Growing up in Asia, I’ve learnt my fair share of traditional superstitions. Singaporeans have quite a few superstitious customs that follow us through our daily lives, and even when we are on holiday! Some Singaporean travellers would do things like knock on the hotel room door before entering or place their sandal in opposite directions to keep unwanted ‘guests’ away.
Well, the recent poll by Zuji Singapore just proved that you have every reason to be worried. According to a poll released on Monday (Sept1), one out of five Singapore-based travelers have encountered ghosts and spirits while travelling. Perhaps our customs don’t work as well as we hoped.
The poll also revealed that 60 per cent of the 1,629 Singapore-based surveyed travelers believe in performing their own rituals when travelling, with 47 per cent saying that they will knock on the door of their hotel room before they enter it. This practice is widely known as a gesture to show respect for spirits that “stay” in the room.
In its third travel insights report themed “Holiday Irks and Quirks”, Zuji, Singapore’s online travel agent, had asked participants to share their greatest vacation woes.
Some 15 per cent of the respondents also found people who are heavily tattooed and pierced bizarre, while 14 per cent considered the local customs, rituals, and festivals as their bizarre sightings while travelling. All these bizarre sightings or activities were mostly found in Asia with Thailand topping the list as most bizarre, followed by Malaysia and Indonesia.
Since Singapore-based travelers are pretty much in love with the jet-setting lifestyle, 43 per cent of the respondants say that their biggest vacation nightmare is flight cancellation. Despite this, only 45 per cent say they will purchase travel insurance, and they will only do so when the insurance is affordable. Second on the list of the vacation woes is when one has an uneasy stomach which need a 24 hour washroom access.
It’s pretty interesting to see what travelling is like in the eyes of Singaporeans. It is odd that despite staying in this part of the world, people based in Singapore are still not in touch with our Southeast Asian counterparts, and find their traditions and customs ‘bizarre’. Being a urban city has made us out of touch with our neighbouring countries!
Maybe it’s time to take that backpacking trip around Southeast Asia and see what the fuss is about.
The upcoming travel insights report will be released in January next year.