Those Must Be Some Tasty Shrimp!

For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, there’s a video going viral of tourists in Chiang Mai, Thailand, going crazy over shrimp at a buffet. In the video they’re seen taking up to three plates each of shrimp at once, and even using plates as shovels to get even more shrimp. Here’s the video:

Unfortunately the hotel staff found that much of the food remained uneaten:

Pathetic… though unfortunately not surprising either.

(Tip of the hat to Michael and Tocqueville)


  1. Having encountered many groups of Chinese tourists in Southeast Asia, this does not surprise me.
    They are the worst.

  2. Chinese are the new Americans. Universally hated. Not just talking about tourists but also foreign policy wise, environment wise etc.

    I suppose they have to yet go through the soul searching that educated liberal Americans have gone through.

    I am also assuming all the bloggers that post photos of all the great food in first class they order actually finish it all. Else they would be just hypocritical assh×%*&/.

    We need to figure out a western medicine cure that needs Chinese human gonads. Let’s cut off their testicles and see if they like it. Maybe then they will have pity on African wild life.

  3. “Pathetic… though unfortunately not surprising either.”

    I get that tourists from mainland China can sometimes be nightmares, but sometimes it feels like this blog is verging on the xenophobic. I fully understand that you’re reporting on a real occurrence, but there is a sense of cultural superiority implicit in a lot of these posts you do about Chinese tourists. Behaviour like the kind shown in the video is unacceptable, of course, but sometimes the tone with which people discuss Chinese tourists feels a bit holier-than-thou. And it’s that kind of rhetoric that leads otherwise-reasonable people to think that entire groups of people are less than human.

    Anyway, I say this as a huge fan of this blog, and know that it’s not your intention to cause any offense whatsoever! Just food for thought.

  4. I’ve traveled the world, and I’ve never experienced worse tourists than the Chinese.

    They speak very loudly, they are brash, they spit and hack, they push and shove, and they have no respect for their fellow tourists.

    Try walking behind a group of Chinese in a park for example. They will clog the whole pathway as they walk in a horizontal line. They are not courteous in the least. You have to literally shove them out of the way.

  5. Lucky, do you really need shrill clickbait like this? Yes, the behavior of those tourists is reprehensible, but so is playing into the whole “see how horrible the Chinese are!” trend in media. No matter how seemingly newsworthy such articles appear to be, they are inevitably increasing prejudice against all people of Chinese descent. Saying things like the behavior of the tourists is pathetic but not surprising just encourages racist attitudes towards Chinese people no matter where they are from.

  6. Funny, I was in Vietnam a few months ago viewing a 5 star luxury Hanoi hotel as I am a travel agent and frequently check out hotels I’m not staying at to see if they are a product I would recommend to clients. As I was being shown the hotel by the manager I asked if they get a lot of Chinese tourists, the manager said “NO!!! We prefer people with good culture” lol I was a little taken back but to be honest Asians are pretty raciest in general, especially against other Asians.

  7. what’s wrong with feeling superior to these animals? most people should, these are probably the same sort that let their kids crap in the plane aisles. See I never encounter these sort of people, it is very simple they only go to certain types of hotels, hotels that take tour groups and that’s certainly not the likes of the ritz Carlton, Shangrila, oriental etc etc. the easiest way to avoid the trash is to go to places that the trash cannot afford to follow.

    Oh and I have some ancestors that come from China and I have no issues with calling these people animals.

  8. This is why I avoid Mainland China. It is as if the ascendant middle class there feels it must assert itself constantly and if any one member of that middle class does not, someone else will eat their lunch.

    And I suppose I understand – just about every member of their middle class has likely done far more than I have to end up in the middle class. My hope for each of them is that they develop the confidence to know that maintaining their own status need not come as a result of stepping on others.

  9. Stereotyping and acting all superior to anyone who is not an American, from an American? Pathetic… But unfortunately not surprising either.

    Shame, for someone who has literally seen the world, some of your views and attitude that comes through your post are extremely xenophobic.

  10. I’m a huge fan of this blog but this isn’t really worthy of you. It’s well known that behaviors of Chinese tourist groups can be rude, but stick to the quality reviews and tips that have built you a loyal following, and leave the baiting to the racists.

  11. Unfortunately I have to agree with VS.

    As time goes by, there’s a sense of “see how they all do it wrong” and “I don’t do it like this”, but the problem here lies in generalization.
    As if all chinese people where like these people and every american one were like you, Ben.

    It’s simply not true, right?

    Imagine if tons of poor american people suddenly became rich and started going to Park Hyatt, flying first class with you and so on and so forth… Have you ever imagined what would happen?

    So this post is just to further increase the xenophobic feeling towards a group of people.

  12. Hmm…I have to agree with a lot of the comments on here. Obviously the behavior in the video is appealing. But I think the tone of the post encourages prejudice.

  13. Wow.

    Readers of this blog enjoy, on a weekly basis, reviews of hotels and airlines all over the world. They are, by and large first world experiences, but manifest a tremendous embrace of the planet’s far flung corners. Yet when there is a post about objectionable behavior, perhaps related to ethnicity, some readers have the temerity to play the xenophobia card?

    I certainly hope that as Mainland China’s middle class becomes more secure in its position in the world, it will moderate its behavior. But claiming xenophobia merely for ventilating objectionable behavior is a bit much.

  14. Was on a short OAK-LAX flight where I was joined by a large group of chinese tourists that acted like they were on some refugee bus. But, I laughed it off while some others looked appalled.

    Largely, it’s cultural. I understand, when in Rome, but nevertheless, it’s unfair and hypocritical to judge the character of a whole people or even an individual by behaviors that they are exposed to on a daily basis. Many of recent developped countires come from decades of disasterous poverty, oft as a result of ‘civilized’ Western imperialism. We must see such behavior with a sense of sympathy for people whose culture is recovering from a years of national poverty.

    As westerns, please do not let polite formalities be confused with a sense of positive innate qualities. Yea, I would prefer not to cross paths with Chinese tourists in the least, and I leave it at that. To carry the thought any further would be quite tragic.

  15. @jfhscott:
    “They are, by and large first world experiences, but manifest a tremendous embrace of the planet’s far flung corners.”

    A tremendous embrace of the planet’s far flung corners’ attempts to meet Starwood or Hyatt corporate standards, maybe. I suspect that most readers are too young—or have too selective of a long-term memory—to remember when the scum of international tourism was the Ugly American. God help us all if Chinese tourists are as slow to reform as American ones; one need only refer to Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad to see just how long it took us.

  16. Yes those Chinese tourists are pathetic and classless.
    I find German to be classless and pathetic as well.

  17. The problem with generalisations is that they are generally true. My ranking of worst tourists i goes: Chinese, Israeli and German

  18. Hey, if it makes y’all feel any better, Russians also often aren’t very good tourists either! It’s rather nice that American tourists aren’t the worst anymore!

  19. There are people in any race or country that act like this. As for “western imperialism.” we my soon be their “slaves” thanks to the economic imbalance that American (me included) have given them……

  20. As a person with Chinese heritage, I find the actions of these tourists to be disgraceful. Let’s not all bash Lucky for reporting facts.

  21. I have to defend the post here. The Chinese government has taken note of the bad behavior of their citizens abroad and has tried to educate them not to do things like spit, ignore lines, have their children defecate in the middle of an aircraft aisle, not deface Egyptian treasures, etc. It was interesting and hotel related and, to some extent, in a roundabout way, informational on how not to react to buffets.

    Incidentally, Rick Steves also mentions that Americans usually exploit buffets much more than Europeans do and advises his readers not to grab so much food.

  22. Before I got married I used to travel with a friend of mine who would refer to Chinese tourists as “locusts.”

    This same friend had emigrated from China to the US when he went to college.

  23. Ben, since you are living in your own elite little world and do not interact with the normal folks, I will let you know a little secret: most Chinese are not like that: the normal ones are quite, polite and they keep their own business to themselves. You will never know this because you will never notice them, it is the loud, rude ones that you do. This is the same reason people think all gays are loud and flamboyant, which is absolutely not true, but they are the ones you notice. You of all people should know not to judge people the way you just did. (but then again, “it is not surprising” since despite all your traveling, you still live in a closed off little world and your recognition of the rest of the world are mostly from the media)

  24. Ben, do you really need to stoop to this?
    Are you surprised when a post like this reinforces people’s largely myopic view of other cultures? Is this truly worth a few more credit card commissions?

  25. This is not nice, lucky. unless you are directly trying to appeal to chinese readers, in which case it should be in mandarin, whats the point? Encourage generalization? Look down on them? Especially with the last sentence, your attitude really breaks my heart…

  26. Chens are the worst when it comes to travel. I try to avoid the chinamen wherever I go. The worst is when you see them at Yellowstone in Montana!

  27. Agreed – the traveling Chinese are the worst, but you can add Germans and Russians to that list as well. And as an American, our culture doesn’t escape either – I’m frequently appalled by the the moronic acts of some of my countrymen.

    As for the comment above about being able to avoid the Chinese Hordes, Yes, you can stay at the Ritz or MO, but unfortunately you can avoid them in most other situations. If you can’t escape them, have some fun with them – last month, I took time out of my day and visited the Grand Palace grounds in BKK. I waited around for the Chinese tour groups to organize for a picture before they continued on to ruin all the other tourists day and would photobomb them – I get into 6 or 8 group shots making a goofy face – finally got busted by a sharp eyed flag carrier…

    On another note, I just heard Trump is looking into banning Chinese tour groups from Trump hotels and airlines.

  28. Don’t understand the reasoning behind this post appearing on this blog. Similar things can be observed and reported of tourists from many other parts of the world – i.e. how about the all you can eat buffet at the Casinos in Las Vegas… nothing short of the waste and gluttony shown here…

  29. @VS Well said.
    Yes we all see poor behavior by some humans in this video and in this thread.
    We as the human species can do better and act better towards each other.

  30. Instead of bashing Lucky, Chinese mass tourism & Americans, let us all have a kum ba yah movement and concentrate our wrath on the true culprit for the decline of civilized travel: the all-you-can-eat buffet.

  31. What frustrates me most about minorities (not necessarily just racial minorities) are how quick they can be to stick it to other minorities; yet take any slight on their own minority with great offence and immediately claim ‘discrimination’. Therefore a big thumbs down on this post from me.

  32. It’s a very slippery slope when you open the door onto this kind of stereotype. The real story about shrimp in Thailand is not some over-indulgence at a buffet by Chinese but the fact that the vast majority of it is produced by slave and indentured labour working in scandalously bad conditions

  33. It is too bad indeed, both the behavior in the vedio and the blog you posted.

    Did you do a further research on this vedio? Do you even know it was alomost 2 years ago and where it was and why it happened in this way?

    If you don’t I can let you know. Oh, yes, you even do not know Chinese, you almost know nothing about China.

    I know some behaviors acted by some Chinese are not right at all, but they are just some of the 1.3 billion Chinese People, and most of them just be out of poverty.

    Do you really want to talk about cluture?

    To you and some racist here, China is still a developing country and of course we have a lot of problems right now, but it is no doublt that we are on our way to success. And look at your own country, cannot you even find a single case like what happened in the video? Or maybe you only live in the world of first class, 5-star hotels and 3-star Michelin restaurants. But you know what, more and more of such things will be owned by Chinese! It’s so pathetic and hypocritical and I am so sorry for you.

  34. I had the same experience with a hotel in Shanghai that offered a Lobster buffet. I waited almost one hour before I got lobster on my plate. The local people that left the restaurant left behind about 50% of the lobster.

  35. Why are Russian and German tourists bad (as noted by several commentators)
    I’m not even familiar with any negative European tourist stereotypes and specifically those two are the biggest feeder markets in my part of the world!

  36. @VS While I understand where you’re coming from, maybe it’s worth taking it down a notch. I read this blog mainly for entertainment/general interest, as I’m sure many others do. It’s a shame when commenters make generalizations about the author’s views simply to pick a fight.

  37. @AB I think the people who should be “taking it down a notch” are the ones who are saying incredibly racist things in the comments. I feel like my comment above was written in a pretty reasonable and rational way by comparison…

    And I’m not trying to pick a fight. You’ll notice that I complimented Lucky’s blog (and I really did mean it). I’m just trying to give some food for thought to prevent a turn toward xenophobia. Not just on this blog, but in general life.

    It sounds like you don’t come here that often. Take your Citi Double Cash card and go home, hon.

  38. It is not relevant to ur blog ,OK???
    I feel like you are trying to downgrading the nature behavior of Chinese people just like the time you complained about China southern airlines resulted into crew members being demoted and Mock over Hainan airlines low occupy rate before departure which made you looks like a f*cking racist bitch.If you really thinking of expand your business and interest into China,you should really be thinking of turning the attitude from now on,as We-the indigenous people of CHINA will soon threaten you with fewer sense of security the next time you come to China since you are turing yourself into the public hatred target.

  39. What on earth made you think you have the capability to judge others just simply fitting them into stereotypes while u as a typical stupid white american think you can have your own life traveling around the world and all the others can easily fall for your in-respectful comments which certainly non-related to your blogs,I think you own the people in China a huge apology for whatever you have said over time during the periods you raising controversies,We can easily start a Weibo War in the name of you taking after recently notorious “Chinese Pig Lady” and “High position officer in Shanghai refuse to adjust seat for others”,and you will bring the asian fewer hatred into the next level as you have been proven to hold thoughts against Chinese people and its airlines without any further apologies and further explanation to the consequences you have caused,Shame on you!
    Hope your website will soon be blocked by the Chinese government officials,HHAha!

  40. @ Lucky, Wow! You sure know how to wake folks up…. I was starting to think maybe your readers were sleeping 😉 Keep up the good work, I love this blog!!! …. Now if you will excuse me I need to refill my popcorn.

  41. Clickbait works, y’all…48 comments and rising! Lucky must be saying “Yaaaaaas!!!” to himself.

  42. As a mainlander who immigrated to the US 30years ago, I believe this type of behavior should be shamed in social/print media. I go to Asia often and have encounters with the tour groups in the airport and sightseeing locations (thank god not the hotels we stay at). I believe The main problem is too many uneducated People got too rich too quickly, kind of like the Beverly hillbillies. Even the city people from Beijing and Shanghai try to distance themselves from them. so putting this in media will teach them it’s not acceptable to behave this way.

  43. @Valerie. WOW, is that what 30 years of living in the US has taught you? That it’s OK to publicly shame uneducated people? SMH.
    @VS: Well said!!

  44. @Valerie, Publicly shaming them won’t work, because they don’t give a damn about what people on social media thinks, and it will only make people like Lucky misunderstood a country such as China even more.
    @TC, I agree with you, but let’s be honest, this blog is about a rich kid travelling around the world. Lucky is not a journalist and even journalists nowadays don’t check for facts (just look at what Economist is doing when reporting anything about China, that magazine has been racist for ages). I am shocked however at just how many people reading this blog don’t have a common sense. Just ask yourselves, how many Chinese are travelling aboard every year? with a population of 1.5 billion, a small percentage is huge in number. Yet how many Chinese did you actually meet? How many Chinese did you actually encounter? To generalized an entire nation of people based on what a small portion of them did, is simply wrong.
    Also, incidents like this are only happening on popular tourist destinations, and are only with group tourists, ever wonder why? any rational people can guess these are some poor people being exploited here, because group tours are cheap and are all what they can afford, with poverty comes lack of education. Again, these people from poverty are a small portion of the Chinese population, generalizing an entire nation like what Lucky and most of the readers here is just wrong.

  45. Lucky – While I don’t agree the way those Chinese tourists practice at the restaurant. After reading your article and all the comments reader posted, I have to shake my head and point out the situation you describe about those Chinese tourists is the same situation you are practicing every day – abuse the system. While those Chinese tourists abused restaurant’s buffet by getting more than they can swallow, you are abusing “The Points & Miles” systems by taking advantage of all the perks they offered to you. With all points and miles you took, can you burn all of them at once ? While you are using your status to get all the hotel suite upgrades, have you ever thought about other people who are traveling with family really need a hotel suite upgrade but can’t get it because of those suite upgrades have been taken by you even though you are traveling alone/or with your lover only ? While we regular people can’t do the traveling every day same as you, but because of your travel pattern, all of the 1st class or business class seats might have been taken by you ? While you are enjoying your 1st class meals, do you really empty your plates ? When you are staying at the hotel, did you use up your soap & shampoo hotel provide for you or save them to give to people who may need those basics ? While you are complaining about people’s generalization regarding your sexual orientation, have you ever thought about your generalization regarding other races ? Mark Twain used to say ” “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” But I don’t find that on you at all ! That will bring me to another old Chinese sayings “Fifty Steps Laugh At Hundred Steps”. The origin of this old Chinese story is about the defeated and retreated soldier who only run 50 steps laugh about the soldiers who have already ran 100 steps saying those soldiers who already ran 100 steps are cowards. Hope this will give you an another way to look through the whole world. Nothing personal, just my 2 cents. Peace!!

  46. Well, I think most tourists are entitled a-holes. But there are groups that give their entire nationality a bad name. Germans, Americans, etc. Now that they’re traveling, it’s China’s turn to take a spin on the ole “you’re the worst in the world” table. The thing is, mainland Chinese tourists HAVE been so extreme that their OWN GOVERNMENT had to take action against how awful their citizen’s behavior got abroad. From defacing ancient ruins to defecating in the aisles of airplanes to starting fist fights over crying babies to throwing hot water on flight attendants…I have never heard of such consistent and horrifying behavior from any group of tourists- Australian, German or even Americans (and my expectation for American’s behavior abroad is pretty low, as we tend to travel, yet believe the world should cater to our English-speaking, western customs). So I think, as you’re railing against Ben and fight back with the statement “all mainland Chinese aren’t like that”, be sure to remember that the Chinese government was so concerned that the behavior would continue, they actually had to set up a program that would punish and discourage the continued embarrassment of the country. If the Chinese government didn’t think that the problems caused by their tourists would continue without intervention, why would they bother taking such drastic measures?

  47. @RVSolo: That’s actually a reasonable question, but the thing is, the “drastic measures” were taken not because of how many people were doing outrageous things aboard, it was because how widely those incidents were reported over foreign media. There were only a handful of incidents like that, I think you pretty much mentioned all of them.But these incidents were reported on social media and then spreaded like wildfire, and it brought a negative image to the country and to the communist party. We cannot have that, can we? When it comes to national image, the laws in China are very strict. So no, they do not represent the majority of Chinese travelers. In fact, they were so widely condemned in China, when those “drastic” measures were announced, people cheered. You have to remember that China is a dictatorship country, things don’t run the same way as the rest of the world. This is a country where when a certain part of the country tried to up-rise against the communist party, we labeled them terrorist and charged an army there and slaughtered every single one of them. You will be wrong if you think things like that cannot happen in modern age.

  48. I appreciate most of your posts, but this one seems to me inappropriate and xenophobic, if not racist. Re-circulating this video serves no other purpose than making these tourists a spectacle for readers, particularly Western readers, to laugh at. Whether you recognize it or not. It reinforces stereotypes that also reinforce white supremacy. I imagine that it’s not okay to post videos of a right-wing German party beating up Syrian refugees and then writing, “Well, consider WWII and think about what many Germans have stood for in the past….” Or, would it be okay to post a video of Mexicans trying to scale a border fence and falling over–all while those who are filming are laughing? I mean, as you think about this post, what exactly did you expect people to say in response?

  49. This is not unusual for China. They have absolutely ZERO sense of queue, lining up, order. Everything is done all-at-once style with people climbing over one another. This is everyday normal life.

  50. Hmmmmm. As a Tour Guide who has travelled the entire world end to end for 25 years my thoughts.

    These behaivours are atrocious. I have spoke to MANY busdrivers from all over the world, and asked them who are the worst groups.

    Chinese and Israelis and Russians always come in the top three.

    I have been to these countries many times. Yes, one group of people does not represent an entire Country. BUT when one group over and over and over and over again is cited for atrocious behaivour, well, it is what it is.

    PS I am Jewish, and VERY Pro Israel. So don;t even go there.

    The BEST groups? Canadians! But they never tip!!!

    And Americans on the whole have improved, but depends on the group. A expensive tour brings better behaved clients USUALLY.

  51. “Pathetic … though unfortunately not surprising either [given that they are, after all, BLACK PEOPLE]”
    “Pathetic… though unfortunately not surprising either [given that they are, after all, GAYS]”
    “Pathetic… though unfortunately not surprising either [given that they are, after all, JEWS]”
    “Pathetic… though unfortunately not surprising either [given that they are, after all, CHINESE]”

    The first three sentences – never mind factually true or not – are in poor taste and Ben would never write like that. The fourth sentence, however, is acceptable to Ben (and many other readers) and he specifically wrote it that way (much to the admiration of many of his readers).

    I think this speaks to a lousy education and pathetic family values, resulting in the inability to apply knowledge to situations beyond what is taught i.e. the school and the family taught only about the specific situation of poor-taste generalization against black people and against gay and victims of the Nazis, and so the young man (and his many readers) grew up only being able to recognize poor taste when it is appplied to said black people and gays and Jews, with no ability to apply what he has learned to situations involving poor-taste generalization against the Chinese and other classes / categories! Truly educated people with good family values do not need to be taught every possible situation of poor-taste generalization; they learned the specific example of black people / gays and can apply it across other areas.

  52. I’m as appalled by this scene as anyone else, but to be fair: is it really all that different from the scenes of people rushing Black Friday sales in the U.S., madly shoving others out of the way as they try to get their hands on stuff they probably don’t need?

  53. I think it is very informative that the Hong Kongese, people whose ancestry is similar, actually abhor the behaviors that Mainland tourists exhibit. They instantly know where the individuals are from when they speak Mandarin, as Hong Kongese speak Cantonese. Hong Kongese and other Asians have told me that they have to put up with Mainland Chinese behavior because that is where all the money is coming from….China. Now, is it xenophobic, when people push you in line, like you need to jump out of their way, just because they are coming thru? Sorry, the people on here pushing labels, need to have some of these experiences themselves!

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