A tourist from China switched a used water bottle with a new souvenir flask at the British Museum, causing a stir on social media. This incident happened in mid-March and became widely known after being shared on Xiaohongshu, a popular platform in China.

China Netizens Embarrassed by Tourist's Flask Swap Incident at the British Museum
British Museum
(Photo : Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash)

Tourist's Behavior Sparks Embarrassment Among China's Online Community

In a recent incident that has attracted widespread attention, a visitor from China was caught on video swapping a used water bottle for a new souvenir flask at the British Museum. This event took place in mid-March and quickly spread across social media, sparking a lot of discussions.

The video was first shared on Xiaohongshu, often called China's Instagram, by a user who was shocked by what they saw. 

According to South China Morning Post, the user expressed disbelief at the tourist's actions, emphasizing how disappointing it would be for someone to find a used bottle instead of the expected brand-new flask. This incident has led to a wave of embarrassment among netizens in China, with many calling the behavior "disgusting" and "shameful."

The water bottle left behind by the tourist had both English and simplified Chinese characters on it, which is why online detectives are sure it came from China. More specifically, the bottle was linked to the Xinfu branch of the Bank of Jinzhou in Liaoning province, suggesting it was probably a free promotional item. 

However, it's important to note there is no definitive proof the tourist is from mainland China, as simplified Chinese characters are used in other parts of the world too.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been concerns about the behavior of some tourists from China while abroad. The Chinese government has frequently reminded its citizens to behave well when traveling. Despite a significant drop in the number of Chinese tourists going abroad since the pandemic, this incident has reignited discussions on the importance of respectful behavior at international landmarks.

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This flask swap incident at the British Museum has not only caused embarrassment among netizens in China but also brought out the ongoing conversation about tourist behavior and the impact it can have on a country's image abroad.

China Tourists' Misbehavior Raises Global Concern

In 2013, tourists from China were in the spotlight for not behaving well while traveling abroad. Stories of their actions, like faking marriage certificates for discounts and improper public behavior, spread quickly online in China, causing many people to feel upset and embarrassed. This led to serious discussions about why some Chinese tourists act this way.

Experts say that traveling overseas is still new and exciting for many people in China. As per Reuters, they might not know the rules of other countries because they are not used to traveling. For example, a young boy from China wrote his name on an ancient temple in Egypt, causing a big upset.

The Chinese government has noticed these problems too. They want Chinese tourists to act better when they visit other places. The government has even put out rules for good behavior, like dressing right and not being too loud in public.

More than 83 million Chinese tourists went abroad in the year before, showing how much Chinese people like to travel. Officials and experts believe that as Chinese tourists travel more, they will learn and start to behave better.

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