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Lao Tzu once said: « A good traveler has no fixed plans and does not intend to arrive. » However, let’s be real. Lao Tzu did not have to deal with skyrocketing flight prices and the travel boom of 2023.
Travelers are planning bigger and more expensive trips than ever this year, and with good reason.
Multi-country adventures, wellness-focused activities and unique experiences are on everyone’s minds right now, so it’s no surprise that Asia has made a spectacular comeback this year.
According to recent data from Trip.com, longtime Asia-Pacific favorites like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong top the search lists for 2023. Hopper also reports that the top three most searched destinations for this summer are Shanghai, Taipei and Chiang Mai.
It’s safe to say that The Pacific is more popular than ever this year. So what’s the catch?
Well, many Asian destinations remain further outside the comfort zones of Western travelers than the distance traveled to get there. Oceans far from home, tourists wonder about cultural differences, unfamiliar etiquette, language barriers, and most of all, safety.
Now here’s the good news: Asia is home to some of the safest destinations in the world and should be the first choice for security-conscious adventurers this year.
We’ve compiled the safest destinations in the region, according to the Global Peace Index, Safe Cities Index, US Department of State, and local country-level crime statistics.
Here are the three safest tourist destinations in Asia this year:
Tokyo has two conflicting claims to fame: the most populous city in the world, and the city with one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Tokyo is the fifth safest city in the worldaccording The Economist‘s Safe Cities Index.
Japan is also the 10th safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. (For reference, the US ranks 129.) The US Department of State has given Japan its safest rating for travel, Level 1.
The statistics are impressive, but the social reality is even more impressive.
Tourists in Japan may be surprised at first when they see people leave their valuable belongings out in the open. It’s totally normal to find laptops unattended in trendy cafes, purses on park benches, and even phones on restaurant tables.
Travelers definitely don’t have to worry about pickpockets or petty theft while in Japan. In fact, even if you lose a wallet on your trip, it’s virtually guaranteed to be returned to a police station with all your cards and cash inside.
Theft is just not common here. So leave your money belt at home and enjoy one of the most fascinating countries in Asia.
Japanese culture’s strong national sense of collective responsibility and emphasis on harmonious order definitely play a role. partial role in its world-class security.
But more importantly, there is an obvious, if friendly, police presence in Japan.
TO Kobaneither « police box”, is a 24-hour miniature police station with a 130-year history of maintaining social order and security in Japan. They can usually be found every few blocks in Japanese cities, but they are especially common in front of train stations, tourist attractions, and residential areas.
Where you see an officer inside the nobodyYou can also feel protected knowing that your partner is around on foot or on a bike.
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Japan is one of the ten least violent countries in the world, with a murder rate of less than 0.25 per 100,000 inhabitants and a virtually gun-free society.
Under Japan’s strict social security regulations, it is nearly impossible to obtain weapons such as pistols, tasers, and even knives. (If you plan to buy some of Japan’s world-renowned kitchen knives on your trip, don’t worry. They’re allowed with a special tourist stamp.)
If you’re looking for proof of how thorough security is on the streets of Japan, take a look…below, to small children with brightly colored hats and backpacks. Locals in Japan often allow their children as young as 4 to ride to school or run errands unsupervised.
The social trust that parents have in Japanese society to keep their children safe should inspire confidence in even the most skeptical tourists.
For a trip that combines ancient Eastern traditions, modern city life, and tranquility, head to Japan.
You can feel at ease experiencing a taste of Asia through one of the safest and most exclusive destinations in the world, Singapore.
Singapore is the third safest city and the ninth safest country in the world (Singapore is a city, a nation and a state all rolled into one). Like Japan, Singapore is classified as a Tier 1 safe destination by the US Department of State.
You may have heard that it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore. could you No I’ve heard that drug and violent crimes often carry the death penalty or that having an unauthorized weapon means 10 years in prison and a literal beating.
Singapore laws are strict and meticulously enforced. People know that if you commit a crime, however small, you will be caught and sentenced. There’s no such thing as going easy here.
With such harsh laws and penalties, it’s no wonder no one thinks it’s worth swiping a tourist’s iPhone.
This legal system may seem radical to foreigners, but it has allowed Singapore to succeed in maintaining near-zero crime rates that protect locals and tourists alike.
Since Singaporeans have full faith in their legal system, they also do not hesitate to speak up when they see potential danger. Tourists can rely on help from the locals in the unlikely event of a sticky situation.
It’s almost statistically impossible to experience even minor theft on your trip to Singapore, let alone serious jeopardy.
The biggest threat you face in Garden City is probably overeating Singapore’s delicious array of global dishes. hawker centers.
In fact, the delicious fusion of Malay, Indian and Chinese flavors was life-changing enough to have prompted Anthony Bourdain to once ask: if the trade-off is a « utopian city-state » with food like this, « is it overrated? » freedom of expression?
For a safe Asian destination that combines pristine beaches, lush jungles, and fascinating cities, look no further than Malaysia.
Malaysia is the third safest country in Asia and one of the 20 safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. The US Department of State has also deemed Malaysia a Tier 1 safe destination.
The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is the sixth safest city in Asia. It maintains a higher ranking than most cities in the US and Europe and has recently seen a big investment pay off in its trending status with digital nomads.
With the exception of the eastern state of Sabah, far from major attractions and off the beaten track of most travelers, Malaysia is an exceptionally safe option in Southeast Asia. Tourists may be surprised to hear that it consistently ranks higher in safety than Thailand, both at the national and city levels.
Like its neighbor Singapore, Malaysia has fairly strict laws, especially related to violence, drugs, and indecency.
With a local proverb like « He who has learned to steal must learn to hang, » it’s no wonder tourists don’t have to worry too much about pickpockets here.
While often overshadowed by neighboring Singapore and Thailand, Malaysia has a lot to offer travelers, including tranquility.
Tourists can feel safe marveling at the stunning natural beauty of the world’s oldest rainforest, climbing into the world’s largest cave, or doing a bit of urban exploration around the world’s tallest twin towers. If that’s not enough, there are hundreds of tropical islands and countless dishes of nasi lemak to fuel your carefree Malaysian adventure.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com