Are these the world’s dumbest tourists?


Some tourists get way too close to the local wildlife. (YouTube/TopShareNews)

Sometimes people don’t think when they’re traveling.

Whether its 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.

Don’t commit a cultural faux pas. Read up on local customs before you hit the road—or you might end up on this list.

1. Americans deface Rome’s Colosseum.

AP Photo

This week, 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” and have been ordered to appear in court sometime soon.

2. 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 after charging 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. 

3. Chinese teen carved name into ancient Egyptian temple

AP Photo

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. 

4. 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. Thai authorities quickly condemned the incident and have been searching for the offending traveler. 

5. Woman gets too close to hungry pelican.

Discovering exotic creatures while on vacation can be a lot of fun. But one tourist found out the hard way that getting too close to a hungry bird may not be the best idea. A Russian tourist was attempting to feed a pelican a bit of banana when the frisky bird decided he wanted a different snack. The bird first tries clamping his enormous beak on her arm. Instead of getting deterred the tourist just stays in place– allowing the bird to start chomping down on her face and neck. The woman in the video is seen laughing so we hope she’s ok but we don’t recommend getting so close to wild creatures without special supervision. 

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. 

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