It’s been a good decade for bad tourists.
The world is great. It’s too bad so many tourists aren’t. It’s simple, really: when you’re traveling, read the signs, be respectful to fauna, and don’t lick toilet seats (you’ll see what I mean below). However, some people forget these rules (or outright ignore them) and I’m forced to produce articles like this. And, after spending hours researching the most abhorrent behavior over the last decade, I have to admit that my sensitive heart hurts knowing that these individuals chose to do the things they did. And now, I shall curse you, too. So, sit back, grab some popcorn, click “Play,” and get ready to cringe at the worst travelers caught on video over the past 10 years.
The Tourists Who Indulged at a Buffet as if the Zombie Apocalyptic Was Nigh
It’s unclear what prompted them to act this way (special prices, perhaps?), but a group of frantic, pushy tourists in the below video from March 2016 can be seen enveloping a hotel buffet in Chiang Mai to get seafood. The video, which looks like something straight out of the apocalypse, went viral after it was posted, accruing over 300,000 views in less than 20 hours on Facebook. As if their behavior wasn’t bad enough, reports claim that most of the food was left just sitting around on tables, uneaten after the tourists vacated.
The Guy Who Had No Business Going Into a Panda’s House
Interrupting a napping panda to impress others is not cool, pal. That’s right, in October 2016, a man jumped into the den of a giant panda at Nanchang Zoo in China’s Jiangxi Province to allegedly “impress his human companions.” Initially, the 12-year-old male panda, Mei Ling, was sleeping and did not notice the man. When the bear woke after the man attempted to touch its head, a scary-as-hell tussle ensued. While the man wasn’t harmed (he reportedly escaped with just tattered clothes), you wouldn’t know it by watching the footage, which shows the panda knocking him over and gnawing on his leg. After squirming for way too long, the man eventually gets away. The zoo’s manager said he was lucky that the 12-year-old male panda simply wanted to play with him. Otherwise, the tourist could’ve been seriously injured.
The Entitled Man in the Bright Red Hat
Recommended Fodor’s Video
In May 2017, a Trump supporter wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was escorted off of a United Airlines flight in Shanghai after exhibiting aggressive behavior and reportedly refusing to let anyone sit next to him. One fellow passenger accused him of being entitled: “He had points, he felt he deserved an upgrade.” When he didn’t get his way, he became disruptive and was eventually escorted out. Onlookers cheered.
The Tourists Who Should’ve Kept Their Hands off the Dolphin
A rare dolphin reportedly overheated and died after tourists grabbed it out of the water for selfies in February 2016 on a beach in Buenos Aires. Later, one of the tourists involved in the incident claimed the endangered mammal was already dead when it was passed around. But, let’s be honest, that doesn’t make it OK. And, if true, the scene is still undoubtedly disturbing. “The occasion serves to inform the public about the urgent need to return these dolphins to sea before the encounter with one on the shore,” said Argentina’s World Wildlife Fund.
The Museum-Goer Responsible for a Cringeworthy Domino Effect
Literally. As you’ll see, the tourist in question set off a chain of events while trying to take a selfie that ended up permanently damaging a $200,000 art installation by Simon Birch in L.A. in July 2017. The awkwardness in the air following the event is almost tangible. Questions that have been racking my brain for a while after watching this: Why did she need to bend down so far to get the selfie? What about this place screams, “I need a selfie!”? Albeit extremely unfortunate, is this video art in-and-of-itself?
The Woman Whose Temper Got out of HAND
When you’re frustrated at an airport, I think it’s safe to say by now that yelling and screaming will get you nowhere (except in trouble) fast. So, it’s no surprise that when a 42-year-old British tourist slapped an immigration official after she missed her flight at Bali airport in July 2018, she didn’t end up getting her way. The heated altercation allegedly took place after the woman was fined for overstaying her visa. She was sentenced in February 2019 to six months in an Indonesian prison.
The Couple That Climbed the Great Pyramid and, Well, They Need Jesus
If there’s one occurrence on this list that’s simultaneously confounding and unacceptable, it’s this one: a couple recorded themselves having what appears to be a fully-nude intimate moment atop the Great Pyramid of Giza in November 2018. One has to wonder: how did this even happen? How did they accomplish this? What steps are being taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Last we heard, Egyptian authorities were investigating the Danish photographer who uploaded the original video, but further details on the status of the situation have yet to be released.
The Tourists Who Angered an Entire Country, Literally
A British family of tourists terrorized New Zealand last January when they exuded behavior so toxic—including polluting a beach (seen below), stealing a Christmas tree, and leaving behind a onesie full of feces on a plane—that they were forced to leave the country. Authorities revoked the family’s temporary visas and gave them 28 days to get the hell out.
The Man Who Initiated a Quarrel on a Canal
In September, a man headbutted and punched a Venetian gondolier in the face. The tourist was allegedly taking a selfie with his family inside of a gondola that was tied to a bank. The gondolier approached the selfie-takers and told them the boat was private property and that they should either vacate it or pay to hire him. Cue fight.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 17, 2019
The Flyer Who Licked a Toilet Seat
The viral video truly speaks for itself. I’m sorry.
The Family Who Turned the Most Magical Place Into a Fight Club
Disclaimer: This EXTREMELY upsetting fight at Disneyland’s Toontown in July is EXTREMELY upsetting. Authorities charged three adults in connection with the brawl, one of whom—Avery Desmond-Edwinn Robinson—was charged with five felony counts and nine misdemeanors. According to NBC Los Angeles, in addition to attacking members of his family (as seen in the video), Robinson also assaulted one of the park’s employees with his car after being escorted away.
The Pirate—Jack Sparrow, Specifically—Who Didn’t File Crucial Paperwork for His Dogs
And, finally, just to show that celebrities can also be bad tourists, I present: Johnny Depp. When he and his former wife, actress Amber Heard, brought their dogs into Australia in 2015 via a private jet, they broke the law. You see, the dogs were undocumented. The couple’s failure to declare the pups—Pistol and Boo—landed them in extremely hot water; Australia’s quarantine law states that if you’re planning on visiting with your pet, you must acquire specific permits. Initially, Depp and Heard faced up to 10 years in prison, and Barnaby Joyce, the country’s deputy prime minister, threatened to have the dogs euthanized unless they were returned to the U.S. But things cooled down and the charges were dropped following a magistrate’s “character assessment.” Depp and Heard infamously apologized for the entire ordeal in a televised statement: