Bicycle Travel > General Discussion

Malaria in South-East Asia


Hi, everyone. I am new here so bear with me if this has been discussed before. I am planning a trip to S.E. Asia this summer and I was wondering if anyone had any advice, especially pertaining to health. Basically I want to know if people in general take prophlaxis's to prevent mararia when they went or whether they just tried real hard not to get bitten.

Thanks for any advice.

I backpacked in SE Asia 10 yrs ago & took malaria tablets because it's not possible to prevent yourself from being bitten.

I didn't get malaria but I did catch Dengue fever which is similar but easier to get rid of & doesn't stay in your system like malaria can.  I had a fever for several days (I honestly don't know how long I was down because I slept mostly) so beware of this.  Drink LOTS of bottled water to recover.

Never drink tap water unless you boil it lots or use purifying tablets.  Take lots of powerbars/other energy snacks with you - you won't find them over there.  Eat lots of rice & fruit because it's readily available.  Meat is scarce, fish easier to come by.

Don't let this put you off your trip because it's a fascinating region - the culture is so different from anywhere western & the people are so nice, if incredibly talkative - they'll talk your ears off if you let them, especially if they think they can sell you something.  Remember to bargain every salesperson down - it's part of their culture (unless you're in a dept store/other with fixed prices).

Enjoy your trip & let us know how it goes.

When I went to South Africa I chose to take anti-malarials even though I was there in August when the risk was low.  It's better to avoid getting malaria than to try to get rid of it later.

I would caution anyone to resist the commonly prescribed drug "Lariam"... there are significant reports of psychological reactions including a risk of suicide with its use.

There is an excellent alternative, Malarone, which does not have the same controversy about side effects.  You need to take one pill a day, as opposed to one pill a week with Lariam, but that was a small price to pay for me for peace of mind.

If you put "Larium" into google, you'll be inundated with sources on the controversy.

Hope you have a great trip!


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