What is normal at home may be unusual or strange in another country, and vice versa. What's different and how to avoid problems.

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6
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1answer
205 views

Are patrons expected to tip at restaurants in Paraguay?

So I finish my meal at a restaurant in Asunción, and I'm getting ready to pay when I notice at the top of my receipt it says, "propina no incluida" ("tip not included"). I thought tipping was not ...
10
votes
4answers
972 views

How much to haggle for a hotel room in India?

I need to book a hotel in Delhi, India for mid-November. Someone suggested to me that I should haggle over the price for the room. Is it considered acceptable to haggle over hotel room prices in ...
15
votes
4answers
640 views

Does one tip in the US/Canada for bad service?

In Aus/NZ you don't tip, it's not generally part of the culture. In the US/Canada you seem to tip for almost everything, but it's meant to be for a good job. However I've also found some workers ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find a sauna/bathhouse in Korea that allows customers with tattoos?

Apparently here in Korea there is a similar common rule to in Japan forbidding people with tattoos from using public bath houses. I was telling a couple of traveller friends in my hostel here about ...
4
votes
1answer
438 views

Male nerd here, how on earth can I listen to an “otohime” / “sound princess”?

The other day, I read about "otohime", also known as "sound princess": Many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination (see paruresis). To cover the ...
8
votes
1answer
805 views

What are the polite ways to draw attention of a waiter around the world?

I would usually call the waiter by trying to catch his eye or raising my hand eventually. But I suppose there are other customs depending on the region of the world. What are those? Is snapping ones ...
5
votes
1answer
680 views

Taking photos in Japan

I plan on taking photos of everywhere I go in Japan and am wondering if there are certain places, e.g. airports or possibly temples, where photos are not to be taken. A link to online resources would ...
36
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid suspicious looks when you are in the Western side of the world

Being an Arab with Arabian looks, after September 11 things have changed dramatically when Arabs or people with similar looks (Indians, Pakistanis, Turkish, Kurdish, Iranians...etc) go to the west ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How to use Turkish toilet tap?

I was in Turkey a while ago, and encountered sit toilets with taps (edit: taps controlling a nozzle a wee way below a normal western sit-toilet rim, making a little fountain from the back to the front ...
10
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1answer
819 views

Exchanging business cards in Japan

In Hong Kong (and I believe other parts of China as well), one offers his business card by holding it with both hands with the text unobscured and oriented so that the other person can read it. After ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

If you go to the pool and find all the sunbeds have towels on and you have nowhere to sit, what do you do?

When I've been staying in a hotels in Spain I often go down to the pool in the morning and find that there are no sunbeds to sit on because people have reserved them with towels. I'm never 100% if a ...
3
votes
1answer
615 views

Why do the Japanese wear masks like Surgeons in Tokyo? [closed]

In Japan, Tokyo it is common to see Japanese people walking around with masks like the kind Surgeons wear during surgeries. Why do the Japanese wear masks like Surgeons in Tokyo?
15
votes
3answers
803 views

In which cultural regions is taking pictures of people considered offensive?

I have the impression that in Muslim countries taking pictures of people is often not welcome. On the other hand there are other countries where people really enjoy it (and also sometimes expect some ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

OK we're all nerds here, so really, how on earth should I use a Japanese toilet?

OK so for anyone who's traveled to Japan you know what I'm talking about. They're devices that are a textbook example of excessive featuritis. But I want to use something other than the flush knob ...
11
votes
2answers
11k views

Can solo travelers go to a mixed gender onsen?

I'm planning on going to a mixed gender onsen (konyoku), and one place suggested to me in Nyuto onsen village, Tohoku, has a male only section, a female only section, and a mixed section. If I'm by ...
5
votes
3answers
353 views

Visiting villages in Kerala

How do I visit and spend a couple of nights in non-touristy villages in Kerala between Kochi, Alappuzha and Kollam? Do I just hire a boat and ask them to take me to such a village? Could you ...
9
votes
1answer
226 views

In Costa Rica - Invite Strangers to Dinner?

We are traveling in rural, southwest Costa Rica. We were walking down the road and began talking to two local guys in their 20s. They offered to give us surfing lessons, and eventually said "you can ...
8
votes
2answers
203 views

Is there a month when everyone goes on holidays in Balkans?

I'm planning a motorcycle trip around the Balkans/Southeastern Europe (former Yugoslavia/Greece/Albania/Romania/Bulgaria etc.) this year. We're planning on going in June, July, August or September for ...
30
votes
7answers
17k views

Can I eat a beef burger in India?

I always heard that cows are holy in India. So I assumed that you can't eat any meat made of cows in India. But recently a friend told me, that it depends on the region. Not everywhere in India cows ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to go with a mixed group of people to bathe naked at the Abanotubani sulphur baths in Tbilisi?

There is a very old and traditional sulphur baths in the old town of Tbilisi, Georgia called Abanotubani. I assumed it would've been originally a Turkish hamam and have only segregated sex bathing. ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Breast feeding in Iran

We are considering a trip to Iran with a 5-month old. What is the local attitude to breast-feeding in public places? Is it legal? Are there any severe consequences? Do you need to use some special ...
6
votes
3answers
227 views

Is researching dating tips for a specific country worthwhile, useless or counterproductive?

I'm planning on visiting Japan for two weeks. While dating isn't the purpose of my trip, I hope to socialize a bit with people my age, including some après-ski, and wouldn't mind if it resulted in ...
14
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3answers
7k views

What are the rules surounding alcohol in Morocco

I will be in Morocco for New Year's: what are the rules surrounding alcohol? Firstly is alcohol even available? If so do I need a permit or is it just a case of showing your passport at the store? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What game can I eat in South Africa?

When I was in South Africa, I wanted to try some game meat but when I asked people what I could have I got replies with answers like 'Game' or 'you know Game Kudu, Zebra etc' or was just shown the ...
14
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6answers
1k views

Avoiding or minimising altitude sickness?

From my personal anecdotal experience, I've seen first-hand some horror stories with altitude sickness. I will always tell people now to acclimatise, drink fluids, and follow the local tricks like ...
43
votes
4answers
7k views

I have a tattoo. Can I visit a public swimming pool in Japan?

A friend of mine is currently traveling in Japan. She has a small tattoo on her neck. Now she wanted to visit a public swimming pool but was denied entry. It was difficult to understand the reason ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Will I get in trouble if I drink beer in public in Dubai?

As far as I know, Dubai is a Muslim country. And as far as I know, it is forbidden to drink alcohol in Muslim countries. Is this also true for Dubai and tourists? So as a tourist can I drink alcohol ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Vomitorium: Only common in the German-speaking world?

The first time I saw something like this in a Swiss Restaurant in Zurich I was really confused. What should it be used for? (photo by TheoPB, available under CC-by-sa) Then I was told that you ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Dealing with the 'unclean hand' when travelling (if you're left-handed)

"Among Muslims, the left hand is reserved for bodily hygiene and considered unclean. Thus, the right hand should be used for eating. Shaking hands or handing over an item with one's left hand ...
45
votes
6answers
10k views

How to use sink with separate hot/cold taps?

I just traveled to Ireland. I was amazed to find that water sinks (at home, restaurants and public) have separate taps for hot and cold water. If you use only the cold water, your hands freeze. If ...
12
votes
3answers
482 views

How to cope with disgusting fellow travellers?

This summer I was in Krakow. We stayed in a hostel and did an organized tour from there. We visited Auschwitz concentration camp. We were a group of approximately 10 people and unfortunately some of ...
19
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5answers
2k views

How can I get people to speak the local language to me?

I went to Paris 2 years ago. When I was there, I was learning the language by talking and listening to the local people. But, while I was trying to speak French with them, they would speak English to ...
3
votes
0answers
901 views

Differences in mentality of Japanese and Korean people [closed]

What is the difference between Japanese and Korean people, from the mentality/behavior perspective? Please list as many differences as you know, or provide link to a good article/discussion, as I ...
12
votes
2answers
278 views

What considerations should I make for traveling in Israel on the Sabbath?

I am planning to travel around Israel (from Oct 19 to Nov 5th), and I am wondering what effect the Sabbath will have on transport, restaurants and the sights. Should I be planning to not do anything ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

How much is it appropriate to tip in Palm Beach?

I'm going to be traveling to Palm Beach in two weeks, and I wanted to make sure I don't offend anyone, specially people I may need to ask for favors later :) From the van that'll transfer me to the ...
11
votes
2answers
660 views

What should we consider when buying a gift for a host family in Turkey?

In September, we are traveling to Turkey. Part of the trip is a family home stay. We will be staying with a local family who will feed and house us for the night. We want to thank the family with a ...
98
votes
9answers
7k views

Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?

In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day. At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me. In Kyrgyzstan, I was ...
12
votes
4answers
455 views

Is it usual for Japanese sentos to offer cheap overnight stays like their Korean counterparts (jjimjilbangs) do?

Japan and Korea both have similar concepts of communal bath houses. In Japan they are called sentos and in Korea they are called jjimjilbangs. In Korea it is usual that jjimjilbangs offer very cheap ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

Tipping etiquette in different countries [closed]

What are the tipping etiquette in different countries? How much tip should I give to a waiter/waitress?
14
votes
5answers
896 views

Are there any standard clothing restrictions when visiting mosques?

I know from visiting many catholic churches that many require knees and shoulders to be covered, so dressing appropriately is essential for hassle-free travel. Are there similar rules that might apply ...
14
votes
3answers
414 views

References for tipping etiquette in different countries? [closed]

Where can I find information about tipping etiquette in different countries? I'm hoping for a comprehensive database so I don't have to ask about the countries one by one here.