For whatever reason, the picturesque South Korean resort island of Jeju has turned into the Mecca of badly behaved Chinese tourists over the last few months.
In the latest embarrassing incident, South Korean police have arrested three Chinese students after they allegedly assaulted a restaurant worker on the island at around 4 a.m. in the morning last Tuesday. According to the Korea Times, the students were set off after the worker asked them to please settle their bill and leave so that he could close shop.
Instead of paying and leaving, the students asked for more alcohol, arguing that because of the time difference between China and South Korea, it was alright for them to stay a while longer.
However, the worker refused to supply them with any more alcohol, causing the students to throw water bottles at the man while asking in Korean, “Are you ignoring us because we’re Chinese?” Eventually, they pushed the worker into a corner and started to rough him up.
You can watch blurry security camera footage of the assault aired by South Korean media below:
According to one witness, the students were resentful from a perceived slight earlier in the night.
“They were angered from the beginning when we couldn’t serve them the food they ordered because we were out of ingredients,” the witness said. “They started to think they were being mistreated because they were Chinese and started behaving aggressively.”
This is just the latest in a troubling series of incidents involving Chinese tourists in Jeju. Back in early September, a group of rowdy Chinese tourists beat up a restaurant owner on the island after she told them not to bring in drinks from outside. One week later, a Chinese tourist stabbed a Korean woman to death as she was praying at a local chapel because she reminded him of his ex-wife.
Chinese tourists also got into trouble last week for trashing the Jeju airport departure hall with an ungodly amount of packaging from duty-free purchases. That mess came after the airport was also the stage for a minor international incident during China’s Golden Week holiday in October when more than 100 Chinese tourists spent their vacation trapped inside the airport after being denied entry into the island for failing to provide the proper paperwork.
In 2008, Jeju Island implemented a 30-day, visa-free policy for Chinese tourists, turning the island into a Chinese tourism gold mine, but also leading to an increase in crime that has locals concerned. Over 11,000 of them signed a petition calling for an end to visa-free entry for Chinese tourists in September; however, Governor Won Hee-ryong has dismissed the possibility that the program would be canceled.
[Images via Korea Times // Video via YTN // h/t EJ Insight]