25 Most Shocking Things People Discover In Foreign Countries

Posted by , Updated on November 28, 2022

There is a lot to be said for travel, especially travel to foreign countries. It changes things. It grows your perspective, shifts your horizon outwards, and gives you an appreciation for what else there is in the world. If everybody traveled, the world would almost certainly be a better place. There are even some schools of thought that say travel should be mandatory for school age pupils before they graduate. Imagine that, every single citizen of your country being mandated to go and spend time living in another culture? It would almost certainly lead to a very different world. It would be a world with much less hate and more understanding.

Perhaps not unexpectedly, however, there are plenty of things that people might find strange in other cultures. If you have done any significant amount of traveling in your life you know that every country and region can bring its fair share of surprises and shocks. It’s not just when you travel to other places though. It’s also when people travel to your place. We all live just a little bit differently so it stands to reason that no matter how similar the cultures, there will always be room for something unexpected. These are the 25 Most Shocking Things People Discover In Foreign Countries!

Featured Image: pixabay


United States

United StatesSource: reddit

The people in Los Angeles aren’t nearly as superficial as they are made out to be on TV. It’s a melting pot, and there is possibly no place on earth where a stranger can fit in faster.


United Kingdom

United KingdomSource: reddit

Be prepared for people to ask you if you’re alright. A lot.



AustraliaSource: reddit

People swear a lot more here than in other English speaking countries.



FranceImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Paris is known to let people down pretty hard, especially the Japanese. It’s so glorified in their media, and then they come to see how dirty it is (compared to Tokyo). There’s even a name for it – Paris Syndrome. The Japanese embassy has a hotline and everything. Every year, a few Japanese tourists experience anxiety-type symptoms and have to be flown out.



ChinaSource: reddit

Going number 2 in public is pretty normal. It can definitely catch visitors off guard, though.



RussiaSource: reddit

Moscow and St. Petersburg are far more different than you would think. It’s almost hard to believe they’re in the same country. Where Moscow comes across as big and cold, St. Petersburg is much more European, something like Vienna.


United States

United StatesImage: gags9999 via Flickr, Source: reddit

San Francisco has a much stronger Asian influence on its culture than a foreigner might expect.



JapanImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

There is a satellite radio channel called, “Rokki” that plays the Rocky theme song non-stop, 24-7.


United States

United StatesImage: pixabay, Source: wikipedia

The price tags don’t include taxes.

Note: This is because every state and municipality has it’s own taxes, and some states don’t even have a sales tax at all.



IndiaImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

Expect to fight for your life to get on a train, and don’t be surprised if someone hands you their kids through a window. Just keep the kid until they make it on too.


South Korea

South KoreaImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

There isn’t a separate shower in the bathroom. It sprays right onto the bathroom floor with a drain in the corner. It’s quite convenient.


Not sure if you want to travel? Here are 25 Facts That Will Make You Want To Travel.



MexicoImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

Paying off the police is a pretty regular thing to do.


United Kingdom

UKImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

The amount of Indian food everywhere, especially London, will make you wonder if you got the wrong flight. And for those of you that don’t know, Tikka Masala was actually invented in Glasgow. That’s right. Your Indian food wasn’t even invented in India.



BrazilImage: pixabay, Source: reddit

At night, people don’t stop at red lights. It’s dangerous to just be sitting around in your car.



ItalyImage: pixabay, Source: reddit

The difference between northern and southern Italy is like night and day. For those of you that don’t know, the north is known for being organized, cleaner, and industrial, while the south is where most Italian stereotypes come from although their food is unrivaled.


United States

United StatesImage: pexels, Source: reddit

Places like New York City will look a lot more familiar than you would expect thanks to Hollywood and other media.



GermanyImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

You will be charged for ketchup.



ItalyImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

In Rome, the traffic is probably crazier than what you would expect. There is even a saying among English speaking expats, “red man dead man, green man dead man.” Don’t trust the lights, look before you cross.



SingaporeImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

The cleanliness can be overwhelming. You’ve heard about it, but it’s hard to comprehend until you’ve seen it.



JapanImage: pexels, Source: reddit

Even in Tokyo, people in restaurants will leave their belongings on the table while going to the bathroom. That would be unheard of in most major cities.


New Zealand

New ZealandImage: wikipedia, Source: reddit

It’s more empty and unspoiled than even the brochures would lead you to believe.



FranceImage: pixabay, Source: wikipedia

Paris doesn’t have stop signs. In fact, it’s sort of like Rome with regards to traffic. When you cross, you just have to do what the natives do – lower your head and go for it. If the cars see you looking around, they’ll assume that you’re going to dodge them and not vice-versa.


Czech Republic

Czech RepublicImage: pexels, Source: wikipedia

People drink beer. A lot. Plus, it’s cheaper than water.



BulgariaSource: wikipedia

People shake their heads from side to side to mean “yes” and up and down to mean “no.” It can get confusing for foreigners.


United States

United StatesImage: pexels, Source: reddit

People don’t really use cash. Even the hot dog stand will accept plastic. Public toilets and water fountains are everywhere, and they’re free. It’s also clean. There is an app for everything. Seriously, the country is designed for internet integration.


Do you really enjoy traveling? Are you looking for some place new? Here are 25 Unique Travel Destinations Most Travelers Have No Clue Exist.

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