Travel Tips : Safety issues while traveling in South East Asia
|Photo borrowed from a Indian News site|
Travelling by boat over the sea to an island or over a river to another place is a fun and interesting way of travelling. Please bare in mind that is is not always safe, so check a bit yourself before boarding a boat. This also includes the use of Jet-Ski's and speed-boats.
Are the weather conditions safe to go by boat?
Are there not too much people on the boat?
Are there life-jackets on the boat?
Looks the boat "sea" worthy?
Flying is generally safe to do. Most airplanes and airports are up to international standards. Of course once and a while there are accidents, but not more as in other "developed" parts of the world. With helicopter flights, very small airplanes or hot-air balloons I would be a bit more careful to check the conditions of the weather, the airplane and the pilot. For para-sailing I would be also a bit more careful, to check the safety measures and the weather conditions.
By car, bus, motorbike, mini-van
Road condition generally vary from OK to good and very good. But due to weather road conditions can change from one day to another. And not only road conditions play a part in the safety of travelling over land. A big part of YOUR safety is in hands of the other users of the road and their way of handling traffic rules. In countries like Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are a lot of accidents on the roads, although with a little bit care YOU can partly avoid becoming a static. As it seems normal here to drive & drink, do NOT use transport that is driven by a driver of what you know he/she has been drinking. It is NOT normal, it is NOT safe!
Do NOT use mini-van's for distances longer as 50 km!
Do NOT use overnight busses!
Be very careful with chartered busses in the mountains!
Do NOT travel in or just after bad weather (rain or storm)!
Do NOT drink & drive!
In cars and busses : Always use your seat-belt!
With a motorbike : Always wear a helmet!
On a motorbike : Maximum 2 persons.
In Laos and Cambodia are no trains for transport of people, but in Thailand and Vietnam trains are a very common way of transport. And although there are derailments, most of them are minor and travelling by train is still a safe way of travelling.
Taxi's (car and motorbike)
It is generally safe to use them, but in the middle of the night I would not take a taxi if you are alone. Especially as woman. Do not travel with drunk drivers (what is not un-common). If you do not like or trust the driver, ask him to stop and take another taxi. When your taxi is driving too fast or behaves like Schuman please ask him to stop and take another taxi.