China embarrassed by badly behaving tourists at Xian and Buddhist Shaolin Temple during May Day holiday period

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  • Tourists engage in embarrassing behaviour including damaging ancient walls and writing graffiti on historic steles
  • In some instances parents were seen encouraging children to damage ancient and sacred sites
  • China’s tourism industry may have returned to pre-pandemic levels during the

    May Day holiday

    , but tourists have once again been called out for bad behaviour.

    Tourist attractions across mainland China saw various boorish behaviours including climbing up ancient walls and drawing on centuries-old steles as the government recorded 230 million trips during the 5-day public holiday, which was up 103 per cent from the same period in 2019.

    In Xian, the ancient Chinese capital famous for the Terracotta Army, some tourists were caught on video climbing up the ancient city walls, another major attraction of the city built over 600 years ago, causing bricks to fall, according to China Youth Daily.

    Tourists climbing and damaging the ancient city walls at Xian, centra China, despite requests they refrain from doing so. Photo: Handout
    Tourists climbing and damaging the ancient city walls at Xian, centra China, despite requests they refrain from doing so. Photo: Handout

    In a video published this week some adults were seen scrambling up Xian’s ancient exterior wall in order to take photos, while others were seen pushing their children up so they could play on the ruins.

    This has become so common that the attraction’s service centre has to repair the ancient structure after each tourism peak, said a worker.

    The wall, which was built in the early days of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) on top of ruins from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is 13.7km long in total and “it’s impossible for us to arrange a staff worker to stand at one point all the time”, the worker said.

    Other bad behaviours included sitting on the parapet to take photos and taking off their shoes in public.

    Chinese travellers pack tourist sites for May Day holiday as Covid-19 fears fade

    In Henan province’s Shaolin Temple, a Zen Buddhist monastery that’s also a popular tourist destination, a teenage boy was seen drawing on an ancient inscribed stele on Monday, according to Feidian Video, a video news outlet.

    According to the signature of the inscription, the stele is more than 500 years old.

    Graffiti was also left on bamboo plants near the temple.

    Graffiti is left on an ancient monument in central China. Photo: Handout
    Graffiti is left on an ancient monument in central China. Photo: Handout

    Words reading “*** was here”, and “*** and *** 1314”, meaning the two will spend the rest of their life together, were also engraved onto bamboo plants.

    A group of adults were filmed climbing up the bamboo and encouraging their children to do so, causing damage as a result.

    When asked why he climbed up the plant, one adult said, “to exercise.”

    Managers of visitor attractions have intensified their efforts to deal with “uncivilised” tourists.

    Tourists carved their names onto the branches of ancient bamboo groves. Photo: Handout
    Tourists carved their names onto the branches of ancient bamboo groves. Photo: Handout

    The Huangzangyu National Forest Park in Anhui province had to expel two visitors on Monday after the pair climbed up the safety fence of a glass trestle in order to impress others and take photos, local media reported. The bridge was about 200 metres above ground and the men put on their “Spiderman” show despite shouts of warning from other visitors.

    The Xian ancient city wall managers are more creative in terms of stopping dangerous behaviour.

    A man climbs cables on a bridge at a tourist site in a bid to impress. Photo: Weibo
    A man climbs cables on a bridge at a tourist site in a bid to impress. Photo: Weibo

    A group of large men dressed up as warriors from the Tang Dynasty were dispatched to warn such tourists politely against damaging the site.

    “When seeing such tourists our warriors would approach them and ask them to stop doing it, in a manner commonly used in the Tang Dynasty,” Guo Hui, the centre’s spokeswoman, told Sohu News. Source: scmp.com