Because Chinese tourists have a terrible rap, the National Tourism Administration has issued a 64-page guidebook on appropriate behavior, featuring some reasonable advice (“keep quiet when waiting to board a plane”), some common-sense advice (be on time), and and some head-scratchers (“do not call Africans ‘Negros’ or ‘black’”). “Don’t pick your nose is on the list,” too, as everyone seems to be pointing out. SCMP has this story, and an excerpt of some of the rules:
- Give a handkerchief in Italy as a gift because it is deemed inauspicious
- Discuss the royal family in Thailand
- Touch people’s belongings in Nepal with the foot
- Ask for pork in Islamic countries
- Call Africans “Negros” or “black”
- Use the left hand to touch other people in India
- In general, touch antiques or draw graffiti on heritage structures
- Expose the chest or back, or look dirty in public areas
- Eat a whole piece of bread in one mouthful or slurp noodles noisily inside an aircraft
- Use shower curtains in a hotel
- Keep quiet when waiting to board a plane
- Keep mobile phones turned off until the aircraft has come to a complete stop
- Be punctual if taking part in a tour group
- Arrive at a banquet hall 15 minutes early and adhere to a formal dress code
Some of these are also fairly obvious, like, “Don’t ask for pork in Islamic countries.” But I want to focus on the “do” list — I hadn’t known Chinese guests have a reputation for not showering with the curtains pulled!
In April, China passed a Tourism Law — vocally backed by none other than vice premier Wang Yang — that came into effect on October 1. We wonder, then: is this latest handbook really necessary?
- Outrage After Tourists Caught Publicly Peeing In Beijing’s Summer Palace
- Chinese Teenager Publicly Shamed After Vandalizing Ancient Egyptian Artifact
- Chinese Travelers Try To Keep 30 Sets Of Singapore Airlines Cutlery
For future domestic editions of this travel handbook, maybe the tourism board can include this tip: do not travel during Golden Week.
UPDATE, 5:27 pm: Illustrations really make this better. Via WSJ.