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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7
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4answers
652 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 ?
11
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2answers
235 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
152 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, ...
101
votes
9answers
18k views

Clapping / applause when a plane lands?

On a recent flight to Romania, the whole flight erupted with applause once we'd landed. This wasn't a "difficult" flight - no turbulence, delays, or hijackings. Just a bog standard flight. On the ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Attire in Iran for male travelers

Are there any attire requirements for male travelers in Iran? There are many reports and advises that women should dress conservatively and we have a related question about headwear for women. But ...
12
votes
1answer
378 views

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 ...
127
votes
9answers
10k 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 ...
0
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0answers
57 views

No last name in Indian passport [duplicate]

As I don't have a last name , what should I fill in the last name column while applying for Dubai visa ?
38
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8answers
23k views

How to adapt to Western Toilets from Indian-style toilets?

I am an Indian and have been using Indian style toilets for all my life, Now that I have a knee injury, I am forced to go to Western Style toilets. I find it really hard to empty my bowels in western ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

What should someone from the US know when driving in Italy?

For instance, I know one should not turn on red lights, which is different from US/Mass. rules. What are other things which can confuse a driver from US while driving in Italy? More generally, are ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Travelling to Latin America to take hallucinogenic drugs: how does one do it safely?

Prompted by this... Thousands of international backpackers are flocking to the Peruvian Amazon rainforest to drink ayahuasca tea, a plant mixture made by shamans and taken as part of a ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Visiting Japan, what foreign proofs of ID are acceptable (for non-official purposes)?

Possibly related to this question about carrying passports everywhere. In preparation for my first trip to Japan, I have my UK passport, which is of course kept on hand at all times when I'm ...
8
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2answers
165 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

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, ...
33
votes
2answers
11k views

Are there any cultures in which the “thumbs up” hand gesture is offensive?

In the USA it's common to give a thumbs up to say "Yes, this is good" or "Thanks" or convey another appropriate positive meaning. Are there cultures in which the "thumbs up" gesture a) would not be ...
52
votes
1answer
6k views

Male using change tables in female restrooms in Japan

Next month I'll be traveling to Japan with my wife and two children. Our youngest (1yo) is still in diapers. I read a few guides about traveling in Japan, and saw mention that change tables are ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Men in thongs on mediterranean beaches?

So I am travelling in a few weeks to Barcelona, Cote D'azur, and to Genoa Italia and was wondering if men wear thongs on these beaches. I want to try it personally but am unsure how taboo it would be. ...
10
votes
1answer
489 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
32 views

Thailand customs and round-trip to Hong Kong

I'm going to travel to Thailand for about a month. Inbound and outbound flights are through BKK. What I want to do is a round-trip to Hong Kong for a shopping before leave Thailand. In particular ...
6
votes
2answers
141 views

How much to tip in Mumbai or India general?

How much money should I give as a tip to a hotel boy in Mumbai / India, for carrying my luggage or to reception girl or restaurant waiter, for being generally nice and helpful? What amount is best to ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

L/100 km or km/L? which one is used? I am planning travel in Mexico & Colombia by car [closed]

In America we say the fuel economy of car in miles/gallon. I know in k countries people use liters/100 km. Some countries use km/liter. My question is: Which format is used in Mexico, Colombia, and ...
54
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
24
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5answers
10k views

Why are prices published without tax in the US?

On a recent trip to San Francisco it was always a surprise to see what to pay in stores. It was never as simple as just adding all the published prizes. There was always a surplus of taxes. Sometimes ...
49
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
455 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

How to tip in Israel?

What's the proper etiquette for tipping in taxis, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, etc.? See equivalent question for the US. I've heard many different opinions online and during my travels, so I'm a ...
31
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the purpose of this cloth in hotel?

What is the purpose of the cloth across the bed? I see it at many hotels and it does not seem to serve any purpose other than make it look nice. Any idea what it can be used for? Ps. The purplish ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Parts of China that aren't dominated by Han Chinese that are easy for foreigners to access

I've heard that the Tibetan area is harder for foreigners to visit due to government restrictions, and get the impression that it is increasingly controlled by Han Chinese. Are there any parts of ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Parts of Australia that aren't dominated by white Australians that are easy for tourists to visit

Basically, this question but for Australia. When I visited Alice Springs, while I was able to meet and exchange pleasantries a bit with Aborigines, virtually all of the staff I interacted with were ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Dominican Republic accepted currency and tipping

We are flying from Toronto, Canada to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. My question is regarding the currency that is accepted in DR. Resorts mainly, gift shops, on-resort grocery store, and tipping, ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Do doctors outside of US routinely shake hands with their patients and staff? [closed]

Researching whether fist-bumps indeed would transmit less bacteria than a handshake, I found that, apparently, shaking hands with your doctor is a thing in the US, and, apparently, is expected by both ...
33
votes
3answers
9k views

What do locals call San Francisco?

I heard that San Franciscans hate nicknames like "San Fran" or "Frisco". If I want to travel around San Francisco without sounding like a rube, what should I call it?
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Indian customs rules on bringing packed iPhone [duplicate]

I am a US citizen, who is a Person's of Indian Origin (PIO) card holder. I am planning to buy an iPhone 6s (60 rupees) as a gift for my mother (who lives in India). I would like to bring it to her in ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
83
votes
18answers
12k views

Is it rude to ask if the food contains pork or alcohol?

Some years ago, I was invited to a friend's place. The home-cooked food contained alcohol, and I don't eat or drink anything that contains alcohol (religious reasons). I was shy enough to eat it to ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it rude to refuse to eat from the same plate in parts of the Middle East?

I recently visited parts of North Africa and the Middle East and had to attend several social events. I found the people extremely friendly, hospitable and generous. However I was invited ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Is cheek kissing common in the US?

I am French and I was told American people usually just say hi, shake hands or sometimes hug if they know well each others. I have been living in California for the last few months and I noticed that ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Tipping in Poland: saying “thank you” when the waiter collects your money

I read that while tipping in Poland is standard, you should not say "thank you" to the waiter when he takes the cash if you are expecting change. Otherwise, he will assume that the amount overpaid is ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

When you bring someone to a restaurant in Russia

I am curious how it works in Russia when someone invites you to a restaurant. Will the man order for both or will the parties order individually? Do you tip the waiter/waitress at a resturant and how ...
37
votes
10answers
23k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
6k views

How should I wash clothes in Japan?

I'm going backpacking for a month in Japan and I plan to pack lightly. So I have couple of questions about how I can wash my clothes in Japan. I expect laundromats to be quite common in big cities ...
16
votes
4answers
12k 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
1answer
150 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
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 ...
41
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Trying local Turkish Cuisine in Istanbul

I'll be going to Istanbul in a few days. This is a travel I do because of my job (and no - I'm not involved in any of the jobs listed here). As in this case, I often get ready at the last minute and ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Etiquette for talking to others on public transport in Turkey

Beyond asking for directions and skipping sensitive topics like religion, politics, regional conflicts, is it considered rude to talk to strangers on Turkish public transport (trains, buses) ? Is ...