As a general rule, I understand that people don’t like to be told what to do or what not to do, but I recently saw a documentary about a young U.S. citizen that moved me and opened my eyes to many things.
This young man took a trip to North Korea, and for the simple fact of having moved a painting from a wall, he was sentenced to many years in prison and things did not end well.
Well, the Dominican Republic is not North Korea or anything like that, it is not such a drastic country, and it is oriented to tourism and good treatment of foreigners.
But certainly, I have seen many tourists making some mistakes because of ignorance of the culture, or perhaps because of overconfidence.
This is something normal, it could happen to anyone, I would like to know a little bit of the culture before visiting a country so I don’t “mess up”.
That is why I was motivated to write this topic, although I had previously written a similar topic that had zero success at all, I hope this topic, can be useful to some people.
1-Disrespecting sacred places
This is something that I have personally seen by many tourists and locals, in the Dominican Republic, there are sacred places located in very touristy areas.
An example of this is the National Pantheon, located in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo, this is a place that is very visited by tourists, some on their own and others on tours.
What I have noticed, many people inside the pantheon behave inappropriately, talking loudly, posing for photos, some laughing, this behavior may be reprehensible.
The national pantheon is a sacred place, it is the eternal resting place of some of the most illustrious men and women in the history of the Dominican Republic.
Please keep this in mind if you ever decide to visit this place, it is totally worth it because the architecture of the place and the ambiance are impressive.
2-Dressing inappropriately in public institutions
This is the same as the previous example, I have personally seen it in both tourists and locals.
For personal reasons, I have had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic’s immigration office, which is a place frequented daily by both foreigners who are in the process of obtaining documents and locals.
And I have always noticed that people are dressed inappropriately to this institution, the painful thing is that they do not allow you to enter if you are “badly dressed” and you may lose the visit or the time invested.
When I say “poorly dressed”, I mean that you should not visit this place with sleeveless shirts, very short skirts, flip-flops, ect.
It is very common among foreigners who visit the country to dress in a very “uncomplicated” way due to the climate, but this is not appropriate when visiting any state institution, university, library, or church.
3-Buying cheap or adulterated alcohol in a clandestine manner
I don’t think a reasonable foreigner would come to the Dominican Republic to buy adulterated alcohol for consumption, but I will put it on the list because this is a real warning.
In the Dominican Republic, there is a problem with the clandestine manufacture of adulterated alcohol for consumption, the problem is that this alcohol is pure poison.
Just so you don’t misunderstand me, this is not a problem in reputable tourist areas, such as hotels, this is a street problem, in neighborhoods and clandestine places.
I know many people close to me that have bought this type of alcohol for consumption, just because it is very cheap and easy to get in the streets, nothing has happened to those people, but many others have lost their lives.
Simply, do not buy illegal alcohol in the Dominican Republic, do it in trusted establishments.
4-Showing off in public
Showing off in public can be something that anyone can do at any given time, basically because of two factors.
You can do it out of ignorance, or you can do it simply out of vanity, personally, I don’t think that visiting foreigners can show off in public out of vanity, mostly when it happens it is out of ignorance or overconfidence.
I mean, I have noticed that many people from abroad who visit the Dominican Republic, are extremely confident, they carry expensive jewelry in their suitcases, display modern cell phones in public, etc…
This is not appropriate, not only in the Dominican Republic, but anywhere in the world, but let’s say you should be especially careful in developing countries.
Fortunately, in the Dominican Republic, there is not an alarming level of robberies as I have seen in other countries, for example, in certain countries in South America you should be EXTREMELY careful even with the people who approach you.
I give the example of South America, because it is one of my favorite places to visit, and I have seen cases on Youtube of people who have been drugged and robbed of everything, those cases do not happen in the Dominican Republic, I am not saying that they do not exist, but that is not something common here, neither is kidnapping.
5-Being very ” clueless” when it comes to paying or negotiating something
This is something very basic in any part of the world where you go as a tourist, but in the Dominican Republic, if you look like the “typical clueless foreigner” when buying something, people will “kill” you.
When I refer to “kill”, obviously not literally, that word is used here to define a situation in which you buy something at an exaggeratedly high price, “I went to buy some shoes and they killed me”.
When you visit the Dominican Republic, most likely you will have to take a cab (they don’t have a taximeter), you will want to buy some gifts, ect, you should know beforehand the local currency and an approximate cost of things.
Don’t ask prices with a “clueless face”, and it is valid to bargain prices, I have written many guides on this website about it.
There are many other things, but it would make the topic too long.
Here I leave you the link to a similar and more complete topic that I had written before, this topic was not successful, maybe because the format it has is not the right one, anyway, it seems to be very useful information to share.