Potential Dangers in Asia -
A political demonstration or an armed conflict is enough to make us rethink our choice of destination. This is a completely natural reaction because we don't know better.
But is the worrying really necessary?
Since 9/11, the issue of terrorism has been a pain in the ass for several governments, leaving travelers and tourists with the wish of a safe travel destination.
And even before 9/11, armed conflicts have existed in Asia; the conflict in Kashmir in Northern India, the violent riots in Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines, and the list is long.
Crimes, wars and terrorism will always exist, no matter how much we fight it. Wars and riots have existed since the first man on Earth.
So the question is:
How should you handle them if encountered? Other questions that will be answered here is: What are the potential dangers in Asia? Should you worry about terrorism in Asia?
Theft and robbery exist everywhere in the world, even in your home country. But the tendency is that these crimes are committed at a more regular basis in countries with high unemployment. When people are in a financial crisis, and can't see any other way to solve it, many of them go to extreme measures: theft, robbery and begging.
Like, Cambodia is the second poorest country in Southeast Asia (measured in GDP per capita), and is accompanied by Laos, which is also considered as one of the poorest countries in the region.
When I traveled in Cambodia, I couldn't help but notice that there were a lot more beggars in this country, than say, Thailand. Cambodia is a poor country, and its malnutrition rates are also among the highest in Southeast Asia, often resulting in beggars. The beggars are often children under 5 years.
Tips when you meet beggars:
Poor families send their children to do the dirty job. If the families see that the begging works, they will eventually take their children out of school. Why send them to school when they can earn money the "quick" way ?
Also remember that the money you give doesn't necessarily go to the beggars. It is reported that beggars are normally organized by criminals, so the beggars have to give the money to the criminals.
So how can you try to avoid theft and robbery?
I've already covered tips for how to avoid theft and robbery in another article. Welcome to safe backpacking for beginners!
Human trafficking is one of the world's oldest trades, and a growing criminal industry. It's a grave issue as terrorism, but yet it feels invisible. Trafficking appears to be happening behind doors, and it's extremely organized.
Human Trafficking Facts:
where men, women, children and families are trafficked from Laos, Cambodia, and Burma. They're coerced into prostitution, forced labor on fishing boats or sweat shops, and domestic slavery.
Many use labor recruitment agencies in the hope of migrating legally and safely. But when they arrive at the destination, they're exploited.
Worst case scenario when traveling abroad, is getting busted for transporting drugs over the border, and then imprisoned -- and it's even worse if you're actually innocent.
Hard drug facts:
If travelers have been "trafficking" drugs, and not just been in possession of it, this will lead to death penalty in for example Malaysia.
Other Asian countries, like Cambodia, don't execute death penalties for drug offenders. BUT the punishment is still harsh: it can vary from a couple of years to life imprisonment, depending on amount and type of narcotics.
Remember: Just because you have a status as a foreigner, doesn't mean you won't get punished
Real-life drug arrests of foreigners:
it doesn't matter how innocent they look. Be careful when you receive gifts from people abroad - it's easy to hide drugs in cosmetics, toys, souvenirs, bags, wallets etc.
Need more tips and information on conflicts, crimes and other essential safety issues related to backpacking in Asia?
You'll find a lot more info in this eBook. Read more about Ticket to Safe Backpacking
Here's an introduction to the insurgency, a little history and also pratical advice regarding traveling in the region.
Read about South Thailand Insurgency
Traveling to Northern India, and wonder about the safety in Kashmir region?
Here's a short summary of the conflict, what it's about and tips on how to be safe in Kashmir.
Read more about the Kashmir Conflict
What are the lastest attacks, allegedly called terror attacks, in India? What is terrorism?
And most importantly, how can you, as a traveler in India, try to avoid it?
I introduce you to terrorism in India
There has been a conflict between the Philippine government the Muslim Moros since the 1960s.
Here I give you an introduction to the conflict, and other Islamic groups in the south.
Welcome to Philippine Insurgency
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"Ticket to safe backpacking" guides you through safety must-knows for Southeast Asia and India. It's your step-by-step guide on how to avoid scams and how to travel safe whether you're traveling solo or with friends.
This book relieves you from your fears and insecurities, and puts your mind at ease. Brace yourself for new adventures in Asia - equipped with travel confidence and hands-on knowledge.
Find more about Ticket to Safe Backpacking here
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