Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Stop Behaving Badly

Tired of its citizens being ridiculed for their lack of graces when travelling overseas, the Chinese government has now released a handbook to ensure more civilized manners.

The 64-page booklet was issued by the national tourism administration containing a number of dos and don'ts.

In general, mainland tourists will have to "observe public order and respect social morality in tourism activities, respect local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs".

Basic rules include no spitting on the streets, or shouting in public areas, not forcing locals to help take pictures, not throwing rubbish or picking noses.

Another part of the guidebook stated that all air-conditioned places in cities like Hong Kong and Macau were no-smoking areas, and mainlanders should not try to get refunds for food.

Other points stressed not occupying public toilets for too long and taking excessive amounts of food at buffets.

Other do nots:

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
Use the left hand to touch other people in India
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 in 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 reached 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

The handbook sounds quite comprehensive, but will everyone abide by it? There are some mainlanders so disgusted by their own countrymen's behaviour, that they speak English in order to avoid being typecast as one of "them".

In any event, the eagerness to show off "civilized behaviour" is a great motivator.

If this rule book was thought of earlier, then perhaps we wouldn't have as many unwelcome visitors to Hong Kong...


  1. Sad to say but I think we've long gone past being ridiculed to being resented...

    That guidebook is long overdue but as in its present form, it may be too overwhelming for -- and thus be ignored by -- its intended readers.

    1. Hi YTSL -- Yes it's too bad it has come out late, but there are still millions more people who have yet to travel abroad! Scary, isn't it!

    2. Well, there are millions of Americans who have never traveled abroad and never intend to -- so maybe that's the same for the millions of mainlanders who have not (yet) ventured out of their home country!

  2. to answer your question, NOPE!

    like YTSL said, we are now beyond ridiculed and currently moving beyond resentment. Personally I would just shoot those mainlanders, at least beat the heck out of those mainlanders to get the point across.

    remember "when in rome, do what the romans do."