I personally would never live in SEA again. Too many predatory psychopaths and jealous haters that will target foreigners.I have found this a fascinating thread, because I live in the Philippines, in a good, but not great area, in terms of safety. I "feel safe," but have been told that muggings and burglaries/home invasions do happen, though rarely. I live in a new apartment eightplex, with enough adults and young children almost always outside, that it would have a deterrence effect. We have bars on the windows, but presently, no alarm system. We don't own a gun, a dog, a machete, or even a baseball bat. Big kitchen meat cutting knives are about it for defense. Our next door neighbor has closed circuit cams watching the front and back of his apartment. My lady does at least carry pepper spray in her travels.
Being that I am a white skinned American, I stand out, and that could create the assumption that we have lots of great stuff to steal, which is not actually true. Other than a few computers, phones and a big wide screen television, we don't have much. Am I being nervous over nothing? What should I do next, to keep things safe?
The only "crime" I have witnessed was the cousin of our next door neighbor (not the one with the cams), who looked like a punk rock lesbian, step onto our back porch area, and steal a small packet of laundry detergent! Lol She did not realize I saw her from my desk. I decided to let the whole matter go, to not create difficulty with our nice neighbor, who had a bad relative, temporarily staying with them. They are all gone now.
Americans in Angeles city have been shot just to steal laptops from them or even just out of spite like in the video below (they killed the golden goose for no gain):
As a foreigner in the Philippines, stay away from shady areas, shady people, always keep your guard up and don't entertain people looking to bait you into arguments and confrontations.
If you have to stay move somewhere upper middle class integrated into an office area where white collar working people are always around like Eastwood City in Quezon City.
In SEA and Africa looking too poor (unshaven, non iron clothing) can make people question as well what you're even doing there and you don't want to be considered the drug dealer, shady foreigner or someone with no local connections that they can target without repercussions either.
Africans always iron their shirts because they don't want to thought of as hoodlums that get targeted by the police.