Uncle Sam: Your Tour Guide

In addition to issuing travel warnings and avisories, the U.S. State Department also provides information sheets for travelers to each country in the world.

Here is a sampling of information provided in the State Department's country-by-country information sheets.

Bermuda: Â"Horns are seldom used aggressively or as a warning. Instead, horn honking is used as a general form of greeting in Bermuda. As almost everyone knows everyone else, horns are heard honking all the time, for no apparent reason.Â"

Cambodia: Â"Land mines and unexploded ordnance can be found in rural areas throughout Cambodia but especially in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom provinces. At no time should travelers walk in forested areas or in dry rice paddies without a local guide. Areas around small bridges on secondary roads are particularly dangerous.Â"

China: Â"The Department of State cautions Americans, especially Americans originally from China, that there may be a risk of being detained upon returning to China, if they have at any time engaged in activities or published writings critical of Chinese government policies. In some cases, travel to Taiwan or involvement with Taiwan media organizations has apparently also been regarded as the equivalent of espionage.Â"

Egypt: Â"Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Egypt are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. The death penalty may be imposed on anyone convicted of smuggling or selling marijuana, hashish, opium, LSD, or other narcotics.Â"

France: Â"Thieves often target vehicles with foreign license plates or rental cars, which are easily identified as such by a license plate number ending in '51.' Rental car companies are in the process of phasing out these license plates, but this may take some time.Â"

Greece: Â"Visitors to Greece must be prepared to drive defensively. Heavy traffic and poor highways pose hazards, especially at night. Extreme care is warranted in operating a motorbike. The majority of U.S. citizen traffic casualties in Greece have involved motorbikes.Â"

Russia: Â"Medical care is usually far below Western standards, with severe shortages of basic medical supplies. Access to the few quality facilities that exist in major cities usually requires cash payment at Western rates upon admission.Â"

South Africa: Â"Criminal activity, such as assault and armed robbery, is particularly high in areas surrounding many hotels and public transportation centers, especially in major cities. American citizens should exercise particular caution in these areas. Notwithstanding government anti-crime efforts, crimes such as carjackings, muggings, 'smash and grab' attacks on vehicles and other incidents are regularly reported by visitors and resident Americans.Â"

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