I’ve been to quite a few places around the world and I can honestly say I have never been any place where people flat-out disliked me because I was visiting (or because I am American). Nonetheless, there are some places that have people who are just not very nice. I know, it is not very PC of me to suggest that some people suck, but there are some that do!
Not everyone is rude just because they come from a country I list below. Ironically, I have good friends either from or stilling living in each of these countries and I have met really wonderful people from each country. Nonetheless, some places just seem to have some unpleasant folks. Here are the top five places I think have the most rudest people.
Update: Since I’ve actually received death threats for this post, I thought I would add that I don’t hate any particular group. Just because I thought people were rude doesn’t make me a Nazi. I’ve met great people in all these countries, but in an article this size it’s difficult to get into all the nuances. As for the rudest country, check out the link I added when you get to that part.
Picking on the French is fairly common for an American, but they make it so easy. They are so damn rude. They seem utterly fixated on the fact that the French language is no longer the main language of the world and that no watches their movies without subtitles. They will refuse to speak any language other than French (even if they know how) and treat most people as inferior little bugs if you they do no speak French perfectly (even attempting French is simply not good enough). Sure, they have great bread, wine almost as good as two buck chuck (joking!), and the best cheese in the world, but the French language… well, it sounds like someone slurring from drinking too much French wine.
Malaysians don’t seem to give a shit about much, least of all you. To be fair, my experience is primarily with Borneo (yes, it is part of Malayasia), though I have little doubt the mainland is much different. Malaysians seem intent on ignoring you or just being completely indifferent most of the time (want to check into your room? well, I am watching my soap opera so you have to wait). That is actually the best you can hope for because when they are not completely ignoring you they seem to be in a perpetual state of irritation at your existence. Since you irritate them, it makes complete sense that they should try to screw you out of your money, which they will happily tell you they are doing because, “You are not Malaysian.”
Coming from Costa Rica, a really nice country with pleasant people, to Panama was a rude shock. Panamanians are racist, bigoted and super rude. Hotels flat-out refuse rooms to gays but happily give them to married men with their prostitute (I love the Christian thought process). Regardless of whether you are gay or not, many people simply refuse to help you or answer questions (even if you are speaking Spanish), and hotels and restaurants won’t help you or show you rooms unless you are doing business with them (hotels often want money before they will even show you the room). Taxis will not take you to the bar you requested, and instead take you somewhere else because they just didn’t feel like driving there or don’t like the bar you want to go to. This extended to just about every facet of Panamanian life. Very annoying to deal with that while on vacation.
Guatemala has some amazing sights. Unfortunately, they are in Guatemala. This country seems hell-bent on screwing tourists any way they can. It seems built into the fabric of their society. Arrive anywhere in Guatemala and watch as their eyes light up with dollar signs. Border agents deliberately mess up entry stamps so they can collect a “fee” to fix it. Even if you already have a stamp, well you need another one and that sign is old, the price is much more now. Travel service agents flat-out lie to you and over charge for everything. Taxis and minibus drivers go to great lengths to screw you out of money, tacking on extra fees and charges that are not real. I managed to only get soaked for a few dollars (at 3am in the morning when I had no choice but to go along with it), but it is really sad to watch as Guatemalans screw people out of big chunks of change. Not a nice people.
I actually didn’t think it was possible to find people more rude and unpleasant than Guatemalans, but then I went to the Philippines. Wow! Filipinos are so amazing rude it is almost unbelievable. They treat people like shit. The exception? Palawan. The people in Palawan are the complete opposite of the typical Filipino—they are absolutely wonderful. Avoid the rest of the Philippines unless you are a glutton for punishment. Filipinos are excessively rude and mean, and fly off the handle at the slightest provocation, which usually involves you asking them to do their job. I had a lady at a resort get mad at me because I ordered dinner New Year’s eve and she wanted to leave early. She actually made me eat outside and locked up the restaurant. That was probably the nicest experience I had, Filipinos are usually much worse. I have never experienced a more unpleasant people.
Update: Here’s a post about the Charming Cities of Iloilo where I said I could see myself living in the Philippines.
There are a few other countries that are rude. Vietnam is well known for being rather aloof and unfriendly. The Spanish, especially those in Madrid, often seem to have a chip on their shoulder, though about what I cannot say. Southern Italians are rather rude and always seem to be mad about something. And good old mother England has her fair share of folks that can be rather off-putting.
Even as I wrote this, I was thinking of my friends and all of the nice people that were pleasant and quite helpful in every one of these countries. Maybe it was me or just the people I encountered, I don’t know. But I do know there are nice people everywhere (even in the Philippines).