Although the taxis in tunisia can be great value for money, they can also be a hassle and con you out of your money. Unlike in englan, taxis go trawling the streets for custom rather than being in ranks, and we were frequently followed down the street by taxis trying to get us to let them take us where we wanted to be. Another thing to be wary of is taxi drivers not putting on the meter, it means they have the potential to charge you what ever they like once you reach your destination; also insure the meter is kept on at all times. Another thing we found irritating about the taxi's was the fact that they try to sell you 'excursions'. We were told by one taxi driver that monastir medina was the best in the country and that he would take us there and back for 50 dinah. We said we weren't interested but this means nothing and he persisted all the way to our destination. Another thing to be wary of is paying with notes. Often you don't get the correct change and we found that more than once the drivers took rather a large tip for themselves from our money.
One thing I got a lot of hassle from was the Tunisian men. I was followed around, shouted at accross the street, stared at and even proposed to in the middle of a restaurant! They don't have any respect and even having my boyfriend with me acted as not deterrant. As one man oput it, if you arn't married, it doesn't count.
All you have to do is walk past shops to get hassle. The shop owners stand outside and try and sell you what ever they suspect you may be interested in, claiming that things are 'very cheap!' The best thing we found was just to not give them eye contact or speak to them at all and they soon get bored.
On several occasions we had items thrust into our hands on the pretence that it is a 'gift' to welcome you to the country. However, these people will not leave you alone until you pay up. On one occasion I got out of a taxi and as I stood up a man put a necklace over my head. I tried to take it off to give it back to him and he forceably stopped me claiming he was giving me a gift, so I walked off. He then chased me shouting five dinah, five dinah at me! I took of the necklace and tried to give it back, but he would not take it, so I put it on a wall besides where we were stood and walked off. At this point we recieve a mouthful of abuse. Another one is children selling flowers. They look cute but they aren't! Just don't even look at them and keep walking.
Be prepared for Accidents and/or Emergencies
Be prepared for Accidents and/or Emergencies on Holiday......
It can happen to anyone of us and you should take all necessary precautions before travelling to an unfamiliar destination.
There is a great website that is able to help you take preventative measures or to at least have as much necessary information to hand as possible, just in case the unforseen should happen.
The site provides a download of a leaflet by PDF file (there is a charge) or by 32 page booklet (again, there is a charge).
All of the Country & Destination guides are researched and edited on a regular basis - hence the charge for the guides. When you place an order for a guide, it is first checked & verified before being sent to you either by mail or download link.
Why not see if your destination is listed?
Visit - http://www.fisherstravelsos.com/ to verify the details now.......Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
When shopping in Tunisia
When you are in Tunisia, and you want to buy something from the shops, be careful with the prices they charge you, as they always try to rip you off. Always try to get the prices down & if they keep pushing leave the item and walk away. they will try to call you back offering a better price, but never go back just keep walking until you find the item you want at a price you are satisfied with.
Warning for females
When you are visiting Tunisia, be careful as a female by yourself. Lots of these Tunisian guys will follow you and try to get a date or something, no matter what age you are. Even when you are in group they bother you! So, be careful and keep your eyes open for people like that. They can be very pushy. When I went I was only young and when me and my dad was walking down the beach neally every single 1 was asking my dad if they could sleep with me, marry or be my boyfriend. They can push & push & push!!
We had the most horrifying time in Tunis. I have travelled a lot and lived in developing countries and am not a naiive tourist, but I was still shocked by how awful Tunis was.
I was mugged on the train from Carthage back to Tunis at about 5pm.
To make things worse, on the way to the police station I witnessed a Tunisian lady being knocked down violently by two men, and then mugged.
When I got to the police station they kept me there in the freezing cold for about 4 hours, and were very unhelpful, I had to beg just to get them to write the report for me. Then it was about 11pm and they said they would drop me and my aunt back to our hotel.
Instead they dropped us in one of the worst parts of the city and told us we could get a metro. Of course, all the metros were closed at this time and the only people around were dodgy types lurking in the shadows - no one else was around. The equivilant of dumping two obvious tourists in the worst part of london late at night. As soon as they saw us two ladies dumped there some rough me came out of the shadows and started circling us to attack us. Thank god at the last minute a taxi drove past and we ran to it, we came so close to being attacked again in one day,thanks to the police.
To add insult to injury the customs officials tried to bribe me leaving the country as I didn't have an entry stamp, as my passport had been stolen and replaced by my embassy! Even though I had my letter from the police. They gave up when they realised I had nothing to give them, but all the same made me miss my flight.
What a truly horrific place - I wouldn't reccomend it for women travellers at all - even Morocco was safer.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Keep hold of your stuff
The whole place seems full of tea leaves. When your out and about the stop you and pretend to be a waiter from your hotel. As if.
I left my bag in the hotel foyer - it was discovered by staff about an hour later whilst we were on a trip. When I collected it , the bag was ok but my camera had been stolen.
pick pockets and beggars
pickpockets are common in all the medinas,when you visit these places try and be with someone else and keep your wallet in your front pocket
ladies keep your handbags across your body in front of you and be vigilant!!
beggars seem to be everywhere where there are large numbers of tourists if you give to one they all want.
Be careful what you photograph
Visitors should not take pictures of anything connected with the Tunisian Military. Even taking pictures of buildings connected with politics might cause you problems. The Presidential Palace at Carthage is a good example of this. Unfortunately this is situated next to the beautiful Roman Baths so it‘s very hard not to point your camera in that direction.
In some cases buildings will have visible signs outside indicating that photography is forbidden. If you say a soldier or policeman standing guard outside somewhere it’s probably off-limits for pictures as well.
Young children begging from travellers
Travellers in Tunisia are often approached by children, who ask for sweets, Dinars, or quite often, pens. (I've no idea why pens are so popular with Tunisian kids)
Guide books discourage you from giving to the kids as it sends the wrong message out - i.e. of the western traveller who is there to give you stuff. More seriously, some of these kids are sent out by their parents to beg for money from travellers. The parents assume visitors will look more kindly on children asking for things.
I'm not so sure the situation was as bad as this in Tunisia. Most of the kids who approached us asked for sweets first and money last and they weren't too bothered if we refused. A young boy in Tamerza, after we refused to give him anything, followed us back to our car and stayed there while we were in the restaurant nearby. As we were passing again we saw him throw little pebbles at the car. So perhaps we should have bribed him with a toffee...
Delays at the Airport
If you are arriving to or leaving from Tunisia by air make sure you factor in plenty of time for passport checks. We were queuing about 30 minutes on both arrival and departure at Tunis airport. The process was incredibly slow and we were slightly worried we would miss our flight at one stage. It does makes you appreciate the fast EU passport controls in Europe.
Street Names & Signs in Arabic
Navigating Tunisia's cities can occasionally be difficult, especially if you don't read Arabic as in many cities and towns some of the street names are in Arabic only. As we were travelling by car it often took us as a while to work out where we were going, especially in some of the bigger cities.
Kairouan was particularly difficult and we circled the Ville Nouvelle a few times before we had any idea where we were going. There were more streets here which had non-French street names than in any of the other cities we visited. I keep meaning to learn some Arabic script. It would have been very useful on this trip.
Watch Those Prices
On our first day in Tozeur I remember we bought a bottle of water at a small shop which cost us 1 Dinar. The following day, at the same shop, it cost us 0.5 Dinar. Now I’d like to think he undercharged us the second day but I think it’s clear we had been ripped off the first day
We’re only talking about 40 pence versus 20 pence, but it's the principle that matters, and I hate being conned like this. You shouldn’t be afraid to questions the prices in these places. Haggling is a part of life in the souks of Tunisia and even in small food shops, you may have to negotiate.
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