Travelling to an unknown country is a little like going to someone’s home for the first time: you make sure your shoes are clean before entering, you try to be polite, you smile…
But sometimes, knowing what the proper etiquette is can be tricky.
For example, is it cool to finish the last dumpling on the plate? Should we take off our shoes before going inside the home? Or should we excuse ourselves before leaving the room?
We’ve all felt socially awkward in situations like these. And the truth is that you don’t always have to travel too far to struggle with cultural differences that can catch you off guard.
As long as you try to learn about their local customs, habits and traditions, you won’t be categorised as a “bad tourist” like these people…
1. The Chinese teenager who engraved his name in the Temple of Luxor
This story shocked the world in 2013: Ding Jinhao, a Chinese fifteen year old, loved his visit to the temple of Amenhotep III in Egypt so much, that he decided to leave his mark.
He managed to write «Ding Jinhao has visited this place» on 3000 years old wall. If you think Chinese tourists didn’t have a good reputation before this, imagine how this incident affected it…
2. The Welsh Tourists that stole a Penguin from Sea World Australia
In 2012, two young tourists from Wales were on holiday at Surfers Paradise in Australia and didn’t have anything else to do but steal a Penguin from Sea World Australia, under the influence of alcohol.
The best part is they posted a picture on their Facebook accounts with the Penguin at their apartment. What do you think happened to them? Well, they had to return the penguin and pay AUS$1000 each.
3. The American family that ate an extremely rare Octopus
While on holiday in Greece in 2013, an American family caught an Octopus and decided to eat it for dinner. What’s wrong with this story…?
It wasn’t a normal Octopus! it was a Hexapus, an extremely rare species that has 6 tentacles only and has only been seen once in Scotland.
4. The drunk Norwegian man who fell asleep on the Baggage Conveyor Belt
We all know that alcohol can cause fatigue and makes you feel like going to sleep (regardless of where you are). This is exactly what happened to this Norwegian tourist who decided to take a nap at the Airport of Rome.
The problem is that the conveyor belt was operating at the time. The airport staff discovered he was there when they saw his silhouette go through the x-ray scanner 15 minutes after falling asleep…
5. The Colombian tourist who made fun of the English guard at St. James Palace
A lot of tourists like making fun of the guards at St. James Palace in London. This Colombian student was on holiday and decided to mimic the Queens guardsman on duty. He had heard that they never leave their post unless there’s a threat to the royals. But he definitely was shocked when the guard marched over to him and clipped him around the back of his head.