in developing countries for work with a nonprofit organization I
realized that more conservative clothing is appropriate. While in
Haiti, I always wore lightweight cotton skirts and blouses--no slacks
as few local women wear pants. I saved my slightly worn clothing
to wear in-country and left it behind for the locals, telling them
that I was purposely leaving an item of clothing behind.
Trisha, Atlanta, USA
Haitians are still quite conservative when it comes to women's
dress. Shorts and pants are still less acceptable than dresses and
skirts, particularly if you are going to be interacting with religious
missions. No one expects you to wear panty hose, however. You would
bake in them!
Priscilla, Orange Park, Florida
Honduras See also Latin
A Honduran provincial governor has barred women from wearing G-string
bikinis on beaches so as not to "fire up the passions of men." He
said sun worshippers found wearing skimpy swimwear on Atlantic coast
beaches would be punished but he did not specify what the sanctions
Globe and Mail, Travel section, April 2, 1997
In Honduras, very, very few adult women ever wear shorts no matter
what the temperature. Thus, as a traveller, capri pants, skirts
or lightweight pants are much better choices when trying to blend
in. Luckily, sleeveless tops are fine.
Megan, Burnaby, Canada
In 2003 I spent five months travelling in Central America -- Panama,
Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras-- a single woman travelling alone!
I read a lot of travel information on the area and they all said
that women should cover up, i.e. skirts or pants -- no shorts, to
avoid being harrassed by the local men. I found this to be absolutely
true. Some women I met complained about being followed, called names,
etc my local men, but they were wearing shorts! I never had any
run ins like that thanks to being properly attired while on the
street or travelling by bus.
Christine, Campbelton, New Brunswick, Canada
Don't wear halternecks, short skirts or strappy tops as these will
make people stare. Although I am Chinese and went to Hong Kong for
a holiday, I wore these kinds of clothes, and I had men trying to
peep up my skirt in the underground!! I was even stalked by a creepy
guy around a supermarket and he even followed me down the street.
I'd suggest simple t-shirts, shorts/long skirts and sandals.
Jasmine, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Most women in Hong Kong are dressed modestly; no short skirts
or bare arms. Bring a light sweater as the air conditioning in buildings
can be very cold! I found dark colored capris with an untucked cotton
blouse and simple sandals, to be quite comfortable and fashionable.
Don't wear shorts and athletic shoes or you will be shouting "tourist."
Mari, San Francisco, USA
I lived in HK for 3 years - anything seems to go for expats as
its so multicultural but be careful about cleavage (the Chinese,
Indian men will stare) and dress well if you want to fit in - lots
of designer gear and little dresses. Take a cardigan or jacket for
air-conditioned indoors - it can get very cool.
Lynda, New Zealand
Hong Kong during the month of July is hot, humid and incredibly
sticky. Shorts and t-shirts that are easy to care for and lightweight
are your best bet for daytime travel. Don't forget to bring a long
sleeved shirt because the air conditioning in some places is quite
Jse-Che, Toronto, Canada
In Hong Kong, Pack black preferably. You can see throngs of people
in black in all the streets.
Hong Kong women seem to have this amazing ability of withstanding
the heat & humidity in tight jeans. Many wear tight clothing, but
not sleeveless or cleavage-showing items. Designer clothes with
the name or logo highly visible are very popular. For shoes, sandals
are fine for the summer only if they're nice-looking. No Tevas,
Birkenstocks, nor sneakers. In other words, take casual/dressy looking
clothing and leave your grubs behind. I made the mistake of wearing
your standard North American casual clothes just to go to the supermarket,
and though I'm ethnically Chinese, I got more stares and harassment
than any tourist.
Anne, Scarborough, Canada
If you are young and traveling to HK, be prepared for men and
women alike to be dressed it high fashion and eccentric clothes.
There is no need to be conservative when you are young; nightly
partying is always accepted. Bring a light jacket for indoors, but
most cultural sites and the best shopping is done out side so be
prepared for heat and humidity. Shorts, skirts, tanktops, sandals
are all good!
Kirsten, Overland Park, USA
If you've ever wondered how you'd look in that black leather micro-mini,
but were too scared to risk the leers and disapproving looks at
home, pack it in your suitcase if you're going to Budapest Here
you'll see women - not all of them in their first youth - wearing
the shortest shorts, the skimpiest tops and generally clothes which
would certainly be considered risqué just about anywhere
else but don't warrant a second glance here, whether from young
men on building sites or old women on trams!
Of course, I'm not saying that when in Hungary, do as some Hungarians
do: if you want to wear jeans and t-shirts, that's perfectly acceptable
too. What I'm saying is that, in contrast to many countries frequented
by women travellers, Hungary is (or at least it was when I lived
there 2 years ago), a country where, for once, women can be relaxed
about what they choose to wear or not to wear, and that is a refreshing
Tina, Dublin, Ireland
Ed. note: Please be careful. Skimpy tops
might be acceptable by 99% of the population but it's that 1% that
I worry about. Why take chances so far from home?
In Hungary, it's wise to wear a nice pair of khaki slacks instead
of the typical jeans-and-a-t-shirt many of us wear while adventuring.
I went with a group from college that stayed in families' homes,
and one of our friends told us that Hungarians really only wear
jeans while cleaning!
Tonya, Danville, USA