Keeping Safe in Asia

ASIA, LAND OF DIVERSITY

Asia is a beautiful and diverse place, from rain forests, rice fields, and cultural landmarks, to bustling cities, gridlock motor bike traffic, and relentless marketeers. But there are two sides to this intriguing land; Asia is also a place of terrible crime, violence and corruption. Travellers to Asia can take safety precautions and procedures to ensure you are kept safe.

CRIME PREVAILS

Most Asian countries are developing nations, where people on average have a much lower income than people from western countries. I was talking with a young 20 year old man that was waiting on us at a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He told me he worked 18 hours a day, 28 days per month, and he earned US$40 per month (US$1.40 per day). Although these people get by, living in these conditions can be very difficult, and turning to crime would be an attractive and almost irresistible option. Just a small amount of pick-pocketing and stealing could provide a lot more for their families.

TRAVELLERS ARE TARGETED

Most lower-middle class Asians will see foreigners as very wealthy people. In their minds, if you can afford to travel here, you are rich. Criminals will know that you will be carrying valuable items and cash, and you could be targeted as a potential victim. My friend and I were walking to the park near our hotel in Ho Chi Minh. He was taking photos with a very expensive camera and kept it loosely around his neck with a strap. Thankfully, before anything happened, a concerned local who could speak very good English told us that we should be extremely careful if we were to have the camera out, especially at night time. We returned the camera to the hotel room before returning to the park.

AUTHORITIES ARE OF LITTLE USE

If you are a victim of a crime in the developing Asian countries, there is not much help provided. In fact, the police can be just as corrupt as the criminals. While in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, I was visiting an Australian who lives there permanently. She had just bought a car and was giving it a test run. She saw some locals drive down the wrong direction of a one way street and decided to do the same. Immediately she was stopped by the police. According to protocol, she was to go to the police station and receive a US$25 fine for breaking the road rules. She waved a US$10 note to the policeman, he took it, returned to his car, and let her go about her business. The police in Cambodia rely on bribes and corruption to provide food for their families, as the wages they get do not go very far.

HOW TO BE SAFE

No-one likes to be a victim of crime, so here are techniques to be safe while travelling in Asia.
1. Do not keep valuables lying around in hotel rooms. Hotel cleaning staff earn a lowly wage, and although they may be nice and honest people, don’t tempt them. A good idea is to lock your luggage zippers with a padlock when leaving possessions alone in hotel rooms.

2. Do not keep valuables loosely hanging on your body. Cameras and belt bag straps can be slit with a small knife very quickly, and by the time you have figured it out, your items are gone. Use a slim, poly-cotton money belt, strapped inside of your clothes, around your body. They are very thin, almost invisible under clothes, and inaccessible by shifty pick-pockets.

3. If possible, wear your backpack at the front. This is not so important if you are in a group, but when alone or in a pair, this is a good idea. An acquaintance was sharing with me his experiences in Cambodia. A foreign woman with a bag on her back was riding on the back of a moto (motorbike taxi service) when a man (who was on foot) grabbed her pack as she was riding by. The woman stubbornly held on to her pack and came off the back of the moto. Although she got to keep her possessions, she was covered with cuts and grazes from the fall.

4. Travel in numbers. A good rule is to have at least two people going everywhere you go, ESPECIALLY at night time. When we were in Cambodia we made it a rule to walk in pairs, even throughout the day. I know this can be difficult for people that travel alone, may be you could find a group from your country that is going to the same country that you want to go to.
http://www.asiaexplored.com An up and coming website dedicated to travel in Asia.

Route Across Asia

You know, sometimes I can read your mind. If I tell you to get on a trip from St. Petersburg in Russia across the whole Asia and ending up in Bali, I am sure you are thinking: “I want to get on this trip”. So here it is a few words of what this amazing offer is about and maybe I tempt you to discover more about this route across Asia!

Many times we have heard about the train that runs across Russia into Mongolia. The Trans Siberian. I have personally never taken this experience but anytime I hear about it there is something that shakes in my stomach. Even if it is just a train, the whole story about crossing Siberia sounds by itself like an adventure.

Get your flights to Europe, take a connection to St. Petersburg, and you are at the edge of beginning the route across Asia, probably the dream trip of your life. You will run across the vast Russian landscapes in a guided tour offered by an adventure travel company, entering then Mongolia with the enormous impact between Western and Eastern cultures. Visiting many cities in Mongolia, including its capital, you will continue your journey into China, Beijing, the Great Wall, down into central cities and towns, back to the business world across Hong Kong, and then turning left to explore the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. After exploring these amazing cultures into real paradise, the trip will follow down to Malaysia, crossing and visiting the state of Singapore and finally entering Indonesia to end at the eastern part of it, in Bali.

The way this company prepares this trips in in a group of between 1 and 16 persons, with an expert guide for each country, and using several means of transport, many times local transport in order to make you feel the real life of these lands. No luxury should be expected, but if you love to be in deep contact with other cultures and experience life in it’s primitive sense, then this trip is for you. Staying at local guest-houses and cottages will be normal, although some good quality hotels have been included in the route. Some meals will be included with the price, which is probably the most astonishing feature of the trip. You could get all this for only 5000 Euros (US$7750).

Having experience in this market, I must lower my head and admire with respect these great guys who are able to place a guided 103 days adventure for this price. The only thing I can say is that I won’t miss this trip, and tell you guys that if you have the money and the time to do it, don’t think it twice. It “has” to be good, just because of how it looks when you draw the lines in the map!

Touring Asia and Making the Most of Your Travels

Asia has so much to offer to those who choose to visit. There are many elements of Asian culture that truly intrigue people all over the world. Asia embraces a unique way of life and brings a whole new perspective to the table as far as everyday life is concerned. One can truly learn a lot by exploring different areas of Asia. From China to Japan, to Indonesia, each Asian country embraces a one-of-a-kind appeal that no other country can quite compare to. Unique clothing like the kimono, historical sights such as the Great Wall of China, and religions such as Buddhism are just some of the factors that make Asia into a wonderful place to visit, learn about and explore.

When travelling becomes increasingly important in your life and you have more time to spend exploring the world, Asia is one of the best places to choose. For children and adults alike, Asia can bring a lot to the table and open your eyes to cultural differences and lifestyle choices that differ immensely from those that we have grown accustomed to. Broadening your perspective on Asian culture is extremely interesting and appealing, on a number of different levels. If you are planning to pack your bags and embark on an Asian journey, you will want to be sure to make the most of your trip by documenting it with photos and videos, but you will want to go above and beyond to ensure that you are making the very most of your trip.

If you are going to be spending time in Asia, it would be a fantastic choice to make the most of it with the help of one of the Asia escorted tours that are available these days. Asia escorted tours are ideal in making sure that you do not miss a thing when it comes to exploring new territory. We all know that Asia is a large continent, flooded with knowledge and beauty. There are so many famous sights to see, but there are also hidden treasures that only an experienced tour guide could familiarize you with. Asia escorted tours are effective in making sure that even the most sacred treasures of Asia are revealed.

Whether you are a college student majoring in Asian studies, or an executive who travels to Asia regularly for international business matters, there are a number of influential and valuable things to be learned through Asia escorted tours. There is nothing quite like the refreshing feeling of travelling to a beautiful place, rich with culture and history.