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Tourist or Traveller

Tip 0146
Story 13 Culture differences
Story 14 Inquisitive in Thailand

Tourist or traveller


We could sit on the fence here and say there is no difference but we wouldn't be fair to all our visitors of this site if we didn't differentiate between the two to help give the correct tips and advice.


So not wishing to offend we define the two by what we believe will give you the best assistance and of course leave this open for debate on our forum section.




There is no snobbery intended but we honestly believe that a "tourist" would fall into the category of "time and necessity." Someone or people with limited time, being say 1-4 weeks taken as a vacation to a location or locations, where they would try to visit as many or the main points of interest in the region, to get a whistle stop tour of an area and to see as much as they can in the time allowed.


They might also choose a package holiday with excursions to be able to manage their time efficiently and effectively. Some might frequent known or recommended restaurants, hotels, hot spots, centres, dare we say known tourist sites and local cuisine also to get a sample of and a feel of the place they visit.

Tip 0144 Full Immersion.

There would be some that avoid such places and book their own package and keep away from the crowds and find their own way, eat on the street, socialise with the locals and this we feel is starting to immerse yourselves into the real culture of the place you visit.




Whereas our definition of a "traveller" would be one of time rich and outward exploration. Someone or persons that may have a lot more time on hand, to not only visit the well known areas but to head off the beaten track and explore hidden treasures unseen or experienced by the crowds.


Persons that don't have to get back before the cruise ship departs, plane takes off or bus to the next destination heads away. They might have the flexibility to alter their schedule and head off in another direction should the need arise and may even not have a return ticket back home. Live with the local people and experience actual life as if migrating.


So for these reasons we differentiate because we feel we can give great tips and advice for both short stay travel and long term travel. Many tips and advice will suit most and we also urge you to check out our other sections in this website.


We categorise under short stay and long stay and hope there will be something for everyone. You will notice the main difference being time factors.


Short stay


In this section we are mainly concerned with time efficiency. Obviously you won't want to miss out on all there is to offer out there but be realistic. Rome wasn't built in a day and you will never see it all, so plan and research before you set off.

Tip 0145 Orientation.


We highly recommend you drop your bags and go! On arrival at your destination so many are tempted to unpack immediately and lay on the bed for a nana nap after the long journey.

Tip 0146 Drop your bags and go.


Try to get out there and look around at least your local surroundings first. You might just find or see something you could be missing out on later. Often there are things going on every day/night and you also might miss out on the morning bus, train, boat for your first outing. Get a local map and work out how long it will take you to get everywhere.

Tip 0147 Will I see it all?


If you've planned enough you should be able to see as much as you can in the time allotted. Realise that if you cram too much in, you run the risk of not enjoying any of it. Pick out the main points of interest first and allow space for the unforeseen. Allow for time out breaks to recover and recoup ready for the next item on the agenda.

Tip 0148 Allow for the unexpected.


Apart from the obvious hot spots, there will always be something else you might like to see or do when you finally get there. A village show, night market, sunset cruise or even climb a mountain.

Tip 0149 Price up locally.


If the location is awesome you can always go back again. Check out the local prices and accommodation whilst you're there, as next time you may be able to book direct.

Tip 0150 Don't leave until last night.


Many a time we've thought we'll do that on the last night or buy that on the last day, only to find that the show doesn't run on that evening or the shop is shut on that day. Try to find out as soon as you get there, when and where things are and open to avoid disappointment.

Tip 0151 Get up early, go bed late.


Unless your trip is purely for relaxation, we advise to get up early and go to bed late. You may only visit this destination once in your life, after all you probably spent a small fortune for this holiday, you want to get your monies worth. You can always relax when you get home. This also gives you more hours in the day to grab that nana nap if you need.

Long stay


Obviously all of the above relate to you also, especially if you plan to keep moving. You may plan for a week here a week there so time will also be of the essence. If you have longer at each location then that's a different matter. Our focus is now more on spending time and making the most of travel.

Tip 0152 Time to smell the roses.


You have all the time in the world, well at least a little more than the above. Again the usual hotspots may well be on your list and why not, your there anyway.


We like to use this phrase, as it pretty much sums up travel in general. "Don't spend all your time looking for the pot of gold and forget to check out the rainbow."


This covers a multitude of things.


You could be so focused on where you're going or what you're trying to do that you miss all the little things that come with it. For example, you hire a car instead of taking local transport. Here you may get to your destination quicker but your focussed on the driving rather than the scenery around you.


I nearly did the same and instead of driving up the Garden Route from Cape Town to Durban, South Africa, I decided to take the "Baz Bus" and took in so much more than I ever would by driving myself.


If you're time rich, why take the short flight when you can take the boat up the river. It might get you there a day later but look at the experience you've experienced on the river.


Try cycling around as well as hiking of course, rather than motor transportation, you will see so much more and get to know the locals.

Tip 0153 Social skill set.


There is a difference between introvert, extrovert and social skills.

Some of the countries you will or may be travelling around have many diverse cultures and it is important to do some research here before you set off.

In some countries being an extrovert can be construed as rude, impolite or damn right arrogance. In the same way having an introvert personality can work against you and sometimes even get you into a lot of trouble.

Story 13 Culture differences world over   


I had been in one of my most favourite cities in the world Tokyo, not one day and was busy in the heart of it all, soaking up the atmosphere and it was beer o'clock early evening.


On entering the crowded establishment, I headed for the bar to order a nice cold Asahi. Being a tall 5 feet 8 inch gentleman lol,  I managed to get to the front quite easily. Noticing a lady was trying to get served, I assisted in her service before mine and thought nothing of it. She thanked me and off she went into the crowds.


Drinking my beer at the bar a local guy came up to me and thanked me for my kindness to his friend and asked me to join them both. I politely refused and carried on enjoying my beer. A polite tap on the back from another couple of smiling locals asking me to join their crowd. Making it hard to refuse, I was carried over to the corner where a local student class was celebrating with their lecturers.


To cut this story very short, I ended up chatting away for over two hours and noticed a westerner trying to join in the fun and seemed to be snubbed as he worked his way around the group socialising. He finally made his way over to me and promptly asked me how long have I been in the country, where upon I answered, this morning I arrived from Australia. He looked at me oddly and told me that he had been in Japan for 2 months and never managed to strike up a conversation with any of the locals.


Moral of the story is, all cultures are different. In this particular case it is better to be introduced, rather than introduce yourself. Try not to be too intrusive and you also don't need to try so hard.

Tip 0154 Be mindful and respectful of differing cultures.


This is not to say, stop being yourself and having a blast. Your social skills, if honed will get you a lot  further than you could ever imagine.

Tip 0155 Be inquisitive.


Story 14 Inquisitive in Thailand


On the way back from a local waterfall in Ko Pha Ngan, I decided to hike down the mountain from the falls village into town instead of taking the bus down. What a pleasant hike and surprise from the meandering stream caused from the falls carving its way down the mountainside and away from the crowds.


Half way down I noticed a local lady cooking her meal on the side of the road outside her house and as I passed the smells from the steaming pots overcome me to ask what she was cooking. Within five minutes I was sitting in her own built house overlooking the stream, chatting away with her and her three cats and before I knew it her best friend appeared and both invited me to stay for eats. How could I refuse.


Her friend popped out for a moment then all of a sudden the whole family ascended from nowhere. Over two hours later, it was hard to leave but I made my apologies and set off again down the mountain, belly full, slightly inebriated and full of the stories we all shared.


Moral of this story is, had I not have been inquisitive I would never have met such a lovely family, or see such beautiful views not seen from the road.

Tip 0156 Be amazed.


Try not to be insular. It is very easy to be focused on oneself and where you're heading or what you're doing, to then miss out on all the things around you that are there for you to find. Everyone has a story and everywhere has a hidden treasure.


Don't be scared to do, try, go and experience. Be brave and you will be amazed with what the world has to offer.

Tip 0157 Learn the language

We go into a fair bit of detail in the tip 0157 but basically the question is, do you really need to learn the language?

We believe the answer to be "NO" of course not!

Basically, as long as you attempt to learn key words and try to learn as you go, this will put you in good stead for travelling and more importantly with the locals.

You can't be expected to know every language or dialect there is out there.

Most problems come from the can't be bothered attitude and from those that articulate English is the universal language of the world and everyone should know it! This will get you a big fat nowhere.

As long as you are seen to be trying to learn and are courteous, polite and not disrespectful, you will do just fine.

Having had many conversations with my gesticulation crash test dummy sign language, we have usually come out with a barrel of laughs and some great friendships along the way.

Of course the usual brush up on your "Please and Thankyou's"  and a few other choice words like "where's the pub" always comes in handy.

Best tip here to bear in mind is, try not to turn up in the country unprepared at all. Wherever you travel to, you will almost certainly have at least a few hours to get a few words down pat for your arrival. You will be slightly flustered on arrival and being prepared helps no end.

We will expand these sections later and have many stories, tips and advice to share. Please feel free to share your stories in our forum.

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