Over the past couple of years, Chinese tourists have made a name for themselves for their supposedly rude behavior, which has included petting and throwing candy at North Korean children and even carving one's name into an Egyptian pyramid. In order to curb the country's excesses when traveling abroad, Beijing issued a 64-page rule book this week that, among other things, points out you shouldn't be spelunking into your nasal cavity while in public.
To be fair, China's tips for traveling abroad are something any traveler could benefit from. But most of these seem to be common sense, like not stealing life jackets from planes or leaving footprints on the toilet—all of which make you wonder what kind of complaints China's National Tourism Administration are getting. Here's an excerpt of some of the do's and don'ts in the 64-page guidebook:
- 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
- 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
A lot of those tips are actually helpful, wherever you're from, and will make life easier for fellow tour group travelers and plane boarders. They do more good than harm.
Tourists in China seem to be fine with the rules. "Mainland tourists pouring into the city on the first day of the annual 'golden week' holiday yesterday said they were happy to comply with new rules on how to behave when traveling," the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. (Golden Week is national holiday where domestic tourism is encouraged.) "I don't think the new rules are unreasonable. Tourists represent a country, so it is important that we represent it well," a tourist said.
That said, the SCMP did find some tourists who weren't following the rules, like a mother allowing her son to urinate in a plastic bag while in public. Not cool.