Indian Sub Continent 20th September 2017

Travellers, be they on business or for pleasure, will find the sub continent a fascinating although an often tiring place to visit. We believe crime levels are significantly lower compared to Latin America although the risk from road traffic accidents is greater, driving in India has to be seen to be believed at times. Myanmar (Burma) has really opened up to both business and tourism although many areas outside the central belt are still off limits due to regional conflicts. Aung San Suu Kyri NLD party won the November 2015 election and the country first democratically elected government was sworn in at the end of March 2016. The Rakhine province has seen significant unrest and at the beginning of September 2017 over 100,000 Rohingya muslims  are reported to have fled to Bangladesh in response to attacks by the Burmese army. The standard of food hygiene is poor. However its a highly rewarding country to visit and our favourite in SE Asia. Northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh have been hit but very heavy monsoon rains in August & September 2017 resulting in many deaths and a huge amount of flooding damage.

Terrorism remains an ongoing problem in some areas of India, the threat stems from Islamist terrorism Pakistan and an increase of Maoists attacks against the police and army. However travellers are not the target and therefore the risk is incidental - wrong place, wrong time. Most of the country is safe but all travellers are urged to spend time researching the situation. Maoist activity in the past have been restricted to the NW but is spreading. Red 24 advise against all non-essential travel to the rural and remote areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa states in eastern India. Jammu & Kashmir had opened up to tourism in 2013 but since mid 2015 has been beset by increase strikes and general unrest and attacks by the security forces on Kashmir separatists has resulted in a worsening security situation. The FCO is now advising against all travel to most of Jammu and Kashmir and in September 2016 the security situation worsened with deaths following clashes with the security forces. Whilst concerns over security are of a concern in some parts, its worth remembering that approx 275 people die in India every day from road traffic accidents - that is the greatest threat to travellers. Smog is causing health problems in Delhi and other major cities.  A car restriction plan is starting in Delhi in Jan 2016.

In November 2016 high level of pollution have been recorded again in Delhi and other big cities. The smog is likely to last for most of the winter but will vary depending on weather conditions.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a significant rise in cases of Dengue Fever, caused by day biting mosquitos.  The country experienced very heavy flooding in mid May 2017. 

Nepal experienced a very powerful earthquake on 26 April 2015 which killed over 5,000 and has caused extensive damage in the Kathamndu & Pohkara areas, the country will take years to fully recover. The monsoon rains of August 2017 have caused extensive flooding.

Political tensions between India and China are slightly elevated due to a border on shared northern boundary. 

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