• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:41am
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 10:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 April, 2014, 4:46pm

Chiang Mai locals shocked by 'rude' Chinese tourists


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

The successful, low-budget Chinese comedy Lost in Thailand has lured tens of thousands of Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai, but they left locals in Thailand’s historic and culturally rich northern city complaining.

After seeing a record number of Chinese tourists over the Lunar New Year holiday, some locals described what they experienced as “cultural clashes”, others simply found the visitors' behaviour disturbing and rude.

In a Letter to Editor published in Thailand’s English daily The Nation, Lamphun resident Vint Chavala wrote:

[Chinese tourists] tend to drive speedily on the wrong side of the road, and often go against traffic on one-way streets. Chinese tourists also often stop in the middle of busy intersections - just to argue among themselves about directions.Some hotel and guesthouse operators are turning them away because they say Chinese tourists often rent a room for two, but stay overnight in a group of four or five. They also deplore their tendencies to litter and hang their clothing on the balcony railing.

Chavala then went on to urge the Thai government to work with the Chinese consulate to better educate its tourists so Thailand will “thrive” instead of “suffer” from Chinese tourism.

On social network sites and local forums, locals posted more evidence of what they say are offensive acts by the Chinese:

  1. A tendency to not flush the toilet.
  2. Flouting traffic laws when driving, riding a bicycle, or parking their car.
  3. Being loud - even in five-star hotels.
  4. Littering, spitting, queue-jumping.
  5. Allowing children to defecate in public pools.
  6. Terrible English-language skills that lead to difficulties in communication.

Even Chinese people living in Chiang Mai said they found the behaviour of their fellow countrymen shocking and embarrassing.

“In the past I’ve always told people with pride that I am Chinese. I will be reluctant to do that in the future,” wrote one local.

"Please stop bringing shame to our people," wrote another.

Still, more Chinese tourists are bound to visit. The Tourism Authority of Thailand expected more than 1.5 million Chinese to visit by 2014.

Why the increase in visitors? When Chavala asked a Chinese tourist why he came to Chiang Mai, the man in his 30s "stabbed a thumb to his chest and said 'I am rich'."



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This article is now closed to comments

japanese children do not defecate in the pool or any other CIVILIZED human would, but then mainlanders run over their children in the street anyway so to be expected
the Truth is, everybody is doing it. But when Mainlander are doing it, that's bad. Talking about "pathetic".
I think Thai people have rightful to complain this; even they do the same thing. Like a bad waiter who goes to other restaurant, he should able to complain the waiter who serves him in the same way he serves his customer.
Was in Chiang Mai during the lunar new year holidays when the city was flooded with visitors from China. Can't say as a matter of generalization that most are rude or impolite. This may be more of a cutural contrast as Thai people are the most gentle, usually exceedingly courteous to strangers, customers included, which one can't say is the norm of Chinese people as we have often seen in Hong Kong.
Why is that, might I ask?
I would like to believe this is another China-bashing propaganda / brain-wash by specialist Amy Li. Anyway, it helps in improving some mainlanders' politeness and behaviour.
I'm a pretty neutral observer when it comes to HKer-Mainlander relations, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm *this* close to cancelling my SCMP subscription.
yeah, dunno if any of you know the 'chinasmack' website but the SCMP is becoming more like it every day.... which is a shame, especially as i have to pay to read this
I think the Chinese Government should make some policy in order to control the citizen.
I hope all ethnic Chinese world wide including China would build a better image in terms of behaviour,thinking,education level,moral standards,food safety,demographic structure,enviromental conservation,health conditions,social security,milk powder.....etc.




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