Golden Weeks: How Do 400 million Chinese Spend Their Only Vacations?

Golden Weeks: How Do 400 million Chinese Spend Their Only Vacations?

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It is the most popular seaside resort in China. Qingdao, a city of eight million people in the northeast of the country. With its seven beaches, and five kilometers of fine sand, It attracts more than ten million Chinese tourists each summer. On busy days, there are 200,000 people on that stretch of coastline.

On the program, swimming and relaxation, like any beach on the planet. Great! In appearance, Qingdao looks like the city of Nice in the south of France. On the seafront, a busy market and walk. However, here, we are far from the style of the French Riviera.

Come on, give me your hand! Mr. and Mrs. Xiao are arriving from Beijing Chinese capital, one hour by plane. This is the eighth time that this wealthy city couple Comes to put her beach towels in this seaside resort. They came with Jason, their three-year-old son. For its usual visitors, the scenario is always the same. As they arrived, the two men of the house jumped in the water while madame got carried by her strange ritual.

I've applied sunscreen, but I prefer to wear this mask too to make sure you I'm well protected. For this rather modern Chinese woman, getting the slightest sunburn is not an option. This anti-UV mask is called a Kini face. It is some kind of Lycra hood, and on the beach, it has become the trendy accessory. You can get it at 4 euros.

Added to these diver suits, It is the absolute protection from the sun. Even men are getting it. Hello! For the Chinese, having white skin is a sign of social success, a vision of beauty reminiscent of the early 20th century France. A way to stand out from peasants with tanned skin caused by working in the fields. Mom, where is my shovel? Here, take it! Do not go too far, darling.

In China, we have a famous proverb which says that a fair skin hides all the flaws of beauty. So we prefer to have white skin. We are all the same, young and old alike, and we pay attention not to tan. Practical but not necessarily sexy. Kini faces have at least the merit to entertain Jason and his father. Look dad, there is a white monster.

The white monster is approaching. Mr. Xiao and his son may seem to be scoffers, but you'll see that in China, going on holiday is full of surprises. In the Middle Kingdom, paid holidays have been existing only for the past fifteen years or so. The golden weeks, how they're called, were established by the Chinese government in 1999 to promote tourism and allow workers to visit their families, who are often far away.

A new freedom from which this country of over a billion inhabitants intends to take advantage. Now, every year, Four hundred million Chinese go on vacation. Mass holidays that pay big dividends to entrepreneurs but which doesn't come without problems like these traffic jams. China holds the longest cork record, 100 kilometers. We will go and meet Mr. Zhou,

one of the first to travel in a caravan. You will see that in this huge country where campsites are still extremely rare, it is not as easy as it seems. When I bought a caravan, my friends told me I was bling bling.

On the jet set island, Hainan, we will see how some entrepreneurs were able to ride on this new wave. Wang Dafu got involved in luxurious real estate for wealthy tourists. Today, he is a multi-millionaire.

However, his ambition remains limitless. I love building properties, It is fun. Other unscrupulous businessmen are ready to do anything to attract tourists. In the north-west of the country, Mr. Chen created the Dwarves Kingdom, a unique amusement park in the world.

Hi ladies and gentlemen. Welcome! Finally, we will share the joy and the setbacks of these Chinese. who chose to spend their holidays in France. Lend me your ears please, listen to me. Thieves have already noticed you. Do you see the four girls over there on the right? For the Huang family, the French dream turned into a nightmare.

What happened was horrible. I'll never forget this moment. Who are these new vacationers who, for some, are leaving their homes for the first time in their lives? What differentiates them from French tourists? You will discover the behind the scenes of a Chinese vacation. A new phenomenon which is changing the rules of world tourism.

In the extreme south of the country, Chinese Hawaii Hainan, also known as the billionaire island. 30 degrees, a blue sky nine months a year, who for thirty years, attracts the Chinese jet set, it is just like the local Saint-Tropez. A dream decor that has some flaws. With very strong sea currents, Hainan is also one of the most dangerous beaches in China.

To rescue careless swimmers, 40 rescuers are on alert seven days a week. These are the men in the fluorescent yellow uniform. Swim there rather, the currents are lower, it is less dangerous.

Here, you might be carried away. Tian Xiao and his colleagues patrol for nine hours a day. A very delicate mission because 80% of the Chinese do not know how to swim. In China, swimming is not taught in all schools and pools are rare, even in big cities. So most of Chinese people swim with a buoy.

At the beach, specialized stands offer them for sale. or put them up for rent daily. It's 3 euros per buoy plus 12 euros of deposit. Everyone has one, even adults, but very often it's not enough.

Those who have buoys can't swim at all. If a slightly strong wave makes them give up or lose the buoy, they sink. I have seen lots of accidents like this.

It happens every week. Tian Xiao has been watching this stretch of coastline for four years. So, he knows risky behavior well. Moreover, from a distance, swimmers seem to be in trouble. Get in the water, quickly! Hurry up! Go on! They are calling for us there. The lifeguard prefers not to take any risk.

Eventually, he sends two of these men. The tides are high. They try to come back, but they can't. They are carried away, both of them there with a buoy. Have you seen? In less than five minutes, the culprits are brought back to the mainland. More fear than pain.

Come on guys,bring them here! But before you let them go, Tian Xiao wants to call them to order. Can you swim? No, not at all. You don't belong here. You need to swim where a pool has been set up. The waves are too powerful here.

You should care about your safety. The woman and her husband don't seem to acknowledge the extent of the danger, regardless, the rescuers have completed their mission. Well received.

Some days, Tian Xiao and his men practice this kind of intervention nearly 40 times. In fact, at the other end of the beach, at the same time, three tourists have just been rescued. She had already drank the water. This woman was on the verge of drowning. The accident was narrowly avoided. I am not used to the sea.

It's my first time swimming. I thought I was drowning. At her side, behind her, her husband is in shock. At first it was fine. We had water up to our waistline and just before we knew it, we ended up soaked to our necks.

This time, there we are not letting the family get away with it. Out of the way, under a parasol, the head of the rescuers summoned them to take their names. It is this shirtless man. Name, first name. Jin Kin Jin This procedure will not entail any sanctions, unlike France, where risky behavior in the water can be verbalized, in China, there is no law providing for it.

For the head of the rescuers, this formality is a way of making vacationers responsible. Tourists never listen. No matter how much we put up signs to ban certain areas to those who do not swim and tell them all the time, they never take our advice.

On the contrary, sometimes they insult us. It is unbelievable and it is really painful. This time the couple seems to have learned their lesson. You really did nonsense. It is okay, you've already told me.

Stop talking about it, I will be more careful next time. Every year, on this beach, rescue teams carry out nearly 500 interventions. Despite their efforts, on average, they deplore one death by drowning every week With the tourism boom, this kind of drama has become almost inevitable. The Chinese have been deprived of leisure for decades. Today, they are discovering them for better and for worse.

A few tens of kilometers from Beijing, It's a slightly unusual ceremony taking place this morning. Military parade and flag hoisting. Sounds serious.

One might even expect the visit of a minister, but in fact, nothing to see. The stars of the day are these caravans and campers. They belong to Chinese people who want to share their passion for this form of tourism.

There are over 300 side by side. Unheard of in this country. Go on, back off! In China, the first caravans arrived only ten years ago. Today, there are around 10,000 in the country. It may seem like a lot, but it's just a caravan for 135,000 inhabitants.

Come on, let's push. Far from the popular image that sticks to the caravan in France, Here, it is a must. The few Chinese who own one are privileged, like Mr. Zhou, 40 years old. This senior executive works at one of the major banks in Beijing. As soon as he can, he escapes with his caravan. When my friends found out I owned a trailer, some called me bling bling.

They thought I wasn't the type to be influenced by fashion, so as to buy such a trendy vehicle. To satisfy his passion, Mr. Zhou had to break his piggy bank. Less than a year ago, he bought himself this caravan. He preferred to import it from Germany, because the models made in China are of lower quality.

It costed €40,000. A heavy amount in a country where the average salary is €300 per month. Here, it is twice more expensive than in Europe.

A differential price due to transport costs and import taxes. Inside the caravan, a kitchen area that can be transformed into a bed for two people and a space with two single beds. Comfort is basic, but it is not what causes the most problems to Mr. Zhou's family. China has only about a hundred campsites across the country, So, it's not that easy to be a pioneer in caravanning, especially when travelling with seven people. Two days and 1500 kilometers later, We meet the caravan fan on the road to vacation. At his side, his sister, his nine-year-old nephew, his wife and their daughter Rei Rei, but also the grandfather and the grandmother.

It is the tradition in China, grandparents live at home with their children and grandchildren. So, no one is leaving them out for the holidays. The whole family is going on a week of adventure in Inner Mongolia, a wild region in the north of the country. Uncle, are we arriving soon? In an hour - An hour? It is a long time. The head of the family has planned to spend his vacation in this bucolic setting.

A protected national park. It is not really a popular tourist destination, but that is exactly what attracts Mr. Zhou. A vacation off the beaten path in this wild region. After 11 hours on the road, The family is going to bivouac in a charming village populated by former nomads. As campsites are extremely rare in China, It's in the parking lot of this small hotel that they'll spend the night. Go on, pour in the salad.

It's a Chinese salad. The tranquility of tourists will be short lived. While the family is getting ready for dinner, outside the caravan, It is a strange parade that is taking place before their eyes.

Curious people intrigued by their home on wheels. I want to see. That's a bed for two people and there a second one for two other people. Still, it's narrow. It's crazy. In this region, locals see few visitors and even fewer caravans.

Mr. Zhou and his family wanted to take advantage of this authentic and traditional environment, but in just a few minutes, reversed situation, campers are becoming the attraction of the village. No problem for Mr. Zhou,

when he gets away from big cities, it's the same story. For you Westerners, respect for privacy is essential, but here it's not important, we don't care. Can I take a look? Yes, of course. Do you mind if I take a picture of your room? No, go ahead.

No more embarrassed than that, intruders do not hesitate to intude the family's privacy. Even during the meal, the caravan is transformed in a real station hall. Isn't it too heavy for a car? I'm taking one last look. - It never stops. - No, never. Mr. Zhou smiles at the situation,

but he can't wait for nightfall to get rid of the curious. A few hours later, all is quiet, The Zhous are getting ready to go to sleep. I'm going to put this pillow here for Rei Rei. Here, give him that blanket too. In their caravan designed for four people, with a double bed and two single beds, the seven members of the family will have to squeeze.

It is a whole organization. How much do you sleep on this bed? Three. On this double mattress my dad, my mom and I. On the other two beds are mothers and their children. Comfort is limited, but for these apprentice tourists, that is too much already.

Until the end of the 1980s, the Chinese could not travel freely because of the communist regime, which controlled their movements. So today, they're making up for lost time. Some entrepreneurs have understood this well and those who have invested in tourism are now among those with the biggest fortune in the country. Back to the island of billionaires more than 4000 kilometers away from the steppes of Inner Mongolia, Hainan, the Chinese Hawaii. Twenty years ago, only fishermen sailed on its turquoise waters.

Today, it has become the favorite resort of the wealthy Chinese. Smile! This transformation is mainly due to a local child. In his high-end minivan, Wang Dafu, 48.

The man never moves without his two personal assistants. A multi-millionaire, he built his fortune in real estate and luxury tourism. That is one of my current projects. The workers live in that building. Thirty years ago, houses looked alike.

We all had the same living conditions and my family lived in a brick house. It was pretty good for the time. People were not ambitious, they were content with very little.

Today, this entrepreneur is on the run is one of the most powerful men in the region. So when he's not happy, he makes it known. It's really junk. You could have checked the air conditioning. It's not working You have to change room.

It has to be ordered in the United States and it takes a long time. Why didn't you choose a different car? Who do you take me for? Finally! Wang Dafu's story is a Chinese success story. From nothing, he started selling products as varied as socks or televisions. Twelve years ago, before anyone else, he discoveed the tourist potential of his region.

Today, he owns an empire, three five-star hotels and hundreds of villas and apartments. Here, find who's responsible and hand him over to me. Wang Dafu style, comfort and western inspiration. The decoration, on the other hand, remains in local colors and it is very popular.

Tourists are involved. On the island, the price per square meter is constantly increasing. In ten years, it went from 250 to almost 4,000 euros. A good deal for Wang Dafu, who multiplied the value of his assets by fifteen. About ten years before the works, there were a lot of problems, traffic jams, insecurity.

It was a dirty, messy neighborhood. That is why the government asked us to modernize it. Look at the result, we did all that. I love building, I enjoy it.

His real stroke of genius and what made his fortune, are not luxurious establishments, but at their feet, this marina that he had entirely built. Wang Dafu, is very proud of it. Come let me introduce you. Good morning! Today, the millionaire has given an appointment to wealthy entrepreneurs to talk business. So to impress them, he organized a short outing in his famous marina, on board his 21-meter boat. I bought my yacht in Italy.

It's Formula One of the oceans. Four million euros for this boat. For his marina, the millionaire invested 100 million euros. He is the first person to build one on the island five years ago. Today, with 200 seats, it is one of the largest in the country.

A huge project. As usual, after sending his business appointments, The entrepreneur wants to take a tour with his masterpiece in order to inspect the very last projects he has launched. All right, let's go. The businessman had his speedboat brought in. Too bad for his guests, abandoned so dry on the yacht.

Look, we have finished developing the first shore. On the second, it is still under construction. You see, the construction site on this side. Construction work started twelve years ago. Today, the empire of Wang Dafu extends over 100 hectares, about 75 soccer fields.

In two or three years, it will be even more beautiful. It will be beautiful. We'll build a shopping center with restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues. In short, it will be the cream of the crop.

To complete his project, the millionaire needed to recover the land bordering the marina. To get them, he simply made agreements with the authorities who did not hesitate to expropriate the fishermen who lived there. This practice is very common in China because the land is owned by the State.

Individuals can use it but not own it. Very often, these expropriations give rise to clashes. between the security forces and the inhabitants who refuse to leave. Sometimes it is the workers themselves who use force to drive away recalcitrant families. Like those these images shot by an amateur.

They are the employees of a real estate group who try to drive occupants away from a building by throwing rocks at them. One of the inhabitants, this man in white shirt, is convinced that he has the right to stay in his house. He went forward to meet the workers to negotiate, but he is immediately beaten up. Other villagers will try to defend themselves, to no avail. Faced with the determination of their opponents, they will eventually leave their apartments.

In China, these scenes have become almost commonplace. According to the authorities, every year at least 2,000,000 people would thus be expropriated. Real estate developers like Wang Dafu should not be moved by anything.

This morning in the entrance hall of one of its establishments, It's all hands on deck to welcome the boss with honors. You there, get in line, and smile. Hello boss. In China, we don't joke when it comes to respecting hierarchy. Today, the millionaire summoned his managers to discuss the fate of some fishermen Who are opposed to expropriation and who refuse to leave their homes.

Wang Dafu has pledged to relocate them to the authorities. He must look for accommodation of the same size in another neighborhood, but being too broad is not an option. The man stays tough in business. You can't force them, you have to negotiate with them. Beware, they must still be housed at a lower cost.

We can't allow anything to happen. They need to be happy, but it does not cost us too much money. To save money, Wang Dafu has a plan. The apartments he offers to fishermen are delivered in their raw state.

It's in buildings like this, fifteen minutes away by road from their old neighborhood, most of which have been relocated. This man in the gray T-shirt agreed to testify with his face hidden. He is called Hai Go. Behind these gates, the apartment he received in exchange for his house. Initially, Wang Dafu's proposal seemed honest to him, but today, the fisherman feels like he has been swindled.

Because of that, his home was delivered to him without an electrical system, without floor cover. Even the water inlet has not been installed. Look at this mess. I had to buy all the construction equipment myself.

In addition to this apartment under construction, Hai Go received just over 1200 euros, more than five times the monthly minimum wage in China. He thought he had more than enough to pay for the work, but in the end, he realized that he was going to lose a lot. He really hadn't done anything in the apartment and I had to hire workers myself to set up and clean everything. Look at the water supply pipes, we installed them, not them.

For the apartment to be barely livable, I'm going to have to spend €12,500. That is ten times more than the money he said he got. Above all, it is huge sum for this simple fisherman who earns only a few hundred euros per month. Everyone who accepted the millionaire Wang Dafu's offer would be in the same situation. However, the expropriations are not about to stop.

On the island, tourism is booming. Last year, six million vacationers stayed there. In China, they are now 300 million to go on vacation in their own country.

A gigantic tourist boom that also attracts major western groups. The first to have noticed the right direction were the Americans. A few kilometers from Wang Dafu's beachfront hotels, In the middle of the palm trees, this palace opened its doors six years ago. The ultimate in luxury.

Five gourmet restaurants, four pools, six major brand stores and 450 upscale rooms. To stay there, Chinese people can pay up to €11,000 per night. Like this 400 square meter villa with private pool. At that price, the service must be impeccable. It's Michel Cauger, a Frenchman, who was chosen to run the Palace.

It's great weather. It's the same climate as in Miami. After working more than 15 years between France and the United States, Michel arrived in Chineau at a time when luxury tourism was only in its infancy. Today, the director will have a busy day and it starts at dawn with a fitness session.

So, in the morning, I will do 25 minutes on this hell of a machine. I watch the latest news, I'm on French TV number five. Behind this apparent bonhommy, Nevertheless, Michel Cauger has heavy responsibilities.

With 950 employees at its service, it welcomes every year nearly 250,000 customers. Some Europeans, like these French people who live in China and come to spend the weekend at the hotel. To fill his rooms, the director counts More like the Chinese elite coming from all over the country. To attract them, he first played the western card, particularly in its restaurants.

We have French pastries, we have American pastries, We have Danish pastries. That's Fabio, our boss, who comes from one of the United States, but originally from Colombia. Do we have some French cheese here? The menu is tempting, but quickly, the manager realized that in order to please the Chinese, he had to adjust to their customs. They like the Chinese taste, they like it spicy. So now you have types of pancakes that are local. Chinese breakfast is dinner, At lunch, they're full of it, they want everything, but at the end of the day, they eat their own food, a soup where they put ingredients.

Mushroom soup, noodles, but also chicken pasta. On the menu, all the flavors of Asia. Tourists love it.

Great, did they arrive safely? Out of the kitchens, there is another reality that Michel has had to adapt to, the one-child policy. In China, for over 30 years, the government has imposed on families a single descendant to limit population growth. As a result, in most homes today, these toddlers are treated like real little princes. Look it's for you. Michel understood it well, To seduce parents, you must especially please children.

The director has set up a nursery at his establishment and every day, his teams organizes surprises. This afternoon, it is on the beach that it is happening. We're going to throw a turtoise into the sea. This little animal was found injured on the beach. After treating him, the employees will release him To amaze the children, they even put on superhero costumes.

What is the turtle called? Hope is noted on the sign board. Are you ready? Come on, let's go. Mission accomplished, for the greatest pleasure the parents and the director. As they say, one happy child makes two happy parents and four happy grandparents and that's seven customers coming back.

It doesn't seem like much, but it's that kind of strategy That's why the hotel is so successful. Long live France and the tortoises! To please the youngest, some are ready for anything, even the wildest projects. In China, children's favorite hobby are amusement parks. There are over 700, three times as many as in France. Atmosphere of a carnival or recreation of the most famous touristic sites on the planet, there is something for everyone, but some go beyond the limits of what can be imagined.

In the south-west of the country. Welcome to the kingdom of the dwarves, that's his name. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. An amusement park where all employees are less than 1.35 meters tall. Unthinkable in France here, it opened its doors five years ago. Welcome to our little paradise.

We are going to tell you his story. with a big musical show. For an enttrance fee of ten euros, tourists attend to a one and a half hour show. In France, such a show could offend sensibilities.

Dwarfism is a rare disease, considered a disability in our country. So, such a scene would be considered shocking, but everyone here thinks it's normal. I think they're cool, different. They see life in pink. They have a really positive energy. Mr. Chen is the director of the park.

Good morning. We haven't seen you for a long time. Before embarking on this project, the businessman made a fortune in the energy sector. The kingdom of dwarves, he had been thinking about it for a long time.

He wanted to be different from funfairs and he sees no problem. He even compares his park to charity. So Mr. Chen has trouble understanding the point of view of the French authorities. You have a very simplistic vision, Like everyone else, dwarves have the right to share their existence with companions. But what looks alike comes together.

So I offer them this opportunity to live together. and to thrive. For these employees, Mr Chen built this dormitory adapted to their small sizes. Here, there are a hundred of them, fed and housed all year round. The steps, The washbasin and even the ping pong table have been custom created. A source of pride for the director.

You're a hard hit! He can't catch the ball. The size of the table has been specially arranged for them. They are lower on normal tables. The legs were custom made, take a look. In China, unlike in France, small people do not get any benefits.

So most of them see this as a boon. This is the case of Pi Fen, 50 years old, one of the oldest employees. Look, this is where I live. Here is my room. A friend of mine sleeps upstairs, and I sleep downstairs. At the park, Pi Fen and his colleagues earn an average of €200 per month, twice as much as the minimum wage.

An income that allows them to live properly. I really couldn't have been this happy anywhere else. With colleagues, our job is not very tiring. We just need to dance and sing a little bit. I love this life.

Outside, it's hard for us to find a job. There is no discrimination here, none of us make fun of each other. We are really happy here. I don't see how we could be better elsewhere. Last year, the Pi Fen show attracted 200,000 visitors. At the moment, success is limited but attendance keeps increasing.

In China, this type of project is very likely to multiply. Since the Chinese have been entitled to paid holidays, having fun and traveling have become priorities. Over 1000 kilometers away, in Inner Mongolia. Mr. Zhou, the caravan fan, continues his journey with all of his family. It's almost the end of the vacation, but this morning, he's going to have a nice surprise.

It's crazy, look! There are caravans parked up there. We could stop here, that would be nice. Wow! It's so good here.

Sounds great. Lost in the middle of the steppes, A campsite is one of the few establishments in the country. The wooden building houses sanitary facilities and a small grocery store.

A little further on, a few yurts and three caravans are rented by the day. To sleep in, you have to pay no less than 200 € per night. It is very expensive here, caravans are considered like high-end housing.

As Mr. Zhou came with his own vehicle, he will only pay €20 per night for the location to take advantage of this almost lunar setting. When we'll wake up, I think the sun should rise there. It is really is a very nice establishment for China. The decor, the location, the security, the amenities, it's really good.

The manager of the place is this man on horseback in a black jacket. Since the advent of paid holidays in China, he very quickly understood that his region could attract tourists, and he was right. His campsite is not overfilled. The business works very well, especially the rental of caravans. We have about thirty in the area. Tourists are happy to spend the night.

To increase profits, the director proposes to his customers horseback riding. Mr. Zhou and his family cannot resist it. The price is €20 per person. It's not cheap, But at this price, holidaymakers will live an unforgettable experience. A quarter of an hour on horseback in the middle of the steppes.

On vacation, the father does not refuse anything. After spending three nights at this campsite, Mr. Zhou is going to perform on the way back an important last stop for him. It is an essential touristic site for many Chinese. The Great Wall, 6700 kilometers of slabs that more than four 20,000 people would survey every day.

As you know, the Great Wall is really the symbol of China. All Chinese people want to come here when they are on vacation, and are coming to pékin. Today, Chinese people are thirsty for knowledge.

They like to spend their holidays in the footsteps of their ancestors and sometimes, they don't hesitate to venture halfway around the world to immerse themselves in new cultures, but only 5 percent of the population have passports. For these privileged people, the favorite destination is France. Paris, symbol of freedom and romance. It is the city in Europe that attracts the most Chinese tourists.

With the boom of cheap travel agencies, more and more of them are taking photos of themselves in front of our historical monuments. Look over there at the Eiffel Tower. Before being able to admire these architectural jewels, Three-quarters of them first discover another setting less glamorous.

The suburbs of Paris. It's an hour from the center of Paris, in Essonne, in Quincy sous Sénart, that these 30 tourists who just got off the plane are staying. They come from central China. After 12 hours of flight, fatigue is felt. We got up at dawn.

It is already 2 am here. Mr. Xu took a vacation with friends to discover Europe, 2500€ for ten days, air tickets included.

For this Chinese man who works in the hotel industry in his country, this is a pretty big budget. So upon arrival, it's a bit of a disappointment. The bed is too small, really very small. Less than one meter wide, 80 centimeters.

I don't understand, Europeans are big. How do they sleep on it? In China, it's rare to find such narrow beds, even in low-end hotels, and Mr. Xu is not done with his share of surprises. Look, a train passing by.

Under his window, a railroad track and cranes. We are far from the romantic decor he dreamed of. I'm going to have to close the window. I hope the trains don't pass often Otherwise it’ll keep me awake.

Well, it's okay, it could have been worse. Losing your mood is not an option. The vacation has only just begun and Mr. Xu intends to have fun.

With his friends, he found something to take comfort in. It's time for dinner in the mall from the nearby hypermarket, a Chinese restaurant. - It's 2.10 euros per 100 g. - Is that right, sir 2.10 euros? It's more expensive than in China, but at least it's the same flavors. To accompany everything, just like at home, a bottle of rice wine. Cheers, let's toast to our trip, from China to France.

The next morning, 9 am. After a long journey, Mr. Xu and his compatriots finally discover the French capital. The tour is done by bus with a guide, an all-inclusive formula organized by the Chinese tour operator.

The city looks very green and there are far fewer people In the streets what I imagined. Maybe it's because it's the weekend. It looks peaceful. First step for Mr. Xu and his friends, department stores. Here during the summer season, It's almost like being in Shanghai or Beijing.

All day long, a bus ballet drops off and picks up tourists who have come to shop. Mr. Xu is looking forward to this moment. He wants to gift his wife back home. To please her, he is ready to spend a lot. I have no limits, I am on vacation.

If I like something, I buy it. In this store, the Chinese represent a quarter of the customers and they spend lavish money to bring back these big luxury brands, which are sold 30% more expensive in their country because of taxes. This tourist who came with Mr. Xu's group fell for a €1300 cash bag. For the Chinese, appearing is the most important thing. We are capable of eating pasta every day in order to save money and be able to get a big brand bag for us.

The store understood this well, and to pamper these new customers from Asia, he had to adapt. Some employees have even learned the language from Mr. Xu. Like that saleswoman who speaks Mandarin. It comes in five different colors.

This model too? I don't think that one. I'll check Continue to study our language because more of us are coming to you. For his wife, Mr. Xu chose this €650 bag. It's not cheap, but it's an essential keepsake. During his trip, he will buy for more €6,000 worth of gifts in stores.

Today, the Chinese are the tourists who spend the most while on vacation. The second essential stage of a stay in Paris The star of French monuments, the Eiffel Tower. Before being able to admire it more closely, the guide is absolutely keen to warn everyone. Listen to me carefully, it is very important.

You should be wary of certain groups of people, pickpockets. They mainly target Chinese because they know that we usually pay for our purchases in cash. Here, people don't walk around with €500 on them. Thieves approach and talk to you while putting their hands in your pockets. They often succeed.

Beware! Mr. Li, the guide could not have put it better. Barely got off the bus, He is already noticing pickpockets in action. please listen to me, have thieves noticed you before? Can you see them? Look at the four girls over there, on the right, those who hold petitions in their hands and approach us.

Above all, do not talk to them. These young girls are leaving to approach the tourist. Do you speak English? This time, they will be crudely evicted. In the tourist districts of the capital, the phenomenon has become almost unavoidable. Mr. Li may warn his customers regularly, but they are still fooled.

I often see them act, it always happens the same. Since I've been doing this work, in more than half of the groups that I guided, there were Chinese victims of pickpockets. Mr. Xu and his compatriots were lucky because these pickpockets cause victims every day and sometimes the assaults can even be very violent.

A few weeks ago, a group of Chinese tourists experienced a real nightmare. Here are their vacation photos a few hours before the tragedy. The nine members of the Wang family had come to perform a five day tour of Europe. Their journey came to an abrupt end in the suburbs of Paris.

Violently attacked outside their hotel, two of them will be hospitalized urgently. Since the incident, they have taken refuge in this house with a member of their family who immigrated to Germany. The attack took place three weeks ago, but the whole family is still in shock.

What happened was horrible. I will never be able to forget that moment. I think of it every time I hear a motorcycle noise. It really traumatized all of us. For the family, all starts just before midnight.

In this district of Seine Saint-Denis, in Ile-de-France. The Wangs go quietly back to their hotel with the other members of the organized trip. In all, about forty Chinese. When all of a sudden, in the middle of the street, Fifteen young people in hoodies are popping up on scooters. Armed with tear gas, Thieves surround the tourist group and snatch their handbags. The Wangs took refuge inside the hotel, thinking that they are safe, but thieves do not give up.

Someone yelled they are coming back. I turned around And then I saw three thieves they were entering the hotel. One of the men threw himself at me and he was trying to snatch my bag.

He was shooting and I was holding on. As I resisted him, he hit me like that on the head. He pushed me and I fell to the ground. We took refuge in the kitchen. Some men took pots and pans, others metal spatulas.

We stood in front of the door. We asked hotel employees to block the entrance and call the police. There was really nothing more we could do. We were completely trapped. The thieves will end up fleeing with €17,000 in loot. In the fight, two family members are severely injured.

The 89-year-old grandfather got tear gas. There is a 12 cm long cut on his arm. Look, we had to take him to the emergency room. His arm was in a bad condition. It was cut to the bone.

I couldn't breathe. I was panicking, I didn't know what was happening to me. Like with doctors and nurses, we did not speak the same language, I couldn't get my point across. The Wang family filed a complaint, but so far, no attacker has been arrested. The tour operator has decided to stop sending its customers in the hotels of Seine-Saint-Deniset he offered to each victim a €30 discount voucher for an upcoming trip. A paltry compensation.

So today, the Wang family can not wait to go back to China to forget their vacation in France. Despite the proliferation of such incidents in the capital, Last year, they were more than a million Chinese to visit our country.

2023-03-13 14:37

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