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The Safest You've Felt In Any Country?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by amelia88, May 3, 2016.

  1. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I posted that in this subforum because I would say the safest I've felt anywhere I've traveled to was Japan. So safe, that I could literally leave my bag on a table in a Starbucks, go to the counter and order my drink, come back and nobody would touch any of my stuff.

    I've also had friends visit Japan who said they left things like iPads and so forth on the train and got off without realizing. Once they got off the train they notified the train attendant at the station, and lo and behold it had been turned in. Isn't that wonderful? I know even in my home country if you did that you'd never be seeing your iPad again (at least, in most cases, I'd say!)

    What about you? Where's the safest you've felt in all of your travels thus far?
     
    Valerie likes this.
  2. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member

    I have to agree with you on how safe Japan is. It is the only country where you can lose your wallet and have it returned to you -- money and all 99% of the time. I say 99% because there are those villainous pickpockets that do indeed run off with your stuff, though the chances of that happening is exceedingly slim.

    Police are always out patrolling, and with strict laws about what you can carry with you, even gangsters are hard-pressed for weapons. Japan is also the only country where I've ever felt comfortable moving around the back alleys. America and Mexico? Not so much.
     
  3. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I would also agree that Japan is one of the safest countries I've been in. I certainly feel a lot safer here than I did in America or Hong Kong/China.

    Japan is known for having a low crime rate... but I think it's still wise to be cautious. I heard somewhere that they have a low crime rate because people don't bother to report the crimes. Some people are violated or they have their items stolen and they just forget it and call it a bad day. And of course, there's also the people who like to grope on trains... most of those cases are left unsolved because it's impossible to catch the gropers. So even though Japan is considered a "safe" country, I'm still alert to the things around me and I try to stay clear of anything or anyone I deem suspicious.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    It's really ironic because when I travel in my own country, I am always alert particularly with my handbag or wallet and any other belongings when I am out in the streets. But when I go to Hongkong or Singapore, I don't feel any threat and I feel so comfortable in the mall even if there is a big crowd. The presence of criminals did not enter my mind when I am in those places unlike when I am here that I am always on the lookout for bad elements.

    By the way, Singapore's slogan is that it is the cleanest, greenest and safest country.. in Asia and maybe in the world.
     
  5. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Saying it is the only country where that happens might be stretching it a bit too far. There are still other places too where honesty is highly valued.

    Is it a custom in Japan or place your phone on a table at a bar / restaurant to show that the table is taken if you leave for a short while? (like bathroom, ordering something etc) Or is that just a story? Or maybe I'm confusing it with another country?
     
  6. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    You should be careful in Hong Kong XD Especially if you are in popular places like Mong Kok. There are a lot of thieves there. I always wear my backpack in front when I go to Mong Kok so I know if someone is trying to take my stuff.

    I don't think so. Most restaurants will have a waiter/waitress sit you down... you don't go looking for your own table so there's no need to leave your belongings at a table to save a seat. That said, I've left my stuff at tables before to get up and get water and no one's ever taken my stuff.
     
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    I agree to that. What I meant with Hongkong is our usual haunt. We always stay in the condo of my nephew in Tung Chung, a classy area that is near the Disneyland and airport. But in Mongkok, it is like downtown Manila with all the vendors and the crooks, maybe. But fortunately we haven't experienced any incident in Mongkok because we seldom go there. And if you mean a backpack is at risk that's why you wear it in front, I guess it is just like being in Manila during rush hours.
     
  8. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I've definitely heard about that side of things too. People told me before visiting Japan to be careful on the super sardine-packed trains, because it wasn't uncommon for people to attempt to grope you - and pretend like they didn't - in the middle of a rush hour train. It never happened to me, thankfully, but it certainly is a little worrisome that people would have that happen and wouldn't report it :(

    I think like you said it's absolutely important to be aware of your surroundings - that's great advice for anywhere you travel to, or even when we are at home in our own countries!
     
  9. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Ohh the UAE is another great example of really really low crime rates, especially when it comes to smaller things like pickpocketing. The locals don't need to do it, the tourists going there aren't exactly the poorest of the poor either and the attractive salary + large punishments for foreign workers (mainly from India, Philippines etc) work wonders.

    You could leave your watch, wallet, phone, credit cards etc on a chair and go for a swim in a pool, go get a drink etc. It would all be there when you got back.
     
  10. sararas

    sararas Member

    Japan! I wish I had that chance to visit. My sister and friends just visited the place last month. Unfortunately, I was unable to come with them this time. In any case, it's good to know that you guys felt safe while visiting the place. I think I could say the same thing to Seoul in South Korea. I was amazed at how people just leave stuff on tables without worry that things will be gone when they return.
    Anyhow, if I measure 'safety' on the criteria that nothing bad had happened to me while traveling to places (lost wallet/valuables, etc.), I guess I could say that HK, Singapore, BKK, Ho Chi Minh, Cambodia are also pretty safe places.
    In my own country, a lot would say that Manila is also a dangerous place. If you come to accept this for a fact (maybe it is/maybe it isn't), then I'd probably be afraid to go there. For a time, I accepted that fact, too. So, just early this year I challenged that thought and traveled solo to Manila and see if I can navigate the city on my own. I took public transportation, etc. Luckily, in the two instances that I visited Manila this year - nothing bad has happened to me. All the stories I heard that Manila is a scary place to travel alone, was erased by my own experiences early this year. Of course, I didn't dare leave my bags unattended, haha!
    Nevertheless, what I'm saying is let's be careful to label a place safe or dangerous as they can possibly hinder tourism to flourish. It's best for people to judge for themselves.
    The important thing, wherever people go the possibility of something bad happening to them is there. So, it's just a matter of taking your common sense with you when you travel. Be very careful. Pay attention to your surroundings. Do the very things that you think will keep you safe.
     
  11. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    I figured I would make a list of the countries where I felt safe when I was travelling to them. Here's the countries that made my top three:
    • Singapore. The crime rate in Singapore is very low. Even if we were travelling in different places in Singapore during the night, I felt safe and secured. I think it has to do with the country's strict reinforcement of the laws and harsh punishments for anyone disobeying the law. And for me, it's great that people here are this disciplined. It's definitely one of the reasons why I recommend Singapore to all my relatives and friends whenever they ask about which country to visit first.
    • Japan. Walking around at night after shopping or going to a concert, you won't have that reader fear when roaming around Japan's streets. Just like Singapore, it has a very low crime rate and it's 11th in the Global Safety Rank.
    • South Korea. Although North Korea is just there in the border, you don't need to worry because it's highly secured. I think the very active night life is part of it, you won't be as lost since you are with lots of people during the night. Aside from that, the government is very strict on gun laws and reinforce them as well.
    Of course, low crime rate doesn't mean that it doesn't have its fair share of crimes. But it's a good indication about a country's safety for tourists.
     
  12. krnd

    krnd New Member

    I would say the safest country I've lived in has to be South Korea, by a long shot! there is no better feeling than walking outside at 4AM and knowing you will get home without a problem.

    I am a little biased as I am moving there permanently due to my wife being Korean native but I will try to elaborate some.

    There are a few of important things that I believe contribute to this amount of safety:

    - CCTV everywhere.. no really, there's hardly any place without CCTV in Korea, especially on the big cities where you would expect low level crimes to be more common.
    - Quality of life in Korea is pretty high, their costs aren't high (maybe one of the highest in Asia though) compared to the rest of the world, and they're usually FORCED to prepare academically so that they may get a job that will provide them enough money.
    - Drug use is a big deal and you will go to jail for something as small as having residues of weed in your body.

    Now, SK isn't necessarily a heaven-on-earth but it sure is a place where you can raise your children safely as well as enjoy night activities without having to look at the clock, unless you've got work to do the next day, which as a South Korean resident you will have a LOT of.
     
  13. I have been in United Kingdom and out of all places I ever travelled or/and lived I believe it was safest for me.

    However, reading this thread made me find out something that I would have never taken very seriously if someone would bring it up in a conversation (up until now anyways); the fact that Japan is so safe.
    Initially I found it hard to believe. Never thought that Japan would be that safe.

    Wow.. I am impressed now.
     
  14. 13lucake2

    13lucake2 New Member

    Personally the safest I have felt in any country is Japan. It is a country I grew up in and I can honestly say I never even thought of anything ever being unsafe. The most criminal event that happened with any frequency was the theft of umbrellas and sometimes bicycles. But, even with bicycles it is often the case that the person who "stole" the bike actually just needed to be somewhere quickly and that person will bring the bike back with an apology note. I also felt very safe at night in Japan even in unlit areas. I have traveled to a great many other places around the world but Japan overall seems the most safe. I would also recommend Korea as a safe destination in the area.
     
  15. GemmaRowlands

    GemmaRowlands New Member

    Actually, I agree that being in Japan feels very safe indeed. I remember going to New York and I just didn't feel safe at all. I felt as though everybody who I passed could be a potential threat, and this is something that it took a good few days to get over while I was there. I am hoping to plan a trip back as soon as possible, and at least this time I know what it will be like when I get there.
     
  16. maxen57

    maxen57 Member

    The Japanese pride themselves in their work and I love that they are honest, hard working and very polite. They are world famous for their discipline in whatever they do. Japan is also one of my destinations to work at. They are always hiring nurses and caregivers to help care for the country's growing number of seniors. If I get the chance to go their and be accepted for work, I'll be able to see first hand how they go on about in their daily lives.
     
  17. tgthewriter1

    tgthewriter1 New Member

    The safest I felt was in United States. I felt safe because you can call the police on people. In some countries, you can not always call the police. That’s a scary feeling when you have to get mugged. Your running for your life and it helps to have someone to call for help. People say the police are bad but the police are what’s keeping people from doing bad things.
     
  18. christine

    christine New Member

    It's a toss between UAE and Singapore for me, although I would be partial to UAE because I enjoyed my 30-day stay there without worries. It also has more sights and attractions to offer than Singapore besides the usual jaw dropping sales in electronics and grocery items.

    I haven't been to Japan though and I do hope they will be more lenient with visa requirements for tourists.
     
    Corzhens likes this.
  19. I have only been in three countries so far, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. I visited Singapore frequently as a child and young man. However, it has been decades since I stepped on the island so I cannot say anything about its safety. My best comparison would be between Malaysia and Thailand. Between these two countries, I feel a whole lot safer in Thailand. I used to live in the Deep South where flying bullets and exploding bombs don't raise many eyebrows. Yet I feel safe in Thailand. Why? For one, the police presence is very evident. There are police boxes at every junction and crossroad. All the police are equipped with walkie talkies. The police also patrol the streets all the time on motorcycles. There are usually two of them at a time, with one driving and the other facing the other way round, looking to the back. Looks odd but it works because the police can see both ways. In short, I would not be more than 100 meters from the nearest policeman if I need one. On top of that, most places have CCTV and a lot of people have walkie talkies. I can walk on a deserted backlane at 3am and not feel in danger. The flying bullets and exploding bombs? Oh, just don't go and be a busybody when there are flying bullets and exploding bombs.
     
  20. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    As far as I know, Dubai is pretty safe. However, I'm only talking about the area designed for tourists. Outside that place there is no guarantee for your safety.
     
  21. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    With your choice, mine would be Singapore as per my previous comment with their slogan of safest, cleanest and greenest. Coincidentally, we have a trip to Singapore by the end of this month of October for a short vacation as what we usually do every year. But I am dreaming of going to Dubai someday just to see their snow house and the Burj Al Arab building by the sea. And from what I heard, Dubai has good shopping malls with good prices especially for jewelry.
     
  22. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Singapore was definitely up there with safety for me, too. Second only to Japan, really! I also loved just how clean it was in Singapore, too!
     
  23. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    I get that same feeling from New York. I've been there a few times and I still feel unsafe there. It's probably not as dangerous as I'm thinking, but I just can't get out of that mentality.
     
  24. Ava

    Ava Member

    I've not actually felt unsafe anywhere, but I have put myself in some situations that weren't that sensible. I feel safe when I know where I am headed and generally I plan where to go and how to get back to where I need to be. Italy is fairly safe and I traveled by myself most of the time.

    Wherever you are in the world, it's not safe to go out at night alone, nor is it safe to go into areas that have been threatened. I was on Nepal once when there were riots, but I was already there before they began. Another time I was in Bali and Lombok had riots so I was unable to go there too. You have to use your common sense to stay safe.
     
  25. I suppose wherever we travel we should err on the side of caution. There's no reason to go looking for trouble. After all, we are there as visitors. We are not journalists looking for scoops. I remember that when I was living in the Deep South of Thailand, there was a time when bombs were exploding all over the place very often. That didn't deter the tourists from Malaysia at all.

    Before the bombings, they would go out at night, bar hopping. After the bombing started, they would still come but they would stay in their hotels. Many hotels have all the amenities they wanted. Without leaving the hotel building, they can go to a restaurant, have a haircut, have a massage, sing in the karaoke and be happy without endangering their lives.
     
  26. Miya

    Miya Active Member

    Yeah, in the end, no matter how 'safe' a country is, there are always going to be potential threats. You just have to be cautious and don't do anything that will put yourself at a risk. Even though I live in Japan and it's relatively safe here, I don't let my guard down. There isn't a place that's 100% safe so just be smart and you'll be fine.
     
  27. reverserewind

    reverserewind Member

    I felt super safe in Austraila. Except when going out to the beach. Sharks are still very active there and they may act unpredictable. I was super afraid of them even though there were no signs of them being close to the place where I did swimming.
     
  28. I wouldn't have any problems with sharks in the sea. That's simply because I don't like to swim in the sea. When I swim, I like to see what's in the water. So I only swim in swimming pools. I don't like to swim in rivers either. The flow of the water can be dangerous. It's great when swimming downstream. When you want to swim back upstream, you may have a problem.
     
  29. Corzhens

    Corzhens Active Member

    We understand that potential threat which is always present in anywhere you go. But our concern is our peace of mind, even if that is only a feeling that we are safe, it's enough for us than being in a place where we are always worrying. My husband once remarked that when we are abroad, he walks in the normal way even in crowded public places, be it the mall or in trains or buses. But here in our country, he walks with a continual tap of his hand on his back pocket to check if his wallet is still there. That's how paranoid he is when he is here but he never felt that way abroad. Even in Bangkok where our haunt is the street market, my husband felt comfortable with the crowd.
     
  30. Wallet in the back pocket? Oh, dear, that's just about one of the worst places to put a wallet. It doesn't have to be picked. It can just simply fall off when you sit down. I always carry my stuff in a small sling bag. And I carry my sling bag in front when I am in a crowd. I think this is the trend nowadays. I have seen many people doing the same thing.