When the word “Tourist” comes up these days, one usually thinks about the obnoxious people who travel to foreign countries that take pictures of everything while buying merchandise from said places and annoy the locals with their presence. But while some annoyances are relatively harmless, such as asking obvious questions during tours, others are terribly offensive, whether the person intended them to be or not. In fact, some behaviors that tourists exhibit are downright criminal to the point of offending entire nations. Though the most common of these types of acts usually involve vandalism, as well as breaking and entering.
Whether the act was involuntary or deliberate, that doesn’t change the fact that some tourists will go so far as to try entering a place through illegal means. While some succeed and get away, others fail and manage to get caught by the police. As most of the world perceives these incidents with rightful dislike, there are a few who feel a sense of admiration for the would-be criminals in their attempt to do something that the rest of us wouldn’t even consider doing or if they committed the act without realizing what they were doing to begin with. But that doesn’t make their actions any less deplorable, as these examples certainly highlight.
25 North Sentinel Island - Don’t Mess with the Natives!
Located south of India, this little island is home to a tribal group called the Sentinelese who have remained isolated from the world at large and because of their outright hostility towards outsiders they’ve been left alone for the most part.
But then in 2006, two Indian fishermen were fishing without permission off the coast of North Sentinel Island as reported by The Telegraph.
Unfortunately, their boat ended up drifting too close to the island and the following morning they were no more. When India’s coastguard attempted to retrieve the remains, though, the Sentinelese immediately fired at them with arrows.
24 The Musée d’Orsay - Punching Paintings
While the Louvre is the arguably the most famous museum in Paris, there are others like the Musée d’Orsay which is known for being large in size and hosting paintings by Van Gogh and Claude Monet. Unfortunately, like many museums, it too has been victimized by acts of art vandalism.
For instance, five people broke into the museum in 2007 and damaged Monet’s “Le Pont d’Argenteuil” (The Argenteuil Bridge) by punching holes in it as mentioned by Ottawa Sun. But while these vandals weren’t caught, another man was arrested for punching another Monet painting in 2014 according to artnet News.
23 Joshua Tree National Park - Self-Promotional Graffiti
Though vandalism has been a continuous problem at national parks across the United States and the world at large, a new issue has been arising in the form of graffiti created by street artists who post their pictures online in a tasteless form of self-promotion. Though in this case, the street artist-in-question is particularly famous in France.
Known under a variety of aliases such as Monsieur A, André Saraiva got in trouble in 2015 for tagging a rock that was in the Joshua Tree National Park’s boundaries according to artnet News. But since then, he has apologized.
22 Sri Lanka - Kissing Statues
In this country, Buddhism is a very important religion for not just the people but also the government. As a result, they are extremely touchy about any perceived desecration of the Buddha himself or anything that represents him.
For instance, in 2012, The Localstated that three French tourists were arrested in Sri Lanka for a series of pictures they took with some Buddhist statues.
In particular, there was a photograph where one tourist was pretending to kiss a statue. Perceived as offensive, the authorities detained these tourists for half a year and then let them off with a fine.
21 Everglades Wonder Gardens - Let the Animals Run Free!
In Bonita Springs, Florida, there is a local attraction called the Everglades Wonder Gardens which houses various exotic animals and plants that have been collected over the years.
But in 2013, this place was being shut down by the original owners which didn’t satisfy everyone including a man who decided to break into the place and set the animals inside free.
According to WPTV, though, only a handful of animals left their cages while the rest remained inside their enclosures. After the escaped animals were retrieved and the man was arrested, the gardens came under new owners and was revamped.
20 Brooklyn Bridge - Going Up!
One of the most impressive feats of architecture that came out of the Nineteenth Century, the Brooklyn Bridge still stands to this day connecting the Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs with hundreds of cars and trucks driving on it. Yet that still doesn’t excuse foolish people from climbing all over it unless they’re bridge workers.
Though in 2015, one brave Frenchman decided to climb up the Brooklyn Bridge along one of the beams.
The reason for this, The Local reports, was to take selfies which this picture plainly shows. Afterwards, he was arrested for trespassing and endangering his own life recklessly.
19 Kilauea Volcano - Too Close for Comfort
Before this famous volcano erupted this year, Hawaii’s park rangers were (and still are) dealing with tourists who go beyond the designated boundaries either for a closer look at the volcanoes or to take pictures of themselves near the lava.
Last year, for instance, a group of French tourists were caught trespassing near the crater of Kilauea and each fined 100 dollars as stated in an article by TravelPulse.
On top of that, the tour guide who brought these tourists so close to the volcano wasn’t let off the hook either with a bigger fine and possibly time in jail.
18 California Route 66 Museum - Trashed Memorabilia
Though it's one of many museums along Route 66, a culturally significant road in the United States, it seems to be the only one that’s been recently struck by vandalism.
Not only did the perpetrator trash the place pretty thoroughly, but he also took some “Vintage artifacts and clothing” says The Daily Pressbefore leaving.
Though he was caught and arrested fairly quickly, the owners of the museum were forced to temporarily close it until they could clean everything up and restore the damaged items to the best of their ability which ended up costing them about 30,000 dollars total.
17 Old Faithful - Getting All Heated Up!
Of the various places to go to in Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful is one of the most popular due to its main feature which is a geyser that shoots several feet up into the air almost every hour.
Yet last month, KULR8 reported that a man had left the boardwalk which surrounds the geyser’s base and walked right up to it (as shown above).
He was promptly arrested by park rangers for going off-trail but released soon after. Now what would compel a man to go near an area with intense heat that can be harmful is uncertain.
16 Buckingham Palace - Royal Daredevils
Ever since Edward Jones managed to break into the Queen’s quarters in the mid-1800s, according to The Washington Post, Buckingham Palace has had numerous attempted break-ins and thefts with some being more successful than others.
This is despite the increased security over the years with more cameras installed heightened fences as well as further patrols by the Queen’s Guard.
As recently as 2013, there was a man caught in an area of the palace that’s normally “Open to the public during the day” as The Washington Post states after he scaled one of the 12-foot tall fences.
15 Vatican City - A Simple Disguise
Though this center of religion is open to the public, there are some places that only the bishops and the cardinals can go that regular people aren’t allowed in. This is not only due to privacy, but also security reasons.
Yet believe it or not, the bishop on the left side in this picture (aka the one in the purple robes) is actually an impostor.
In 2013, this German guy managed to sneak into a secure part of the Vatican by wearing some clothes that belonged to his mother according to Cracked before being taken away by the Swiss Guard.
14 Pompeii - Chipping Away
Despite the tragedy that befell this ancient city centuries ago (which was then exploited in a bad movie), it has succumbed to vandalism like many other places in the world. In particular, pieces of the various frescos that occupy many of the buildings have been stolen by various tourists.
For instance, in 2014, a fragment of a fresco from the House of Neptune and Amphitrite was taken though the thief was apparently never caught according to the Toronto Star.
Then in 2015, The Local reported that four French siblings were caught chipping plaster from a different fresco and promptly arrested.
13 Zhengzhou Zoo - Digging for Clams
In the city of Zhengzhou, China, there is a local zoo that has a manmade lake in it. In 2016, the lake was being drained for maintenance purposes according to the South China Morning Post when several Chinese tourists spotted lots of mussels at the bottom of the exposed lakebed.
Next, they made their way down to the muddy lakebed and started digging up the mussels. Then as “Hundreds of others” joined them, as the South China Morning Post reports, the staff at the zoo tried warning tourists that the mussels probably weren’t edible but no one listened to them.
12 Terracotta Army Museum - Pretending to be Soldiers
Apart from the Great Wall of China, another famous place to visit is the Terracotta Army Museum where the stone soldiers of the same name are housed. To get in there, one adult ticket costs 150 yuan (or 22 US dollars approximately) as stated by the South China Morning Post.
But multiple tourists tried to get in for free in 2016 by pretending to be the Chinese military officers that guard the museum using booklets containing false certificates.
The main reason they were caught was that they failed to answer basic military questions and had their fake booklets promptly confiscated.
11 Mount Wutai - Saved by Monks
Also known as Mount Qingliang, this mountain is known for being sacred to Chinese Buddhists and thus has many monasteries. It also apparently has scenic spots that tourists can visit, according to the South China Morning Post, for a fee of 145 yuan or approximately 21 dollars.
Yet six tourists in 2016 decided to not pay the fee by ascending the mountain at night without permission.
However, they got lost pretty quickly while traversing a mountainside forest and wound up being found by some monks that were living nearby. After all was said and done, the tourists paid the fee.
10 Nanchang Zoo - Wrestling a Panda Won’t Impress Anyone
For those who are Internet-savvy, this story may seem familiar as it is from a video that went viral two years ago. But for those who don’t know the story behind this video, here’s the scoop: at the Nanchang Zoo in China, a man decided to enter the enclosure of a panda in order to “Impress two female companions” the South China Morning Post stated.
When he tried to wrestle with the panda, though, the man was knocked down by it forcing him to escape the enclosure. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt and the video recording the incident went viral.
9 Similan Islands - Fishing without a permit
A national park in the southern part of Thailand, this is a popular place for tourists to flock to (though in particular the Chinese) for its diving spots and diverse ecosystem. Because of this, it only allows fishing in certain areas.
Though a group of 20 tourists violated this rule in 2016, the South China Morning Postreported, by fishing in an area they weren’t supposed to.
They were swiftly caught by the authorities when several pictures of their haul circulated around the Internet while the captain of the boat that took them to this protected fishing spot was arrested.
8 The Great Wall of China - Stolen Bricks
Apart from the lack of renovation in certain areas, the Great Wall of China has also been dealing with its share of vandals who’ve been stealing bricks from different parts and selling them. However, the authorities are now just starting to crack down on them which might have been partially spurred by a viral video that came out in 2016.
According to the Daily Mail’s online variant, the video shows a man destroying a section of the wall using “Kung fu moves”. This led to a major outcry on social medias and an investigation into the man who did this.
7 Ningbo Youngor Zoo - Can’t Catch a Tiger by the Tail
In recent years, tourists who visit the various zoos in China have been trying to save money by buying ladders and climbing into the enclosures. However, this method is far from safe according to the South China Morning Post as it puts the visitors closer to the animals’ enclosures.
While a group of tourists managed to escape safely after hearing a lion’s roar at the Qinling Wildlife Park in 2017, others haven’t been so lucky. In the Ningbo Youngor Zoo earlier that same year, a man entered an enclosure belonging to three tigers and wasn't able to escape on time.
6 Värmland - Call of the White Moose
Located in the western part of Sweden, this area became quite famous last year when a video was posted showing a white moose which are native to the area (as shown above) but rarely seen. Since then, the video has not only become viral but it’s also caused lots of tourists to show up and disturb the residents according to The Local.
Apparently one reason the moose like to hang out in the area is because there are a lot of apples that grow there which they like, and it’s believed that they can sometimes get drunk off the fruit.