Tourists behaving badly

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Written by Linda Hohnholz

When traveling to some of the world’s most special places, the generally agreed upon code of conduct goes, “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”.

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When traveling to some of the world’s most special places, the generally agreed upon code of conduct goes, “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”.

Unfortunately, some travelers don’t seem to have gotten the memo.

Like the two Americans facing charges for carving their names into the Colosseum and taking a selfie.

We bring you 10 more embarrassing cases of tourists behaving badly.

1. DO NOT TOUCH

In 2013, an American man accidentally broke the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence, Italy.

The statue, which is thought to depict the Virgin Mary, dates from either the 14th or 15th century.

The tourist was reportedly attempting to “measure” the statue.

2. EYE FOR AN EYE, EAR FOR A SOUVENIR

A Finnish tourist was arrested in 2008 for trying to steal an earlobe from a moai stone statue on Easter Island.

Marko Kulju allegedly tore the earlobe off one of the four-meter high moai, which fell to the ground and broke into 20-30cm pieces.

The mayor of Easter Island reportedly said he wished he could rip off Kulju’s ear as punishment.

3. “DING JINHAO WAS HERE”

It’s the kind of thing any naughty teenage boy would carve into his desk at school – except Ding Jinhao took it to the next level by carving the declaration into a 3500-year-old Egyptian temple.

The 2013 incident triggered a public debate in China about etiquette and the country’s image abroad, and the National Tourism Administration was forced to issue guidelines advising Chinese tourists on correct behavior.

4. OH MY BUDDHA

A New Zealand-based Dutch woman landed herself in hot water last year after she broke a Buddha statue at Angkor Wat. Willemijn Vermaat was found in the Bayon Temple, built in the 12th century, next to the statue smashed into four pieces.

She was held for questioning by the Apsara Authority which looks after the UNESCO World Heritage site. She later said she was trying to move the statue because it was in the wrong temple.

5. PYRAMID PORN

Russian-speaking tourists recently created outrage in Egypt for a 10-minute video allegedly showing nudity and sex acts near the 4500 year-old Giza pyramids and the Sphinx.

The conservative Muslim country referred the footage to the public prosecutor.

6. WAT WERE YOU THINKING?

Cambodian authorities are having to crack down on nudie tourists at its ancient temples, including Angkor Wat.

Already this year five foreigners have been arrested and deported for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.

7. PERU BUM BAN

Last year a YouTube video of Australian and New Zealand tourists streaking at Machu Picchu went viral.

The brazen pair were ordered to erase the offending images from their memory card by police, and the incident prompted increased surveillance at the Incan ruins.

8. WE WILL SOBERLY REMEMBER THEM

Australian and New Zealand backpackers in Gallipoli for the 90th anniversary of the Anzac landings in 2005 were slammed for their drunken antics.

Around 20,000 pilgrims drank alcohol, listened to rock music – including Bee Gees hit Stayin’ Alive – and left the sacred site strewn with rubbish.

9. THE WORST SELFIE EVER

Twitter user “Princess Breanna” last year shot to notoriety by posting a smiling selfie at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Fellow social media users questioned the tastefulness of the photo, taken at the site of some of the worst Holocaust atrocities.

10. PENGUIN STEAL GONE WRONG

In 2012, two British tourists broke into SeaWorld on the Gold Coast after a drunken night out and stole a penguin named Dirk.

In the Hangover-style stunt, the pair woke up the next morning to find the flightless bird in their care.

The bird was eventually taken back to SeaWorld and reunited with his girlfriend, Peaches, while the tourists were fined $1000 each.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • The 2013 incident triggered a public debate in China about etiquette and the country’s image abroad, and the National Tourism Administration was forced to issue guidelines advising Chinese tourists on correct behavior.
  • In 2013, an American man accidentally broke the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence, Italy.
  • A Finnish tourist was arrested in 2008 for trying to steal an earlobe from a moai stone statue on Easter Island.

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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