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.
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. 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 but essential travel to most of Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016. Above all else it's 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 and cold weather in October 2018 once again has resulted in increased pollution levels returning to Delhi causing many health issues. Of the top 10 most polluted cities in the World, the majority are in India so the problem is not confined to Delhi and indeed Mumbai can be worse than Delhi. As with last year, the circulation of cash has caused a problem, the central bank may intervene again. Relations with Pakistan have deteriorated following a suicide attack in Kashmir in mid February 2019, which killed 40 security personnel. India blames Pakistan for harbouring militants. The situation escalalted on 26 & 27 February as Pakistan shot down an Indian jet in response to airstrikes on camps within Pakistan. Whilst tensions have abated relations between the two countries will remain strained, as they have for over half a century. India holds parliamentary elections from 11 April to 19 May 2019, some demonstrations are expected. Counting day is 23 May.
The country continues to be politically unstable and is beset with security issues. Elections were held on 25 July 2018, some violence occurred in the run up and the Imran Khan's PTI party has now formed a government. Most of the cities are safe to visit but care must be taken due to extremist elementist within the population, the latter who are generally very welcoming and frustrated by political and religious divides. Relations with India are very strained at the moment.
On Easter Monday 2019, a series of bombs exploded around the Sri Lanka capital Colombo killing over 290 people. A newly formed Islamist group called Sri Lankan Towheed Jammaat. Other devices have been found and a State of Emergency has been called and on 25 April the UK FCO upgraded its advice and now advices against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka. Should visitors decide to stay they are advised to check that their travel insurance will still be valid. The government reimposed night time curfews in mid May 2019 due to inner religious violence.
Both India & Sri Lanka are experiencing a significant rise in cases of Dengue Fever, caused by day-biting mosquitos. In November 2018 health officials reported an significant increase in Dengue Fever around the New Delhi area.
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 standards of food hygiene is generally poor. However, it's a highly rewarding country to visit and our favourite in SE Asia. In the last 8 years the country has geared up to tourism with many new hotels opening up. ATMs are now available and credit and debit cards are acceped in many hotels but its suggested to still bring some US$ in cash, 50 and 100 bills in prestine condition will get a better rate of exchange. Burma is in a active earthquake zone and is prone to tropical storms.
In Bangladesh there continues to be a threat from terrorism as well as constant political upheaval. Street protests are common and travellers should check the latest security situation before travelling. Due to its geographical location much of the country suffers from flooding, especailly during the monsoon season. Independence day is the 26 March.
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.
Political tensions between India and China are slightly elevated due to a border on shared northern boundary.
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Travellers, be they on business or for pleasure, will find the subcontinent a fascinating although an often tiring place to visit. We believe crime levels are significantly lower compared to Latin ...