Don’t Pee In Pools And Other Guidelines For Chinese Tourists

chinese tourists
Bob Gaffney, Flickr

Picking your nose in public and stealing life jackets might be acceptable behavior in China, but it’ll be frowned upon elsewhere in the world. That’s the advice being doled out to Chinese tourists heading abroad.

The country’s National Tourism Administration put together a 64-page booklet called The Guidebook For Civilized Tourism to teach its citizens the dos and don’ts of respectable travel.

Earlier this year, China’s Vice Premier lamented the fact that rowdy behavior by Chinese tourists was tarnishing the country’s image abroad. The new etiquette guide hopes to curb some of the unruly behavior, such as travelers who pee in public swimming pools or leave footprints on toilet seats when using public restrooms.Some of the other insight offered in the guidebook includes instructions for travelers to avoid picking their teeth with their fingers, to keep the length of their nose hair in check, and to refrain from stealing life jackets from airplanes so that they’ll be available to other travelers in the event of an emergency.

However, while some of the tips reflect common sense and general courteousness, others are harder to pin down the origins of. An example? Chinese tourists are told that when traveling in Spain, they should always wear earrings while out in public. If they don’t, well apparently, it’s as good as being naked.

Greece Plans To Keep Rowdy Tourists Out Of Town

Greece club signs
Roger Price, Flickr

Disrespect the locals a few too many times and they may decide to shun you from the local enclaves and relegate you to tacky tourist ghettos. Unfortunately, that may be exactly what’s in store for visitors headed to the Greek islands.

Locals there say they’ve had enough of debauched tourists who have been wreaking havoc in the otherwise beautiful and peaceful Mediterranean region. Their solution? Set up segregated tourist zones to keep the riffraff out.The drastic plan is under consideration after a recent spate of incidents involving bar brawls, rowdy behavior and the stabbing of a British teenager on the island of Crete. The Greek islands attract huge numbers of young pleasure-seekers who are eager to party, much to the unhappiness of locals. To get around the problem, they’re looking at establishing “tourist strips” far from town where foreigners can go wild without bothering anyone.

If the Greeks do agree on the plan, it’ll be a sad day for travelers who actually want to experience everything the islands have to offer. Visiting a city that’s split in half — with locals on one side and tourists on another — is not really visiting the city at all. Think of the tourist strip in Cancun, which is nothing like the real Mexico, or Times Square in New York, which is far from representative of the Big Apple. Do we really want all of our travels to feel like a trip to the Vegas Strip? If we want to continue having authentic travel experiences, it’s time to step up and treat the locals and their way of life with respect.

Shocking Things The TSA Gets Away With


To many people, airport security is something of a necessary evil — a royal pain in the behind that they tolerate because ultimately, it’s designed to keep us safer. But a new study into the Transportation Security Administration raises questions about just how well the agency actually protects us. Airport screeners have been accused of everything from sleeping on the job to stealing and accepting bribes. And many are not really penalized for their actions.

An audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed some shocking behavior by TSA agents stationed at airports around the country. In several instances, agents were found sleeping while on duty. Other agents might as well have been asleep given that they allegedly let people pass through to the secure zone of the airport without actually going through the screening process.According to the report, the agency has processed 56 cases of theft by TSA agents over the past three years. That included one agent at Orlando Airport who confessed to swiping more than 80 laptops from passengers. (These neglected to make an appearance on the agency’s new Instagram feed of confiscated goods.) Other disciplinary issues involve things like “neglect of duty,” credit card abuse and even bribery. In one such case last year, TSA agents were accused of pocketing bribes from drug traffickers in Los Angeles.

TSA Agent asleep
TheeErin, Flickr

The number of allegations against TSA employees runs well into the thousands, but the GAO says few of the agents were adequately punished for their behavior. In some cases, TSA agents were disciplined by their superiors after very little investigation, while in others, agents guilty of misconduct barely received a slap on the wrist.

The findings of the audit are unfortunate for an agency already facing public scrutiny. Just recently, the TSA came under fire for telling a 15-year-old girl that her clothes were too revealing. They have also been criticized for racially profiling passengers, and aggressively screening young children.

The Naked Walk Of Shame And Other Crazy Hotel Antics

hotel door do not disturb
David Nestor, Flickr

Traveling to new places gives us a sense of anonymity we just can’t get when we’re in our home cities – there’s next to no chance of us bumping into someone we know or having people recognize us as “that weird person that did xyz.” Which is perhaps exactly why so many travelers lose their inhibitions when they’re on the road and do things they would never dare otherwise.

What kinds of crazy antics do travelers get up to? Well how about asking hotel room service to deliver a bottle of coca cola to your room and then answering the door in nothing but your birthday suit? Or worse yet, asking hotel staff to hold a camcorder while you and your partner get down and dirty in your suite? It’s hard to believe, but these are exactly the kinds things hotel guests get up to according to a survey by booking website lastminute.com.au.The poll, which focused on Australian hotel guests, revealed many travelers engage in cheeky or otherwise awkward behavior. Requests for “adult” entertainers happen surprisingly often according to hotel staff, while other guests inadvertently put on an adult show after locking themselves out of their room while stark naked (be sure to check out the video below of one such mishap which took place earlier this year). Other less raunchy but no less bizarre behavior include a guest who tried to bring his pet snake with him on vacation and one who drove a golf buggy straight into the hotel.

Piss in the ocean, not in the pool and other TripAdvisor reader thoughts

So much of life is governed by “unwritten rules,” but beaches and pools are surprisingly short of convention to cite. Public opinion is all over the map on what matters most – and what can lead to a heated conversation. But, there are still a few hot buttons that irritate the world. According to a recent survey of 3,800 people by TripAdvisor, 69 percent encounter some breach of etiquette, with 13 percent taking the cynical view that everyone breaks these undocumented standards.

The most common violations at the beach and pool are hogging beach chairs, pissing in the water and littering, while the most annoying are loud music, smoking and, yet again, draining into the water … though you can get away with doing this in the ocean if you aren’t too close to anybody. And, in praise of double standards, more respondents believe that women can get away with skimpy beach gear than feel men should wear speedos.

So, what enrages?

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Hogging beach chairs: if you’re “saving” a chair for someone for to use later, 84 percent of TripAdvisor readers think you’re an asshole. According to a TripAdvisor Destination Expert, “My bugbear is when people throw a towel over one of the highly sought-after sun lounges/cabanas, and then go AWOL.”

“Bugbear”? Eh …

Unleashing the stream: 16 percent of survey respondents called this the most annoying breach of pool and beach etiquette, but 53 percent will piss in the ocean if nobody’s around.

Smokers blow: 82 percent want to ban poolside smoking, and 62 percent don’t want you puffing at the beach. Says one of these Destination Experts, “I can’t stand when on a crowded beach day people smoke one foot away from you, and then discard their butts in the sand…I don’t care at all if people choose to smoke as long as it doesn’t affect me or the beauty of the beach!”

Washing off not a big deal: 14 percent of travelers don’t bother to shower before they go into a pool (hell, it has all that chlorine anyway, right?), and 37 percent do so rarely. A substantial 69 percent find it acceptable not to bother cleaning up before swimming.

Stay away: if the beach isn’t crowded, 38 percent of respondents believe you should set up camp at least 20 feet away, and 22 percent think seven feet to 10 feet is acceptable. When the beach is crowded, you should stay at least six feet away. According to one of these TripAdvisor Destination Experts, “I find the perfect spot on the beach, far away from the intrusion of kids, pets, and game players. Then a family of 12 with undisciplined kids sits right next to me! When the beach is empty move over!”

Watch what you wear: 76 percent of respondents don’t think it’s a big deal for women to wear revealing bikinis (no word on whether hotness matters), but only 65 percent say the same for men and speedos. Only 14 percent think speedos are only appropriate in the United States. One of the Destination Experts is irritated by people who “either go topless or wear tiny little dental-floss bikinis on the beach or by the pool.” Again, I say don’t judge until you see the body that’s barely covered.

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