So, you finally booked your ticket for your Asian dream vacation and you’re all excited, as Asia is one of the world’s most popular destinations, and particularly friendly to travelers and expats. However, it is still very different in many ways, and you’ll need to do some preparation before you go. You also have to be responsible about your decisions while there and make sure that you don’t put yourself in danger unnecessarily. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips for mindful travel in Asia.
4 Tips for Responsible and Mindful Travel in Asia
Make Sure You Have the Proper Health Coverage
While the healthcare system in places like Thailand and China often rivals the best hospitals in America, you have to be careful. Don’t expect to get the same level of care in Chinese public
hospitals that you would back home or in non-public establishments. And don’t expect travel insurance to cover everything. We strongly suggest you consider investing in a real Chinese insurance plan before you leave if you’re thinking of staying there for a while. Services like China Expat Health will help you get effective medical insurance in China for expats by allowing you to compare between various insurers. You’ll be able to find the best insurance policy for you based on coverage, premiums, and needs.
Watch Out for Scams
Some parts of Asia are very poor, even in places that seem to be booming. The real issue is the immense gap in wealth in certain areas. This leads to people often resorting to desperate measures
to feed themselves or their kids. Not only that, but as an expat, you’ll be walking with a huge target on your back wherever you go. So, it would be wise that you search online for some of the most
common scams in the place you’re going before you leave. Also, ask advice from others who went to the same place.
Be Careful with Those that ask for Help
Some people just can’t help themselves but give to those in need, especially children. But the issue with this is that panhandling is often a lifestyle in some countries, and the child to whom you’re giving money or gifts might not even benefit from them. In many cases, all of these will go back to a ring leader and the child will be left with nothing or scraps. So, if you truly want to help, you should consider donating to an NGO in the country. Make sure you do your research too. Not all NGOs are the same, but there are many who are making a real difference.
Watch Where and What You Eat
Street food is a big thing in Asia and some people travel there for the street food only – but watch where you eat. If you ask most people who have been to Asia, the majority will tell you that they
were sick at one point or another on their trip. Some foods might be too much of a shock to your system, and not everyone will be as rigorous when it comes to food safety. China, for instance, has a great street food culture, but some vendors will engage in questionable practices. For example, oil will often be reused way past the point it should be. So, if you’re going to indulge, it would be wise to ask the people at the hotel or hostel you’re staying at for recommendations. Also, look at how much activity the stall you’re thinking of going to is getting. The busiest spots will have more product turnover, so you have more chances of getting something fresh. Asia is a wonderful continent, and a place that begs to be discovered. However, you have to make sure that you travel responsibly and arm yourself with a nice dose of caution and common sense.