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8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Experiencing culture shock, which can turn any trip into a nightmare. Culture shock is normal, even pro travelers get culture shock every time they visit new countries. Know it, overcome it, and adapt it. You will have memorial trip in Asia.

1. Squat toilet makes me sick

“Squat toilet” seems to be a strange facility to the Western but it’s a familiar item with a great number of people on the world. When using this kind of toilet, don’t be afraid of personal injury or lasting psychological effects, do it as the Asian do.

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Photo by Matt Perreault.

The process is simple: You just need to squat down, let your tush hanging in midair, refresh yourself and clean up. How about the combination of squat toilet and butt sprayer? Do it slowly and softly so that you don’t come out looking as if you’ve taken a shower while you were in the stall.

Tips for for using a Squat Toilet in Asia

- Always bring toilet paper.

- Don’t forget the hand sanitizer.

- Using squat toilets are charged occasionally so you should prepare some coins in case of need.

-Never, ever, ever throw paper or anything else, no matter how biodegradable you think it is, into Asian toilets

How to use a squat toilet like a pro – Mark Wiens is a good guide

2. Crossing the Street is a daunting affair!

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Photo by Anthony Coronado

It sounds to be a simple task until you get it real! The flow of millions motorbikes seems to never end and you can’t find even a small gap in the traffic to go through. So, what to do now? The answer is “Just go”. Keep your head up, observe the traffic and walk slowly and steadily across the road and the motorbikes that fill the streets will just go around you. That feeling is pretty scary but interesting at the same time. Another option is to find a local and follow them. It can be a little scary at the first time but you get used to it quickly.

Check video to see how to cross the street in Ho Chi Minh city

3. People stare at me wherever I go

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Photo by entretroisvolcans

Don’t be surprised if you walk around Asian streets and get a lot of stares from people living here. Many Asians show their curiosity by staring at those who are White, Black, Hispanic or non-Asian in general. It doesn’t mean “rude” in Asia, just a way of expressing interest. Asians are even more excited with the cute blonde children. They will keep looking at you and your kids until you go far away.

4. Everything is small

In Asian countries, it seems you are living in another world where everything from food portion, cars, streets and even the people themselves are in mini size.

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Photo by alobos Life

5. There are no fat Asians!

In Asia, people look thin and skinny. It’s a bit different from Western countries where you can see most people look a little overweight. What makes it different? It’s a lifestyle thing.

  • Seafood and vegetable are always listed in the daily meals of Asians.
  • A food portion is much smaller than it is in Western countries.
  • They walk and bike more than you do.

6. Japanese Ninjas are everywhere

8 Moments of Culture Shock for First Time Travelers in Asia

Photo by Zentais

Most Asian women wish to have a pale skin so they always keep their skin as pale as possible. To many people, having a pale skin means that you have an affluent and comfortable life and often means you needn’t to be in the hot sun all the time as a farmer or a laborer. This is why long gloves and fabric masks are the best friends of all women and girls when they go out. They want to protect their arms and faces from the sun. Literally these girls look like ninjas.

7. Smile as celebrity

Sometimes, you will feel as a celebrity when visiting Asian cities. Many people may ask you to pose with them. All photo requests are harmless and they just want to show their hospitality by taking photos with foreigners. So don’t think too much and just say: 1, 2, 3 and cheese!

8. Touching

Don’t be shocked or annoyed when you are touched (on the shoulders or the arms). It’s just a way of expression and it’s normal in Asia.

What is your opinion?

Have you ever experienced culture shock? If so share them with me by leaving your comments below. Do you think understanding the differences will help you deal with culture shock even eating balut on streets

Jennifer Yen

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