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This little piggy went to Thailand: Chinese tourists shock locals

Chinese Tourists Put Their Foot in It

Friday, March 13, 2015
PHUKET: Authorities on the Thai holiday island of Phi Phi aim to inform Chinese tourists that they are committing a cultural sin by washing their feet in hand-basins.

Photos of tourists cleaning sandals and toes in face-wash basins have triggered the latest alarm in the Phuket Andaman coast region, this time among Thais.

In Thailand, locals make every effort to keep their feet clean and to make sure that unclean feet are never cleaned in places where they wash the rest of their bodies, except for the shower.

Photos of Chinese tourists breaking the cultural no-no have gone viral at several Thai-language news sites.

Chaitat Boonpoopantanti, Director of the National Park of Phi Phi, told Phuketwan yesterday that he hoped to have Chinese language signs up as soon as possible to warn tourists not to breach cultural barriers by cleaning feet improperly.

Whether the Chinese take any notice is another thing, with any number of examples of indiscretions and taboos being breached by the new tourism leaders around the region lately.

One potential solution, building Chinese-only toilets, has yet to be contemplated. Putting in more foot taps might be handy.

Millions more Chinese tourists, some with little experience of other cultures, are predicted to be heading for Phuket, Phi Phi and other destinations in Thailand in coming years.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


The people in the photo are behaving as they do in their homeland, as far as they are concerned they are doing nothing wrong
They need information, education on correct behavior when visiting other countries.

Posted by Paul on March 13, 2015 09:08


Quality tourists

Posted by Zig on March 13, 2015 09:16


washing anything and everything in a basin is absolutely acceptable in Europe, may be bar UK, and in US - you just splash then with a profoundly

however, in Thailand, where pointing bare feet toward another person is an insult, it's clear that pics of acts like above are insulting too.

I'm not sure who adjust and what - whether Chinese visitors a behaviour or Thais an attitude , as e.g, negative excitement about supposedly PRC woman changing a bra in public zone of WC with "F(emales)" signage , which , even more, located in the international airport,I find ridiculous as that is what WCs are designed for.
In India when toilets finally constructed they still use it as a storage room, and go to a field.
So, I think Thais need for such cases should exhibit less of trolling excitement , and if travellers need facilities to wash themselves and make them up, thrn address these needs.

Even on Phuket, the largest earner of tourist cash here, public toilets at beaches are something , let's be polite, urgently needs total revamp of design and operations.

Posted by Sue on March 13, 2015 09:18


Signs and information in chinese language will NOT do any good. They are used to breaking the laws in their own homeland. The only thing that make a chinese to behave is fear of Police or extensive penalties and fines.

In this pictures they are washing their feet, but on pictures i have seen from some 5 star hotels they pooping in the hand-basins, showers and use the hotel towels instead of tissue papers.

Posted by Sam on March 13, 2015 10:29


Paul, information on other countries' customs and taboos are widely accessible to them, but they choose to not take part of it. It's not a country's obligation to inform everyone else about their customs, but the visitor's obligation to do some basic research before traveling.

Posted by Jonny on March 13, 2015 10:50


We need more quality tourists here

Posted by Bob Reader on March 13, 2015 10:56


What I have seen from the behavior of inland Chinese people in Thailand do not make me want to be a tourist at there homes and cities. Absolutely the last place on earth I would have a holiday or a business. Quality tourists or easy ripoff victims by the jet skis and paras business???

Posted by Joe on March 13, 2015 10:59


This is the tourists Thailand was and is asking for.. Dont complain when they get that.

The new 'quality tourists' I am sure they will outspend the N euro snowbirds they have spent the last few years upsetting and driving away.

Posted by LivinLOS on March 13, 2015 12:47


@sue. You are one of a kind and only. You are saying that Thailand have to (or should) meet the needs (even bizarre) of the Chinese because of reasons based on, quote @sue, "washing anything and everything in a basin is absolutely acceptable in Europe, may be bar UK, and in US - you just splash then with a profoundly".
Wherever you are coming from I would be more then happy to visit and show off some of my most exotic manners. of course your country fellowman will adjust and fulfill my needs. Please give me your native country and that will be my next holiday.

Posted by Joe on March 13, 2015 15:50


Continuing destruction of nature by 7 floor constructions with small and cheap 30-40 M2 units, will certainly not attract quality tourists...

Posted by Kat on March 13, 2015 19:13


Dear Joe,

when you will have time, please take a look on Bangkok Post FaceBook page as well as on the page of one another Phuket media outlet, in order to look through for comments under articles with a similar story .And yes, there at FB, where most commentors aere not anonymous, for BP there is vast majority who support idea that (Chinese) tourists needs to be addressed at firsta nd well, and that there is nothing wrong what is depicted or distinctive to their countries; the other outlet's articles' comments to big part also supportive of Chinese in question.

I guess you will read there also a name of your native country there, so no need to spend on international tourism then.

And yes, you can come and change your swimwear in a public WC, even you can wash it. Hardly anyone would complain about washing feet in asnik at locations near a beach - but actually there is no need for that, as most such WCs are equipped with showers AND "feet tap/shower" - would that location on the pic provide similar facilities, then tourists probably would ahve to use it.

Posted by Sue on March 14, 2015 00:25


Not exactly new the Old On On hotel in Phuket before it was renovated I asked the owner why the sinks where so high.

His answer to stop the chinese urinating in them.

First hotel in Phuket since 1929 used to dealing with Chinese traders of old

Posted by Michael on March 14, 2015 08:40


@ Paul. I think when Phuket beaches are more service minded, lesser no-no-no, if there are more facilities, than the new coming ( expected) Chinese tourist will behave different if guided well.
TAT has to encourage Phuket beaches to have free showers on the sand, have feet sprinkler system for tourists who leave the beach. The first time Chinese will go with the flow and use these feet sprinkler systems. Actually showing that photo of Chinese tourists cleaning their feet in face wash basins proves that the thai authorities not provide proper feet clean facilities. Phuket has to provide facilities. Phuket spend a lot of money in making signs what tourists not allowed to do.
( for every beach 900,000 thb, publiced by Karon beach. But what is Phuket doing in providing the tourists service? Phuket local tourist industry is only taken by making money, not invest in anything. ( living in a bubble). Big job for TAT, but TAT 'sits' in BKK.

Posted by Kurt on March 15, 2015 13:18


@ Sue, ok Sue, whatever. if that feel not good with this feet/slipper cleaning, why than they not pro active and provide feet sprinkler systems for people leaving the Phuket beaches and want to go for dinner with clean feet/slippers? Hey, beaches of a normal country should have a infra structure. Provide your tourists normal service. Actually these photos showing Chinese tourists cleaning in hand wash basins show/prove the lack of facilities provided by thai authorities. Still a lot of work for TAT in Bangkok. ( everything is in bkk). Also westerners clean the same way, but that was never photographed.

Posted by Kurt on March 15, 2015 13:27


Personally, I think China Mainlanders are oblivious to public hygiene, cleanliness, good manners, basic courtesy and consideration towards others while being in the presence of non-Chinese mainlanders, extra care should be taken on their part esp when in a country that is not theirs.

I am holidaying in Phuket now and was previously in Boracay. Their behaviour is atrocious and deplorable. It isn't just Thailand that can't tolerate their total lack of attention or awareness regarding public space and its people, even Singapore and Hongkong detest them despite us doing our best to educate, inform them. When we do so nicely to help them, I and my friends have encountered chinese who rejected our kindness and took it as a form of snobbery trying to point out their faults.

I believe there are many well brought up, well mannered and considerate Chinese Mainlanders regardless of social class, wealth or education. However, there seems to be more rotten eggs than good in the basket of eggs called China. Turns even the most patient person against them.

Posted by Singaporean on June 23, 2015 00:14

Thursday April 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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