Some quick tips to remember while travelling in South East Asia or other ASIAN countries…
I’m sure most of you have heard about the ‘Malaysian mountain scandal’ by now. Where a group of over enthusiastic backpackers had a naked photo-shoot on top of one of Borneo’s most sacred locations. This unfortunately led to not only their arrests, but to an international public shaming as well.
Is this a growing trend amongst backpackers?More and more people seem to have been arrested for posing naked at historical, and often important religious and cultural sites, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Keeping up with all the different cultural ‘isms’ while travelling through many different countries can be confusing. Here are three simple tips that should keep you clear of most minor offences.
#1 When in doubt resist the urge to go naked anywhere, this includes the beach. Most countries in Asia are very conservative and being naked in public is not only frowned upon but, in countries like Thailand often illegal. Keep it for the bedroom!
#2 Be respectful of other countries cultural and religious beliefs. Most countries in Asia particularly the Buddhists countries are very welcoming to foreigners, and local people are generally helpful and tolerant with most visitors lack of cultural etiquette. Follow the cultural guidelines before visiting any religious or culturally important sites & research what is or not acceptable in different countries.
#3 Remember loosing FACE is a big deal!! If you have caused some offence (even unknowingly) just apologise. Hopefully that will be enough to restore FACE/honour to the person that you’ve offended!