As tourists from China increasingly travel abroad, they have developed a stereotype of 'uncivilised behaviour', which Vice Premier Wang Yang said in May, "damaged the image of the Chinese people".
In response, the National Tourism Administration has published a 64-page Guidebook for Civilised Tourism. Released to coincide with a week-long public holiday that started on October 1, Chinese authorities hope that it will help change the shocking reputation their citizens have abroad.
It’s an extensive list of dos and don’ts. Below we present the best and most bizarre, in the spirit that there’s something each of us can take away from it.
1. Don’t urinate or spit in public pools.
2. Don't pick your nose in public. Keep your nose-hair neatly trimmed.
3. Don't leave footprints on public toilet seats. [No mention of whether standing on the toilet in the first place is good form or not.]
4. Do not steal stainless steel cutlery, pillows or life jackets from airplanes.
5. Remember to flush the toilet.
6. Don't buy stones as souvenirs in Scotland.
7. Don’t strong-arm locals into having their photograph taken.
8. Don’t dry handkerchiefs on lampshades.
9. In Germany, only snap your fingers to beckon dogs, not humans.
10. In Spain, women should always wear earrings.
11. In Japan women should avoid fiddling with their hair at all costs.
12. In France, chrysanthemums and yellow flowers must never be given to those who invite you to their homes.
13. Don't talk about or ask for pork in Islamic countries.
14. Don’t talk about the Royal family in Thailand.
15. Always use a firm hand shake in Algeria.
16. Don’t touch people’s heads in India.
17. Don’t comment on babies’ eyes in Iran.
18. Hungarians do not appreciate you smashing their mirrors.
19. British people find questions about their movements or stomachs impertinent.
20. Don't comment on, belittle or even curse locals while outsiders are present, even in your own language as more and more people are learning Chinese languages.