6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, travel, blog
6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, travel, blog
6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, travel, blog
6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, travel, blog
6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, travel, blog
Destinations Latest Post Southeast Asia Travel Advise

6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia!

By on 25. September 2017

There are at least 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia and if you don’t follow them, you might cause yourself some problems. This part of the world is very different in many ways compared to the western world and you should definitely know what to watch out for. Some of the things are common sense and some depend on what kind of character you have.



If you start by following the mentioned 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia, you will cover about 75% of major issues, that people have on this continent. Southeast Asia is very special and you have to behave differently in order to live smoothly and enjoy your travels.

6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia

Dont be shy

The first part of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia is more of a characteristical one. A big part of travelling is having fun and living life to the fullest while you are on the go. Being shy is not very helpful in this case. Especially in Southeast Asia you can have a blast, if you are open minded and outgoing. Locals and other backpackers are way more attracted to you, if you come up and talk to them. Staying in your own corner all the time will not bring you any further.

Always be open minded – Rule Nr 1

Being introverted is definitely not a bad thing, but sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone while you travel in order to make experiences you will never forget. A local, that I met in Mui Ne while I travelled through Vietnam, once told me a Vietnemese saying – „open heart, open mind“.

Open heart, open mind

This is such a simple quote, but it is so true and it can be adapted to many situations on a journey through Southeast Asia.

Avoid shabby restaurants

The second point of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia is just common sense in my opinion. Street food vendors and restaurants are generally a good place to go to. But you have to be a little careful in Southeast Asia, because the hygenical standards are sometimes not as good as in western countries. This is why you should avoid shabby restaurants. You don’t want food poisoning. Trust me! 😉

6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia – Shabby restaurants

Rather eat street food, because it’s fresh and cheap. Don’t stop for a bite to eat at restaurants, which are almost empty. Your best option is always eat at restaurants where the locals eat. They know where to go. The places they prefer are always cheap and the quality is very good.




Watch out for scams

Don’t forget the third one of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia. As bad as this might sound, but tourists and travellers are a great target for scammers. This happens everywhere in the world, but especially in Southeast Asia it’s completely normal for lots of locals, who work in the tourism industry.

Watch out for scams while you are on the road

It can happen to you in many different situations. For example at scooter rentals, where the vehicles are incorectly prepared or at currency exchange companies, which give you a completely wrong amount of money.

A lot of times taxi drivers take the wrong way to get more money from you or they pretend not to speak good English, so that they can say that they did not understand you.

There is a lot more to watch out for. So, be aware.

Always watch out a little – Especially with tours to paradisaic places

Avoid dark alleys at night

The 4th point of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia is very important, especially for women. It doesn’t matter, if you are alone or with a friend. Try to avoid dark alleys at night.

6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia – Dark allys – Rather stay at places like this one

I once have been approached by a couple Indonesians in Bali while walking back to my hostel at night after a party. They did not stop asking me, if I want to use their Tuk Tuk to get home. I denied a couple times until they got angry and tried to start a fight. Luckily I could ran into a bar and stayed there for about an hour until the situation calmed down.

Sunset in Bali – Close to the spot where I got in trouble for no reason

This can happen to you at any time. I am not saying this to scare anyone. It’s just to tell the truth. Especially in poorer regions this can happen to anyone, even, if you are „Bruce Lee“ 😉

Never hand out original documents

Make sure to keep the 5th rule of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia in mind. This is really important. Never ever give your original documents to anyone in Southeast Asia, except to the staff at the airport or to the police. If any person, who works in the tourist indurstry, wants to have your passport or something similar, just give them a copy.

Always keep your original documents save

Because, once you have given them what they want, they can use it against you to get money from you.

You have got to watch out for your valuables – Even in paradise

I gave my passport to a motorcycle rental once. The motorbike they gave me was prepared to break down. When I told them that it had a problem, they did not want to give me back my passport until I payed them. I ended up getting my passport back and not paying any money, because I negotiated something else, but it is a good example why you should only hand out copies.




Never accept the prices

The prior point leads me straight to the last one of the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia. Never except any price or situation in Southeast Asia, which is not in your favour. Always negotiate. Everyone in this region, especially in poorer places, is open for negotiations.

6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia – Accepting prices

It almost seems like the locals want to negotiate with you, because the first price you get anywhere will always be way to high. They offer their products for western prices, which is your chance to negotiate and get a way better price.

Always negotiate – Especially for tours and accommodation

I always recommend to retaliate with 1/5 of the offered price. Some people might get angry and others might not talk to you anymore. But, because you could easily go somewhere else to buy the same products, they will come back at you with a way lower price.

If they don’t, just walk away and they will most likely run after you. And if that does also not happen, then just buy somewhere else… 😉



Want to know more about Bali? Read here



What could also interest you:





Subscribe to the Newsletter

* indicates required



Christian "Volle" Vollmert
Hamburg, Germany

My name is Christian "Volle" Vollmert. I am a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. I want to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus I really want to show how much personal development as a human being comes along with it!

Check this out

Follow my journey
  • Driving along the east coast of Vietnam with a motorcycle is probably one of the coolest things you can do all over Southeast Asia... 😍😎
Would you agree when you see these kind of views??? .
#vietnam #roadtrips
  • One of the most amazing moments I have had in my life so far 😍
Seeing the rice terraces of Batad in Banaue 🌱
A UNESCO World Heritage site to simply fall in love with 💚
TELL ME: What was the best travel destination you have ever been to?
#travelgoals #travelmoments
  • Loving the streets of Copenhagen. One of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to! 😍🌍
🔽➡New Video on YouTube about the trip to Copenhagen - LINK IN BIO! ⬅🔼
#copenhagen #cityphotography
  • Whereever your path might take you,  always remember where you come from... 💙💪
#lovemycity #hometown
  • Sometimes you just gotta breave in and soak up all your beautiful surroundings 🙏
Especially, if you only have one day to spend at a new place! 😉
🔽➡ New blog post - how to spend 24h in Copenhagen. LINK IN BIO!!! ⬅🔼
#traveldenmark #denmark
  • Traveling really teaches you a lot of things
Especially when you are away for a longer term. But also short trips like my recent one to Copenhagen always help me to remember some lessons and show me some new ones
Traveling teaches you about other cultures, nature, other people, politics, human behaviors and ultimately about yourself
But just like anything in life, the great learnings don't just happen all of a sudden. You need to keep moving forward in order to get smarter and better at whatever you do
And if you want to become a better version yourself and learn as much as you can, then you have to work hard on your behaviour and always stay open minded
At the end of the day it's all about putting one foot in front of the other. Just never stop learning. And if you need a good teacher, start travelling as much as you can. Even if it's just for a short trip to Copenhagen... 😉
#travellessons #learnfromtravel
  • I didn't know that Copenhagen has castles that can make you feel like you are in an old fairy tale... 😍🏰
#surprisesurprise #copenhagen
  • Wandering around the colourful streets of Copenhagen just proved me once again, that I will never get enough of exploring new destinations 🌍😍
I just love it
It's the best thing ever and I can't get enough it 😊
It is just the best thing to do. We are not designed to stay in one place all the time to do the same boring things over and over again
We are made to go discover new places, see amazing spots we have never seen before and do things we have never done before
It's all about making as many days count as you possibly can❗
🔽 ➡ New post & video online. LINK IN BIO!! ⬅ 🔼
  • There is just nothing that can beat this, right? 😍🌴🌞
🔽➡ New blog post about the 6 things to avoid in Southeast Asia ⬅ 🔼
#philippines🇵🇭 #siquijor

Where to next