Li Xing

Going beyond sightseeing and shopping

By Li Xing (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-09-16 07:48
Large Medium Small

Last Saturday, an elderly American friend of mine went to see Peking Opera in a small theater in the rear garden of Prince Gong's Palace in Beijing.

It was not much of a show, mostly filled with acrobatics. Worse, as she was approaching the gate to leave at the end of the show, she was almost knocked over by a Chinese tourist pushing his way in.

This wasn't the first time she had had an unpleasant encounter with Chinese tourists. During a visit to the Palace Museum in Taipei the past year, some tourists from the mainland pushed her aside to get where they were going.

She was told that many Taipei residents only visit the Palace Museum early or late in the day, when there are not many tourists from the mainland around.

Such complaints about Chinese tourists are unfortunately familiar, ever since we Chinese began to travel more several years ago.

In those days, media reports portrayed Chinese tourists as spitting, littering, cutting in line and talking in loud voices. The Chinese were also criticized for buying cut-rate tours and then demanding first-rate service.

These days, the image of Chinese tourists overseas seems to have changed. They may still talk too loud and make obnoxious demands, but they are better known for their shopping zeal.

Recently, a report from overseas quoted a 31-year-old tourist from Beijing as saying that she skipped most of the sightseeing in Tokyo during her visit there in July so that she'd have more time to shop.

Sad to say, we Chinese were ranked as "the world's worst tourists" two years ago. But we're not alone.

When the British took the honor in 2002, they were described as "the rudest, meanest, worst-behaved, most linguistically incompetent and least adventurous holidaymakers", according to Expedia, the online travel service.

Last year, the honor went to the French, who were said to be "the biggest complainers, the least generous when it came to tipping, the worst to adapt to a different language, the most impolite "

   Previous Page 1 2 Next Page