Be A Smart Traveller

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Archive for the tag “culture”

The significance of Chinese Ang Pow

ImageChinese New Year is just around the corner. What’s on your mind – Ba Gua, Cookie or Ang Pow? Speaking of Ang Pow, it is a red packet containing an amount of money customarily given to unmarried individuals on Chinese New Year. It is also given in Chinese weddings and birthdays. It has beautiful designs and decorations on it that represent wealth and prosperity; it is also believed to have the power to exorcise evil spirits. The two very popular characters that are commonly displayed on the face of the Ang Pow are The God of Longevity and God of Wealth.

If you ask me, I love Ang Pow very much – who doesn’t? Giving money in auspicious occasions is rather simple, practical and convenient. You don’t even have to go out looking for a gift. Instead, Ang Pow is given with a handsome amount of money which any recipient would appreciate! Ang Pow envelope comes in red, a colour that represents good luck and prosperity. The decorations displayed on an Ang pow are always different from one another. Ang Pow designers would always come out with creative and meaningful designs that are capable of delivering significant messages to an Ang Pow recipient. Shapes like flowering lotuses and legendary creatures such as the dragon and phoenix are commonly used as Ang Pow decorations.

As mentioned earlier, the colour red represents wealth, good luck and prosperity. Do not give money in white envelope during auspicious occasions – unless you are going to a funeral. I can’t wait to receive an Ang Pow this year. What about you? Happy Chinese New Year to all who are celebrating it this year. Have a great one!

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Some of the things you should know when travelling to China

 

Travelling to China for the first time? Be sure to know some of these facts:

1.      Language barrier can be a problem. If you know the Chinese language basics, this advantage will help you while travelling to the country. Mandarin is very useful. You can always buy language learning software before visiting the country.

2.      Since China is a big country, you are advised to plan your trip properly. Decide on which region to visit first and then. Once you have made your decision, make a plan and do some preparations if any. Make sure you learn about the regions that you wish to visit. This is because some places have different cultures and practices.

3.      Learn about the country’s public transportation, from its local schedule to transportation fares. You have to know all these in order to avoid yourself from getting cheated. Your knowledge will come in handy, especially when you are going to take a taxi. There are public buses that will take you around, so consider taking one whenever you can. You will not only save money, but you’ll get to learn your way around the country better.

Travel tips in Saudi Arabia

 

1.      When you arrive at Saudi Arabia, be sure to be greeted by your sponsors, friends or family members.

2.      Always greet people with “As-salam-alaikom”, which means “Peace be with you”. When you are greeted with “As-salam-alaikom”, say “wa alaikom as-salam”, which means “And peace be with you”.

3.      Remove your shoes when entering a living room or holy places.

4.      It will be useful to always behave like the locals.

5.       Learning Arabic will very much help you around the country, even in working out a great relationship with the locals.

6.      Try not to talk with the opposite sex if possible, unless you both know each other.

7.      Do not cross your legs or show the undersides of your feet when talking to someone.

8.      Respect their culture although they may be strange an unusual to you.

9.      Do not raise your voice when talking and avoid loud conversations.

10.  Women are required to wear Abaya when going out in public.


Travel tips in Vietnam

Some useful tips when travelling to Vietnam:

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Travel tips in Vietnam:

  1. Dress appropriately. You don’t have to show too much skin; after all, most Vietnamese dress up conservatively. Dressing up provocatively will only lead to unwanted stares by the locals.
  2. Greetings are important. Always address someone politely, especially the ones much older than you. Politeness is a value one must always take with, whether locally or internationally.
  3. When visiting holy places such as the Pagodas, dress up properly. If you are unsure of what to wear, follow the locals and feel free to ask around too.
  4. Drink enough water. You don’t to bring a big bottle with you; there are many vendors out there selling drinks and mineral water. If you carry a backpack with you, perhaps take a small bottle with you.
  5. Always take out your shoe before entering the homes of the Vietnamese. Wearing a shoe inside the house is considered rude. Bear in mind that the Asian lifestyle is different from the Westerners.

Work in Dubai

Want to work abroad? Yes, you can! There are many places that you can go to and it also depends to your interest as well; work in a place that you think you can be comfortable in. Well, if you have no experience staying abroad, perhaps experience it yourself! Dubai is one of the great places to work in although there are of course, the black and white sides about it. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of working in Dubai, shall we?

Some of the things that you should put into consideration:

1.      Financial

In Dubai, you will get to enjoy an income tax free salary! This way, you can always save up more money in your bank account. Having more money in the bank is essential as you may need those extra cash for the rainy days. Why pay so much when you can save more?

2.      Culture

Dubai is a place of culture, both local and international. You will get to see a lot of foreigners around the country; people from all over the world come here to work as Dubai is a country that requires professionals from other countries. Due to the multi-cultural population, you will get to learn about other cultures, language, and religion. However, there are people who prefer to work with people from their own kind; they’re not racist, but some people just have their own preference in certain things.

3.      Travel experience

Working in Dubai enables you to learn and know people from different cultures and backgrounds. Well, if you think getting to know people around Dubai is not enough, you are most welcomed to visit its neighbouring countries! Try visiting Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and many more. You will get to learn more because although each country may practise different lifestyle and holds different political and religious views, they are very kind and welcoming people. This is also the best time to learn Arabic or perhaps, belly dancing!

4.      Free trip home

Being far from your friends and family back home can be stressful sometimes as many people actually suffered from home-sickness when they stay abroad for a very long time. But, don’t worry, if you’re lucky, you might get your company to pay for your trip back to your home country. Most companies in Dubai would do that, so cross your fingers!

5.      Freedom

Working in Dubai is an experience no one should miss! This emirate city has the largest population and second largest land territory among all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi. It is also one of the most well-known Arab countries for having more freedom compared to the other Middle-east countries. Night clubs are available, so you and your friends can always come over for a beer. Yes, there are more freedom here but remember to always behave too.

6.      Climate

Dubai has a very hot arid climate and if you can’t stand the heat, be prepared for this if you are going to stay there for a very long time. Summer in Dubai is even hotter; it is also windy and humid (108 °F in average). Most people find it to be uncomfortable, but to those who are used to hot weather, they tend to adapt faster.

7.      Habits

Likewise, there are so many people of different nationalities in Dubai. Can you imagine how many types of people that you’ll be dealing with? There are good and bad people; you have to learn to tolerate with others, especially when driving on the road. The road is definitely a place that challenges one’s patience.

8.      Learn to respect

You probably have your own views on certain things and the values practised are also different than the others, especially those from different cultures and backgrounds. If you are not careful with your words, this may lead you to some unwanted actions. Learn to be a good listener and bear in mind that some things are just for you to know; you don’t want to touch on sensitive issues that may put yourself into troubles. Always respect the locals and learn to be patient. If you have to learn to be or behave like the locals, try to do so; but, NEVER compare and downgrade their culture. You don’t want them to tell you to get out from the country, don’t you? So, learn to respect and love each other.

Get your number in advance with LocalSIMKad.com

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your LocalSIMKad™ number in advance? This enables travellers to inform their number prior to their travel dates. For example, if you are planning to visit the Philippines on the 5th of July, you can inform your LocalSIMKad™ mobile number in advance to your friends and family; that way, they can call you once you land at the destination airport. LocalSIMKad.com offers a “Get your number in advance” service for all travellers.

For those of you who may not be familiar with  this product, LocalSIMKad™ of your destination is a travel SIM for global travellers, which allows them to make and receive calls when travelling abroad, without incurring any roaming charges. It helps travellers get connected immediately and avoid the hassle of looking around for a local SIM card. Travellers can collect their destination’s local SIM card once they have arrived at the destination. The product was introduced by LocalSIMKad.com in 2010. LocalSIMKad.com is an international booking channel that provides a local SIM card of the country that it offers. LocalSIMKad.com partners with one of the local TELCOs in the country offered.

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