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Safety for Women in Tunisia

245

Comments

  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley,
    Going to Sousse next sunday.Your comments are most helpful.Do blond haired teenage boys get stared at? Do you have to dress appropiately for meals in hotels or does it depend on the hotel ?
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Orks - anyone with blonde hair is the object of the stare! Depending on the hotel you are staying at in regard to meals. My advice is not to go to meals in bathing suit or short shorts otherwise you will have the staff falling over themselves to assist you :) I am sure you will have fun and just so you know it is very, very hot here!! Sunscreen is a must

    Enjoy
  • edited July 2009
    Hi
    Myself and my two sons are going to Port el Kantoui in 2 weeks.
    I am wondering what clothes we should bring for going down the town in the eve? Do I need to cover my shoulders etc etc? Also both my sons are fair with 1 being really blonde will they encounter problems? I am a single mother
  • edited 10:51PM
    Debs,

    Covering the shoulders is a good idea especially as you are on your own so to speak. Your sons will not have any problems they will be adored!! tunisians love and cherish children and will pounce on your two sons (if they are young) and shower them with affection.

    Lesley
  • edited 10:51PM
    Thanks Lesley
    Was a bit worried but you've put my mind at ease. We're really looking forward to our hols

    Debs
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley

    I am going to Tunisia for 9 days (i.e. a tour) and would like to know if there is any local tour that offer a "stars trip" (i.e. probably half day or one night) in desert as I really want to see millions stars in the sky.....

    Many thanks,
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Jenny - I am not sure if there is a local operator who does just 1 day. It will depend on when you are coming and when you want to go to the desert. I ask as the desert is a long, long way from the cities. If you give me your rough itinerary I can find out for you.

    Cheers,
    Lesley
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello My husband and I are going to hammmet on the 19th. First time in tunisia going to the chich kahn hotel. I'm confused about what to wear, I'm hearing horror stories of food poisoning and being told not to leave the hotel? can anyone ease my mind about what to wear if we do leave the hotel as I normally wear shorts? Is it ok to wear a bikini by the pool?
    thanks
  • edited 10:51PM
    and I forgot to mention the money....whats the best option? Do i take sterling and change it in the hotel or as in other hotels will the exchange rate be ridiculous? thanks
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley

    Here is my itinerary:

    Day 1: Tunis - Sidi Bou Said - Carthage Ruins
    Day 2: Tunis - bardo Museum - Medina - Monastir
    Day 3: Monastir - EI Jem - Matmata - Douz
    Day 4: Douz - camel ride - Chott Ej Jerid - Tozeur - By Jeep (Chebika - Tamerza - Mides)
    Day 5: Tozeur - Sbeitla - Sousse
    Day 6: Sousse - Kairouan - Port EI Kantaoui - Hammamet
    Day 7: Hammamet - Cap Bom (Kelibia. Kerkouane. Haouaria) - Nabeul
    Day 8: Hammamet - Tunis

    Many thanks,

    Jenny
  • edited 10:51PM
    I am traveling in Italy with my 12 year old daughter this fall (we are Americans) and have decided to include a 10 day trip to Tunisia. I was thinking of taking a boat from Sicily. We are looking for more of an adventure and beach resort experience. I would appreciate any guidance on an economical itinerary for our journey. Thanks.
  • edited 10:51PM
    too busy - I don't know who is giving you this information but it is all wrong!! You can wear a bikini within the hotel but be aware that mostly the staff are all male and they will look. I've never had food poisoning here but it is something you can pick up anywhere. Most tummy troubles come from meat and fish so make sure that it is fresh. You will find that mostly it is grilled on a flame which should be fine. But don't let this put you off the food. It's yummy especially cous cous and definitely try the harissa - it will kill any bug that you may have!! If you don't leave the hotel then there is really no point in going to another country for a vacation is there? Of course it is safe to leave your hotel, take a walk, go to the market, visit the shops, take a coffee but be aware that if you wear shorts you will be stared at. You will never see a local woman or man for that matter showing their legs so take your lead from them, but of course if you wear shorts please don't complain about being stared at. You can bring sterling but change it at the bank rather than the hotel. The banks usually have competitive currency exchange, the hotels of course will take their bit and you will get less. Don't be afraid of Tunisia - it is beautiful and the people are hospitable and wonderful. Embrace the culture and you will go home richer for the experience,

    Lesley
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Alison,

    I don't know about the ferry from Sicily but can do some research for you. It would take sometime though! I'm not sure what you mean by economical but keep in mind that your US$ will buy a lot here. For foreigners this country is very cheap! Adventure and beach resort do not go hand in hand! I suggest that perhaps as you have only 10 days that you look at some of the tours that are offered and consider doing that, you will get to see quite a lot, you will have others around you and it will be cheaper than doing it on your own.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Jenny = In a lot of the cities you visit you will be very near to the desert. Are you able to break from the group for a couple of days and then rejoin or is that not possible?
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hey Lesley - just returned from my holiday in hammamet, and wanted to say thanks for the advice. As you say there is nothing to worry about, we (my sister and i - both in 20s) had an amazing week. The clothes situation - same as any holiday wore bikinis in resort and dressed up nicely in evenings when out for food - but wouldnt this be the case in any country - I dont know many who would wear swimwear to dinner!! The staff in hotel both male and female were absolutly lovely - animation were great - even taking us out to sample the tunisian night life! Food was mostly great - harissa def a fave! Would just say to watch out for water mellon (cultivated with chlorinated water) - we were warned early on thankfully however others werent as lucky and got a few tummy bugs!! Yeah there were times when men stared, i got more email address' and phone numbers in a week than i have done in my life, but just take it as a compliment and with a pinch of salt and there is no problems at all. Tunisia really is a beautiful part of the world and i would reccommend it to anyone - dont be put off by the bad reviews which toallty scared the life out of us after we booked our hol!! For everyone going to tunisia - have a great time, I cant wait to return!
    C
  • edited 10:51PM
    C - I am so, so, so pleased that you love my adopted country and I am so happy that you had a great time. You see - I told you so!!! I hope you plan to come back soon. I know about those phone numbers............but you are so right, take the compliment and smile inside.

    Lesley
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley

    I am afraid I can't break from the group for a couple of days, therefore, I would like to find a "short trip" (i.e. few hours or 1 night) to the dessert and rejoin the group in the morning. Is it difficult?

    Thanks.

    Jenny
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley,

    I saw an earlier post where someone had asked about wearing shorts in the city centres and was wondering if that's the same everywhere? My girlfriend and I are travelling to Skanes next week, but will be travelling through to Sousse (which i hear is very popular with tourists) and was wondering if they would be so strict on it there.

    Many thanks, Keiren.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Jenny - you may be able to find a company in Tozeur who can offer you an overnight. Let me do some research and get back to you.

    Hi Keiren - yes Sousse is a popular tourist spot. Keep in mind that others apart from tourists live and work there. No-one is strict here, we certainly do not set rules for foreigners or tourists. My advice is always for your comfort and safety. You will NEVER see girls/women wearing shorts and rarely a male. If you want to avoid feeling discomfort then pay respect to the culture and the country. Believe me, you will have a happier time and a great holiday.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Terryanply - Turkey is not like here!! It is a multicultural and mixed religious country. Tunisia is Islamic - nothing else. Yes, you can go out but you need to be careful where you go and of course it will depend on where you are visiting. Be aware that coffee houses are mainly populated by men so if you see lots of men sitting outside, pass by (preferably on the other side of the street). In restaurants you will be ushered to the 'family' area. This is for your comfort. In some of the tourist areas there are discos but these are also populated by the locals looking for a 'good' time. Under no circumstances should you go to what you think is the local bar. Muslims should not drink but those that do tend to overload! Alcohol is available in the hotels and that's where I suggest you get a 'beer' at the end of the day.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello,
    my friend and I will be travelling in Novemeber to Port El Kantaoui and staying in Hotel Marhaba Palace. Has anybody heard of this hotel?
    We are only 23 so we were hoping there would be plenty of things to do - like tours etc.
    Are tours to the sahara out of the question being quite far away?
    Any advice from people a bit more travelled than us? Any helpful suggestions would be very welcome.

    thanks,
    Abbie
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley,

    My girlfriend and I are coming to Tunisia later this month. We are both under 25, she has blonde hair. I have read 2 or three pages of discussion on Tunisia on this website and many more websites reviews. It looks like a wonderful country and i have even started to try to learn a few handy phrases (please, excuse me and thank you's etc.) i hope we find it to be just that. My question regards having read earlier that couples who are under 25 and are not married should not share a hotel room as it is "illegal", clearly this caused some concern to both of us. We have an all inclusive deal to a large hotel (port el kantaoui) which i presume will be filled with tourists(hopefully not!), do you think this will still be a problem? As we dont want to cause offense before having even arrived at our room and were unaware of this when we booked. I'm also aware that it is ramadan at that time of year so thought this might play a factor? Sorry for taking so long to explain!

    Kind regards, Joe.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Joseph,

    Tunisie is a wonderful country with lots of historic sites and interesting places to go. I am sure you are going to enjoy it. And fantastic that you are learning some phrases: Salem (literally peace but also hallo) is a good all round term when you meet someone or go into a store. You are right, it is not permitted for unmarried couples to share a hotel room, however, you are staying in a touristique area and
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley

    I would like to check on a couple of things??

    I am going to Tunisia, Hammamet, Yasmin Beach Hotel, In November, I am traveling with 3 friends, 2 x Girls 1 x Boy, We booked but could only get 2 rooms, 2 in each.... I have read a few comments on here, and am now unsure if I really want to go?? I have read that it is considered “illegal” for men and women under 25 to share rooms?? Also that it is recommended that we wear correct clothing? Would a bikini be frowned upon on the beach?? I am, sure that I am not alone in thinking that on a beach holiday a bikini is normal dress code?? I do not wish to cause any offence, but also want to feel comfortable and enjoy my holiday without constantly being on guard if I am wearing the wrong thing??

    Can you please advise
    Thanks in Advance
    Looie
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley
    My husband and I are hoping to travel to Tunisia next February. I have two questions. What will the weather be like? And also how easy would it be for us to visit the Medjez-ek-Bab War Cemetery? We have recently discovered that that is where my husband’s uncle was buried and we would like to visit his grave since we will be relatively close. Would it be possible to hire a car and driver and if so how much would it be likely to cost?

    Sara
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi, im going to Tunisia next week and am very excited, it seems like a wonderful place, i am staying at port el kantaou for two weeks. When taking trips our to cities and attractions etc i am planning on being very respectful of the religion and culture and covering up, but i was wondering as Port El Kantou this is such a touristy area, would i attract unwanted attention if i were to wear short skirts around here. many thanks Jo
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Looie - I'm not sure if you are a girl or a boy, if you are a boy then it's not a problem 2 boys in one room and 2 girls in the other. Either way, I don't think you will have any problems - read my previous posts in regard to this matter. As to the matter of bikinis you are in a very touristique area with mostly foreigners so you can wear this, but be aware that most of the staff at the hotels are men and they will look! Most men do anyway no matter where you are yes?? Please keep in mind that Tunisie is for all intents and purposes an Islamic country - what you wear is up to you but when you leave the hotel I strongly suggest that you wear more modest attire as this way you will feel comfortable and enjoy yourself more.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Jo - thank you for your understanding of this culture - it is really appreciated. You are right PEK is touristique but as all my comments - if you want to feel comfortable and not have too much of the 'stare' focussed on you then short skirts is not the way to do it. Try 3/4 pants perhaps and you will be welcomed in a better way.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Sarah,

    Depending on where you are going to visit it will be cool, cold, colder!! It is surprising how cold it can get here in winter. The cemetery is approximately 60 km from the capitol of Tunis and would cost quite a lot. Where will you be when you visit the cemetery? If you can let me know this then I can give you an indicative cost. Also, renting a car maybe a cheaper option for you.
  • edited 10:51PM
    Message for Jenny who wants the desert in Tunisia - I have done quite a lot of research but can't find anyone who will offer this for a night. However, I would be happy to offer you a tour from Tozeur (the gateway to the Sahara). We would pick you up in Tozeur, take a 4x4 on a tour and spend the night at a Berber camp. We could then return you to your tour group the next day. If you are interested, please email me your dates and I can put an itinerary together for you: lesley@destinationsbydesign.com.au

    Regards,
    Lesley
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hello Lesley,
    I was just wondering if you could offer any advice, my friend and I will be travelling in Novemeber to Port El Kantaoui and staying in Hotel Marhaba Palace.
    We are only 23 so we were hoping there would be plenty of things to do - like tours etc. I have been to Tunisia before a couple of times with my parents and understand the need to cover up and respect the culture.
    We were wondering if you know of any tours to the sahara? We werent sure if they were out of the question being quite far away?

    thank you in advance for your time
    Abbie
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Leslei.
    I am going to PEK next week and am planing to go on a tour to the desert for 2 days. Can you tell me the average temperature there now? Also, can you suggest me other tours?
    I am going to stay at El Mouradi Palm Marina. Have you ever heard about it?
    Many thanks
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley

    Thank you so much for your kind help and offer. I will let you have the details once the tour is confirmed by the travel agent).

    Jenny
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi there Abbie - well you are an honorary Tunisian having been here a few times already. Many of the hotels can offer day tours to various sites but I absolutely recommend Matmata, Tataouine, Sbeitla, Douga and the list just goes on. You are a long way from the desert but it is possible to visit if you don't mind being in a car for some hours - it is definitely worth it. You can stay overnight with Berber encampment and then return after breakfast. I have had many requests for such a tour and if you are interested then I can send you some details. you can email me at lesley@destinationsbydesign.com.au and I can let you have pricing and itinerary

    In any case I hope you enjoy this visit to beautiful Tunisie
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Portugal - right now it is very hot, hotter, hotter in Tunisia. Of course the desert is the hottest place to be now. During the day the temperatures can reach extremes but during the night it is very cold. Depending on your interests I can certainly suggest that you spend at least 1 day in the capitol of Tunis - the old city and medina and souq are fab! Also a tour to Matmata and Tataouine are musts to see the old Berber caves - this is where Star Wars has been filmed many times. Sbeitla is a fantastic Roman site and of course the ruins of Carthage which are scattered in and around the capitol

    I hope you enjoy your visit and if you are interested in independant touring then you can email me for details at lesley@destinationsbydesign.com.au
  • edited 10:51PM
    TUNISIA ISNT AN EXTREME ISLAMIC COUNTRY INFACT ITS THE OPPOSIE .the president has implemented such strong laws here its hard to be muslim here mosques close stright after prayer,clubs open in ramadhan ,women get problems for wearin scarf in school same as france u cant wear facecoverin here men cant have long beards without gettin major hassle;tunisia is much safer than turkey espceially beause of the police force here .the clubs are great ;the best ones are living and bananas;only high class pople go to these as locals cant afford these.the ones zho do go are tourists from the jnorth of tunisia or algeria and europeans.dress how you want but not over the top.i recommend nothing low cut or above knee.nightclub is diff .some of my friends would wear dresse over leggings and tke off leggings in bathroom of club coz it gets warm there.u can even go topless on beach here no prob as locals arent allozed on thesse beaches.locals will have respect as long as u dont talk to too many men as they have the memory of an elephant;khezama and slim center in hammam sousse best places for shopping.port el kantaoui best area to stay and sol el mouradi or sol club kantaoui best hotels for all needs.next to golf residence is atm ,nightlcub ,aqua palace ,german pub;internet cqfe.in khezama there is a shop where u can get any dvd u cqn imaginbe for 1 dnr 300 millimes.best places to visit is kairouan but take headscarf and long clothes there if u want to see inside the mosque,cqrthqge and sidi bou said combined zith tunis is excellent trip also visit la marsa.for further info contact me on celticmami@hotmail.com .
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi there,

    we are going to be staying in Sousse early September, could you let me know what the trains are like as we are thinking of going to Tunis, and can you recommend any other must see areas either on the trains or via car hire (if this is advisable)? Thx
  • edited 10:51PM
    hi
    i am going to port el kantaoui october 18th for 1 week, will the weather be hot enough to sunbathe
    thanx
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi! I'm a single mum and taking my 2 daughters to Skanes towards the end of October - one is almost 13 and brunette, the other is 6 and very blonde and very outgoing. (I'm mousy and not especially minded to think I will attract much attention.) I would like some advice about whether we will be okay to use public transport and/or for me to possibly hire a car? I don't want to spend the week in the hotel complex and having done some reading online I'm concerned that Skanes may not offer us a huge amount of cultural experience. I'm a very confident, chatty and outgoing person but wonder whether this might be a problem in itself? As a woman travelling alone with 2 young daughters, would I be better not to try to keep a lower profile? (When I have travelled previously - never before to a Muslim country though - I have always ended up making local friends and being privileged enough to be invited to people's homes to share a meal and so on. I would love to have this kind of experience of Tunisia but perhaps this would be unsafe?)
    Slightly off-topic (in terms of women and safety) my eldest daughter is allergic to nuts. Are we likely to have any/much difficulty in respect of food and how/where might I be able to get advice on arming myself with a few key phrases in respect of this? I speak some French, but maybe just Frenc isn't enough?

    Alison
  • edited 10:51PM
    Hi Lesley,
    Me and my boyfriend are travelling to Tunisia at the end of September and are staying in the Sahara Beach Hotel in Skanes. After looking at your website there were just a couple of things I wondered if you could clarify for us. Im 19 and hes 23 and we've heard that it may not be acceptable for us to share a hotel room is this correct? Also i have very blonde hair, is it true I may get hassled by the locals? What sort of weather do you experience at the end of September early October, hot enough to get a tan? One other thing i have read is it is not acceptable to wear shorts or skirts is this true? Are there any places you would recommend to visit or any thing you would recommend us doing as a young couple whilst we are there?
    Other than this we are really looking forward to our holiday.

    Thanks :)
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