Rude Chinese Tourists: How To Improve Their Behaviour?

Rude Chinese tourists cause problems wherever they go.

Yes, they pour billions of dollars into Thailand and other foreign countries every year.

But there have been endless complaints that rude Chinese tourists have no manners. That their behavior is uncivilized.

Chinese tourists behavior includes washing their feet in hand sinks, standing on toilet bowls, spitting, shouting and even going to the toilet on the grounds of temples are common. One Chinese woman caused outrage after getting changed topless at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport.

A rude Chinese tourist topless at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport

A rude Chinese tourist topless at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport

Oh, and don’t forget the woman who dried her underwear on chairs at Chiang Mai airport. Or the rude Chinese tourists fighting over some face cream in a 7/11 store. These are just a few of the stories where Chinese have upset Thais – a country that relies on them for income.

But the culture clash doesn’t just stop with the locals – western travelers get equally annoyed with Chinese tourists’ behavior, being stuck in rampaging crowds, or turning up at beauty spots and islands to find thousands of Chinese.

Now, lets just make it clear that not all Chinese people are rude. But the tourists with bad behavior and no manners are a problem. Many countries have taken action to deal with the rudeness.

Attempts to teach rude Chinese tourists manners

There are some attempts at taming the Red Dragon. Officials in Pattaya recently released a series of posters to display at tourist attractions, shops and hotels. They ask Chinese visitors to respect the Thai culture, with instructions on how to improve their behavior.

Thai officials in Pattaya with new posters aimed at teaching rude Chinese tourists manners

Thai officials in Pattaya with new posters aimed at teaching rude Chinese tourists manners

Attempts like this at teaching rude Chinese tourists some manners is not new, as this collection of posters and signs shows.

Businesses, the Thai government, and shop owners in Thailand and around the world have been trying for years to keep a reign on the lucrative – but unruly – influx of wealthy Chinese visitors.

In Switzerland, people felt so harassed by rude Chinese tourists that they had to introduce separate carriages. They also made  signs to teach them how to use a toilet properly. This attempt to improve Chinese tourists’ behavior caused some offence, but it’s a measure of what a problem it is that the very liberal Swiss would make such a rule.

Signs in Koh Phi Phi aimed at Chinese tourists, telling them not to wash their feet in the bathroom sinks

Signs in Koh Phi Phi aimed at Chinese tourists, telling them not to wash their feet and dirty clothes in the bathroom sinks

Signs from the UK

Signs from the UK

Signs on subway trains

Signs on subway trains

Signs in Switzerland telling Chinese tourists how to properly use a toilet

Signs in Switzerland telling Chinese tourists how to properly use a toilet

Chinese tourists’ behavior is even a problem domestically

Chinese tourist are not just a nightmare internationally… they’re even a problem in their own country.

This clip from video blogger Disney Dwayne at Shanghai Disneyland shows rude Chinese tourists. They are filmed trashing the park, urinating in the streets and pushing each other around.

Hi story of a family of 17 holding up everybody in the queue because they didn’t have the proper ticket is something that I experienced too in the Similan Islands – huge waits because a Chinese family were screeching at the front about their ticket.

Why are Chinese tourists so rude

Just why do Chinese tourists get such a bad reputation for being rude, loud, messy and just generally uncivilized? And can their behavior be improved?

Jeraldine Phneah has some  interesting ideas. Scarcity and lawlessness in their country, poor living environment of the urban poor in China, lack of education, lack of exposure to foreign cultures and a rise of Noveau Riche.

Tourist arrivals in Thailand by country

Tourist arrivals in Thailand by country

Another reason is Chinese history. Rulers have spewed propaganda for hundreds of  years. They say that China is the world superpower, that the Chinese people are a master race. Indeed, as George McDonald Fraser tells in his 1985 novel, Flashman and the Dragon, the Chinese would often refer to westerners as ‘big-nosed barbarians’. The idea being that the west are unicivilised and not advanced.

I’m sure it’s a view still prevalent today a large part of he country. Only a fraction of the population has passports. Many have never left their home own.

We won’t mention the Chinese people’s view of America or Japan…

In general, this high opinion of their own prowess, and disdain for the West, has made the Chinese conceited and gives them an unbelievable arrogance. Anyone who has done business with China knows that seldom do they apologise even for their mistakes. Somehow, the Chinese are always right.

Can Chinese tourists’ behavior be change?

Trying to change this outlook is almost impossible. Signs and warnings may spring up, but the problem is not going away.

A booming economy over the last decade has given Chinese plenty of cash to spend. The country’s tourism market is increasing by 20 per cent a year. They have an estimated 400 million Chinese tourists by 2020.

Thailand will bear the brunt of this, being only four hours and 40 minutes flying time from Beijing and just two hours and 40 minutes from Shenzen.

Indeed, the Thai government is pushing for 10.8million Chinese tourists to arrive in the country in 2017, bringing in close to 6billion baht.

So expect plenty more rude Chinese tourists in Thailand in the coming years – and plenty more bad manners.

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