Sometimes people don’t think when they’re traveling.
Whether it’s being downright disrespectful of historical monuments, goading wild animals or offending locals, we’ve rounded up some of the stupidest things we’ve seen travelers do.
1. Tourist carves name in wall at the Alamo
People in the Lone Star State won’t soon forget Julio Perez, 22, who wanted to leave a parting gift to Texas’ enduring shrine of freedom. Perez was arrested after being accused of taking his car keys and carving his name into a wall inside the Alamo Church. Alamo Rangers say a tour guide inside the church caught him in the act. Police said that the carving was of the suspect’s name, “Julio,” and that it measured about 3 inches by 1 inch –which officials estimate to have caused about $250,000 in damage.
2. Tourist bitten after trying to pet a wild animal
Need another reminder that wild animals aren’t pets? This tourist to the Grand Canyon does after trying to stroke — of all exotic creatures — a squirrel. Even more astonishing is that he captured the incident on video. He’s heard luring the bushy-tailed creature over with the promise of food amid the oohs and aahs of onlookers, only to piss the animal off when he had nothing to nibble on. The squirrel ran off, but not before posing for pictures taken by a gaggle of tourists snapping away. Squirrels, which are a regular sight at the Grand Canyon, are used to humans and park rangers are constantly reminding visitors mot to touch or feed them.
3. Americans deface Rome’s Colosseum.
In March, two Californians were caught carving their initials into the ancient amphitheater walls. Police apprehended two women but not after they had successfully carved the letters “J” and “N” into the stone and taken a selfie. They were charged with “aggravated damage to a building of historical and artistic interest.”
4. Safari guide charges bull elephant on foot.
Most tour guides encourage travelers to be respectful of local wildlife and animals. But a safari guide in a South African game park made headlines aftercharging a bull elephant on foot while his colleagues egged him on and laughed. Though the elephant was uninjured during the incident and eventually walked away, the safari guide in the video was fired by the company.
5. Chinese teen carved name into ancient Egyptian temple
Last spring, a Chinese teenager was caught defacing a temple wall in the city of Luxor, Egypt. The brazen young tourist wrote “Ding Jinhao visited here” in Chinese and a photo of the incident was captured by another tourist, who promptly posted it on a blog. Many fellow countrymen were outraged when the image went viral and felt “ashamed” by the situation. The teen’s father publicly apologized, taking the blame for not teaching his son proper conduct.
6. Tourist caught kicking bell at sacred Buddhist site.
Many visit temples to pray or show respect for ancient deities. But one tourist was recently caught on camera at Thailand’s sacred Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a 14th century Buddhist temple, kicking a prayer bell. Gently ringing one of the bells is thought to symbolize good luck but this traveler may have been working on his muay thai skills in the wrong locale.
6. No touching: Man gets slapped by Thai monk on train.
In Thailand, a Buddhist country, monks are regarded as special citizens. Whether you’re male or female, local etiquette warns against touching them– even to shake hands or show another friendly gesture. But a Western ex-pat received a stern warning after sitting down next a monk on a train— even though he was trying to do the right thing by giving up his original seat next to two women traveling together. A language misunderstanding promptly ensued but the monk was so offended that he slapped Jeff, an English teacher residing in Thailand, across the face.