Southeast Asia is well-known for natural beauty, inexpensive travels, delicious food and a paradise for beach-goers and mountain-lovers. Despite all the worthy resources, still arise questions whether is Southeast Asia safe to travel. Like any other places in the world (with slightly more political challenges), Southeast Asia is safe if you travel cautiously. However, we have come up with tips to assist your preparation process before flying off to this wonderful part of the world:
Be aware of current political situation. As mentioned, politics tend to be a tricky part here. Although, most of the protests are safe as people only seek to vocalize their thoughts, requesting for change, we don’t encourage you to participate. This is because there have been, although a few, records of unexpected events where foreigners were involved against their will and used as targets to pressure local authorities and obtain international attention. Therefore, keeping yourself up to date to local circumstances prior to your flight is nothing but a smart idea. This information also helps you identify spots you should avoid at times.
Stay safe on the road. Make sure to wear helmets and utilize the seat-belts. If you have experienced Southeast Asia before, you’d know that motorbikes will take you anywhere. It’s one of the most common forms of transportation and the cheapest too as they are easy to rent and speedier when it comes to Southeast Asia’s traffic madness. If you choose to go around on foot, make sure to wear sensible clothes; otherwise, the discomfort of being stared at will be imposed upon you (this is because in some Southeast Asian countries, people are not used to seeing too much skin).
Watch what you eat. We know that Southeast Asia is home to the world’s tastiest food and street food hunting is everyone’s favorite activity; however, spare a few seconds to observe what you’re eating. The adventurous ones may want to try the viral fried insects on stick, but let us tell you, most of the locals do not eat them. What insects, how they were cooked and whether the method of cooking was completely hygienic remain unknown. Therefore, if you insist, you better have an exit plan thorough just in case. Tropic weathers do bring flies and insects, therefore for those with weaker stomach, make sure your food is newly cooked or at least properly reheated to avoid spending a part of your holidays suffering from food poisoning.
Minimize drinking. Party scene is huge and boozes are cheap here. However, cutting out on this splurged cost can help you save a lot of money for greater activities. Embrace the outdoor and sunny weather, and do make time for the temples—you will be surprised that these are as fun things to do as partying. Also, when you’re fully sober, the risk for robbery and pick-pocketing is reduced.
Take advantage of the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign. Hang it at your hotel door to avoid an anonymous coming in your room in your absence (most of the times, they are hotel housekeepers but you never know). If you’re staying at a hostel or backpacking accommodations make sure to buy a lock prior to your trip in order to secure your belonging in a shared space.
Most of these tips apply to wherever you travel to, not just Southeast Asia; therefore, have a pleasant and safe trip!