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My experience - so far

I will say that so far my experience in Europe has been positive with regards to my non white heritage. I havent been to every country/city/town, but so far ive made it back alive.

I did have some stares in some places like Southampton, UK and in Brussels, Belgium, but thats okay. Paris, France i got some stares too, but im sure it was due to my lack of dress style or lack of expensive Rodeo Drive name brand clothes. But thats okay since i choose to spend my $$ on travels, not clothes. They do dress nice in Paris, so i was doing some staring back too.

As far as im concerned, staring is okay. if they get physical, is where i draw the line. I havent been denied service at any place either. I guess greed is universal. LOL.

I also try to say hello, thank you and so forth in the local tongue when possible. I find that they are usually more open and willing to help. Worse case, i dont take it personal since i think they are usually more embarrassed by speaking bad english then i am trying to speak theirs.

happy trails.

Posted by
7 posts

I feel Asians are bigger pickpocket targets especially in Italy. It's because Chinese tourists like to carry cash instead of ATM / Credit Card because they get better exchange rate back home. When I was in Rome, several people immediately tried to strike up a conversation as soon as I hit the Spanish Steps. These people were in pairs so I think one was distracting me while the other tried to pick my wallet.

Posted by
9 posts

I've been to Paris and I'm going back in a few weeks. My cousin lives there and we're Chinese. She told me to be careful of my wallet and valuables because they pickpockets are targeting Chinese tourists because they do carry plenty of cash. I can imagine Chinese being harder to pickpocket because pickpocketing isn't a new thing considering there's plenty of pickpocketting in China!

Also, be weary when you're shopping if you happen to be Chinese or Asian in general. I've had instances when haggling where they start off very high. It's nothing new that Chinese tourists are travelling a lot and are big spenders but I'm not a Chinese national but have heard a lot about how they jack up prices when they see that you're Chinese.

Posted by
138 posts

My husband and I are Americans of Chinese descent and our visit to Germany and Austria last year and to Switzerland the year before were very favorable one. People were friendly and helpful. The only time we felt "disrespected" was when we went to get lunch at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. For whatever reason, the waiter completely ignored us and we didn't know why because he was serving other Asian customers. So we just moved to another table in the restaurant and was treated fine. Since we are Asians and "older" and traveling alone, we stand out, so I think we do need to be more cautious regarding pickpockets or other scams as we may be marked as "potential targets". The influx of visitors from China do not help us in terms that they are the new "ugly" tourists - loud, pushy, lacking in manners and flaunting their new wealth. Unfortunately we will be "lumped" together with them - guilt by association. We are planning to go to back Europe again this year and expect to have a great time again.

Posted by
1 posts

I am ethnically Chinese and was visiting Albania. Walking down the street in the city of Vlora I was harassed by Roma children begging for handouts. I was walking with several Caucasian tourists who were not being bothered. The kids were aggressive - following me for over a block then getting closer, their hands right out at me, sometimes touching me. Mind you they were not trying to pick my pockets. Our guide said they are used to Japanese tourists complying with their request for handouts. None of my arm waving or saying NO loudly got rid of them. Our guide told them to go away in Albanian.

On the walk back along the same busy street I was with another tourist of Filipina ethnicity. The same kids harassed us. Without our guide or the rest of the group, this time we had to duck into a ladies clothing shop which the kids did not enter and wait it out until they left.

Generally in Albania I never had any issues - no staring, no differential treatment in any other city or area. I would advise other tourists - of any ethnicity - not to add to the problem of giving handouts to beggars and perpetuating the behaviour.