Danger lurks in Xian hotel rooms. Fortunately, Hyatt guests are equipped to handle it. When holidaymakers arrive, they're greeted by a picture of what appears to be the Grim Reaper riding a horse-drawn cart. He's there to let tourists know that death lurks around every corner. How else do you explain the 'Safety Guide' that accompanies it? '1)It is wise for you to lock the door after open it. The outside person is forbidden to go through 11 midnight in the room. '2)It is your responsibility to deposit your valuable parcels (or cash) in the safety box in the front office. On duty police officers who carrying weapons and cartridge should contact with security department, in order to avoid being stolen.' Lai See can't imagine why anyone would want to steal a cartridge-carrying, on-duty police officer. '3) Please get familiar with the immediate exits soon after checking in the hotel. '4)Do not smoke in bed. Do not dry the clothes on the lampshade, air conditioned, or TV set. It is forbidden to connect wires, to use private electrical set or cooking stensils without permission. '5) It is forbidden to keep flammable explosive, toxicant substances in the room. '6) It is forbidden to take any act that against the law of prostitution, whoring, gambling and drug taking in the room. 'Signed The Police Station, Xian.' Nothing like a relaxing vacation spent crouching in your room paralysed with fear. Hard to believe the mainland is destined to become the world's number one tourist destination. The World Tourism Organisation predicted that one. They foresee an influx of 137 million foreign tourists by 2020. China Tourism Institute professor Qian Wei says Xian is nowhere near ready for it. He claims mainland tourism promoters have an unfortunate habit of squandering their precious funds on stupid things. Like theme parks. Disneyesque stuff may pleasantly divert locals, but travellers won't divert for it. The professor says foreigners are more interested in historic and natural resources. And Xian's army of terracotta warriors is hopelessly underplayed. But back to hotels. In Hong Kong, an independent survey gave 80 per cent of them a failing grade for service. The test targeted complaint handling, the provision of information and English-language standards. When surveyors asked hotel staff whether mobile phones were permitted in the executive floor lounge, the response was: 'What do you mean by mobile phone?'. Still, not all the news is bad. At least Hong Kongers mind their language when composing English signs. There seems to be a bit of a problem with that one north of the border. A reader sent us a list chronicling some of the more amusing signs of the times: In a Beijing hotel lobby: 'The lift is being fixed for next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.' In a Shanghai hotel lift: 'Please leave your values at the front desk.' In a Hangzhou hotel: 'The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.' In a Jilin hotel: 'You are very invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.' In a Wuxi dry cleaner: 'Please drop your trousers here for best results.' Outside a Tianjin clothing shop: 'Order your summer suits quick. Because of big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.' In a Xian tailor shop: 'Ladies may have a fit upstairs.' In a Guilin hotel: 'Because of impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.' An ad by a Kunming dentist: 'Teeth extracted by the latest methodists.' In a Hangzhou zoo: 'Please do not feed animals. If you have suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.' From a karaoke bar song list in Suzhou: 'What Kind of Foot am I?' In a Taiyuan bar: 'Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.' Hainan airline ticket office: 'We take your bags and send them to all directions.' In a restaurant menu in Harbin: 'Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; Beef rashers beaten up in the country people's fashion.' In a Huashan temple: 'It is forbidden to enter a woman. Even a foreigner if dressed as a man.'