08/05/2013 06:09 pm ET

Chinese Tourists Upset North Koreans By Treating Children 'Like They're Feeding Ducks'


Chinese tourists have recently drawn ire for misbehaving while abroad, but the latest development in this story hits a destination somewhat closer to home: North Korea.

According to the South China Morning Post, travelers from the reclusive country's closest ally have begun ruffling feathers with their ostentatious behaviour. The paper cited Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, a company that offers closely guided excursions to North Korea, who said Chinese tourists there throw candy to North Korean children "like they're feeding ducks."

Cockerell hastened to add, "North Koreans think that's undignified and offensive."

Per The Shanghaiist, Chinese visitors to the so-called "hermit kingdom" have also been known to pick up "bewildered" North Korean children in the middle of their school performances to pose with them for pictures.

These examples are but the latest in a trend of misbehaving Chinese tourists, attributed to the country's increasingly wealthy citizens. One of these visitors drew international outrage after he carved his name into a 3,500-year-old temple in Egypt.

"Overseas travel is a new luxury, Chinese who can afford it compare with each other and want to show off," explained Liu Simin, a researcher with the Tourism Research Center of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in an interview with Reuters. "Many Chinese tourists are just going abroad, and are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with overseas rules and norms."

(Hat tip, Quartz)