Guidebook For Chinese Travelers Includes Both Sensible And Bizarre Advice

Chinese tourists

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:

Do not

  • 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

Do

  • 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?

Okay, fine.

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.

National Tourism Board of China guidebook on etiquette 3
National Tourism Board of China guidebook on etiquette 2
National Tourism Board of China guidebook on etiquette 1

4 Responses to “Guidebook For Chinese Travelers Includes Both Sensible And Bizarre Advice”

  1. Chris Crook

    Good luck with this. Chinese people have a hard enough time following a no-smoking sign in Dongzhimen subway station bathrooms, let alone follow a 64 page guide on how not to be a dick abroad.

    Reply
  2. mike

    “Because Chinese [sic] have a terrible rap, the National Tourism Administration has issued a 64-page guidebook on appropriate behavior”

    So a rulebook for a group of people that don’t care about rules. This should be an incredibly successful campaign. No mention of Spitting, Smoking, Public Defecation/Urination, or Jaywalking? Pshhh…. Pass Go and don’t collect 200元。

    PS. Welcome to the Illustrious Middle Kingdom. Come for the cheap street meet, stay for the defective condoms.

    Reply

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