Are you embarking on an Asia travel adventure and wondering about the safest countries in Asia? Look no further. This guide is tailored for first-time visitors seeking the security and serenity of their chosen destinations. Whether you are a solo traveler or simply looking for the safest countries in Asia to live temporarily, our list will get you covered.
1. How to decide the safest countries in Asia?
Crafted by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Global Peace Index (GPI) stands as the foremost gauge of worldwide tranquility. Encompassing 99.7% of the global population, the GPI utilizes 23 indicators from esteemed sources to evaluate peace across three domains: Societal Safety and Security, Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and Militarization.
In the latest rankings, Iceland maintains its standing as the most peaceful country in 2023, a position it has gracefully held since 2008. Joining Iceland at the pinnacle are Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and Austria. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, for the sixth consecutive year, holds the position as the least peaceful country, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Asia has no representative in the top five safest countries in the world, but fortunately Singapore proudly held the 6th position in the global index, while at the same time preserving its title as the most peaceful country in the region in 2023. Following Singapore as the next safest countries in Asia are Japan, Bhutan, and Malaysia. Conversely, the least safest countries in Asia this year are Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. When considering the safest and unsafest countries in Asia, these rankings offer valuable insights into the regional landscape of peace and security.
2. A complete travel guide to 12 of the safest countries in Asia in 2023
When it comes to the safest countries in Asia, Singapore proudly claims the top spot, as declared by the Global Peace Index. A captivating mosaic of cultures, this city-state secures its position as one of the best countries to visit in Asia year after year. Wander through the enchanting streets of Chinatown or immerse yourself in the vibrant hues of Little India; Singapore warmly welcomes travelers from all corners of the globe.
While maintaining its reputation for safety, Singapore does not compromise on natural beauty. Green spaces abound, catering to the preferences of every traveler. The culinary journey here is as diverse as the city itself, offering a spectrum from local street food to Michelin-starred delicacies. Whether you are basking in the tranquility of the Singapore Botanic Gardens or seeking a thrill on a night safari to observe nocturnal creatures, Singapore delivers an array of experiences that solidify its standing among the best countries to visit in Asia.
Securing the second spot on the Global Peace Index for the safest countries in Asia in 2023 is the beautiful land of Japan. Renowned for its warm hospitality and awe-inspiring experiences, Japan beckons as a top destination for Asia luxe travel. This archipelago boasts not only safety but also a rarity in petty crimes like pickpocketing.
In urban hubs such as bustling Tokyo, modern transportation, along with the helpfulness of English-speaking locals, ensures your journey is not only secure but also convenient. Whether you are indulging in Osaka's food markets, savoring conveyor belt sushi in Tokyo, or exploring the spiritual sanctuaries of Kyoto, Japan promises to enchant you with its safety and a touch of luxury for your adventures.
2.3. Bhutan - among the safest countries in Asia to travel alone
Bhutan closely trails the leaders on the Global Peace Index, securing an overall global ranking of 17 worldwide. Nestled between India and China, Bhutan shines as one of the safest countries in South Asia and Asia as a whole. Its safety is deeply rooted in a harmonious blend of spiritual traditions, a remarkably low crime rate, and a commitment to Gross National Happiness (GNH) index prioritization. The idea of peace is not just reflected in policies but ingrained in the daily lives of the Bhutanese people, who coexist in harmony with both nature and each other.
Must-visit highlights include the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the capital city of Thimphu, the lively Tsechu festival, and serene hikes through captivating landscapes. For the optimal experience in Bhutan, plan your visit during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), when the weather is ideal for trekking and the country comes alive with colorful festivals.
Despite not being the expected leader on the peace index, Malaysia has almost maintained its rank in safety over the years. When it comes to Southeast Asia travel, Malaysia stands out as one of the safest countries, promising an enriching adventure. Distinctively advanced yet more budget-friendly than its neighbor, Singapore, Malaysia beckons travelers with a myriad of experiences.
Capture breathtaking views from the pinnacle of the iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, indulge your taste buds in Penang with the nation's finest street food encompassing Chinese, Indian, and Malay flavors, and unwind on the pristine shores of Langkawi Island. For wildlife enthusiasts, Borneo offers a chance to witness orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, while the daring can conquer the majestic Mount Kinabalu, which is a challenge reserved for seasoned hikers.
2.5. Vietnam - among the safest countries in Asia for solo female travelers
Earning the fifth position on our travel list, Vietnam charms with its breathtaking landscapes, traditional culture, and irresistible street food scene. With its friendly locals and an array of enjoyable experiences, Vietnam stands out as one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia, offering an unforgettable journey for first-time visitors.
Traveling across this dynamic country is an exhilarating journey, offering diverse experiences. Must-visit attractions on your Vietnam travel itinerary include the mystical Ha Long Bay, the bustling streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter, the vibrant yet serene lantern-lit alleys of Hoi An, and the lively floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Last but not least, remember to indulge your taste buds in the tantalizing Vietnamese cuisine, from the world-famous pho (noodle soup with beef) to the delicious banh mi (Vietnamese bread).
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What sets Vinpearl apart is not just the opulent stay but also the chance to dive into the enchanting world of VinWonders - an entertainment paradise with exhilarating games and exciting shows. Regardless of your age, VinWonders guarantees an unforgettable experience, making it an ideal destination for an incredible time in Vietnam.
2.6. South Korea
Ranked sixth among the safest countries in Asia, South Korea welcomes first-time visitors with open arms. The country takes you on a culinary journey through the heart of Asia, savoring the diverse array of Asian food such as kimchi, bibimbap, Korean BBQ, etc.
Adventurous souls can hike the scenic trails of Seoraksan National Park, while those seeking relaxation can unwind in the rejuvenating waters of a traditional Korean bathhouse. For history enthusiasts, the ancient city of Gyeongju, with its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, should be on top of your to-do list. And don't miss the awe-inspiring beauty of the cherry blossoms in spring at Gyeongbokgung Palace. South Korea, with its safe and welcoming atmosphere, promises a perfect blend of cultural richness and modern marvels.
Situated in the heart of the ever-unstable Middle East, Jordan still stands as a gem among the top 20 safest countries in Asia, giving tourists a sense of security. The iconic Petra, with its rose-red hues, and the mesmerizing Wadi Rum, a desert landscape like no other, are not-to-miss attractions that embody Jordan's historical and natural grandeur.
For a truly immersive experience, savor the local cuisine, where flavors of mint tea, falafel, hummus, and shawarma tantalize the taste buds. Jordan offers not only a historical and cultural tapestry but also a haven of safety for those seeking a wonderful adventure in the heart of the Middle East.
Mongolia emerges as an unexpected gem on this list, often overlooked by travelers. With an overall global ranking of 44 among the world's most peaceful countries, concerns about petty crime and tourist scams are minimal.
For those seeking the road less traveled within the safest countries in Central Asia, Mongolia embraces visitors with open steppes, nomadic traditions, and an unparalleled sense of safety. This vast, landlocked nation beckons as a destination where the echoes of Genghis Khan's empire resonate amid the serenity of its landscapes.
Mongolia's nomadic heritage is encapsulated in the exquisite detail of the Gandan Monastery, the timeless landscapes of the Gobi Desert, and the nomadic way of life in the iconic Ger camps. In its cuisine, hearty meat-based dishes like buuz (succulent meat-filled dumplings) and khuushuur (crispy fried pastries) take center stage.
Laos not only ranks among the cheapest countries to travel in Asia but also emerges as a tranquil gem in the region, though it might not clinch the title of the safest country in Asia in 2023. Laos invites travelers to explore its serene landscapes and heritage sites in an affordable way without compromising on their safety.
The UNESCO-listed town of Luang Prabang charms with its ancient temples and vibrant night markets, while the Plain of Jars offers a mysterious archaeological adventure. For the more adventurous, tubing along the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng promises an exhilarating experience.
Laotian cuisine, characterized by its bold flavors, is a must-try. Indulging in its national dish, laap, a savory minced meat salad, and savoring the aromatic noodle soup - khao piak sen, when traversing this land of laid-back charm, you will find that Laos offers a truly authentic and enriching culinary experience.
2.10. Oman - among the safest countries in West Asia to travel to
Oman receives positive news in 2023, having ascended an impressive 18 spots globally and being one of the top 20 safest countries in Asia. This Arabian gem invites first-time visitors to embrace a leisurely pace, mirroring the warmth and tranquility of local life. Oman's cuisine, influenced by Indian, Persian, and Arabian flavors, is a delight for food enthusiasts. Don't miss trying Omani biryani, succulent kebabs, and aromatic Omani coffee.
Each of Oman’s cities narrates stories through its architecture and traditions. Notable among them is Muscat, where the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque showcases stunning Islamic architecture. Mutrah, a coastal district in Muscat, boasts a lively souk offering a glimpse into Omani heritage. Beyond urban charms, Oman unfolds its natural wonders, from majestic mountains to pristine coastlines, setting the stage for remarkable adventures.
Concerning travel safety, Timor-Leste shines as one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. Visitors to Timor-Leste would find it unsurprising that the country has earned a top spot in the peace rankings. Timor-Leste's cultural landscape, enriched by indigenous traditions and Portuguese influences, provides a dramatic backdrop for exploration. An ideal way to embrace the local culture is by indulging in Timorese cuisine, a delightful fusion of indigenous flavors and Portuguese culinary elements that features dishes such as Ikan Pepes and Feijoada.
One of the unmissable destinations in this nation is the capital, Dili, with its historic landmarks like the Resistance Museum, Comarca Balide Prison, and Motael Church. Meanwhile, nature enthusiasts can find solace in the untouched beauty of Jaco Island, which boasts pristine beaches and crystalline waters. Through its rich heritage and natural splendors, Timor-Leste promises a safe and pleasant journey, deserving to be among the safest countries in Asia in general and Southeast Asia in particular.
>>> Check out this comprehensive guide to your perfect Central Asia travel journey!
Indonesia has consistently remained a top destination for travelers venturing into Asia. As you embark on the enchanting archipelago of Indonesia, you are not just stepping into the largest collection of islands worldwide, but also into a tapestry of nature, culture, and history.
This Southeast Asian gem, heralded as one of the safest countries in Asia to visit, invites travelers to explore its diverse landscapes and cultural wonders. Bali, with its iconic beaches, terraced rice fields, and vibrant cultural scene, remains a top draw. The allure extends to Lombok Island, boasting pristine beaches, the majestic Mount Rinjani, and the idyllic Gili Islands.
Beyond the beauty of nature, Indonesia's culinary landscape is a treat, offering a symphony of flavors in dishes like satay, ayam bakar taliwang, ikan bakar, and pecel lele. In the heart of this archipelagic haven, safety intertwines with exploration, making Indonesia a must-visit destination.
Safety is always a top concern for any trip. Fortunately, the safest countries in Asia to explore provide a welcoming environment for solo explorers. Hopefully, the above guide has addressed the specific needs of every traveler, highlighting destinations where your safety is prioritized.
*The details in this guide are for reference purposes only and may change over the years. If you are planning Asia travel, it is recommended that you check the newest GPI report for the most up-to-date information.