In a bid to improve its image by curbing unruly behavior, China has issued elaborate guidelines to its citizens on how to behave politely while travelling abroad.
The National Tourism Administration issued a 64-page handbook this week, also the annual "golden week" holiday, detailin dos and don’ts for Chinese mainland tourists who travel overseas. The handbook urges travelers to "behave" and "abide by the norms of civilized tourist behavior," the South China Morning Post, or SCMP, reported.
The general guidelines include not spitting in the street, not shouting in public places and not occupying public toilets for a longer time than necessary, and it warned against leaving foot prints on toilet seats. The tourists were asked to keep their nose-hair trimmed, not to pick noses in public and not to pee in swimming pools.
"I don't think the new rules are unreasonable," a Chinese tourist from Guizhou province told SCMP. "Tourists represent a country, so it is important that we represent it well."
The move follows increasing complaints from Hong Kong and other countries about uncivilized behavior from Chinese mainland tourists. Despite the advisory, outside Golden Bauhinia Square, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong, a mother was seen helping her son to urinate in a plastic bag on Wednesday, SCMP reported. A similar incident occurred in February when a Chinese woman helped her son relieve himself in a plastic bottle inside a crowded restaurant in Hong Kong, which triggered an outburst of online outrage against Chinese travelers' impolite behavior, the Agence France-Presse reported.
The guidebook advises the travelers to "observe public order and respect social morality in tourism activities, respect local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs".
The guidelines also had country-specific advice for travelers. For example, when dining in Japan, Chinese tourists were warned not to play with their hair or clothes; in Spain, women should always wear earrings in public -- or else risk chiding from locals for being "naked"; and in France, Chinese travelers were advised to avoid giving chrysanthemums or any yellow flowers to dinner hosts, according to the SCMP report.