Thailand To Give Chinese Tourists Etiquette Manuals

Asher Bayot

Thailand's tourism office has announced plans to give etiquette manuals to incoming Chinese tourists who are expected to visit the country later this week.

90,000 tourists from mainland China are expected to visit Thailand this week, according to the Tourist Authority of Thailand. In preparation for their arrival, leaflets containing information on how to behave properly in public have been printed and are ready to be distributed to Thailand's Chinese visitors.

The manual, written in Mandarin, contains general instructions on how to responsibly tour the country, which includes guides on respecting local cultures, abiding with local traffic laws, and observing proper tourist etiquette. It also contains advisories against touching museum paintings and using public properties as lavatories.

According to the Bangkok Post, locals have been incessantly complaining against Chinese tourists' public behavior and have accused them of disrespecting local laws and norms. A number of citizens say many of the tourists have caused road accidents, defaced tourist attractions, and even defecated on ditches and moats during their stay in the country.

Last week, Chinese visitors were banned from the popular Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand after reports of a tourist's alleged misuse of the toilet facilities went public. The ban has since been lifted.

Sansern Kaewkamnerd, who spoke for the government last Saturday pleaded with Thailand citizens to extend their patience towards their visitors.

Chinese tourists apparently poor reputation abroad has been observed not only in Thailand, but also in more distant countries like Egypt and France. In 2013, netizens all over the world -- including China -- have expressed their outrage after one Chinese teenage tourist reportedly defaced one of Egypt's most valued tourist attractions, the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple, with the words "Ding Jinhao was here." The parents of the vandal has since apologized for the incident.

In response to this and to many other tales of embarrassing Chinese tourist behaviors, the government of China has issued a program instructing Chinese tourists to become more polite when visiting other countries. The state-owned China Central Television has run TV programs aiming to educate Chinese tourists about international etiquette and proper tourist behavior.

Telegraph reports that tourism officials are expecting the city of Chiang Mai, and also nearby Chiang Rai, to be on the top of the Chinese tourists' destination list. Local citizens and businesses are currently preparing for their arrival, which has already began and is expected to continue in the coming days.

[Image from Taylor Weidman/Getty Images]