About crowds, Japanese KTV and being uncivilized

More Beijing thoughts and pics during the National Holiday period.

Some views showing the huge crowds visiting Tiananmen, The Forbidden City and other typical attractions. Several subway stations remained closed, supposed to be for crowd control, forcing visitors to walk one station far to reach Tiananmen, the Zoo and other.
I limit myself to the safe area of Sanlitun. See a typical laowai tourist self-portrait in First Floor (good hamburgers and more).

And showing a bit more what a Japanese KTV looks like. Contrary to Chinese style KTV, those are typically one big room (some few KTV have one or two private rooms), where all patrons sit together, in sofas or at the bar. So, one can go there alone. Girls sit with you, but no pressure to buy series of drinks: I usually pay one single drink for the evening for one to three girls (30 kuai each). No tips for the girls, no extra charge and no way to take them out for “extra activities”. So, no pressure and no funny business. The only charges are the door fee (typically 180 kuai for the whole evening) and, if you want more than free water, drinks. A bottle of whisky goes for some 500 kuai (or more, depending). They keep the bottle for you for your next visit. There is one set of microphones, a huge list of songs in English and one waits his turn to sing.
Sometimes big fun as the Japanese can be a bit excited and invite me to sing along, all in a relaxed way.

In the meantime our Chinese friends roam the world and upset the locals by being a bit “uncivilized”. The government is not happy about it and has now published a guide book. Problem, it seems the tourists have no time to read it or ignore it, continuing in their path of destruction, littering, spitting and leaving graffiti. See here what the SCMP reports about it.

“Guidelines on civilized travel abroad”, released by China National Tourism Administration: a 64-page rulebook containing regulations forbidding mainland tourists to behave in “uncivilized” ways while overseas. The rules urged travelers to “behave” and “abide by the norms of civilized tourist behavior”.
General guidelines include not spitting on the streets, not shouting in public areas, not forcing locals to help take pictures, not throwing rubbish and not picking their noses.
Tourists were reminded that all air-conditioned places in Hong Kong and Macau were no-smoking areas. According to the new guidelines, mainland tourists will have to “observe public order and respect social morality in tourism activities, respect local customs, cultural traditions and religious beliefs”.
The rulebook also included a designated section listing behavioral guidance for specific countries. It reminded mainland travelers in Britain for example, that asking Britons whether they have eaten is deemed impolite (I guess because the food is not that great?). And in Spain, any females not wearing earrings would be teased and considered “naked”.
It also added that travelers should also avoid giving chrysanthemums or any yellow flowers to dinner hosts in France.
Other behavior mainland tourists should avoid included occupying public toilets for too long and taking excessive amounts of food at buffets, the guidebook said. Not sure it also urges the men to take a better aim when facing urinals (they overestimate their instrument).

Mind your manners: some of the rules

Do not

  •     Give a handkerchief in Italy as a gift because it is deemed inauspicious
  •     Discuss the royal family in Thailand
  •     Touch people’s belongings in Nepal with the foot
  •     Ask for pork in Islamic countries
  •     Call Africans “Negros” or “black”
  •     Use the left hand to touch other people in India
  •     In general, touch antiques or draw graffiti on heritage structures
  •     Expose the chest or back, or look dirty in public areas
  •     Eat a whole piece of bread in one mouthful or slurp noodles noisily inside an aircraft


  •     Use shower curtains in a hotel
  •     Keep quiet when waiting to board a plane
  •     Keep mobile phones turned off until the aircraft has come to a complete stop
  •     Be punctual if taking part in a tour group
  •     Arrive at a banquet hall 15 minutes early and adhere to a formal dress code

Now just wait they read that and maybe start doing the same when visiting Beijing.

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