|Last year around 4.6 million Chinese nationals visited Thailand, with the average tourist spending 5,500 baht ($160) per day — more than the average European visitor.|
Accused of urinating in public, spitting on the street, or kicking a sacred temple bell — free-spending Chinese tourists in Thailand are receiving a mixed welcome as their soaring numbers help the kingdom's creaking economy.
Growing outrage over the perceived disrespect of visitors from the Asian giant saw authorities print thousands of Chinese-language etiquette manuals earlier this year in a bid to keep their tourists in check.
Last month it was a photo of a young girl peeing in the grounds of Bangkok's Grand Palace that triggered the latest round of enraged, and sometimes racist, comments as Thai social-media users claimed she was Chinese.
In March a Thai model's video of tourists from China jumping the queue at an airport was viewed more than two million times and saw a similarly angry rant against Thailand's largest group of foreign holidaymakers.
At the gleaming Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple, in northern Chiang Rai province, owner Chalermchai Kositpipat complained about the state of the toilets after a recent visit by a Chinese group.
"We had problems with some Chinese who defecated anywhere, so I asked the guides to explain to them that rules must be respected in Thailand," Chalermchai told AFP, having earlier threatened to refuse the nationals entry.