Going on a RTW soon and am having last minute nerves. How safe is it to go off the beaten path in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillipines?
I am leaving in just under three weeks on a RTW with my seven year old daughter and the nerves are really setting in.
I think what triggered these nerves was I watched my little girl run into school today laughing and joking with a friend and it made me realise she\'s only going to be there another couple of weeks and then we\'ll be hitting the big open road.
I can\'t fit everything we need into my rucksack, a vaude cimone 55 + 8, and I am having nerves about our intended route.
Originally we planned to veer a little off the beaten tourist track, however I am getting nervous as I am not sure if that plan is so safe. My nerves may be blowing things out of proportion but how safe do you think we\'ll be going off the tourist trail in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillipines?
Hello Francesca 😊
You could check the following dangerpedia to see if there are danger issues in the countries you are going to.
I have a 7 year old daugher too. She has travelled with me a little and loves it. Travel light. Just take what fits in you rucksack and forget the rest. It is tiring enough watching a kid without also having to carry a huge rucksack. Your daugher will love Asia because people there love kids and give them lots of attention. Well at least they did in Thailand where I took my daughter a couple of times.
To balance out your nerves, just think that it will be a super experience for your daughter. I can't remember anything about primary school but memories of a trip to South Africa with my Dad when I was about that age will stay with me forever.
I haven't been to Asia but would imagine that in terms of risks, the tourist areas are actually a bit more prone to pickpockets etc.?
Growing up in Indonesia, I can guarantee you that the only hassles you and your daughter will experience in rural Indonesia are many curious staring, big smiles, people want to greet you and talk to you all the time, people want to ask you whether you like their hometown and laughing children shouting 'hello' to you.
If you had to learn a word in Indonesian, it would be 'bule' (boo-lay) - meaning pale (an affection slang term for 'caucasian', but nothing racist about it), since you will hear that so many times. Especially if you or daughter have blond hair. But either way, you will be an instant local celebrity and will have to decline most of the friendly invitations to have a meal or spending the night in local homes with families who want to make sure you're enjoying Indonesia.
By the way, 'Bali' is not rural Indonesia - I am talking about the beaten path of Sumatra, Java (NOT Jakarta) or Celebes.
Enjoy your RTW, I can't wait to start reading your blogs and see pictures.
Let me know if you have questions about Indonesia. :o)
Hi Francesca, there are places in this world where I would not necessarily take young ones (I have travelled with my much younger siblings), but I really do think that most of the places out there are going to be a wonderful experience for you. And the ones you've picked are not in that bad list of mine! I think juggling a young one and luggage in transit will be your biggest concern as thats when pickpockets and touts will seek you out.
Hassles from travelling to these places is more time related hassles (stuck on a road in a bus/van/old truck, for hours on end), then dangers. Just keep your wits and good humor about you and you will find that you'll get a good sense of the meanies out there. Also, as you will be a women with a young girl, you will find people everywhere, but particularly the women of that country, can be awesomely friendly and helpful. Halefg is right, you will be forever being invited to local homes, and if there is one you should feel comfortable with, I would think it would be a fabulous experience.
Have a great time! I wish my Mom had taken me on such an adventure when I was young. Maybe I wouldn't be so travel bug bitten now! (or maybe I still would!) She's a lucky kid!
it sure must be a nice thing to go on a road trip, the last one i took was while i was in college and that was something. you can always look back on such trips even years from now with nothing but fond memories.
My wife and I stopped of in Kuala Lumpur on our way out to NZ for 5 days and while there we went to an Elephant Sanctuary called KUALA GANDAH.
I think for you and your daughter it would be a very nice time as we saw several children who came with their parents.
A tour operator should be able to offer you the trip and once there you get to feed the little Baby Elephants who really like peanuts, then when feeding time comes for the big guys that's even more fun as they like fruit.
You can go for a ride on the back of the big elephants and also if you want go in the river and help wash them down.
The handler takes the elephant into the river with 2 or 3 people on their back, then on a command the elephant 'rolls' onto his side and everyone on his back gets dropped into the river, good fun.
We saw quite a few people in Kuala Lumpur from Western Europe but did not encounter any places for concern, and people were both helpful and friendly.
Hope all goes well for you and you and your daughter have a fabulous time.
I've been to a lot of places in the Philippines and I've seen lots of kids being brought by their parents.
Make sure though that you'd have things that would help distract your kids from the long travel (whether by air, land or sea)