Return to Home Page

November 15, 2012

Prepare for Cultural Challenges in Asia

Photo Credit: Flickr/Instant Vantage

I came across an interesting article on making the right first impression in Asia. The author goes through a number of countries, from Japan to South Korea, Thailand and India, giving a few suggestions on giving that important, successful first impression, party starter, or whatever you want to call it.
Because indeed, traveling in countries with particular and exclusive cultures as you may find in Asia, you need to do a bit of background work to get started right and enjoy your traveling to the max.

A couple weeks ago I published a similar post on Vagabonding, receiving a number of different angry comments as I colorfully criticized foreign backpackers for their disrespectful behavior upon entering Malaysia, a multicultural, albeit predominantly Muslim nation. I am far from taking up the matter again, but I would like to stress it once more: as a long term resident in several Asian countries, I have to agree with the article’s author. Making a first impression in Asia requires “some grueling firsthand experience”.  For example, when I was a language teacher in China, it took me quite a while to understand how to fulfill the stereotypical requirements my employer had about white foreigners… including being tacitly accused of an “insatiable sexual appetite towards anything that moves”!!! Thus, in order to come home with a better travel experience and an increased knowledge of the country, try to make an effort and make some research before you embark on an Asian adventure; for example, once in Thailand, do not mistake their smile for a complacent show of appreciation for your “farangness”. Know your people, and you will have extremely better experiences in their exotic Asian territories. And as biased as it may sound, make true lasting friendships.

If you have traveled or lived in Asia before, what do you think?

Posted by | Comments (1) 
Category: Asia, Destinations, Notes from the collective travel mind, Vagabonding Advice

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Adam 1 s: Great Job!

Barbara Weibel: Thanks for your comments, Roger and Faith. I absolutely agree that...

Barbara Weibel: Good point, Linda! I hear all the time from Europeans, Asians, Aussies,...

Roger: I would say that most travel warnings are over exaggerated. Unless there is a...

Linda: Are, I wonder, Americans aware of how this works the other way around? I have no...

Faith: Thank you for a very good article! I traveled for 6 months and 9 countries last...

Roger: This is very informative, and mind boggling how few Americans venture abroad....

Roger: Wow, this is good stuff. Simplicity can be such a wonderful tonic. Thank you...

Sage: I like the idea of travel being “monasticism on the move”

Eric: Always love to hear about more digital nomad families … kills the...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Should terrorism keep Americans from traveling overseas?
The Age of Travel is not over
The difference: Living well vs. Doing well, Part 2
Vagabonding Case Study: The Wagoners
What travel hacking isn’t
Vagabonding Case Study: Behan Gifford
What you see on large news channels is not the only news
Solo travel when you’re not traveling solo
Vagabonding Case Study: Jarryd Salem
Field Report: Port Lincoln, Australia


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts