Wed, Apr 09, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Chinese tourists shock swimmers

By Tsai Tsung-hsien and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An undated photograph posted online shows two men wearing wet underpants mingling with other tourists on a beach in Kenting in Pingtung County’s Hengchun Township on Saturday.

Photo: from the Internet

Chinese tourists have come under fire for “uncivilized conduct” after a report about swimmers taking to a beach in Kenting (墾丁), Pingtung County, in their underwear.

On Monday, a Taiwanese surnamed Chen (陳) posted a photograph online which showed three middle-aged Chinese tourists swimming in their underwear at a Kenting beach on Saturday.

Chen said he planned the trip over the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday weekend for a beach vacation. He said the atmosphere was ruined when two buses spewed out about 50 Chinese tourists.

“It was a typical beach-side atmosphere, with bikini-clad girls walking around and good weather, but the uncivilized conduct of the Chinese tourists placed a complete damper on my mood,” Chen said.

Chen said he feared the large number of Chinese tourists would drive away local and foreign tourists from scenic sites.

The photographs received more than 15,000 views over two days.

“They [Chinese] create their own market — they fly their own airlines, they hire their own buses, eat and live at their own hotels — but they are using our land and our scenery, to make money. Our scenic hotspots such as Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) and Kenting are now filled with Chinese. We are left with their trash. Allowing Chinese tourists into the country costs more than we gain,” wrote a netizen using the pseudonym Bohmann Von Formosa.

A senior tour guide in Pingtung nicknamed Xiao Dong (小東) said that there have been numerous reports of Chinese tourists walking on the beach in their underwear, smoking and urinating on sidewalks in recent years.

Meanwhile, Kenting National Park Administration Office director-general Chen Chen-jung (陳貞蓉) said lifeguards usually ask tourists not to swim in clothing that soaks up water.

However, it is not against the law to swim in underwear, Chen added.

“We can only hope that Chinese tourists can keep their nation’s dignity in mind,” Chen said, adding that tour guides also have an obligation to remind tourists in their groups to wear acceptable clothing to the beach.

The office added it would ask the Tourism Bureau to send notices to tour agencies to remind them to inform clients of proper conduct on the nation’s beaches to prevent future incidents.

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