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A Total Lack of Respect

Author RobWilson
#1 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 03:14 
Here's a little rant from me...

I think we all agree that the WHSs are some of the most fabulous places on the planet. Why is it then, that we come across so many idiots who abuse them?
Here's three chronic examples:-

I was in Machu Picchu this summer and there are simply thousands of tourists there. I saw several people actually climbing over the structure. Mindless! But, it get's worse.

When visiting the Valley of Flowers I decided to clear up any rubbish I found. After only 30 minutes walking I'd filled a plastic bag (which I'd also found abandoned in the park). I caught one guy throwing rubbish into the flowers themselves. I ranted at him, and later he came and apologised and said he wouldn't do it again. (His excuse was that he couldn't find a bin!)

At the Taj Mahal somebody had scrawled the name 'Sachin' into the marble! Now, Tendulkar may be a great cricketer but I don't think he'd want his name inscribed on the Taj!

These are just the worst ones I can think of off the top of my head. Why oh why oh why do people failed to realise that these places must be protected or they'll be lost forever.

Rant over, any thoughts or similar experiences?


Author Durian
#2 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 04:37 
Rob, you are not the only person who has such bad experience, I saw locals urinated inside Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri without respect at all.
In Sri Lanka, they banned taking photo with Buddha images since lot of tourists did not show any respect with local belief.
And in Korea and Laos, while monks and Buddhists made ritual ceremony, there always had tourists who try to take photograph with flash and a guide who spoke with very loud voice liked want to compete the holy chanting!!

Author joycevs
#3 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 05:15 
I can't understand either why people do it.
What I found really disturbing is the graffiti in Auschwitz - Birkenau. There's still writing from some of the prisinors on the wall, very impressive, but some people apperently think it's cool to write their own name on top of it when they visit the site. What a waste!

Author Xeres
#4 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 06:52 
I went to Quebec City in August, and there were parts of the old town, especially right next to the walls, where you couldn't see the buildings for all the graffiti. There was even graffiti on the canons. Truly shocking, some people think graffiti is art, and some of it is, but its always art in an inappropriate place.

Author meltwaterfalls
#5 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 09:46 
Auschwitz was one of the strange ones.

I thought it would command almost total respect from 'visitors'. But I was surprised to see, some people were joking with each other or picking away the plaster on the walls.

Whilst the group of Israelis defiantly flying their flag and singing was entirely understandable, and really brought home the contemporary relevance of the site. The young group of Germans shouting as they played football in the car park was not appreciated by most other visitors. It certainly is not representative of German attitudes to this part of their past though.

Author Assif
#6 | Posted: 5 Sep 2008 10:26 
The worst example I witnessed was certainly Pompeii (whish is also my favourite whs). All buildings are thickly covered with local graphities!!! This is also true of Campania in general but why is such conduct within a historic site tolerated I don't know. It's also amazing I didn't meet one inspector in the site during my visit. Of course it's a lovely experience to be able to wander about on your own in this large incredible site but apprently some people take advantage of this situation to sabotage the historic buildings. Interestingly enough, Herculaneum doesn't have this amount of graphities, maybe perhaps it's so much less visited by juveniles.

Author Megalith
#7 | Posted: 10 Sep 2008 10:25 
I think one of the most shocking things was when I was in Australia; just how many people tried to encourage me to climb Uluru - even though they were aware that the local aboriginies disapprove and try to discourage it.

Author RobWilson
#8 | Posted: 25 Oct 2008 20:22 
When I was at Ulhuru I heard a report about some tourists being fined and deported for adding their own 'art' to the aboringinal paintings at Ulhuru.
At Kakadu some prat decided to draw on the rocks there, thankfully the guide stopped him and then had to stop himself giving a beating.

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 A Total Lack of Respect

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