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When Mainland Chinese Tourists are Misbehaving Abroad

Updated on March 3, 2019

During the day, I’m an engineer in a multinational company, and we have several Chinese partners working with us. This gave me a chance to interact and mingle with them. They are in fact no different than many of us and any other professionals out there. With cultures taken aside, they are as hardworking and as open as any staffs in our office. I have no problem with them, and I look forward to work with our Chinese partners again. I really don’t care whether they are Chinese, Japanese or Thais. It’s all about business, and that’s it.

Our Chinese partners came from Mainland China, sometimes in Taiwan or Hongkong. Outside work I met this nice guy from Singapore in a social media, and we have a nice chat about article writing. I never liked the government of People’s Republic of China, having occupied an Island near the Philippines and turned it into a military base. But that don’t extend to the Chinese citizens themselves.

And it surprised me now how they are making headlines lately.

Knowing some Chinese in Hongkong, Singapore, and Mainline China, I thought that news about Chinese tourists behaving like they are born in the barn are just online jokes. There is no way that people wealthy enough to afford a trip abroad will be this rude and uncivilized. It must be a 4chan post or something.

Turns out that those accounts are all true. Mainland Chinese do behave in shockingly disgusting behavior that will make one wants to deport them.

Firstly, This Article is Never Meant to be Racist

I just realized that I could be threading on sensitive issues here

Writing online articles taught me one thing. There is a good chance that you will offend someone no matter how clean your intentions are. I could live with angry neckbeards infesting my comment sections with their angry tirades, just because they are offended. But being labeled a racist, or my article being used for hatred is not my cup of tea. Do understand that this article is meant to criticize people’s behavior and not the whole race, and I went to certain lengths to make it clear to the readers. Nevertheless, I did what I must to make my intentions clear. Now that we mentioned it, if you went into a tantrum in the comment section and call this article racist without even reading my work properly, then it is you who have a problem, as what happened before in my previous article.

Now people, let’s move on

Being Haughty is Just the Start

A hysterical tourist in Sweden.
A hysterical tourist in Sweden.

One of the main complains people have with mainlander tourists are their tendency to act like spoiled brats. Simply being blessed with some fortunes to travel abroad gave them inflated superiority. In one case in Sweden, a certain someone named Zeng and his elderly parents arrived too early in a hostel in Stockholm last September 2. They made a mistake about the date of their booking, and the rooms were full. When the staffs refused to let them sleep in the lobby, they started making a scene and the police was eventually called in.

There is also the case where a doctoral student slapped an airport check in staff in Air France after her flight from Wuhan to Paris closed. Then who could forget how this unruly main lander scalded a Thai Stewardess and threatens to blow the plane.

Some thug just assaulted a Stewardess with hot water.
Some thug just assaulted a Stewardess with hot water.

And recently in the Philippines, a misbehaving exchange student smeared a policeman with bean curd drink. There is a terrorist threat back then, and drinks are not allowed in the train system. The student never took this lightly, sank in a tantrum and assaulted the police instead.

She was facing deportation afterwards.

An exchange student assaulting a police officer.
An exchange student assaulting a police officer.

As you can see these people were displaying somewhat childish attitudes that is so outrageous, it is shocking. And yes, their more mature fellow Chinese travelers could only bury their faces in shame. Just to let you know, these are just few of those many embarrassing cases.

If you think those are bad, wait until you read more.

The Disgusting Behaviors

Toxic superiority that will lead to physical assault is just the tip of the story. There are a lot of cases where Mainland Chinese tourist will take mischief to the next level.

One will think twice of making a Hitler salute in front of a Parliament Building in Germany. That’s exactly one tourist did, and he ended up in police custody. Sure, making an illegal Nazi gesture seems to be a mark of ignorance, but letting your kids defecate in public is nothing short of uncivilized. Chinese tourists are notorious for soiling public places with their children’s poof. Sometimes it was adults who did it. And if they don’t defecate, they urinate.

A woman letting her kid soil public places.
A woman letting her kid soil public places.

When they are not soiling the public with their bio-hazard waste, they will vandalize tourist sites. In Japan, people won’t climb cherry blossom trees to get a good shot. But a Chinese tourist did just that. A 3500 years old temple in Egypt was not safe either from a 15 years old main lander vandal. And animals must watch out when Chinese main lander walk by. In their very home in Mainland China, they are known to injure and kill hapless creatures in zoo.

A fifteen year old etched his name on a priceless piece of history.
A fifteen year old etched his name on a priceless piece of history.

Erratic, abnormal and shameful are some of the words to describe the behaviors of these people. One might wonder why they acted like this. It seems that a mix of violent pass and acquired culture should be blamed.

The Reasons Why They Are Like This

We all knew that people don’t just turn like this without reasons. In fact, the behavior of main landers was the result of the following unfortunate events:

1. Most of the misbehaving tourists are simply “newly rich.”

With the rise of the economy, a lot of people suddenly became blessed with wealth. The so called “Newly Rich,” just got their good fortunes recently. And yes, unlike the people who was wealthy for a long time, this class still lacks the refined behavior. Sadly, there is also a culture of showing off their wealth and influence just to assert their social status. That’s why we are getting haughty and arrogant tourists in worst cases.

2. History of lawlessness prioritized a self-centered interest to survive.

China saw it all. The bloody Opium war to the violent Cultural Revolution. During those days your own survival in the impoverished society was the number one priority, nothing more and nothing less. Put yourself first before anyone else. You are dead if you think of others. And this explains why a lot of tourists had no regards with the people around.

3. Corruption and lack of regards to rule of law by officials.

Simply the Chinese tourists are just emulating how their corrupt officials disregard simple rules. Human rights violation is not helping either and we see these tourists violating someone else’s rights abroad.

4. How the urban poor lived in mainland China.

Not too long ago, people lived as urban poor. It’s an environment where the living conditions are not exactly modest. And when we say not modest, we mean lack of decency and privacy. In these urban poor conditions, they shared toilets, run naked, talk loud etc. The problem here is that the indecent behavior stayed with them when they eventually had the resources to travel abroad. And now we know where these tourists learned to poof in public.

5. Lack of education.

We will just leave it here.

6. Lack of exposure to foreign cultures.

Again, we will just leave it here.

The Effects on other Chinese Nationalities

There is no denying how these embarrassing behaviors might reinforce the stereotype image of a rude tourist to every Chinese. Chinese from Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong and in any places will be the ones to feel the effects. Yes, the negative impact will contribute to racism. Right now, the Chinese government is on the move to educate its people to stop behaving inappropriately abroad. Experts say that as the people became more accustomed to foreign travels, these erratic behaviors will go away over time. But for now, the Chinese from other nations must upped their patience as their mainland counterpart ruin their images.


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