BEIJING, China – China’s National Day holiday, a week-long torrent of agitated bodies pouring into the country’s top tourist destinations, dealt its fair share of damage to sites across the country, reports the Beijing News.
Despites warning signs plastered across tourist hotspots, doodles and words from tourists still turned up on the walls and the antiques of the Forbidden City.
Doodles and sketches are still easily found on the walls of the Forbidden City, mocking the adjacent warning signs. “Although we strengthened visitor etiquette education, we lack enforcement for poorly behaved visitors,” said one staff member at the museum. The museum has managed to reduce the number of cases by capping visitors, especially during the National Holiday week.
At the Beijing Zoo, tourists went wild feeding animals. One visitor fed an entire bag of vegetables and carrot sticks to a gazelle. Another tried to lure an elephant closer by throwing grapes in a line towards him. Three alpacas were quarantined after overfeeding during the Golden Week bonanza.
Children were almost indistinguishable from their zoo counterparts. One child broke his arm after climbing onto and falling from a rail at China’s Palace Museum. In the Beijing Zoo, children ignored warning signs and clambered over animal statues as if they were monkey bars on a playground, said the report.
Despite Beijing’s ban on smoking in public areas, the law went all but defunct over Golden Week. In the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, cigarette ashes and butts littered the trash cans in ‘non-smoking areas.’ “Most of the tourists were fairly well-mannered, despite some of them asking me where to find an area to smoke,” said one of the grounds maintenance staff.
China published the Tourism Law in 2013 to regulate its citizens’ notorious disregard for public decency while on vacation. Any behavior that is ‘uncivilized’ qualifies for a fine. Those caught smoking in public areas can be fined a maximum of 200 yuan (US$32).