Tourists Behaving Badly
Tourists descending upon beautiful cities, destinations and parks have not only led to a new term, "overtourism," but residents erecting signs saying, "Tourist Go Home." And really, you can't blame locals for becoming increasingly annoyed.
While overcrowding is the main issue, people also seem to be exhibiting more inappropriate, insensitive, outright outrageous behaviors while traveling. Crowds blocking views at the Trevi Fountain are nothing when it comes to tourists who bathe in said fountain. (Yes, it actually happens!)
Take a look at some of the worst examples of poor behavior by travelers in this review that makes us wish everyone could attend etiquette classes before catching a flight.
Social media makes travelers up their game when taking photos. Standing beside the statue of the Red Army soldiers in China, representing the end of the Long March in Yan'an, wasn't enough for Li Wenchun. He climbed up the statue for a photo he posted on Weibo, China's Twitter.
He was blacklisted, condemned and forced to apologize to all who were angered by his stunt.
Climbing Sacred Sites
This Indian tourist in Bhutan climbed upon a sacred Buddhist Stupa for a photo. A Stupa, according to Britannica, is a commemorative monument that houses sacred relics — this is the equivalent to a man taking photos while standing on a tombstone at a graveyard.
Posing on Tombstones
It turns out people think posing on tombstones is a good idea, too. Take, for example, this girl who perched herself on a tomb at a military cemetery in Vietnam. Her photo was shared on Facebook, sparking ire in the country.
Jumping on Memorials
So many people have posed for inappropriate shots at Holocaust sites that one Israeli artist, Shahak Shapira, started taking the social media-posted selfies and shots and merging them with black-and-white images from the Holocaust to highlight the insensitivity of such imagery.
The men shown here are jumping on memorials dedicated to the thousands of Jewish people who were murdered, their bodies left in piles of mass graves.
Yoga Amidst Memorials
Shahak Shapira took this image of a yoga pose on those same memorials and interlaid it with more bodies from the Holocaust. The woman's post read, "Yoga is connection with everything around us," with no mention of what she was witnessing.
She is posing in Denkmal in Berlin, a "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe."
The Tak Bat ceremony in Laos is a morning procession of monks who collect sticky-rice offerings from the devoted. But there are those who attend not to give an offering, but to take a photo of the quiet monks performing the sacred ceremony.
Riding Endangered Animals
Aiming to satisfy guests on a boat tour, a tour operator captured a sea turtle and allowed a child to ride it, as an adult placed their foot on its leg to keep it from escaping.
Taken in Malaysia, the photo appeared on Facebook and caused an uproar, as well as an official investigation. Sea turtles are an endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.
Swimming in Fountains
Bayern Munich soccer fans decided to bathe in a fountain at Berlin Park in Madrid ahead of the Champions League final soccer match against Inter Milan in 2010.
In their defense, it was a hot day. (Insert eye-roll emoji here.)
Bathing in a Canal
A tourist in Venice took to a canal in a creative way when he, um...bathed in it. The incident was caught on video, causing people worldwide to ask, "Wait, what?"
There are no words.
Washing at Public Sinks
Imagine if, after using a public restroom, you went to wash your hands and found the sink occupied by tourists using it to wash their feet.
In Thailand, tourists have been caught doing just that, sometimes even bringing their own soap.
In some high-frequented areas of the country, signs have been erected to (try to) stop the practice.
Bathing in Fountains
So many tourists are misusing fountains in Rome — bathing in them, swimming in them and drinking their water — that the city is now fining anyone if caught. Last summer, eight tourists swimming in Bernini's Baraccia fountain in Piazza Spagna were charged €450 each. Seems reasonable to us.
After stumbling across a dead whale on a beach in Punta Arenas, Chili, these two women thought it would be a swell idea to climb right on up for photos. Worse yet, they carved their names into the animal's carcass. Yikes.
Capturing the Shot
Some travelers driving across the Golden Gate Bridge will ignore safety precautions and traffic to get videos of their crossing while hanging out the window or standing in the sunroof.
A video captured by a passenger in another car caught this woman taking her chances for the memory.
Too Much Skin at a Holy Site
Is it the fact that she climbed onto the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, one of the holiest sites in Thailand, or that she did it while exposing too much of her nether regions that made countrymen the most upset?
Signs are found around the temple warning visitors to keep off, yet this woman couldn't care less.
A Danish man and his girlfriend scaled a Giza pyramid in Egypt after months of planning to capture an image that involved them, er, getting intimate.
The man said it was art. Many considered it super-staged, publicity-seeking, and disrespectful to the Egyptian culture and people.
Taking Their Own Feathers
Rather than purchase feathers that a peacock had lost on its own, Chinese tourists at the Yunnan Zoo took hold of a living bird and plucked its plumage.
Of course, they also posed for pictures with the scared bird, which died of shock from the ordeal.
Selfies with a Dolphin
Seeing a baby dolphin in the wild is a rare and special treat. When sunbathers in Spain saw this little calf stranded on a beach, they knew they had to do one thing: take selfies with it.
Rather than rescuing the dolphin or contacting wildlife authorities, families swarmed the dolphin, held him in pictures and, as seen in this image, covered his blowhole so he couldn't breathe.
Fifteen minutes later, the baby dolphin was dead due to shock.
Too Close to Wild Animals
Despite the warnings put out by staff at National Parks not to get close to wildlife, this woman decided to leave her car for a closer shot of a wild bear.
What could go wrong?
As people gathered around a large male bison to take photos in Yellowstone, it charged and tossed a 9-year-old girl into the air. The animal was feeding when it noticed the family around him. As the parents ran in one direction, the girl was left on her own, leaving her vulnerable to the wild animal's attack.
Thankfully, she received only minor injuries. It could have been much worse.
Taking Wild Animals
A couple driving through Yellowstone saw this bison calf and thought he looked cold. So they took it upon themselves to load him into their car to help him.
While seemingly well-intentioned, the act had dire results: The human interaction led the calf's mother and other bison to shun it, causing it to starve. Park officials had to put the animal down due to the couple's attempt to "help."
Remember, folks: Never mess with wild animals!
Getting as Close as Possible
Park officials welcome people to visit Old Faithful Geyser at Yellowstone National Park. However, for the safety of those visitors, barriers are in place. Nevertheless, in 2019, two men decided they wanted to visit the actual spouting hole of Old Faithful, so they crossed the barriers to take photographs.
When Old Faithful erupts, it shoots 184 feet into the air for up to 5 minutes. Although it faithfully erupts, there is no set schedule of when — it can be anywhere from every 35 to every 120 minutes, according to the park.
The steam from the geyser has been recorded at over 350 degrees. These two men were lucky they didn't get hurt.
Destroying Art with Selfies
While taking selfies at the International Arts Center Main Avenue in Russia, a group of women knocked over a wall supporting works of art by Salvador Dali and Francisco Goya.
As seen in the museum's security-camera footage, the framed works were damaged by the fall.
There are occurrences like these at museums around the world.
Graffiti on Historic Sites
When Houston Rockets player Bobby Brown visited the Great Wall of China, he left a mark, literally. After signing his initials and uniform number on the World Heritage Site, Brown posted a photo on Weibo with the caption, "Had a blast at the Great Wall of China today."
One person responded that the Great Wall is "not the toilet of your home."
Carving Names Into Historic Sites
Brown was hardly the first person to debase an important site with graffiti.
At the Colosseum in Rome, some visitors choose to carve their initials into the foundation, which has been standing since 70 A.D.
Getting the Most of a Buffet
When Chinese tourists descended upon a buffet in Thailand, they took so many plates of prawns that someone decided to videotape the debacle.
The viral video showed numerous people piling seafood high enough to ensure they got the most of their meal. It didn't matter that they were taking all the food for themselves. Or that they didn't eat most of it, leaving a bunch of waste, which the video also showed.
Ruining the Scenery
California experienced a super-bloom of wildflowers in 2019, but rather than enjoy the landscape covered in flowers, some felt the best shots were in the fields. By walking into the floral landscape, visitors trampled them so others would lose the same scenic view.
Getting Naked at Monuments
A new trend is to take pictures in the buff at monuments and historic sites. There is even a Twitter handle that features these buff-shots, like this one of a man reveling in the nude before Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Let's review the location of that last sentence again: Christ the Redeemer.
Getting Naked at Heritage Sites
The ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru isn't safe from the naked photography trend.
And the Peruvians want to limit tourism to the World Heritage Site. Wonder why?
Barefoot on an Airplane
A man snapped pictures on his flight of a barefooted woman who stuck her feet onto his armrests.
Her comfort must be more important than his.
Turning Lounges Into Beds
No one likes long layovers at the airport, but can we all agree it isn't right to turn the airport seats into your own private bed?
Here's another tip: Leave your shoes on!
Slapping Airport Staff
When a British woman missed her flight, she blamed the immigration officer. She was caught on camera screaming at the man and slapping him.
She had overstayed her visa and had to pay a fine for each extra day she had spent in Bali. For this, she tossed money at the agent with a few choice words.