August 06, 2013 10:32
Chinese tourists are behaving boorishly in North Korea throwing sweets at children in the street, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. It was the latest in a long line of stories highlighting alleged rudeness by Chinese tourists abroad.
But the daily added, "North Korea's tourism workers may look down on their boorish northern visitors but they also appreciate their big-spending ways."
Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, which specializes in tours to the North, was quoted as citing "as an example mainland tourists throwing sweets at North Korean children 'like they're feeding ducks,'" and as saying, "The North Koreans think that's undignified and offensive."
"If mainland tourists go to a school performance, they don't have any qualms about rushing to the stage and picking up a child for photos," it added.
A source in Beijing said since 2011, Chinese tourists have been able to go to North Korea in their private cars, and some throw food at North Koreans from their cars.
The daily quoted Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours, another North Korea specialist, as describing "a 'stereotypical' mainland tour group: 'A hundred people following a flag, all wearing caps and just being bussed about, largely to gift stores.'"
The Chinese visitors seem to know nothing about the North, "even though the two countries are neighbours and allies," Johnson added. Some Chinese tourists also embarrass North Koreans by criticizing their regime.
The Chinese tourists are typically so noisy and uncouth that "only select Chinese can go to [Mt. Baekdu], known for its volcanic lake and as the birthplace of late leader Kim Jong-il, while the mausoleum of Kim and his father, Kim Il-sung, are absent from their itineraries," the daily said.
But North Korea has to put up with the Chinese tour groups because they are "splurging on everything from souvenirs to casinos."
"The Chinese tourism office says 237,400 Chinese traveled to North Korea last year, 22.5 percent more than in 2011," the paper said. The China National Tourism Administration has already warned package tourists, who are typically not well educated, to mind their manners overseas.
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