The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

5 travel tips from WoWasis on avoiding getting robbed overseas

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jul• 04•11

Cities like Bangkok are genearally safe, provided you excercise a modicum of security

Compared to most Western countries, we here at WoWasis feel Asia is pretty safe. Most travelers can go just about anywhere, any time, and not have to be constantly looking over their shoulders. Nevertheless, travelers not practicing basic security measures are leaving themselves open to the occasional theft. So here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you’re not a victim of crime: 

1) Look cheap. Theft is a crime of opportunity, and you want to look less like a target than the person walking ahead of or behind you, especially in crowded streets, sidewalks, and marketplaces. If you insist on traveling with gold jewelry, keep it in your hotel’s safe. WoWasis has recommendations for a cheap watch, cheap but effective money belt, and a cheap phone, so take a look at those links. 

2) If you carry a shoulder bag, drape it over your shoulder and carry the bag on your opposite hip. Snatchers on foot or on motorbikes will usually avoid snatching a bag if it looks like the person carrying it will come along with it. 

3) Use clothes with zippered pockets. In general, we’re not believers in carrying purses in crowded areas (see above). Choose instead shirts and pants with zippered pockets, or at the very least, buttoned pockets. We have our tailor in Bangkok make us pants with two hidden front zippered pockets with lock-down zippers, and two rear ones that zip under a button-down flap. We’ve never been pickpocketed. 

4) Attach your phone to a lanyard, then loop it around your belt. This prevents you from it being pickpocketed or accidentally falling out of your pocket while exiting a taxi. 

5) If traveling with a laptop, notebook, or pad computer, lock it with a cable lock to something in your hotel room. Hotel thieves don’t commonly carry cable-cutters. 

Taking these precautions will make your trip more enjoyable, and ensure that thieves will seek an easier target than you. For more on traveling security, read these WoWasis articles on additional security ideas: 

Tips for Women Travelers to Asia  

6 Tips to avoid being drugged & robbed Thai street women   

4 rules for western women who want to socialize in Bangkok

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