Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Study Shows Thai’s Do Not Care for Chinese Tourists

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 11, 2013

File this under, ‘damn the Chinese are pissing everyone off’


“A recent survey conducted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand found that Thai tour operators, and hotel and restaurant employees complained about Chinese tourists talking very loudly and shouting amongst each other in public as their most annoying habit. Other complaints include smoking in non-smoking areas, littering, fighting over seats, and spitting. Thai people find the behavior of many Chinese tourists at Buddhist temples particularly inappropriate. Not respecting the temple as a solemn place of worship, the Chinese dress in clothing that are too revealing and talk loudly while snapping photos of themselves standing anywhere and everywhere. They sometimes don’t bother to take shoes off before ascending the steps to temple buildings and will not hesitate to touch anything.

Many apologists say that this new phenomena of the “ugly Chinese” tourist is just like the “ugly American” stereotype of the postwar years. They say it is simply a case of a newly prosperous group of people finally going out into the world for the first time and getting their feet wet. It is argued that the Chinese only seem rude because they are new to foreign travel. It is assumed that after they have more experience traveling, the Chinese tourists will blend in better and respect the culture of their hosts.

The problem with this assumption—at least as many people around the world see it—is that there are some fundamental problems with the culture inside the People’s Republic. The growing impression of Thai people is that the Chinese are heartless and lack empathy for fellow human beings. This opinion is being fueled by a barrage of videos being shared online through Facebook and other social media networks. YouLike (clip det) is a Facebook page popular with Thais, with over 2 million followers. Every day, it shares a number of videos on anything strange, interesting, or entertaining. The more shocking the video, the more likes and shares it usually gets. Lately many of the videos have been coming from hidden security cameras, traffic cameras, and dashboard cams in China. The images show a society where nobody feels compelled to help out anyone in need.

One recent example was a video showing a young woman assaulted and abducted by several men in a van. As the victim struggles to prevent capture some passers-by are seen standing and gawking, but making absolutely no effort to help the poor woman. A man on a motorbike drives past the seen of the violent struggle as if nothing were happening. Thai people who view the video come to the conclusion that people in China could care less about anything going on that does not directly affect them. The plight of someone in danger does not move them to action. The top comment for the video reads:

Do the Chinese know that they are condemned by people all over the world for their selfishness?

Another Thai Facebook user replied with:

That’s right. I agree. They really don’t have any kindness at all. I’ve seen many clips—car crashes, or accidents—and they just stand there not helping at all. It’s really ***** terrible!

A little further down in the comments, one user speculated on the reason for the lack of empathy on the part of the Chinese:

I think that the Chinese are selfish because they don’t have democracy. They can’t select their own leaders. They can’t assemble either. So their behavior becomes selfish. They just want to survive. I don’t care who likes China. But my opinion is that I don’t like it.

It’s possible to think that the witnesses to the crime feared intervening because of what the criminals may have done to them. But there are many other cases of videos showing somebody hurt and in need of help, yet nobody watching comes to give aide. One such video clip captured by a dashboard cam shows a woman on motorbike falling victim to a purse snatcher. As the thief on motorcycle snags the purse from her shoulder, she lose control of her bike and flips over onto the pavement. The thief then speeds away leaving the victim lying unconscious in the middle of the road. Another motorbike driver can be seen slowing down to gawk at the spectacle, but he never stops to check and see how badly the woman is hurt. The car with the dash camera that captured the event also slows down and briefly makes as if they will pull over to the side of the road and go help the girl. But finally, at the end of the clip we notice the driver resuming acceleration and steering back into the middle of his or her lane. The thief is long gone, so it boggles the mind to think that nobody who saw the innocent victim knocked out and bloody in the middle of the street would try to help get her some emergency medical attention.

It is not only a lack of kindness to fellow humans that bothers Thai people. Chinese have a reputation for animal cruelty that few can match. Most Thai people are Buddhist, but they are far from vegetarian, and many types of animal are on the menu. However, they get easily disturbed by what they consider unnecessary cruelty to the animal whose life they have to take to become their food. A video showing the Chinese dish of a still living fish that has had its back end deep-fried brought much condemnation. Many of the Thai comments on the video spoke of the belief that negative karma will follow the cook and the diners, with many suggestions that they should be reborn as fish in their next life. Here is a similar video showing the same dish being served to a group of Chinese diners.”



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