Travelling to Asia? With half the world to explore, there's a lifetime of adventure just waiting for you.
Draw a circle around the section of the globe that contains India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia and you have more than half the people on the planet.
Now imagine the diversity of what you can experience there.
The spirituality of major religions. The majesty of the highest peaks. The glittering gaudiness of extreme wealth and the opposite: the desperation of abject poverty. And the realization that while circumstances may be different, people are the same the world over.
If you’re wondering if you’ll need a licence to ride a motorbike or scooter the answer is Yes. Ideally, you should have one from home (best paired with an international driver's permit) or you can get one when arriving at your destination, and it has to be for the class of vehicle you're intending to hire. You’ll also need to wear a helmet. Injury from a motorcycle accident is one of the most common claims received by insurers. If you suffer serious injuries, and you need medical evacuation, the cost could run to $100,000 or more. Many countries in South East Asia – especially Thailand - require you to wear a helmet while driving. We highly recommend you wear a helmet when riding motorbikes even where it’s not required by law to wear one, unless you want to come back with an exciting head scar story to tell your friends about. If you end up in a motorbike or scooter accident we may offer cover for emergency medical expenses for treatment at the hospital or by a doctor; evacuation to a suitable medical facility if it’s urgent, medically necessary and if you’re fit to travel; and repatriation home if you’re seriously ill or injured and unable to continue your trip.
Eating a number of tasty Asian dishes is a must when travelling however it’s also one of the most common causes for claims. The best advice is don't eat anything that's been sitting around, even for a short while. Fresh is best, so insist on the food being freshly cooked. Always wash your hands before eating and avoid tap water if possible. More than ever, seek medical advice early before your next trip to allow enough time for shots or preventive medicines you may need. Such as tetanus and typhoid vaccines. You should also buy a strong mosquito repellent, as this can help protect you from dengue fever and malaria. Our assistance team can support you 24/7 if it’s a really serious injury or illness and can help find the nearest doctor to get you help. In some extreme cases the team can arrange for an emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital or if required medical repatriation back home. With our travel insurance, you can make a claim for these medical expenses (less any excess, which may apply), even if you’re still traveling.
The best rule to go by is to employ common sense. Don’t leave your bag or valuables unattended or unzipped. Put your wallet away after purchases. Ride by bag snatchers are a thing in some Asian countries, you’ll need to be vigilant and the best advice is to leave documents, passport and credit cards in your hotel safe or a locker if available. Do NOT try to hang onto the bag if it’s grabbed. If there’s nothing of value in your bag, it’ll be easier to let the thieves have it and avoid a confrontation. Trains are the safest option out of a number of public transport options in Asia, however if you’re travelling overnight you should take extra measures to secure your valuables while you snooze, take padlocks, bike chains, cable ties, or whatever you prefer to secure your bags. Whether you are travelling on a bus, train or ferry our tip is to not stow anything of value in the luggage compartment. On some bus services, the driver will stop to let an accomplice into the luggage area beneath the bus while the passengers are asleep and take your bags before you know it.
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“A motorcycle came from behind me and stopped next to me, so I stopped walking. Two people wearing helmets were on the motorcycle. The driver was gesturing although I didn't know why, I didn't hear him/her say anything. I felt a slight pull on my bag and on my backpack strap, and then the motorcycle rode away out of sight. The motorcycle passenger had taken my bag. The strap of the bag must have been cut. I couldn't see a license plate. I continued to my hotel and reported the theft to the police the next day.”
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