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I'm going to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia and need some advice


I'm going to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia and need some advice

Old Sep 17th, 2002, 08:07 PM
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I'm going to Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia and need some advice

I know I have nothing to be concerned about with Singapore but can anyone help me with preventative ways of 'disinfecting' the water so that it is drinkable? Some countries are known for taking empty water bottles, refilling them with their own local water and resealing them. I don't want to take any chances so I would like to disinfect bottled water, as well. Any suggestions on which water filter/purification system I should use?
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 09:07 PM
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Vanna, I have been to all these countries and drank the bottled water. It is easy to tell if the bottle has been previously opened. Just make sure that you look at the bottle, and drink only from those bottles you have opened yourself. Not a problem. susie
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 09:39 PM
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The best source I'm aware of for travel health information is the CDC website:


They recommend drinking carbonated water or drinks like soda. I *THINK* that the problem of resealing bottled water is more common in Africa, and thus far hasn't become a big problem in Asia.

I'm just guessing this because I do informal research into travel risks in Asia, since I work for an international medical clinic in Shanghai (in marketing - note that I'm NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this forum . . . ). I haven't heard of this in Asia, and when I ran a quick search online, the only stories that came up were from Africa.

At any rate, I think you'll be pretty safe buying bottled water from nicer hotels and grocery stores, and when you're stuck with only small roadside stands, sticking to carbonated water (the carbonation kills bacteria).

The CDC does not recommend using portable filters unless you also use them in combination with iodine tablets, since there aren't any on the market that have passed independent tests.
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 09:45 PM
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Andrea -- good advice. However, I do know someone who swears she got sick from re-bottled water in Laos. I would say buying from a reputable vendor where possible is the best insurance. Otherwise...drink Coke.
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 10:53 PM
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Have never had a vendor try to sell a refilled bottle of water after almost two years in Malaysia. Of course we check the seal is good, and if the bottle is so much as dirty we ask for another.

Never a problem. Tummy troubles from food, though? You can't avoid it.
Old Sep 18th, 2002, 12:50 PM
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Vanna, I had the same concerns before I headed to SE Asia. At first I used water disinfecting solutions you can buy at pretty much any camping supply store. You mix a couple of chemicals, wait a minute and ta da. It smells pretty unappetizing though. After about of week of doing this, I just settled into buying bottled water. It's easier and cheap.

One word of caution: Never let your guard down. If you're at a restaurant, always order something from a bottle. Ordering lassis and other fruit drinks is a bit of a risk. Trust me I know! The 5 minute run up a hill to the washroom was sheer hell.
Old Sep 18th, 2002, 05:06 PM
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Was thinking of this and I guess it completely depends where you are, too. I regularly drink fresh fruit juices from hawker food courts, complete with ice, and have never had a problem here in M'sia. All the restaurants buy ice - they don't have ice machines of their own - so it's all clean water ice. And the juices are wonderful!

I think I would be more cautious in Cambodia, though.
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