Women Safety In Asia
Contrary to beliefs, Asia is one of the most comfortable places for women to visit.
Although women may not enjoy some privileges as men in certain countries, female travelers are usually welcomed with open arms.
As Asia is an extremely varied continent, attitudes and levels of safety will vary from place to place.
South East Asia is one of the safest and least threatening places to visit as a woman, whereas some women may feel uncomfortable traveling alone in South Asia as they may experience hassling from men.
Unfortunately, women are often regarded as lesser citizens due to social conservatism in South Asia and Central Asia.
Asia in a nutshell
Attend a yoga retreat or go surfing in Bali. Exploring the night markets of Taipei is like walking into a food lover's heaven. Explore Chiang Mai's cultural heritage and go on hiking tours. Be awed by the sky-scrappers in Singapore and be taken aback by the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City.
Getting around Asia
There are many budget airlines in South East Asia and South Asia that makes it possible for you to bounce around for little money. Air Asia and Jetstar are two of the most popular budget airlines in this region, and IndiGO is a popular low cost airline in India.
Buses are usually cheaper than flying, and there are many bus companies in South East Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. Within South East Asia, you can easily take a bus from Singapore to Malaysia or Thailand, and from Thailand to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos or Myannmar.
China has an extensive train system that services most of the country.
It is a challenge to find cheap flights in Central Asia, but buses, trains and shared taxis are cheap and common.
Digital Nomad Scene
Bali, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City are some of Asia's vibrant startup and digital nomad scenes with great coworking spaces and networking opportunities.
Indonesia: Tampons are not commonly found in Indonesia, except in Jakarta and Bali. Even then, they are difficult to find and often very pricey. The brand to look out for is called Tampax, and they cost around £5/USD12 for a box of 20 tampons. You can find tampons at CircleK stores. Birth control pills and morning-after pill are available at the chemist, but the selection varies and brands may be inconsistent.
Singapore: Tampons are readily available at grocery stores or drugstores. You will need to visit a clinic to get birth control pills or morning-after pills, and they usually cost around $35-40 for a bottle, lasting around a month.
Malaysia: In major urban cities such as KL, tampons (OB, Playtex) are available in some supermarkets and drugstores. The average price is RM32 for a box of 16 tampons. You can find birth control pills (Marvelon, Mercilon, Gynera etc) and morning-after pills (Postinor, Postinor-2) at drugstores with working pharmacists and from clinics. About 20-30 MYR (about $6-10 US) for a month's supply of birth control pills and about 4-5 MYR for 2 morning-after pills.
Thailand: Tampons without applicators (OB) are widely available and very cheap, and can be found at drugstores and supermarkets. Birth control pills and morning-after pills can be found in most of drugstore/phamacy/chemist.
China: Tampons (OB) with or without applicators can be found in big cities and cost around 90 rmb for a pack of 10 tampax light (with applicator). Birth control pills and morning-after pills are available over the counter at almost all drugstores. Ask for 避孕药 (bìyùnyào, oral contraceptives for birth control) or 事后避孕药 (shìhòu bìyùnyào, morning-after pills).
Vietnam: Tampons without applicators (mainly OB brand) are found mostly in big cities, but even then not in all urban supermarkets and pharmacies. Birth control pills (thuốc tránh thai) and morning-after pills (thuốc tránh thai khẩn cấp) can be bought from pharmacies and clinics.
Philippines: Tampons can be found at Rustan's, Watsons, S&R, SM groceries. Birth control pills can be found at public health centers and drug stores. Morning-after pills can be bought at Mercury Drugstore.
Korea: Tampons can be found at selected convenience stores and at large discount stores like Emart, Lotte Mart, Homeplus, and Costco. Tampons cost around 6-7 USD for a box of 18 tampons. Birth control pills are available over the counter and are cheap. Morning-after pills require a prescription from a clinic.
Cambodia: Tampons are very difficult to find, but check at major supermarkets in big cities and stock up if you find them! Birth control pills and morning-after pills (Pregnon) can be bought at pharmacies. It can be difficult to find progesterone-only pills.