10/02/2013 02:30 pm ET Updated Oct 07, 2013

Chinese Tourism Etiquette Guide Reveals Bizarre Travel Tips

Chinese tourists visit a popular waterfront promenade in Hong Kong on October 2, 1013. China's National Tourism Administratio
Chinese tourists visit a popular waterfront promenade in Hong Kong on October 2, 1013. China's National Tourism Administration publicised a 64-page Guidebook for Civilised Tourism -- with illustrations to accompany its list of dos and don'ts -- on its website ahead of a 'Golden Week' public holiday that started on October 1. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chinese National Tourism Administration seems to be doing damage control in response to recent misbehavior of Chinese tourists abroad (see: tourists throw candy to North Korean children “like they’re feeding ducks” and the incident involving a Chinese tourist and a 3,5000 Egyptian temple. )

Their solution? A 64-page etiquette guidebook that includes tips like being punctual for group tours and using shower curtains in hotel rooms, as well as the not-so-usual and country specific suggestions.

Some general examples: Not picking your nose in public, not slurping noodles too loudly and spending too much time in public restrooms. And some tips more specific to individual counrtires: In Italy, the guidebook states, it is not favorable to give a handkerchief as a gift. In Germany, Chinese visitors should only snap their fingers if they’re calling for dogs, and not at humans. In the UK, it's impolite to ask if they’ve eaten and in France, giving yellow flowers to your hosts can be considered offensive.

Of the need for a guidebook, Liu Summ, a researcher for the Tourism Research Center of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Reuters earlier this year, "Many Chinese tourists are just going abroad, and are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with overseas rules and norms.” Bizarre or not, Chinese tourism is on the rise, spending $102 billion on international tourism last year.

Other tips from the guidebook, according to the Daily Mail, include:

  • In Nepal, do not use your foot to touch others' belongings
  • In India, do not touch people with your left hand
  • In Thailand, do not talk about the royal family
  • Don't look dirty in public
  • Don't leave footprints on the toilet seat


10 overrated destinations (and where to travel instead)