Thai temple to build separate toilets for non-Chinese visitors after complaints: report

A famous temple in northern Thailand will build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists after Chinese tourists apparently made lavatories unusable for others, German news agency DPA reported on Saturday. -- PHOTO: ELAINE NG CHI
A famous temple in northern Thailand will build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists after Chinese tourists apparently made lavatories unusable for others, German news agency DPA reported on Saturday. -- PHOTO: ELAINE NG CHIN CHIN

BANGKOK - A famous temple in northern Thailand will build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists after Chinese tourists apparently made lavatories unusable for others, German news agency DPA reported on Saturday.

Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, in Chiang Rai will add the new toilets in response to complaints about alleged grossly inconsiderate behaviour by Chinese tourists, temple officials said according to DPA.

"They had defecated on the floor, urinated on the walls outside and left sanitary pads on the wall of the bathrooms," an official who requested anonymity was quoted as saying.

The temple's designer, Chalermchai Kositpipat, said in a television interview that it was "impossible" for other tourists to use the bathrooms so he would build new ones, DPA reported.

Previously, the temple had even banned Chinese tourists altogether after Chinese tour groups left the toilets in a state of disrepair.

Mainland Chinese are for the biggest source of tourist arrivals in Thailand, but a spate of alleged misbehaviour by Chinese tourists have left many Thais incensed.

Last year, 4.62 million Chinese visited Thailand, accounting for 18.7 per cent of all international arrivals, more than any other nationality, Bangkok Post reported.

In another recent incident, a tourist identified as a Chinese national was filmed kicking a sacred bell at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai, the Post said. A video of the incident posted anonymously online drew widespread condemnation.

Reports of tourists relieving themselves in public in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai have also sparked complaints.

Officials in Chiang Mai have taken to putting together a Tourism Etiquette Manual in Mandarin and distributing them to Chinese visitors during the Chinese New Year holidays, reports said.

The booklet asks tourists not to touch or deface artworks, not to relieve themselves in public, and to drive more responsibly.