While Southeast Asia is an incredible place to visit and a country that is full of scenery and great experiences there are a few things that you may not have thought about, but most definitely should know, before setting out on your journey to one of the travel destinations found there. One very big factor to consider is the lack of plumbing and very possible contamination of the countries drinking water. We reached out to a fellow travel buddy who also is the owner of a reputable plumbing company to better understand the water contamination issue in Southeast Asia and the lack of what we deem as “normal’ plumbing facilities. Not only is the information we gathered from John beneficial for travel purposes it also can save many from getting incredibly ill and potentially endangering their life and health. Not to mention cutting your travel abroad short because of poor health.
Plumbing & Drinking Water Issues In Southeast Asia
- Open Defecation- An estimated 300 million people defecate in open areas because of the lack of proper plumbing facilities. Fecal matter and other contaminants from human waste eventually make their way into the groundwater and nearby rivers & streams contaminating clean water sources
- Lack of Sewage Treatment Plants- With the rapid growth of population and the lack of sewage treatment facilities or older facilities unable to handle all the waste, sewage disposal can not be handled properly and again finds its way into ponds, rivers, streams, etc.
- Leaking or Misplaced Pipes- often times sewage pipes and water pipes are next to each other and when old or faulty sewage lines leak the contaminants find their way into the neighboring water pipes which then affects drinking water quality.
- Fluoride & Arsenic Contamination- contaminated water is not only linked to sewage contamination but also chemical contamination. Fluoride, Arsenic, manganese, heavy metal, nitrate and iron contamination are all very real things when it comes comes to chemical contamination in drinking water found in many of the countries making up Southeast Asia and should be taken very seriously because of their effects on human health.
- Manufacturing & Processing Industries- Because of the lack of proper plumbing and disposal of industry waste and contaminants often times they are release into the environment and end up in different surrounding bodies of water. This all plays a huge part in the contamination of ground and drinking water
These are just some of the various reasons that water is unsafe to drink and swim in, in many places found throughout Southeast Asia. While many of us are used to the way of life and the plumbing and water systems found in the U.S. or other more developed countries, it is VERY important that you take into consideration not all countries are to those standards. Bottled drinking water is relatively cheap in Southeast Asia so always aim to have some on hand especially when hiking through the jungles and stay clear of bodies of water that you are unsure of. With any type of traveling on the horizon it is also important that you research and get to know as much as possible about the country or countires you are looking to visit. Having a better understanding of their ways, lifestyle and culture will better prepare you for your travels abroad and keep you safe and healthy while doing so.
You have decided on visiting and exploring Southeast Asia for your first adventure and you couldn’t have chosen a better place! Filled with beaches, cities, temples and jungles to be explored you will have no shortage of adventures! But what are a few things you need to know to not only have the best travel experience and trip possible, but to also stay safe while doing so? We have a list of advice and guidelines to follow to make sure your trip is the best it can be!
Southeast Asia Travel Tips
- Choose your cities- While you may be ready to explore multiple cities on your trip to Southeast Asia we suggest you study a map and choose either one city you can leave no stone left unturned in or a select few. Study a map and check travel distances and travel time. Even though Bali, Indonesia and Vietnam are all found in Southeast Asia they all are a LONG plane ride away from each other. To maximize your travel time and experiences have a plan and an idea of what you will have time to see and do before commiting and making travel arrangements in each city.
- Pack Lightly- You will probably be doing a lot of walking and traveling around with your luggage attached to you. So think of packing lightly and doing laundry on your trip verses packing a big ol suitcase and having a large load to carry. Think lightweight backpack and necessities. Trust us you will be glad you followed our advice.
- When Visiting Temples- Be aware that when visiting the historic temples of Southeast Asia you will need to have modest clothing to wear. Things that cover your shoulders and fall below the knees. You are in another country and respecting their practices especially while visiting one of their temples is respectful and proper etiquette.
- Health First- Check out required or suggested vaccinations before traveling and make sure you get them. Also make sure to pack a first aid kit and stomach medicines. The citizens of Southeast Asia may be accustomed other health concerns but why take a chance with your health and diseases. Plus you ant to stay as healthy as possible so that you may enjoy your trip!
- Learn To Bargain- You don’t want to be taken advantage of and you should not be afraid to bargain with street vendors etc. Being confident and able to bargain can help save you money and keep your funds going for your entire trip That being said it is best to wait until you arrive in Southeast Asia to exchange your money for the country’s currency. Exchange rates will less expensive than those in the U.S or at the airport. Also be aware that many smaller vendors and taxi services don’t accept credit cards so you will want to make sure you have cash on hand at all times.
These are just a few of our tips when planning your travels to Southeast Asia or anywhere in Asia for that matter. Being prepared will help result in a better trip and uncomfortable situations. Being prepared and safe are key items priorities when it comes to any type of travel! But remember to enjoy yourself and embrace the country that you are visiting always respecting the land that you are exploring and their customs.
Hello All!! East Asia is probably one of the most beautiful places to travel to and explore. With so many sights to see, incredible jungles, historic temples & landmarks, cities and beautiful beaches to visit there isn’t a shortage of things to do and be explored. We have brought to life our site to share travel and safety tips while on your east Asia adventures and to provide a little insight into the beautiful country of Asia. Whether it’s your first trip or you’re returning for new experiences and memories we hope you find our site knowledgeable and helpful while planning and executing your travels! We wish you the best and may all your travels be great experiences you will forever cherish!