Tourists stained temple floors

A famous temple in northern Thailand will build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists after Chinese tourists apparently made the lavatories unusable for others, German news agency DPA reported yesterday.

Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, in Chiang Rai will add the new toilets as a solution to complaints about alleged grossly inconsiderate behaviour by Chinese tourists, the agency quoted temple officials as saying.

"They had defecated on the floor, urinated on the walls outside and left sanitary pads on the wall of the bathrooms," an official who requested anonymity was quoted as saying.

The temple's designer Chalermchai Kositpipat said in a TV interview that it was "impossible" for other tourists to use the bathrooms so he would build new ones, DPA reported.

Previously, the temple had even banned Chinese tourists altogether after tour groups left the toilets in a state of disrepair.

In another incident early this week, a tourist identified as a Chinese national was filmed kicking a sacred bell at Buddhist temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, the Bangkok Post reported.

A video of the incident posted anonymously online drew widespread condemnation.

Thai officials have threatened to ban the tourist over the incident. Major-General Bundit Tungkhaseranee, a local commander, told the Post that authorities are looking for witnesses and examining CCTV to identify the man after the video went viral on social media.

The police commander told the newspaper that authorities are keen to apprehend the man, introduce him to the public and give him a lesson on Thai culture and manners.

Reports of tourists relieving themselves in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have also sparked complaints.


Officials in Chiang Mai put together a tourism etiquette manual in Chinese and distributed them to Chinese visitors during the Chinese New Year holidays, reports said.

The booklet asks tourists not to touch or deface artworks, not to relieve themselves in public and to drive more responsibly.

Mainland Chinese account for the biggest source of tourist arrivals in Thailand, but a spate of alleged misbehaviour by them have left many Thais incensed.

Last year, 4.6 million Chinese visited Thailand, accounting for 18.7 per cent of all international arrivals, more than any other nationality, the Post reported.

But then, Chinese tourists' poor behaviour has been well documented.

Another story was added to the long list of their behaviour on planes when a three-year-old boy refused to fasten his seatbelt during a Hong Kong-bound flight from Bangkok, Hong Kong daily the South China Morning Post reported.

The report said that the boy's parents, a mainland Chinese couple, were urged to secure the boy in his seat moments before the Cathay Pacific flight was due to take off on Tuesday.

But the parents refused. They wanted the child to sit on his mother's lap instead, resulting in an argument with the cabin crew, the report said.

The family eventually left the plane grudgingly after more airline staff intervened.

Fed up with their nationals' behaviour, the Chinese government said it will establish a public record of its citizens who behave badly abroad, the Beijing Times reported.

Methods to manage and record bad behaviour will be formulated and carried out in collaboration with airlines, travel agencies and hotels, said Mr Li Jinzao, the head of China's National Tourism Administration.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China is considering putting black marks on the names of unruly airline passengers and punishing those who behave badly, China News Service reported.

This article was first published on Mar 1, 2015.
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