The clash of new and old has created a constantly shifting terrain of customs and cultures in Asia, making it difficult to determine what to expect or what is expected of you. For instance:
-The hitchhiker's gesture of raising one thumb means "Get lost" in Australia, and the V sign with the V sign with the palm held toward you is obscene.
-Even if you're not in India for business, bring business cards. People often exchange them even at social functions, since it helps the Indians pronounce Western names, and vice versa.
-There is almost no concept of privacy in China. Someone may grab a book or letter from you to get a better look at it. Floor attendants in hotels often come into rooms without knocking.
-At a formal even in Nepal, people may adorn the guest of honor with a garland of flowers called a mala.
-Be careful about complimenting people on a lovely piece of jewelry or an attractive object in the home in Pakistan. The host will feel obliged to give it to you.
-In the Philippines, don't' be surprised if people give you food to take home after a dinner party.
-In Vietnam, slurp as much as possible when eating noodles or soup, as it is polite to do so.
Business and pleasure travelers alike will find all the information they need in The Travelers' Guide to Asian Customs and Manners, including guidelines on greetings, conversation, telephones, dress, meals, tipping, holidays, transportation, legal matters, safety, health, and key phrases. The authors' concise, accurate tops will put every traveler at ease among the changing traditions of Asian culture.