"How to backpack safely in Asia"
Last updated on March 02, 2013
All information below is subject to change
Here's a guide to SAFE backpacking for beginners!
The goal of this article is to prepare you as early as possible, and make you aware of possible hazards.
It's generally safe to go backpacking in Asia, whether you're traveling solo or with friends. Just use the same common sense and follow your gut feeling as you would have done in your home country.
There are millions of backpackers and tourists traveling around Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia and East Asia.
The odds that you might get involved in something dangerous are minimal.
Some Asian countries are poorer than others.
Remember: No matter how small your budget is, you're still rich compared to the locals.
Just because you're not at home, doesn't mean there are no risks. Anything can happen to anybody, either they are cautious or not ... The trick is to find a safe way to get out of it.
Don't leave it hanging over the back of your chair, or lying at your feet. Make sure you carry it so you have the bag in front of you and within your eye reach.
The food and drinks in Asia are in general safe, especially in the tourist areas. Only go to places where there are crowds, whether it's restaurants or food stalls.
For more money and document safety tips, click here (opens in a new window)
Sit down, relax and don't panic. Look out for landmarks and the position of the sun to orientate yourself. Don't start moving until you work out where you are.
If you get lost, this is the time to pull out the note with the address to the guesthouse.
Call your embassy as soon as possible, if you get arrested or get in trouble with the police. The embassy will send a representantive, and offer advice on how to obtain legal assistance.
Remember that your country's consular services apply when you get arrested abroad. It's stated under the Vienna Convention on Consular Services (1963), which is accepted standard for all member countries.
This means that you have access to consular representative. Immediately request the local authorities to contact the consular representative in that country.
However, the embassy will have little sympathy if you're caught trafficking or possessing drugs.
It's always difficult to prove that you didn't try to smuggle the drugs that was hidden in YOUR bag. If you were the police, wouldn't you automatically think that you're guilty? (And be honest when answering)
If someone you know goes missing in foreign territory, please contact your local police station.
They will co-operate with the relevant foreign police. The embassies can't trace missing persons.
A tip is to register your travel to your embassy when you arrive in a new country. If you're an American traveling in Thailand, seek the US embassy in Bangkok.
Registration is usually free, easy to do and you can register online.
So spending a couple of minutes to register, is kind of a life "insurance."
How can you prepare yourself for backpacking in Asia?
This safety article is a taste of what you can expect in one of my ebooks, "Ticket to safe backpacking." This ebook details everything concerning backpacking safety and how to avoid scams while traveling.
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