We retrace in random order starting from Europe, crossing Latin America and reaching as far as Asia, a collection of 10 habits, customs and traditions that are considered out of the ordinary.
10 – CHEESE ROLLING COMPETITION
In England, the traditional Cheese rolling competition is held in Gloucestershire, in the south of England. This is an annual event that takes place on Cooper Hill: the goal is to make the cheese roll from the top of a relatively steep hill as fast as possible, with the knowledge that you can hurt yourself at any moment. ! This is what the warning sign placed on the site communicates: “Cheese rolling is a dangerous activity for both participants and spectators”.
9- DUTCH BIRTHDAY
The Dutch tend to congratulate the whole family on birthdays. For example, imagine you are at your brother’s birthday party, the guests will give you their best wishes, even if it is not your birthday! Furthermore, these people traditionally prefer to sit in a circle and drink tea.
8- NEW YEAR IN NAPLES
The New Year in the South of Italy is really special.
In Naples, for example, people tend to throw objects out of the window at midnight.
7- LA TOMATINA
Continuing in southern Europe, let’s jump to Spain. In Buñol, a town in Valencia, the famous festival called La Tomatina takes place, where participants throw handfuls of tomatoes at each other for fun!
6- SOCKS OF LATVIA
In Latvia, it is better to avoid giving shoes or socks. Why? Figuratively it is like wishing the person who receives them to “walk out of your life”. Since our friends and loved ones prefer to keep them close to us if you have a Latvian friend it would be good to give you a better gift idea.
5- WIFE CARRYING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Finland seems to be the realm of strange races. Have you ever heard of the Wife Carrying World Championship, the competition where husbands carry their wives upside down on their shoulders as they try to overcome obstacles as quickly as possible? Or the Swamp Soccer World Cup held in the Kainuu region, where you should kick a ball while you are completely soaked, immersed in a brown swamp up to the knees. Other traditional alternatives include phone or boot launch competitions.
4-EARTHQUAKES IN CHILE
In Chile, there are small earthquakes all over the country every week, and nobody really cares about it until grade 6 on the Richter scale is exceeded. During these small earthquakes, the Chilean at most prevents the glass from falling down but does not stop watching TV.
3. DRINK MATE IN ARGENTINA
Argentines instead love drinking mate, a popular and traditional tea drink. What’s strange about this? The fact that they do it while they are driving, and that different car accidents occur when people are driving a car with a tea container in their hands! The local government has also tried to set up a law that prohibits consumption while driving.
2- EVERY DAY IS A PARTY IN NEPAL
Nepalese people follow a lunar calendar and celebrate New Year’s Eve generally in April. Currently, the current year is 2072. However, several castes still have their New Year, for example, Sonam Lhosar for the Tamang community, Tamu Lhosar for the Gurung community and Gyalpo Lhosar for Tibetan community. When these are joined by the Chinese New Year and the Western calendar, it seems that the entire calendar year in Nepal is a party!
1- AADI FESTIVAL
India is a very large country, with enormous cultural diversity, and therefore holds several types of interesting traditions and customs. Did you hear about the Tamil Naju Aadi Festival for example? Priests can smash coconuts on the heads of devotees to wish them good luck and health.
Travel at its best can be exciting, stimulating, thrilling and breathtaking. Discovering new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures often requires an effort to break out of your comfort zone, and, in doing so, travel becomes a learning experience.
Some of that education may come from things going wrong: A bus breaking down in a remote rainforest in Mexico for five hours or an airline losing your luggage for a week-long vacation to London can teach you a lot about patience, how to make the best of a bad situation, and to travel lighter.
Travel can also be dangerous, especially if you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. The U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories keeps tabs on the world’s “danger zones,” listing the most dangerous countries you should avoid.
Here, we take a look at the most perilous of them, so you can skip the dangerous places and keep the exhilaration of travel on the positive side.
10. Middle East: Watch Out for War-Torn Countries
Unrest in the Middle East has been a way of life for quite some time, with Americans urged extreme caution in Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, where wars continue to rage and religious freedom is not commonplace.
Terrorist groups in the region have been known to target government facilities, public sites, shopping areas and transportation hubs in Yemen.
Kidnappings, hostage-taking, suicide bombings, and insurgent and terrorist attacks are at “critically high levels” in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. In Iran, the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens is a frequent occurrence, the State Department warns.
9. Keep an Eye Open in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe
Although much of South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are safe and welcoming to travelers, these countries do still come with their own cautions.
Tanzania is targeting and attacking members of the LGBTI community with harassment, unwarranted examinations and detention, and charges of unrelated crimes.
Zimbabwe and South Africa are experiencing crime and civil unrest as well, so if you visit you should monitor the news for breaking events and stay away from political rallies, demonstrations and crowds.
8. Use Precaution in Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Congo and Sudan
Besides the countries marked absolutely unsafe to visit, there are several countries that have higher security risks, which Americans are urged to reconsider visiting.
The government warns of any travel to Sudan’s Darfur region, Blue Nile state and South Kordofan state; also be aware that other parts of the country are experiencing civil unrest and terrorism.
Niger is experiencing higher levels of crime and terrorism, and armed robbery is common. This is also the case in neighbouring Nigeria, where civil unrest and piracy are on the rise. Do not visit Borno and Tobe states or the northern Adamawa state of Nigeria due to terrorism.
Minefields along the borders of Libya and Sudan make Chad unsafe, along with its carjackings, muggings and crime, also found in Mauritania.
7. Africa: Watch Out for Countries of Unrest
The State Department views a number of African countries as unsafe for American travel.
In Somalia, there are reports of “schools” being used as “cultural rehabilitation facilities,” holding people against their will with physical abuse rampant. In Mali, terrorist and armed groups have targeted night clubs, hotels, restaurants and other places frequented by visitors with attacks and kidnappings.
Kidnappings and murders of civilians are common in the Central African Republic, while political and ethnic fighting in South Sudan is so escalated, journalists have been killed in the line of duty. U.S. citizens and government officials are especially targeted in Libya, where kidnapping for ransom is commonplace.
6. Use Precaution in Brazil and Colombia
Brazil is a popular place for vacations, especially to Rio de Janeiro. However, crime can be a big issue in Brazil, including Rio. The State Department warns tourists to steer clear of the areas that border Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and other countries due to higher crime than the coastal cities. You should also be cautious at night and stay away from Brazil’s informal housing developments known as favelas, Comunidades, vilas or conglomerates.
Although Bogota is booming, you should exercise caution in Colombia, avoiding Arauca, Cauca, Choco, Narino and Norte de Santander due to high crime and terrorism. Popayan, Nuqui and Cucuta in these areas are safe if you can travel directly to them.
5. South America: Watch Out for Venezuela
There is political upheaval currently taking place in Venezuela, which lands a top spot on the State Department’s “Do Not Travel” zone. The country is experiencing high violent crime rates, poor health infrastructure, and political rallies and demonstrations, not to mention the arbitrary arrest and detention of Americans.
With food, medical supplies, water and electricity shortages, the situation in Venezuela is so dire, thousands of residents are seeking asylum in neighbouring countries.
4. Use Precaution in Central America
In Central America, the State Department urges Americans to reconsider traveling to Nicaragua, which has limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws that lead to more crime, while San Salvador has a higher level of violent crimes. Honduras has a heightened alert due to crime, but it isn’t widespread across the country and tourist-centric zones may be safer than off-the-grid travel.
If you do decide to visit these countries, stay aware of your surroundings, avoid walking and driving at night, keep expansive jewellery and signs of wealth hidden, and only use certified tourist authority companies and guides.
3. Use Precaution in Turkey and Lebanon
Lebanon’s coastal areas are safer than its borders. An advisory remains not to visit the borders of Syria, due to terrorism, and Israel, due to armed conflict. Refugee settlements from Syria also carry heightened concerns for conflict.
Borders are an issue in Turkey, as well, where Syria and Iraq have been plotting terrorist attacks in highly populated areas such as shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, churches, sporting events, airports and more. The risk is so great, even cruise ships have alerted routes to skip the Turkish coastline and Istanbul.
2. Asia: Watch Out for North Korea
Spanning more than 57 million square miles in size, Asia offers endless travel possibilities. The only Asian country the U.S. wants you to steer clear of is North Korea.
The U.S. does not have any official diplomatic relations with the country to assist with emergencies, and U.S. passport holders are not allowed to travel to, in or through North Korea without special validation from the Department of State, and these special validations are limited.
1. North America: Watch Out for Mexico
Stories of travelers catching a taxi to be whisked off somewhere remote and left stranded after being robbed in Mexico circulate in the news, as do reports of bloody cartel wars. The dangers are real.
In fact, a U.S. Department of State “Do Not Travel” advisory is in effect for the Mexican states of Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa and Guerrero due to widespread violent crimes that include homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery.
Air travel has changed travelers’ habits, but there are those who prefer to travel by train to enjoy the facets of the landscape and make an eco-sustainable journey. Almost no matter the destination to reach, landscapes, suspension bridges, deserts, mountains, lakes, unique and pleasant the journey. In our list, we have chosen ten of the journeys to be made by train that travel through fabulous territories to be able to contemplate while sitting comfortably.
10. The Ghan, Australia
Three days, two nights and 3000 kilometres to cross and explore the heart of Australia from north to south thanks to the Ghan Train. A journey with different perspectives with extreme and unusual landscapes. From the lush green hills of Adelaide to the wild Outback, from the Red Center of Alice Springs to Darwin and from the aboriginal sites at the slow pace of the city of Darwin.
9. The Golden Chariot, India
The train that promises to show many worlds in a single journey is the Golden Charion that crosses the state of Karnataka in India. A luxury train with an Indian touch that travels from the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, to the famous beaches of Goa, in southwestern India. During the journey, beautiful landscapes and nature reserves will surprise you. Onboard, however, you will experience an atmosphere of other times with cabins equipped with all comforts, a restaurant with tasty Indian dishes and 2 salons dedicated to massages and Ayurvedic therapies.
8. Belmond Hiram Bingham, Peru
With Belmond Hiram Bingham you will travel in an elegant and exclusive way. From Cusco to Machu Picchu, to make your journey magical will be the view from the window of the Sacred Valley, the Andean countryside and the Peruvian landscape. In the bar carriage, the journey will be punctuated by Peruvian music played live and a tasty cocktail.
7. Trans-Siberian, Moscow / Mongolia / China
The Trans-Siberian is the railway line for those who love adventure travel and out of the ordinary as well as being the longest in the world with its 9000 kilometres. It departs from Moscow and reaches Beijing or Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan. From metropolises like Moscow and Beijing you will be fascinated by the endless Mongolian steppes, swamps, rivers and the Gobi Desert. But what will make your trip unmissable is the chance to meet a variety of people, meet countless looks, capture the existence of a myriad of cultures and ways of life and make new encounters.
6. The Shinkansen Bullet Train, Japan
In Japan, you can plan long journeys without being afraid of missing connections with the Skinkansen Bullet Train. Defined bullet train travels on a single trunk at high speed while maintaining high standards of punctuality. The Shinkansen network connects Kyoto to cities like Osaka, Niigata, Nagano, Shin – Aomori to be reached in complete silence if you choose the “absolute silence” carriage where no one speaks and the stops are not even announced.
5. Rovos Rail, Africa
Traveling by Rovos Rail is like spending a holiday in a five-star luxury hotel that runs on rails starting from Cape Town to reach Pretoria and Johannesburg with the possibility of arriving also in Zambia, Tanzania and Namibia in July. The train, furnished in the classic style of the Twenties and Thirties, has two lounges, two restaurant carriages, sleeping cabins with private bathrooms. “Big Five” in the heart of Africa (elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, lions and leopards).
4. Red lizard, Tunisia
The stretch from the Station of Métlaoui to the terminus Redeyef, central west of Tunisia, is recommended for lovers of quiet and desert. The Red Lizard, a diesel locomotive, travels for 43 kilometres, rocky fractures, small oases at the sides of the mountains, Chott el Djerid (the largest saline in the Sahara) and the Selja Gorges, a narrow peak that creates an amphitheater natural where the water goes down and goes to spray a bed of sand. The railway was built in 1906 to transport phosphates from the fields to the industries, today the train has been completely restored.
3. Tunnel of love Train, Ukraine
If you have intentions to make sincere promises so that love will come true, you must reach Klevan where there is the most romantic rail track in the world to the west of Ukraine. The Tunnel of Love is a tangle of trees and vegetation, about 3 kilometres long, a stretch crossed by a train that transports timber to a local factory. A true hymn to freedom and love with an incredible atmosphere that changes according to the seasons and the color of the leaves.
2. Historic Sulmona train – Roccaraso, Italy
Vintage coaches and breathtaking views will make your journey from Sulmona to Roccaraso unique thanks to the historic steam train that still today crosses the Majella Park. The train retraces the tracks of the Italian Siberian Railway and reaches a height of 1,268 meters. With a stop in Palena, Campo di Giove and Roccaraso you will immerse yourself in the woods and vegetation of the Abruzzo highlands.
1.California Zephyr Train, United States
With the California Zephyr, the longest train in the Amtrak, crossing the United States of America is possible. It joins Chicago to San Francisco through 52 hours of travel, two nights and 37 stops that will make your trip incredible. With your eyes glued to the window, you’ll go through rocky mountains, the Utah desert, Salt Lake City and Nevada. You will discover America by sitting.
But Italy’s top attractions for tourists are not all art and architecture; the country is blessed with lakes, mountains, and a dramatic coastline that give it outstanding natural attractions, as well. This list of top places to visit is only the beginning of outstanding things to see and do in Italy
10. ROMAN FORUM
The Roman Forum may require a little imagination to understand exactly what this area once looked like. However, its historical significance as the heart of the Roman Empire cannot be overstated. Pillars, partial structures, and foundations of former temples, market halls, courts, and public buildings pay tribute to Ancient Rome, which stood here for a thousand years.
9. ST. MARK’S BASILICA
One of the most important tourist sites in Venice is St. Mark’s Basilica. Most visitors in Venice will find themselves in the famous square, Piazza San Marco, in front of the basilica, looking at the main west-facing facade. Next to the basilica is the Doge’s Palace, also filled with priceless masterpieces of Italian art.
8. CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre is a lovely coastal region with steep hills and sheer cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The five picturesque villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore can be reached by several means, joined to each other by walking paths, a railroad that tunnels through the headlands to emerge at each town, or a scenic narrow road high on the hillside above.
7. FLORENCE DUOMO SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE
Regarded as one of the finest cathedrals in the world, the Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, dominates the Florence skyline. The cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries, with the most famous piece being the extraordinary dome, completed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1434. The cathedral’s bell tower stands close beside the cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, covered in the same patterned marble typical of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.
6. AMALFI COAST
The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning stretch of coastline along the Sorrentine Peninsula, south of Naples and Sorrento. Hillside towns are built precariously along the steep mountainsides that cascade down to the sea. You can tour the coast by road or hop between towns by boat for different perspectives of the dramatic and almost vertical shore.
5. LAKE COMO
Lake Como is one of Italy’s most scenic areas, surrounded by mountains and lined by small picturesque towns. A haunt of the wealthy since Roman times, the lake has many opulent villas and palaces along its wooded shores, many of them surrounded by gardens that are open to the public. The mild climate that makes the lakeshore ideal for gardens is also a draw for tourists, with characteristics similar to that of the Mediterranean.
4. THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually just one of many attractions in the city of Pisa, but its fame, gained from its flaw, is world renown. Work began on the tower in the 1100s, and the sinking, which led to the lean, began by the time the tower reached the third story. Prior to restoration work in the 1990s, it was predicted to topple over by the year 2000. Today, visitors can climb up the stairs of the tower for a fabulous view of the city.
The still smoking volcano of Mt. Vesuvius looks down on the remains of the city it destroyed in AD 79. But that same eruption also preserved many of the city’s art treasures: frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures that were encased in the lava as it cooled. Visitors can tour the site, walk along the old streets scarred by the tracks of chariots, and see the engineering used by Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
2. VENICE CANALS
A gondola ride through the canals of Venice is a tradition that travelers have been enjoying for centuries. Venice is a city of islands, and the canals have long been the city’s main streets, connected by a labyrinth of narrow passageways. Lining the canals are old buildings that have remained relatively unchanged for hundreds of years, adding to the romantic charm.
The best way to see many of the grand palaces, whose fronts face the water, is from a Vaporetto ride along the Grand Canal.
For travelers making their way through Italy, the Colosseum is a must-see. This huge Amphitheater is the largest of its kind ever built by the Roman Empire and has remained a model for sports facilities right up to modern times. Built as a venue for public spectacles and shows – even mock sea battles, it had a wooden floor that was 83 by 48 meters. It’s a prominent reminder of ancient times and the extensive history of Rome.
Japan is the perfect location for your holidays. From modern skyscrapers to undisturbed bamboo forest and neon arcades to peaceful temples, it’s like nowhere else on the planet.
Discover some incredible places with this our top 10!
A Peace Memorial Museum at Hiroshima is a deep experience for pay respects to the victims of the atomic bombing.
It’s an attractive stay to explore the modern city that was almost entirely rebuilt after World War 2. Visit the Miyajima island and trying the delicious local specialities.
Nara is full of historic treasures including many UNESCO world heritage sites. During the Nara period, Nara was the capital of Japan.
The Daibutsu-den (Hall of the Hreat Buddha) at Todaiji is the main sight. Inside is the 15-metre tall gold and bronze statue of Buddha.
Tame sika deer (or Japanese deer) roam through the town, especially in Nara Park. They have learned to bow in order to receive senbei (crackers) from visitors.
A picture-perfect traditional mountain village in the Kiso Valley is Tsumago. You’ve stepped back in time in the traffic-less streets of wonderful restored wooden inns.
The panoramic view during spring is very impressive.
The Nagiso Museum of History contains information on the areas history, the preservation of row houses and data about row houses throughout the country.
Mount Koya is one of the most interesting places in Japan to experience the traditional side of the country.
The sacred temple town is located in the forest-covered mountains of Kansai and is one of the best places to get a taste of life as a monk.
You could visit Nikko as a day trip from Tokyo, but it’s worth spending a night or two to explore one of the most beautiful places in japan including lakes, waterfalls and hot spring.
Nikko is a temple town and UNESCO world heritage site in the mountains a few hours north to Tokyo.
Kanazawa grows in popularity for a quieter place to experience geisha districts with preserved gardens in the country, a stunning castle, and many art museums to explore. Don’t miss visit Kenroku-en Garden, one of the top three gardens in Japan.
In the evening from the lake, there are unforgettable sunsets with Mount Fuji to enjoy.
This place is perfect for admire Mount Fuji View, the Japan landmark.
Then Hakone is fun to visit because you can do a loop of the sight on different modes of transport, for example, a pirate boat!
Don’t forget eating a black egg cooked in the hot sulphur springs at volcanic Owakudani.
The historical centre is full of traditional wooden houses and colorful shrines. Is very gorgeous small town on the edge of the Japan Alps. Can see the extravagant floats at the Festival Floats Exhibition Hall and Hida Mountains.
Takayama is known for its local foods, including sansai (mountain vegetables) and was kana (river fish)
One of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Will host the 2020 summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics.
Tokyo is also home to some of the weirdest activities ever done. From themed cafes (cats, owls, maids, robots) to sensory-overload shows and arcades to play go-karting.
Don’t forget visiting beautiful Shinjuku and walking across the famous Shibuya Crossing.
If Tokyo is ultramodern, Kyoto is the heart of traditional Japan counterpart.
This is traditional Japan as you imagined it—geisha, kimonos emerging wooden teahouses, forests of bamboo, temples and shrines in gold and silver and scarlet, Zen gardens, intricate feasts served on lacquered plates, graceful tea ceremonies, and markets full of intriguing but unidentifiable ingredients.
Don’t miss getting your fortune from a vending machine at Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Temple).