When will ignorant tourists learn?


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AS FIVE Thai nationals face sentencing for clambering on the ruins at Wat Mahathat in Thailand, conscious travelers continue to ask themselves, when will ignorant tourists learn?

The five tourists involved in this incident posted a self-incriminating photo on Facebook showing them posing at the monument in the Ayutthaya historical park.

Pol Col Surapong Thammapitak, the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya police chief, said on Monday the tourists reported at the police station in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district after the Fine Arts Department filed two charges against the offenders.

The five culprits have been named as Salilthip Kngow, Winyanee Artharn, Yutthiwit Panthongpraset, Pornthep Wongchuen and Boworn Yupithak.

Each of the badly-behaved tourists met with police and park director Sukanya Baonid at the police station on Monday to be read the charges they face: causing damage to a historic site and showing inappropriate behavior at a historic site.

They could each now face a THB10,000 (US$320) fine or/and a one-month jail sentence.

Each of the vandals has apologized to the public for their ignorance, according to the police.

In addition to this event, January saw seven tourists arrested after being caught explicitly dancing at a private villa party in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They have all since been deported from the country.

In a high profile case, Canadian singer Justin Bieber was kicked out of the Mayan archaeological site of Tulum in Mexico for climbing the ruins back in 2016.

And last year, an 18-year-old German man was banned from Egypt for life after climbing a pyramid in broad daylight.

These events mark a disobedience and lack of respect for a culture and heritage different than their own.

The theme of social media in these cases plays a pivotal role in understanding why people think it is fine to break the rules which are in place to protect them and the places they’re visiting.

Perhaps one of the most high profile cases of this mindlessness came from shamed YouTube star Logan Paul, who brazenly appropriated nearly every aspect of Japanese culture on a recent trip there.

The trusted netizens berated him for acts such as running and screaming through temples, pulling his pants down in the middle of the street and mocking Japan’s Nintendo character pride.

Other ways ignorant travelers make stupid mistakes are by “begpacking”, slum tourism, and poaching.

Hopefully one day tourists can learn from others mistake and irradiate this idiocy.