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Old 02-05-2019, 08:08 PM
Location: Striving for Avalon
1,425 posts, read 2,111,176 times
Reputation: 3363


Originally Posted by River City Rocky View Post
Caracas? Really?
You do realize that Venezuela is effectively starving? A tourist with foreign currency, electronics, and jewelry is a dream come true for someone whose mother has lost 40 pounds in the last 18 months on the Maduro diet.

In the rest of the world....

It's amazing when I relay my travels to those back in the West. I've been on the road now since May 2018, and I've passed through Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, Aus, NZ, and now Laos. I was asked if Hong Kong and Myanmar are safe. Good lord. Violent crime is virtually unheard of here. The "worst" I have dealt with are tuk-tuks and moto-taxi boys asking me if I need a ride. Small potatoes.

Also, dressing "poor" doesn't do jack. It doesn't matter if you have brand new white linen "resort wear" from Bergdorf Goodman or faded cargo shorts and a Chang/Bintang/Singha (beer brand) tank top. If you are white, you will deal with some level of street touts.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:16 PM
Location: On the road
6,211 posts, read 3,031,708 times
Reputation: 11975
It doesn't even take being a different race, there are so many subtle things with tourists like what they are wearing, where they are going, whether look confident in their surroundings, etc. If a tourist from Singapore walks down the street in Hanoi I bet every tout on that street sees them as a foreign tourist right away, same as touts in Medellin would spot tourists from Mexico. Too many little things that add up.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:55 AM
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,631 posts, read 19,868,195 times
Reputation: 13553
I know people who were born and raised in a third world country, left as adults to immigrate to a first world country, and then went back to visit their home country after 10 years. The locals were instantly able to tell that these people lived in a foreign country.

They can smell the change. It is inescapable.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:46 AM
Location: Austin, Texas
1,553 posts, read 936,207 times
Reputation: 3410
Jamaica was pretty bad for beggars. It was hard to go anywhere without being approached and then possibly reproached for not contributing and we were traveling pretty low budget.

But it's also an amazingly rich and beautiful country and was worth the hassles.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:22 AM
Location: NoVa
2,132 posts, read 2,938,607 times
Reputation: 2935
I don't get all this desire to 'blend in'. Like it's something that's remotely achievable if you're visiting another destination whose locals don't look like you, eat like you, dress like you, or speak like you. Furthermore, locals get pestered by hawkers too - how else are these hawkers to sell their stuff? It's up to you how much impact (if at all) you want to let them have on your trip.

I'm not saying you should purposely stick out like a sore thumb, but don't fool yourself into thinking you can blend in either. Ain't gonna happen, so the best route is just to enjoy yourself wherever you go.

I think if you're thin-skinned or fearful of anything foreign to you, just stay home. I mean that sincerely.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:25 PM
Location: Austin
29,697 posts, read 16,694,860 times
Reputation: 8165
Originally Posted by curious question View Post
I have traveled to most of the popular 1st world countries in Europe and Asia. They were nice but I want to expand my horizons and see the 3rd World. I want to see exotic and economically struggling countries where life is completely different than here in America.

My question is this: If I walk up and down the streets of third world countries will I be hassled, bothered or even attacked? Will people stare at me and make getting around difficult? Tell us your experiences traveling in third world countries.
We've been to several third world countries and never felt unsafe.

Hassled is different. It depends on what you call "being hassled". In India, they would frequently knock on our SUV window and beg by holding up a baby with a missing limb or two.

In China, we were often approached by beggers on the street.

In Mexico and the Caribbean, you will be pestered by street (or beach) vendors.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:01 PM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,894 posts, read 48,400,983 times
Reputation: 111297
We've traveled to China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and the natives everywhere went out of their way to help us make our visit an enjoyable one. Never any beggars.
Now in cities in Mexico we were constantly bombarded by beggars, mostly kids.
And in any country you travel don't act like the 'ugly American' with a snooty nose, it's not going to help you at all with the locals. Be courteous and polite and you'll have a wonderful time.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:46 PM
Location: On the road
6,211 posts, read 3,031,708 times
Reputation: 11975
In Mexico the guys I hated the most are door openers.

They hang around out front of the convenience store and open the door for you to enter or exit, expecting a couple pesos in return. They've got it figured out because they know you likely have small change in your hand on the way out. Granted they do politely greet you and aren't aggressive or rude if you ignore them, but I always wondered how these convenience stores tolerate it. In Asia someone doing that would get chased away with a broom by the shop owners.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:06 AM
14,475 posts, read 7,772,079 times
Reputation: 26563
I've never been to a 3rd world country. Chile is the poorest place I've ever been but Chile has modern infrastructure and is considered to be "developed".

I've been close to the border in San Diego many times but I've never set foot in Mexico.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:56 AM
Location: Australia
1,087 posts, read 402,072 times
Reputation: 1994
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
I would never waste my money or vacation time visiting a place LESS nice than the area I live in. Why do we continue to be fascinated by the 3rd world, as much as they are fascinated by the 1st world?
Some wonderful things we have seen in places poorer than where we live:

Game parks in South Africa and Zimbabwe
The pyramids in Egypt
Cappadocia and Istanbul in Turkey
Machu Picchu
The Galápagos Islands
All of Sicily
The Great Wall of China
Wildlife in Sabah

I would not have missed any of these for anything.
The worst hassling we have experienced happened in Egypt, Mexico, Bangkok and on the Great Wall of China.

The most frightened I have ever been when travelling was in Washington DC, when we inadvertently booked in an unsuitable part of the city.
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