Look out for bedbugs – Sadly, bedbugs are a actuality in Southeast Asia. Although uncommon, you’ll seemingly encounter them in some unspecified time in the future in the event you’re touring across the area for any size of time. All the time verify your lodging prematurely. If it appears soiled, merely transfer on. Additionally, by no means put your backpack in your mattress. That manner, if the mattress is contaminated, at the least your backpack gained’t even be contaminated.

6. Deliver a lock – Whereas theft in dorm rooms is uncommon, you don’t wish to take any possibilities. Hostels nearly at all times have lockers obtainable. Deliver a lock so you possibly can retailer your possessions safely whilst you’re out and about.

7. Disguise your valuables – If you’re out exploring, preserve your pockets and valuables hidden in your backpack (or go away them beloved up in your lodging). Carry some money in your pockets, however preserve your playing cards and different valuables out of attain. Most theft is opportunistic, so in the event you’re vigilant, you’ll don’t have anything to fret about!

8. Don’t occasion solo – Make sure that in the event you’re out partying that you just do it with buddies or individuals you possibly can belief. Don’t get so drunk that you could’t get residence safely. (In case you’re collaborating within the Full Moon Occasion in Thailand, yow will discover particular security suggestions in this weblog put up.)

9. Preserve your passport – By no means give away your passport as a deposit when reserving matters like lodging or leases. All the time ensure you get it again, or else you won’t see it once more. (And you should definitely preserve a digital scan of your passport in your e mail inbox simply in case.)

10. Keep away from animals – Stray canine (in addition to monkeys) usually carry ailments, comparable to rabies (which could be deadly). To keep away from getting bitten, don’t pet stray canine or wild monkeys.

11. Purchase journey insurance coverage – Whereas Southeast Asia is usually secure, surprising incidents can nonetheless happen. Cowl your self by shopping for journey insurance coverage. It has the potential to save lots of you hundreds of {dollars} whereas additionally providing you with peace of thoughts. I by no means go away residence with out it!

5 Frequent Scams in Southeast Asia

Whereas Southeast Asia is usually fairly secure, there are nonetheless a number of frequent journey scams. Listed here are 4 of the commonest scams — and how one can keep away from getting fooled by them!

1. The Taxi/Tuk-tuk Overcharge
This is among the most typical journey scams on the market — you’ll encounter all of it throughout Southeast Asia. Both the motive force will let you know the taxi meter is damaged and attempt to cost you a excessive price, otherwise you’ll see the associated fee on the meter skyrocket sooner than Superman!

For tuk-tuks, you’ll want to barter prematurely, as a result of drivers will quote a value a lot increased than what the trip ought to price. To keep away from being ripped off, you’ll first have to know the way a lot your trip ought to price. One of the simplest ways to determine this out is to ask your hostel or resort employees for a quote so you could have a body of reference (or google it, in the event you’re simply arriving).

If the motive force tries to barter the speed with you, supply them the proper price. In the event that they refuse, simply go away and discover somebody who will put the meter on. (Then, if the meter appears to be going up too shortly, have them pull over and get out.)

Many tourism boards allow you to report dangerous cab drivers, so you should definitely at all times make a psychological notice of their ID quantity whenever you get within the cab.

2. Motorcycle Rip-off
Southeast Asia is a superb place to hire a scooter or bike and get off the crushed path. However there’s a frequent rip-off you’ll need to pay attention to.

Right here’s the way it goes: You’ll hire a motorcycle after which whenever you carry it again, the proprietor will demand further cost or costly repairs as a result of there may be some “harm” you didn’t find out about. Generally the proprietor will ship somebody to mess with the bike or steal it so you must pay.

To keep away from this, take images of the bike first to doc any earlier harm. Go round it with the proprietor so that they know what you’re taking footage of.

When you hire it, use your individual lock and preserve the bike out of sight and off important streets whenever you park it.

Additionally, at all times ensure you purchase journey insurance coverage so you can also make a declare if there is a matter.

3. Your Attraction is Closed for Lunch
I admit, I’ve fallen for this one earlier than. A pleasant native will method you and inform you that the attraction you wish to go to (usually a temple) is closed for any variety of causes (spiritual ceremony, vacation, and so forth.).

They’ll then attempt to information you to a distinct attraction (or usually a store), the place you’re closely pressured to buy one thing or pay a excessive admission value.

To keep away from this rip-off, you should definitely ask your lodging employees earlier than you allow to substantiate that the attraction is open. Then discover the primary entrance or ticket counter and see for your self. Opening and shutting instances are nearly at all times obtainable on-line too, so you possibly can usually look them up simply to be secure.

Usually talking, most points of interest in Southeast Asia don’t shut for lunch. They both shut for the day or in no way.

4. The Drug Deal Gone Dangerous
This rip-off is frequent wherever there’s a occasion in Southeast Asia. You’ll be in a well-liked vacationer space (normally a celebration place) and somebody will give you medication.

In case you say sure, earlier than you already know it, an actual cop is will likely be on the scene! They’ll insist that they will arrest you until you possibly can pay a hefty nice proper there (i.e., a bribe).

Caught red-handed, you’ll most likely pay the bribe fairly than go to jail. Merely put: Don’t purchase medication in different international locations!

5. The Taxi Rip-off
Solely use taxis that use a meter. If the meter is rigged or they refuse to make use of it, simply get out and discover a new taxi (extra on this beneath!).

Is the Meals Secure in Southeast Asia?

If the meals weren’t secure right here, I’d seemingly by no means come again. Avenue meals is sort of at all times secure (it’s essential to the cultures of the locals). In actual fact, it’s normally extra secure than eating places, as a result of the operation is so easy and the turnover so quick.

When on the lookout for someplace to eat, discover a place with a crowd, in addition to one with youngsters — if dad and mom assume it’s secure for the children, then it’s secure for you! Wherever with lots of people (particularly locals) is an effective indicator that the meals is each good and secure.

Remember to wash your arms earlier than consuming (hand sanitizer is sweet for that), as you’ll seemingly have been out and about all day and will have picked up all kinds of germs.


Can You Drink the Faucet Water in Southeast Asia?

The faucet water in Southeast Asia will fluctuate from nation to nation, however as a common rule I’d not advocate you drink the water until you could have a water air purifier just like the Lifestraw or Steripen.


Are Taxis Secure in Southeast Asia?

Taxis in Southeast Asia are secure — however additionally they have a repute for overcharging (see above) or taking longer routes to dive up the fare.

All the time be certain that your driver is utilizing the meter (and that the meter is just not transferring overly shortly). In case you encounter an issue, merely get out and discover a new taxi.

A greater choice is Seize or Uber (relying on the place you might be). You’ll have the ability to see your driver, observe your trip, and make complaints when you’ve got an issue. It’s one of the simplest ways to get round, when obtainable.


Is Southeast Asia Secure for Solo Vacationers?

Southeast Asia is among the finest locations on the earth for solo vacationers. There are tons visiting the area each yr, lots of them touring solo for the primary time (it’s nice for each new and veteran vacationers alike).

With a bit frequent sense, a solo traveler gained’t have to fret a lot about security right here. There’s a well-worn backpacker path, so that you’ll by no means be removed from different vacationers. Which means it’s simple to satisfy individuals in case you determine you’d fairly journey in a gaggle for some (or all) of your journey.


Is Southeast Asia Secure for Solo Feminine Vacationers?

Feminine vacationers have further security considerations they want to pay attention to. That being stated, Southeast Asia remains to be probably the greatest (and most secure) areas for solo feminine journey.

By following the ideas above, in addition to the identical precautions you’d take at residence (comparable to not wandering alone at night time intoxicated, maintaining a tally of your drink whereas on the bar, and so forth.), a solo feminine traveler will have the ability to have an incredible go to to Southeast Asia with out worrying an excessive amount of about her security.

And as talked about above, with so many solo vacationers — together with many ladies — within the area, it’s simple to seek out others to spend time with in case you’re feeling insecure or unsafe.


Ought to You Go to Southeast Asia?

So, is Southeast Asia secure?


It’s tremendous unlikely that something will occur. And even much less so in the event you comply with the recommendation listed above.

Remember to get journey insurance coverage simply in case one thing goes mistaken. The previous is just not prologue and also you at all times wish to play it secure. Journey insurance coverage was there once I misplaced my bag, broke my digital camera, and popped an eardrum whereas diving in Thailand. I by no means anticipated these matters to occur and was glad I had insurance coverage! You should utilize the widget beneath to lookup the journey insurance coverage coverage that’s best for you (or simply click on right here to go to their web site straight):


Ebook Your Journey to Southeast Asia: Logistical Ideas and Methods

Ebook Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe, so that you at all times know no stone is being left unturned.

Ebook Your Lodging
You’ll be able to e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the biggest stock. If you wish to keep somewher eother than a resort, use, as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost accommodations. I exploit them on a regular basis. Some advised locations to remain within the area are:

  • Golden Mountain Hostel (Bangkok) – This can be a new hostel with dorm beds constructed into the wall for added privateness. Every room sleeps eight individuals and the décor is tremendous stunning and nicely thought out. The mattresses are tender too!
  • Sla Boutique Hostel (Phnom Penh) – This can be a nicer hostel that’s nicely designed and nice for assembly like-minded vacationers. The employees are tremendous useful and it’s positioned close to a number of bars, points of interest, and eating places (however the hostel itself is fairly quiet).
  • Coral Hostel (Singapore) – With all day breakfast, quick Wi-Fi, and AC, this can be a nice selection for the budget-savvy traveler. The whole lot is new and clear, and so they even have female-only dorms.
  • Kememai Hostel (Ubud) – This hostel is small and low-cost, however the employees are pleasant and it has the whole lot you want for a comfortable funds keep.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes mistaken. I by no means go on a visit with out it, as I’ve had to make use of it many instances previously. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that provide the very best service and worth are:

Searching for the very best firms to economize with?
Try my useful resource web page for the very best firms to make use of whenever you journey! I listing all those I exploit — and I believe they may enable you to too!

Searching for extra data on visiting Southeast Asia?
Try my in-depth vacation spot information to Southeast Asia with extra tips about what to see and do, prices, methods to save lots of, and far, way more!

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