It is extremely unlikely that you will have any trouble whilst in Asia, and crime rates in most Asian countries are far lower than in the west. However, travelling anywhere in the world always involves some potential risks, and when on holiday we all have the tendency to 'switch off' a little. There are a few simple tips that will go a long way to help ensure that you don't encounter any difficulties on your travels.
In the unlikely event that you do have an item stolen, or you are involved in a fracas of any sort, do not try and deal with the matter yourself. In Asia, crimes involving tourists are taken very seriously, and the police are by far the best solution. Don’t spoil the rest of your holiday or risk injury over a camera that can easily be replaced by your insurance company.
British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
For our UK customers we recommend you refer to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel
Aware web site for specific advice about your chosen destination.
The safety of our clients is paramount and as a matter of course we follow the advice of the FCO: it goes without saying that their first priority is the safety of British Citizens and they will always err on the side of caution. They have many thousands of employees all over the world whose job it is to monitor political, social and economic situations in the country in which they live. They feed back information and advice to the FCO, which in turn assesses the information and disseminates its recommendations via its Travel Aware service.
Many other governments have their own similar services, and we would always recommend that you refer to these before departing on your holiday.
- En route to Asia: do not mark your luggage with your home address and always carry any valuables in your hand luggage,
- Always keep your valuable items and travel documents in a hotel safe when one is available. At times you will be leaving destinations early in the morning, it is important to clear any safes before departure - you do not want to be hundreds of miles up the coast before you realise you have left your passport behind.
- Keep your cameras and expensive items out of view when walking busy streets. Try to carry just one bag - if you find yourself in a crowd, keep it securely in your hands and in front of you. This proves a lot harder to do when you are carrying several items.
- It is never wise to be seen to be carrying large sums of cash in your wallet or purse, especially when in a crowded market place. You should always split the cash you are carrying, leaving the bulk out of eyeshot.
- Expensive jewellery? Consider leaving it at home where it is much safer and you won’t be tempting fate. You will be surrounded by hundreds of interesting little trinkets to purchase if your wrist, neck or fingers are feeling naked!
- Do not leave your bags unattended. If you need to use the bathroom, take it with you; if you are having a dance take it with you; if you are going swimming…
- Do not offer to change money or to carry anything for a stranger.
- Be cautious if accepting a drink or food from a stranger.
- Do not carry or purchase offensive material or weapons.
- Steer well clear of drugs; you may on occasion encounter locals or tourists smoking marijuana, particularly at beach resorts frequented by backpackers. Drug use of any kind is illegal in all Asian countries, despite popular belief to the contrary.
- Stay on marked paths when outside of urban areas. Many countries have experienced turbulent times in relatively recent years and the risk from unexploded ordnance (UXO) is very real. The well-trodden paths are there for everyone’s safety.
- At each hotel, familiarise yourself with the fire exits and other safety requirements. If travelling with small children, look out for potential hazards e.g. unprotected open water, glass doors, balconies etc.