11 Jun Backpacking travel advice for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, Australia and more
Foreign travel advice for British backpackers has been issued on the GOV.UK website for those travelling abroad.
The A-Z list is simple and easy to follow, providing key information for travellers, from safety and security advice to local laws and customs.
Here, we’ve taken a look at some of the more popular backpacking destinations and rounded up the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)t travel advice.
Those travelling to Thailand are given the following advice on crime:
“Be aware that posting images on social media of people drinking alcohol or wearing inappropriate clothing can result in fines and/or imprisonment both for the person who uploaded the images and the people in them.”
Important information on the likelihood of terrorist attacks also claims the following:
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. Bomb and grenade attacks have been indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should take care, particularly in public places, follow the advice of the local authorities and monitor local media reports.”
The government website also states that travel to places situated on the Thai-Malaysian border, including Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat should be avoided unless completely necessary.
Thailand is home to many popular tourist destinations for travellers, including the city of Bangkok, the stunning Phi Phi Islands and the Khao Yai National Park, among many others. You may want to consider some of these for your trip.
For those who may be travelling to Peru, some crucial advice for in the event of natural disasters:
“Peru is in an active earthquake zone and there are frequent tremors. If in a building when an earthquake strikes keep away from the windows and make your way to the safe zones marked in most buildings with an ‘S’ sign. If you are outside keep away from buildings and other areas where objects, like trees or power lines, could fall.”
Weather to expect while in the country may vary, as “the rainy season in Peru runs from November to April”.
The FCO says: “It can rain and snow heavily in the Andes and there have been occasions of torrential rains in some parts of the country.”
Activities to enhance your travelling experience may include the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but take note that this is a physically challenging hike, and may require some training in advance.
For travellers visiting Vietnam, the FCO has some invaluable health advice:
“Dengue fever is prevalent in the summer/wetter months. The majority of cases are in southern Vietnam, but there were higher than normal infections in Northern Vietnam, in particular Hanoi, in 2017 and sensible precautions taken throughout the country.
“You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”
There is little history of terrorism in Vietnam, although you should be aware of the ‘global risk’ of attacks which could occur in public areas.
Taking a trip to Sri Lanka? Here’s some advice on money you may find useful:
“You can’t exchange Scottish or Northern Irish bank notes in Sri Lanka. Travellers’ cheques aren’t normally accepted. Most major banks will allow Visa and Mastercard cash withdrawals.
“There are ATMs in major towns and cities but not all of them accept international cards.” Ensuring you have the money you need for your travel, and in the right form, is important, so you may want to spend time checking this before you go.”
There is a very high chance that terrorist attacks may occur in Sri Lanka, along with an increase in mob violence, the FCO says.
It is recommended that you “take sensible precautions, familiarise yourself with security procedures at your hotel or accommodation and follow the advice of local authorities and hotel security staff”.
You should also avoid crowded public areas and large gatherings, as these may be most at risk.
Weather is also generally unpredictable in the country, with a chance of severe weather such as monsoons and tropical cyclones. Advice is provided on what to do in the event of natural disasters, including where you can find support.
Most travel guides say that the south is more popular for tourism with its beach towns and hiking trails.
Travellers heading to Cambodia may need to know the following:
“Although most visits are trouble-free, the British Embassy continues to receive crime reports from British nationals. Most of these are bag snatchings, often by thieves riding past on motorbikes. Bag straps have been cut and bags snatched from those on foot and passengers in moving tuk-tuks and motorbikes, often causing injury.”
While there may a low chance of this happening to you during your visit, you might want to take extra care of your belongings, and carry them in a secure bag or holder.
Bag-snatching can generally happen in any destination, meaning you should always be cautious.
If you plan on travelling to New Zealand, another popular destination for backpackers, you need to be aware of some restrictions on what you may and may not bring with you on your travels:
“There are some restrictions on bringing medication into New Zealand. Visit the New Zealand Customs website for more information.
“If you arrive in New Zealand with any prescription medicines, you must declare it on your passenger arrival card.”
These restrictions effect anything from food and animals (including their products) to equipment such as camping gear, so you may wish to make a record of the items you are travelling with, in order to inform customs on your arrival.
The location of the country means that New Zealand is susceptible to earthquakes, along with a number of active volcanoes. In the event of a natural disaster, you are advised to follow the advice of the local authorities, which will most likely be displayed on some local signs.
If you enjoy bungee jumping, skiing and hiking, Queenstown may be first on your list of places to visit. If you are a keen photographer, you may wish to visit the Bay of Islands, a northern coastal area known for fishing and some historic sites.
Wherever you may be travelling this year, use the information provided by GOV.UK for your destination to make sure you are fully prepared.
The FCO describes Australia as a “vast country”, warning you should plan journeys carefully, particularly if you’re travelling to remote areas, bushwalking or going swimming.
There is a wider risk of tropical cyclones which occur, mainly in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia between November and April. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of local authorities.
Australia is prone to seasonal natural disasters including tropical cyclones, flash flooding, dust storms and bushfires.
Air travel tips and hacks
You will also need to get a visa before you travel.
Australia’s current national terrorism threat level is ‘probable’. The FCO says terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in the country.