If you’ve ever come to SE Asia, you’ll be wow’ed by many things: the food, the beaches, the weather, the holes… The what? Yeah, the holes.
There are a lot of holes in SE Asia. And I’m not talking tiny holes, these are holes you can fall in. Of course in developing countries, this is understandable. But as one who is used to walking without paying attention to what is fully in front of him (a bad habit of mine as I tend to look around a lot), I must tell you to not do this in SE Asia.
For the most part, it’s best to simply have constant vigilance as the ground can frequently be hidden with booby traps. In other words, don’t just watch out for holes, you should also watch out for weaken structures. I stay away from grates, and anything that doesn’t look
100% solid. It’s not paranoia. I swear.
I actually know someone who fell into a hole. Yeah that sounds funny (if it happened in a cartoon), but this guy broke his foot and had to cut his travels short. Coincidently, this was actually when I was in Laos when I had fractured my foot. We were both limping our way back home.
From my observations, the worst “holey” countries were Indonesia and Laos, but all countries (including Malaysia) have a hole lot of them. Another thing to be aware of is that many of these countries aren’t built for pedestrians. Sometimes the sidewalk just ends. This can leave you stranded in awkward islands or sections of the road.
An example is when I had to walk through a tunnel without a sidewalk in Malaysia. And when I say walk, I mean run my a$$ off. The tunnel wasn’t long and it was the only way through, but it’s not very assuring knowing that you have little room to flee. Lastly, be aware that every country has a different “crossing the street” culture. In Vietnam, it’s generally okay to walk out into the city streets and things will move around you (remember my FB traffic analysis video). In other countries, that is not necessarily the case.
So in conclusion, if you come to SE Asia, please watch your step.