Apr 17, 2014

Are people in Chiang Mai really annoyed by Chinese Tourists?

Picture by Chinese Tourists
A reason to be annoyed? Chinese tourist posing in Chiang Mai

"Anti-Chinese feelings in Thailand high as influx of tourists angers locals", writes Hongkongs South China Morning Post. Chinese tourists are said to have "clambered aboard student buses at Chiang Mai University, made a mess in cafeterias and sneaked into classes to attend lectures". They are said to be "loud, uncouth, culturally unaware".

Do people in Chiang Mai really have a problem with Chinese tourists? "The number of Chinese tourists visiting Chiang Mai is huge — last year it was over 200 000, and the percentage of troublemakers among this is tiny", writes Peerawat in Bangkok Post. And remembers: "Three or four years ago, Chiang Mai’s tourism industry was facing a big problem. Oversupply of hotel rooms put operators in the red. Hotels were mostly empty, and the room rates were pretty low." Restaurants, souvenir shops, and other businesses now enjoy the Chinese boom.

And Chiang Mai traffic police is now learning Chinese. A photo showed on their Facebook Page shows, that the police members not only learn words as "red light" and left turn", but as well phrases like "you’re cute" and "I love you". Therefore Chiang Mai City News asked: "Chiang Mai Traffic Police Learn Chinese to Reduce Accidents... and Date Chinese Girls?".

There is another point: Chiang Mai has its own Chinatown near Warorot market and its own Chinese temples. "The old, local Chinese have established here for a long time and have lost a lot of their original culture and (...) mixed very well with the Thai locals. Many Thai have some Chinese blood in their veins and those who claim to be fully Chinese are in fact not really Chinese anymore in their behaviour, but more Thai", writes Chiang Mai Locator. For example: Yingluck and Thaksin Shinawatra, the present and former Prime Ministers of Thailand, are the children of a Chiang Mai family of Chinese descent. And Thai-Chinese people control a big part of Thailands economy, as Paul Richard Kuehn notes.

Picture by marhas
Pung Tao Gong temple in Chiang Mai

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

So, may be, the anger of Chiang Mai people about Chinese tourists, is reported by newspapers, who don't exaclty know the influence of people of Chinse origin in Thailands society. And some readers remember, that American und European tourists can be loud, uncouth and culturally unaware as well. And may be many people in Chiang Mai are just happy, that the Chinese comedy film "Lost in Thailand" (see on Youtube) has been turned here and became a blockbuster in China (read more). And this is the reason, why tens of thousands of Chinese people now flock into Chiang Mai.

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1 comment:

Sasapong Chujinda said...

Just a Thai passerby. I live here for 40 years.

To answer your topics in short: Yes. Though we have a lot of Thai-Chinese businessmen or Chinatown in CM has nothing to do with what we feel against China (I should mention here that it's Mainland Chinese that many don't like. Not Taiwanese, or Chinese from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore or any other countries)

Even though American and European tourists can be loud, uncouth and culturally unaware as Chinese tourist, they listen to us if we tell them what should or should not do. But many of Chinese don't listen at all. They would yell back at us in Chinese instead of asking if it should do or apologize. As one of a Chinese give an interview with Thai newspaper 3-4 months ago that "I can do anything in Thailand because I'm rich"

Quote about tourists from other countries doesn't make anything good. If what other tourist do is not good, you should not do them. Not "since everybody do it even though it's not right, so I can do it too" Two wrongs don't make a right.

Yes there are a lot of Chinese influence with CM, however most of the Chinese here are THAI. I mean ask them to speak Chinese and very few of them could do that. Almost none. Ask them if they're Thai or Chinese they would say the are Thai. Actually one thing CM residents tired of Chinese tourists is because many seems to think that they own Thai gratitude. It's true that many of Thai business is founded by the Chinese immigrants who lived here for hundred years, however they count themselves as THAI. They become one of us. What it has to do with the mainland Chinese? I found no connection at all. Actually many Thai admit that even though they have Chinese ancestors, they also sick of Mainland Chinese tourist as well.

- Just 2 months ago a group of Chinese tourists ordered food from a CM restaurant, ate them, then refused to pay. This was post on the net and shared by thousand of Thai. (Here's the link. Just copy and paste. http://goo.gl/V60u55)

- They came into the university, opened the door during class and took pictures while the student were studying. They came into a building and open the doors of offices to take pictures without permission from the owners of the office or cubicle. My girl and lots of my friends worked in the universities. All has these experience.

Even a Chinese living here admit it himself . Read what Gabrial Lee said.

You might think money can buy anything. Tell you. CM resident is happy that tourists is booming, however since there are too many problem, some even said that his/her restaurant or shop is not open for some group tours. They are willing to trade their income with the problem and headache. And they do that.

However there are good side. Take this for example. the owner ask for anybody to translate. When he know what the massage said, he thought that it's a good suggestion.

Also this picture. The photographer found a Chinese family with good manners and ask the mother to take their daughter's picture. Posted and share his impression with others.

There are also stories about waiter who meet a group of nice teenagers. They would warn each other if they're too load. If they want to do something but do not sure if it's proper they would ask this man. Full of good manners. The waiter was so impress and think that these teenagers tried to learn and live with our culture, which shoe us their respect for others, so he share the stories with other Thai.

In conclusion. Yes, we tired and sick. It's not that we hate Chinese because of their race. It's because they don't respect our culture and they don't listen to us at all. Some think money can buy anything. Some think they're superior than other. These kind of tourists are not welcome. However those who act properly and kind. Those who respect us as equal as they do to themselves always welcome to be our guest.