Dos and Don'ts When You Travel AbroadOctober 07, 2015

Summer is near, and it only means one thing. You can't wait to get your passport stamped one more time. If it's your first time, then you can hardly contain your excitement. You're too eager to board the plane and get out of Oz. You've been a good lad (or lass) all year round, but it's not a reason to be an uncouth tourist. Especially if you travel to Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia is a backpacker's paradise, and young Australians consider it as their next-door neighbour. Imagine Bali to be within hand's reach. Unfortunately, images of young travelers and their lack of manners are found in the Internet. Some will have the gall to justify their actions, citing the economic situation in this part of the world. There's no doubt they need the money, but think carefully. If you've been to Siem Reap, then you notice the long highway connecting the airport and the city. The most luxurious hotels line up the road, which means the Cambodian government is doing everything to make the country convenient and comfortable to tourists. But you may not care at all.

Let's look at a few dos and don'ts instead. If you already know it, then better read it one more time. Here they are:

DO: Show your respect when you visit the temples. These are sacred grounds to locals. Nothing wrong about taking photographs. You can admire the structures for hours, even participate in a religious ceremony. You travelled thousands of miles for this experience, unaware of its significance. Nothing beats the real thing.

DON'T: Nothing wrong if you want a do-it-yourself tour, but don't create attention. The weather warrants less clothing, but revealing more skin means lack of respect. Keep in mind that this is a holy spot. And don't ever think of doing foolish things. (Posing naked in Angkor Wat is a major offense.) Be courteous.

DO: It's OK if you pay a lot of money to attend a party. And you prefer a bucket of beer and a crowd of young travellers who want to get drunk in the beach. If you have other things in mind, then no one is stopping you. Remember where you place your passport and money. And look for the sleeping area.

DON'T: If you feel like walking late at night, then better not. It will be a good idea to wait until dawn. If you lost your valuables, then don't panic. You'll find a helping hand.

DO: Send an e-mail to your family, letting them know you are safe. And how thoughtful of you to send them photographs of the beautiful places you've been. DON'T: You bring your laptop to the restaurant because of the WiFi. Don't be a cheapskate by ordering a plastic bottle of mineral water only. It's not nice to bring along a snack and eat it there. And be considerate to the next customers, as you're not the only one who will use it.

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