What are some problems in Thailand

If the Southeast Asia trip doesn't go smoothly: 10 problems & 10 solutions

Things cannot always go smoothly when traveling. Diseases or Rip off Almost every Southeast Asia traveler has already experienced it. With a little preparation, you might be able to get around one or the other problem, but sometimes there is just a lot of bad luck involved.

Illnesses, rip-offs, accidents: scenarios that can spoil your trip to Southeast Asia

Today we're going to introduce you to 10 scenarios or cases that can go wrong on your journey. Problems or even horror scenarios that could well occur. This article is intended for you of course don't panic or prevent you from traveling, but rather prepare for potential problems.

A few things have already happened to us and even if there is not always a one-size-fits-all solution, in some cases you can prevent or help yourself. In general, however, it helps if you look for the most important travel information about the destination country in advance. They give you a good overview of recommended vaccinations, travel regulations and valuable tips for your stay.

1. Lost luggage


The first problem can ruin the first few days of your trip, luckily, depending on the airline, it happens relatively rarely. I also had the pleasure of a flight to Jakarta. After a long flight you are standing at the baggage carousel and are happy to take the next taxi to your hotel right away. But your suitcase, backpack or travel bag is not there. Baggage gone ?!


No panic. The first thing you should do is take a look around. Just because the suitcase isn't on the now empty baggage carousel doesn't mean it's lost. Sometimes, if the immigration takes a little longer (e.g. at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok), bags that have not been picked up are not picked up by the airport staff next to the baggage carousel set up to make way for the next flight.

If your luggage is not there either, you should go to the Lost & Found Office of the airport or your airline, where you report your loss and describe your baggage as detailed as possible. Usually it should be after 1-3 days reappear.

Of course, the airline will cover the costs of getting you to your current travel destination. Until then, depending on the airline, you have one flat ratethat you can spend per day without luggage, e.g. to buy new clothes or cosmetics (please keep your receipts). But do some research with your airline before you shop too much.

You can find more detailed information on this topic in our article on baggage loss during a flight.

2. Gastrointestinal problems


It can happen quickly, especially in tropical regions: You have eaten or drunk the wrong thing and shortly afterwards you have gastrointestinal problems. This can range from mild diarrhea to severe stomach cramps. Gastrointestinal problems can quickly ruin your vacation, as you often have to suffer from them for several days.


As with many diseases, the simplest solution is clear prevention. Basically, however, we can say that the many Asian food stalls, markets and other sales stands are much more hygienic than you might think. Tobi and I can count our gastrointestinal illnesses on just one hand in over 4 ½ years of traveling and living in Southeast Asia.

Wash your hands often, do not drink tap water, be careful with ice cream, salads, raw vegetables as well as fish and seafood, protect your immune system. Often times Ice cubes warned, the truth is that most food stalls use ice cubes made from drinking water. At least that's the way it is in Thailand. The fact that ice cubes are made from tap water is often a myth, as the shop owners in Thailand buy the ice cubes pre-packaged and do not make them themselves. Exceptions are of course always possible. We ourselves almost only eat where the locals eat and use ice in our drink every time. So far we have never had problems with ice cubes - never!

By the way, as a little bit of information: According to an article by Süddeutsche, travelers' diarrhea occurs more frequently in higher-class than in middle-class hotels. Does this also apply to restaurants and cookshops?

Of course, it's also important to have a good one First aid kit with diarrhea medication to have with you. We always take ourselves Charcoal tablets that you can buy in every pharmacy in this country. Otherwise you can also find medicine in every tourist place in Southeast Asia, whether in supermarkets, pharmacies or in 7-Elevens or other convenience stores.

3. Dengue and Malaria


dengue fever is unfortunately represented throughout Southeast Asia. The fever is caused, among other things, by the diurnal Tiger mosquito and the disease can in extreme cases incapacitate you for several weeks or at least weaken you for weeks. Also the life-threatening illness malaria occurs in some parts of Southeast Asia. It is also transmitted by mosquitoes.


Again, prevention applies here: It's best to let yourself cook do not bite from mosquitoes. To put it simply, it is unfortunately not always that easy on the go. Especially in jungle-like and humid areas, there are a lot of mosquitos to fight against protect carefully should.

Wear as light, long and light-colored clothing. Dark colors are more likely to attract mosquitoes. Of course you should always have a good one Mosquito repellent Instruct. You don't necessarily need to bring this with you from Germany, because you can buy mosquito repellent everywhere on site.

Accommodation with air conditioning is much safer against mosquitoes than rooms with a fan, where the window is often left open. However, most of the fan rooms have already been installed Mosquito nets and you don't need to take them with you on a trip. 90% of the time you won't need them.

You should suddenly Signs of the flu see a doctor straight away for an examination. It could be both dengue and malaria. Even if it might just be the flu, you can never be too careful. The Medical expenses, which you have to pay in advance in all countries in Southeast Asia, will be reimbursed by your insurance company after the trip.

4. Other diseases


In addition to dengue and malaria, there are a number of other diseases in Southeast Asian countries. You should be aware that you must be vaccinated against the most important diseases before traveling (consult a tropical medicine). A refresher of the standard vaccinations is mandatory, as is the specific information about the travel destination. This is also mandatory in highly frequented countries such as Thailand, as infections with contagious diseases can occur there too. But I would like to go into one of these diseases in particular: rabiestransmitted by street dogs and wild monkeys.


You can get vaccinated against rabies - but you don't have to. Tobi and I have been vaccinated against it ourselves, but we also know travelers who do not want to know anything about a rabies vaccination. The vaccination does not protect you from a bite either Doctor visit.

In Southeast Asia are common Street dogs on the way, especially in Thailand we meet a lot of dogs. In the Muslim countries like Indonesia (with the exception of Bali) or Malaysia, on the other hand, you will see significantly fewer street dogs if you pay attention. Even if there are a few aggressive dogs, most of the four-legged friends we have met are absolutely loving and trusting - sometimes even rather fearful. No trace of rabies. The best example are probably the “7-Eleven dogs” known in Thailand. Nevertheless, you should always be careful when petting dogs and approach them slowly.

Also Monkeys can transmit rabies or other diseases. As cute as the monkeys are e.g. in Bali or Lombok's Monkey Forest, on Koh Phi Phis Monkey Beach or in the jungle of Malaysia. Never forget that these are wild animals whose behavior and expression are absolutely different from ours. A “laughing” monkey is anything but friendly or in a good mood. A monkey bite can be painful and bad, but luckily in most cases it is harmless. Nevertheless, you should see a doctor immediately - just like after a dog bite.

5. Rip off


Tourist rip-offs exist all over the world. In Southeast Asia, too, the list of rip-offs is very long and some of them are admittedly very creative. From the classics like seemingly cheap tuk-tuk tours, “Buddha Day” at Bangkok's Royal Palace, taxi rip-offs and supposedly damaged rental scooters, there are a number of other scams that are much less obvious.


There is no blanket solution against rip-offs here. However, as everywhere in the world, you should always be with you on your Southeast Asia trip common sense act. Don't trust anyone too much, especially when there's money involved, but don't be overly dismissive or overly cautious either. Ask at Prices If possible, always ask other travelers or locals beforehand and inform yourself in advance. You can also exchange ideas with other travelers, be it in advance online or on site.

You can find a list of the most common scams in Southeast Asia here. Of course not all of them are by a long way.

Should you notice that you have just been ripped off anyway do not be upset too much and just keep enjoying the time. You can't undo it anyway and get the positive out of it because you've just learned something. Make the most of it and warn other travelers and backpackers - that's all you can do.

6. Road accidents


Road accidents happen all over the world, but the number of fatal road accidents is much higher, especially in countries such as Thailand. Mostly are the victims Scooter driver. The reasons are different, but novice drivers often make mistakes because they do not know the traffic or do not have their scooter properly under control. In addition, alcohol is often involved.


Of course, you don't want to risk an accident, so you should ask yourself the following questions before renting a scooter: “Can I really drive a scooter safely and am I aware of the traffic situation?”. This basically applies to all countries in Southeast Asia.

That you have a valid Driver's license have and always ride with a helmet needs no further explanation. Even if the truth of the matter is that most rental companies won't ask you for a driver's license, that doesn't mean you can just drive off like that. In our article on renting a scooter in Thailand, we will show you what you should pay attention to in Thailand, for example.

There is scooter riding in Asia many factorsthat you should be aware of. In addition to a driver's license and helmet, this also includes proactive driving, no alcohol and, above all, do not race and do not overestimate yourself! We often see backpackers renting a scooter and thinking it's a little travel adventure - they have never been on two wheels before. There is happily racing, overtaking and honking. Often enough, such an adventure race will end in the hospital.

Of course, it can also happen that you have no control over a possible accident yourself. It is therefore important to drive with foresight, to always be attentive, to always observe the traffic situation and, in case of doubt, to always give way to larger vehicles (note, in most Asian countries have the right of way Traffic rules hardly matter). Always pay attention to the Roadside. It has happened to me myself that suddenly a confused dog ran out onto the street and almost got into my scooter. Unfortunately, even years of driving experience don't help with something like this.

7. Money Problems


A scenario that nobody wants (especially on a long-term trip): suddenly no more money to have. This can happen, for example, if you are the victim of theft or fraud, are mugged or have simply wasted your money haphazardly.


We always recommend you to begin with enough money to have on your credit card. It is also advisable to have a 2. Credit card to have enough cover with you in case the first one is lost or stolen. In the event of a loss, you should definitely have your bank number ready so that it can be blocked immediately. Always be careful when withdrawing amounts at the ATM multiple times, otherwise your bank may remove the credit card for security reasons locks. You should also let the bank know before you travel so that they know that you are withdrawing money yourself abroad and that they may not be misused.

In addition to credit cards, we always recommend something Cash to have 100-200 euros or US dollars with you and always keep it for emergencies. Such important documents and amounts of money belong naturally not in luggage - that goes without saying.

Plan for your trip Daily budget one that you do not exceed if possible and always keep an eye on the budget. In a pinch, you can even take notes so you always know how much you've spent.

If the worst case occurs and you really don't have any more money, let your parents or relatives send you an email Western Union etc. Send money (which you may have left with them beforehand even for such cases). Even if the fees are immense, in an emergency you have the money ready immediately and can pick it up at many Western Union branches or 7-Elevens.

8. Crime


There is crime in every country, including Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. Assaults or thefts can happen anywhere - regardless of whether you are just a little negligent or just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


thefts In fact, luggage does happen every now and then in Asia, especially in coaches or hostels. As already mentioned in point 7, you should always carry cash and important documents with you and never store them in your luggage. The same applies to technology such as camera, laptop, GoPro, etc. If you have a hotel room with a safe, you should always keep everything there - although safes are never really 100% secure either.

In some places in Southeast Asia there are the so-called "Snatch Thieves". A motorcyclist and an accomplice sitting in the back look for victims who openly reveal their cell phone, camera or handbag or who do not hold them properly. If the victim doesn't suspect anything, they come from behind and tear the object out of his hand and then flee at full speed. Apparently the situation in Vietnam or the Philippines is particularly bad - but to be honest, we never really felt unsafe in Ho Chi Minh City, for example. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention and never carry your technical items towards the street.

9. Terrorism


Unfortunately, terrorism has become a topic that you will probably think about before or during your trip these days. There have been a number of terrorist attacks in Southeast Asia in recent years, including Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.


There is no solution to terrorism unless you lock yourself in and don't leave home. But you want to travel and see something of the world. Even if nothing helps if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, terrorism should never stop you from traveling. Even if you're always with common sense should act, being overly cautious or even fearful is certainly not the solution. The world is just too beautiful for that.

There are quite a few areas with an increased risk of terrorism, including Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani in deepest southern Thailand or Zamboanga, Mindanao and other places in the Philippines. But even on Bali or Koh Samui you are never 100% safe, just like in Berlin, London or Paris. But would you never visit European cities again because of that? To be honest: I now feel safer in many places in Southeast Asia than in some major European cities.

Nevertheless, it is never wrong to find out more before traveling to Southeast Asia, e.g. on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

10. Visa


A problem that many long-term travelers and backpackers have: They overstay their visa and often don't even notice it. When you leave the country, you get into trouble. Depending on how long you have overdrawn your visa, the so-called Overstay get pretty expensive. In extreme cases - depending on the country - even harsher penalties cannot be ruled out.


Always keep an eye on your visa and plan ahead! It even starts at the border control by having your passport to be on the safe side check your stamp. Even a border guard can make a mistake.

If the departure date is correct, make a note of it. Also note that in some countries the visa is valid for 30 or 60 days no 1 or 2 months! Sometimes that is 31 or 61-62 days and so you would have at least one day of overstay. In Thailand that would already cost you 500 baht and it gets particularly tricky if you want to return to the country later. In severe cases of overstays, you could be refused re-entry.

If you want to leave a small island and take a long-haul flight the next day or just have to leave the country, then it may even make sense a day buffer allow. Storms can occur, especially in the rainy season, which bring boat traffic to a standstill. This has already happened on the Gili Islands, for example.

Also at Visa extensions you always have to pay attention to holidays. It has happened that travelers to Indonesia have overdrawn their visas because the immigration offices were closed during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Of course, that was by no means all the problems that can arise on a trip to Southeast Asia. What has happened to you and how did you solve it?

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Moin, I am Marcel! Blogger, author, web & graphic designer and digital nomad. I prefer to travel through Southeast Asia and discover beautiful beaches and delicious food there. My home base is Koh Phangan, Thailand. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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