Finding Trouble in Asia: Let Us Count the Ways

Travel Blog  •  Julia Ross  •  06.09.09 | 4:31 PM ET

Is it me, or has it been a surreal few months for Americans in Asia? Guidebook writers and State Department travel monitors, take note: a few new travel “don’ts” have entered the lexicon. To recap, here’s what we know not to do next time we journey East.

* Sit next to someone feverish when flying to Shanghai

* Venture too close to the Hermit Kingdom

* Get caught with classified documents and/or have a chat with the local CIA contact

* Take a nighttime dip in Rangoon

* Consort with the Kung Fu mafia

Let’s hope the rest of the year will see more successful cross-cultural forays in the vein of U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whose trip to Beijing last week was blissfully free of hotel quarantines or mysterious midnight visits.

Julia Ross is a Washington, DC-based writer and frequent contributor to World Hum. She has lived in China and Taiwan, where she was a Fulbright scholar and Mandarin student. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Time, Christian Science Monitor, Plenty and other publications. Her essay, Six Degrees of Vietnam, was shortlisted for "The Best American Travel Writing 2009."

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