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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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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.
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1answer
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In Asian restaurants and airlines is it correct etiquette to use the hot towel on my face?

In many Asian restaurants both inside and outside Asia, and also on some Asian airlines such as Korean and JAL if I recall correctly, hot cloth towels are given out to all passengers before each meal. ...
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Are there cultures in which walking in the nude in public is not frowned upon?

Although some cultures are less prudent then others I have the impression that walking in the nude in public is frowned upon world wide. Is this a correct assumption? I know that for example going to ...
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What should you do if you're really broke in a country where tipping is customary?

Say you're travelling on a shoestring budget, say at the end of a long trip where you've spent almost all your money but still have time before your flight home. Sometimes people you meet travelling ...
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How am I supposed to combine items from Italian restaurant menus?

I'm from the Netherlands, where we would typically have an appetizer (soup or something else) and a main dish (usually some kind of meat, served with fries and vegetables), and when that is finished, ...
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Chinese etiquette: Most common mistakes

My question is inspired by this one: Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes? Which made me think about my upcoming trip to China. As a Dutch citizen, I have experienced a lot that ...
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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 India?...
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833 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 ...
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1answer
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Square donuts in Dubai

I've been in Dubai some time ago and in a Starbucks I've found square donuts. Can you explain why? Is there a religious rule?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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How do I find out which holidays will disrupt my travel and by how much?

I'm sure it has happened to many of us: You travel to a country with a different culture, and suddenly, you find yourself in front of closed restaurant/shop/museum/etc doors (or, alternatively, you ...
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1answer
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Why is it forbidden to wear camouflage in some Caribbean Islands?

In December 2013 I've been to Antigua. Before arriving there I read about the island and found a reference to a law that states: Local laws and customs [...] It is an offence for anyone, ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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“Cheek kissing” between men in Mongolia

This afternoon in Ulaanbaatar I was sitting in a coffee shop in a shopping mall trying to make the best of the flaky Wi-Fi there. A local guy who was obviously slightly drunk arrived and joined my ...
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1answer
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Gift-giving rules for Japanese dinner host

I'm invited by a Japanese family for a home cooked dinner at their house. I'm wondering, given the Japanese gift-giving culture, what is appropriate to bring with me in this case and if it's any ...
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Is it a sign of being gay if a male wears a white trousers in the UK?

Long story short, we were a group of people on a short visit to London, one of us (a male) wore white jeans, then an European woman from the group told him that it is a sign of being gay to wear white ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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Is it rude to pay tips in Iran?

One of my friends, asked me if he could tip the waiter after we had a delicious Kebab :) for dinner, and I was just puzzled since I didn't know the answer. It's totally rare and not common at all to ...
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1answer
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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. ...
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1answer
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Swimwear customs on Côte d'Azur?

I will travel to Porquerolles on Côte d'Azur in France. I struggle about swimwear: I use to wear speedo-style swimwear and I don't really like shorts. However, I haven't been to a beach for ages, so I ...
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3answers
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Taking a photo in a US supermarket

When I went to a supermarket in the USA, I was amused by the exotic vegetables, so I took a photo of the vegetable shelf. Soon, a worker came and told me angrily "You are not allowed to take photos in ...
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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 ...
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What do I need to know about traveling to Dubai during Ramadan?

I bought tickets to Dubai for the summer for a small vacation (first week of July). Unfortunately, I did not realize it was during Ramadan. I have been told by a few acquaintances that the laws in ...
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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 ...
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Meal times in Ireland

My fiancee and I will be visiting Ireland next October for our honeymoon. We will stay there for a couple of weeks, and we will stay both in cities, like Dublin and Galway, and smaller villages. What ...
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2answers
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What is a good gift for hospitality in Nepal

I am planning an extended Motorbike tour through Nepal and India and was wondering what a good token of appreciation would be .. besides money .. to give to people inviting me for a meal or giving me ...
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Meeting other people while traveling

I tried searching on here, but didn't find any questions on this. How does one meet people while traveling alone? I would understand meeting people in a hostel (assuming they spoke the same language) ...
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How to pass customs in time in case of a flight delay

I'm a non-US citizen flying to the US with a changing time between flights of 1:50 in Atlanta. Since this is rather on the short line according to this answer, I was wondering what to do in case of a ...
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1answer
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How to verify paid restrooms in EU

I saw Long road trips in Iceland - where to relieve ourselves? and it reminded me of my first trip overseas. I'm American, the 'paying for restroom' principle is foreign to me. When I was in Rome I ...
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1answer
163 views

Avoid fireworks/firecrackers in Taiwan

I have ligyrophobia (the fear of loud sounds). It is possible for me to tolerate things like balloons and thunders, but fireworks/firecrackers will send me into a panic attack. I will be travelling ...
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4answers
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Photography and Running in the Christiania Neighbourhood of Copenhagen

Christiania is a autonomous enclave situated in a former military base in Copenhagen. At its entrance there is a sign which is presumably intended for tourists... Source: personal collection The ...
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4answers
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Knife and fork handed back for next course; customary in France?

Recently, whilst dining in France I have noticed a custom that seems strange to me. Typically in the UK I will expect a clean knife and fork for my main course after finishing my starter. However, ...
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Is it rude to ask for toilet paper in Bangladesh?

I have read this post : Stuck without toilet paper while travelling - what is the best approach? Does not quite answer my question. Are toilet papers common in hotels in Dhaka ? It seems too off to ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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Are there public bath etiquette to be aware of in Japan for foreign women? [duplicate]

I'm in Japan now and it is simply awesome. I'm thinking of visiting a public bath. Is it separate for the two genders? Can I go in with a swim suit (after my mandatory shower, of course) or do I have ...
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1answer
165 views

In which city in Europe would a first-time cross-dresser face the lowest risk of harassment?

What would be the safest, most friendly city to go out as cross-dresser? Specifically, in Europe? It is not easy to come out, and I have been considering it for a while. I want to try it somewhere, ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Will wearing a bright colored jacket signal that I am a tourist?

Rick Steve's recommends wearing neutral colors. As such, I've opted to bring a lot of blacks and greys on my trip this winter. However, my rain jacket is a BRIGHT green -- it's brighter than the ...
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2answers
174 views

How to avoid getting hassled in Indonesia?

Hassling is happening in quite often in Indonesia. Although not as tough as in other countries (i.e. Morocco), it can get on your nerves after a while. Does anybody have tips on avoiding getting ...
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669 views

Tipping in Vietnam

I will be going to Vietnam next year for tourism. I would like to not offend locals so I was wondering if someone could tell me what the policy for tipping is over there ?
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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What are Samoan roadside stands selling in white styrofoam cups?

I've just spent several days driving around Samoa, Upolu to be specific. There are stands by the side of road where people sell coconuts, greens, and any number of other things, most of which I could ...
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Finding Undisclosed Restaurants on the Adriatic Coast

Along the Adriatic coast there are some bizarre looking fishing piers called 'Trabocchi'. Some of these are apparently several hundred years old. San Vito Chietino, for example is mentioned in the ...
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Does the traditional Arabic greeting have religous meaning?

There is a greeting I have often heard among Muslims. (Thanks to Geeo in the comments for helping me find the "correct" spelling of the phrase): As-salamu alaykum To which there is a "...