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Tour guide in China under fire for waking up sleeping tourist on sightseeing bus

A tour guide in China has come under fire after an incident in which she woke up a sleeping passenger on a tour bus.

The tourist, a woman who has not been identified, was visiting the south-western city of Lijiang and had joined a weekend tour group, according to online news outlet, People.

She was sleeping on the bus when the group’s guide woke her up.

The guide asked the woman not to sleep during her commentary of tourist attractions, a video uploaded by the woman on July 9 showed.

In the video, the tour guide can be heard asking the woman: “Don’t you think sleeping on the bus means you don’t respect me?”

The woman protests, saying she paid to join the tour and questions why she could not sleep in the bus.

The guide says they need to show each other “mutual respect”. The woman replies: “Then you tell me what respect is.”

The guide then says the bus would move on “after you are completely woken up”.

It is not clear how long their exchange lasted, or whether the bus was indeed stopped during the incident, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

Netizens on Chinese social media have since reacted to the incident, with many saying the guide’s demands were uncalled for.

One person on Weibo said tourists spend money to travel and play, “not to show respect to a tour guide”.

Someone else questioned why the guide thought she could stop a tourist from falling asleep in a tour bus.

When it became aware of the video, Lijiang’s culture and tourism bureau launched a probe.

It revealed on July 11 that the guide, surnamed Zhang, was not licensed to be a tour guide and had organised the tour illegally.

Zhang now faces a fine of 100,000 yuan (S$18,400).

SCMP reported that Zhang is not the only guide to have complained about tourists falling asleep during their commentaries.

At the end of June, a snoring tourist angered a guide on a sightseeing trip in China’s far-western Xinjiang autonomous region.

That guide is said to have stopped his commentary to wake the tourist and chide him for a lack of respect. The incident prompted widespread attention, after which the guide apologised to the tourist.

In a separate incident in Yunnan province, where Lijiang is located, a tour guide had her licence revoked in June after she described a tourist as “shameless” and “without conscience” for not buying souvenirs the guide recommended.