We don’t mean to scare you but Southeast Asia is a melting pot of cultures, races and lots of ‘other’ things. Southeast Asia comprises of eleven countries each one with impressive diversity in culture, religion and history. There may be a few things that can tempt you to try out when you are in the region, so here are a few advises that you must keep in mind in order to ensure minimal risk when you are traveling here:
Local street food is very popular in Southeast Asia and they surely do look very inviting. If you are someone not from this region, you may surely end up with a stomach bug leaving you with what is known as “traveller’s diarrhoea” is not something you really wish when you are on a trip. It may seem like a mild inconvenience but really, would you want to spend all that time in the public toilets? So what you can do is, drink water from bottled/sealed/branded bottles, eat hot, fresh food. It is ok to experiment but you know what agrees to you/your body so pay attention to it.
Southeast Asia is a region that is located near the Equator, so it goes without saying, you will be prone to sunburns. Beaches are very common in this region but sunburns are not common only while sun-bathing. The daily sun can also be bright and fierce on certain days when it doesn’t rain as much. So keep that sunscreen always handy, wear cotton clothes, if you are at the beach, and ensure you get some shade as well.
It is a well-known fact that the tropical region that Southeast Asia comes under is also home to a ton of mosquitoes. Dengue is a very common form of illness and of late, Zika has started making the rounds. So make sure you use mosquito repellents especially during the evenings, around the ankle area. You could also burn some mosquito coils, helps keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay. If possible, try to be fully-clothed to avoid them from finding you!
Poverty is an issue in Southeast Asia so there is lot of chance for purse-snatching, bag-snatching etc. in some countries and places in this region. While countries like Singapore are extremely safe, the others may not be so. Always exercise caution when carrying valuables. Be consciously aware of what or who is around you; keep minimal stuff with you when venturing out especially at night in lonely places. Your safety is in your hands. To save you from such a mess, you can always opt for travel insurance. One very good travel insurance that is home-grown and also one that covers quite a few countries is Tune Protect. It pays to be smart and get protected with travel insurance by Tune Protect.
What does Tune Protect help to cover?
The insurance is valid in 4 continents, viz; Africa Asia Australia and Europe. Some of the benefits of being insured before a trip include:
- Trip Cancellation
- Medical benefit
- Travel Inconvenience benefit
- Baggage benefit
- Travel delay benefit
- Repatriation of mortal remains in case of death
Continuing with point 4, because of poverty, you can also be victim of various scams. This has been seen to be more recurrent in regions of Vietnam which is popular among backpackers. Some scams include Motorbike rental scams where you may be ripped off for the rental since they would quote in USD rather than local currency. It is always better to take the help of a local tour guide in such cases.
Companies in Southeast Asia such as Tourplus help you hire a local tour guide who would ensure you get the best possible experience of the place you are visiting. Nothing can beat the experience of having a local take you around a place and explain everything about that place to you. No guide book can give you that sort of an experience. The guides on boarded by Tourplus are registered, verified and real. You can avoid group tours but still get the same experience. Not only that, you can get to know the secret food spots, local rituals, and first-hand local knowledge.
It is indeed a fact that a local guide has first-hand experience of everything – he/she can tell you things what no guide book or website can.
Tourplus.my is an excellent resource to hire perfect local guide even before you arrive in the region 🙂
Advice For Female Travellers
Difference in culture between the west and the Far East sometimes means that women travellers end up getting too much attention of the local men. It is often seen that in Asia/Southeast Asia, men (not all though) tend to make unwanted advances at fair-skinned female travellers. It is advisable to have your shoulders covered, long pants especially when visiting religious institutions in order to avoid controversy. Keep an eye out on what you drink – As a rule of thumb; do not accept drinks from strangers. It is always better to be careful, rather than being sorry later.
With this list, we hope you can avoid a few risks when travelling in Southeast Asia.
– by Hridya Ramani