Travel Superstitions Your Asian Mom Probably Warned You About

8 ‘Travel Superstitions’ Your Asian Mom Probably Warned You About

Amusing practices that Ma wouldn't normally approve of — unless you’re travelling!

It’s 1am. You’re alone in your hotel room and you notice a shadow sweep past the room. The lights start flickering and you begin to panic. Oh man, why didn’t I listen to Ma and her crazy superstitions to ward off ghosts?

Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you on your next trip! Here are eight travel superstitions your Asian mom has probably warned you about and which you should probably follow. Better to be safe than to be sorry mothers know best, after all!

1. Always knock before entering your hotel room

Image credit: Pxhere

Everyone’s probably heard this once… or maybe a few hundred times depending how naggy your Ma is. According to the Mas of Asia, this is to inform the spirits inside that you’re about to enter (you’re harmless and they should just leave you alone). Do so and you’ll most likely get a peaceful night of sleep! 

2. Avoid staying in rooms with the number 4

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Also read: From a Millennial’s POV: The Pros & Cons of Travelling With Your Parents

You know why? Because in Mandarin, the number 4 apparently means death. Yeah, you don’t want to be staying in the room of death. Definitely sounds ominous. 

3. Flush the toilet immediately

Image credit: Steven Ungermann

Flushing the toilet will flush away all the negative energy of the room, and at the same time tell spirits “Hey we’re here!” and “Please leave us alone!

4. Never leave an empty bed… empty!

Image credit: Sylvie Tittel

If there’s an extra bed in the room that no one’s sleeping on, make sure the bed is all roughed up. Ma says empty beds attract ghosts (since, you know, since no one’s sleeping on it).

So, put your suitcase, books, and mugs (or anything, really) on the bed, and yank out the sheets!

5. Don’t touch the Bible/Koran

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Yup, just don’t. These holy books are placed there for a reason: to keep you safe. Touch them and that might alter the ‘protective powers’ they have over the room!

6. Mess up your shoes!

Image credit: Bryan Pearson

Your Ma probably often tells you to keep your things neat and tidy — but not in this case. Having your shoes neatly arranged allows spirits to walk easily into your shoes (and worst case scenarios, your life). Now we don’t want to be possessed a poltergeist, do we?

7. Shut the toilet door and leave the lights on

Image credit: DJ Damien

Also read: Travel Confession: These Are All The Things I Dread About Travel

According to Ma, hotel toilets are a yin place and evil spirits like to stay there. Ward them away by turning on the toilet lights and closing the door before you go to sleep. 

8. Don’t sleep facing the mirror

Image credit: Aviano

If Ma hasn’t already told you — mirrors are believed to be a portal to another dimension! So, it might be a little freaky to wake up and see two faces staring back at you. And if there’s no one extra there, it may still be a little freaky to wake up to the monstrosity that is your own reflection.

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Gisele Woon

Gisele loves dogs and travelling the see more dogs


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