A set of pictures showing “Chinese” women washing their feet and sandals in public wash basins on Phi Phi Islands, a famous tourist resort in Thailand, went viral on China’s social media recently.
Netizens’ comments were unforgiving, saying such disgraceful behavior only contributes to the impression of many people around the world that Chinese tourists are ill-mannered.
The images were first published by a Thai-language newspaper, Manager Daily, which reported the resort management has already put up signs in public toilets saying that guests are banned from washing their feet in the wash bowls, according to a post on the weibo of Sing Sian Yet Pao Daily, a Chinese-language newspaper in Thailand.
The management took the action after being informed by cleaners that some tourists, mostly middle-aged Chinese women, known in China as Damas, washed their feet in the wash basins.
China Daily, as well as Xinhua, on Friday cited the SS Daily report. [click here]
However, the Beijing-backed newspaper Global Times sought to refute the allegation that the women in the pictures were Chinese.
It said that a reporter checked the original Manager Daily news report and found that it made no mention of “Chinese” in the headline.
The story itself, quoting one of the administrators at the resort, only said that the women in the pictures were “probably Chinese, although we are not quite sure” as there are many tourists from various countries visiting the island, which is located between Phuket Island and the western Strait of Malacca coast of the mainland.
This is not the first time that improper behavior by some Chinese tourists has been a media topic in Thailand.
Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, in northern Thailand has reportedly threatened to segregate toilets for Chinese tourists from those used by other visitors after employees complained that Chinese tour groups did not know how to properly use the facilities.
Some 4.62 million Chinese visited Thailand last year, outnumbering tourists from any other country and accounting for nearly 20 percent of overseas tourists in the Southeast Asian country.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is considering producing videos to provide Chinese-language guidance on Thai culture and proper conduct in the kingdom, Bangkok Post reported on Thursday. Earlier this year, it came out with pamphlets in Chinese on how to behave inside museums and temples as well as driving and queuing etiquette.
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