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Mainland Chinese Tourists Deface Plants in Taitung, Taiwan

Mainland CHinese tourists carving names and messages onto the leaves of a native agave plant at a famous scenic area in Taiwan's Taitung county.

Mainland CHinese tourists carving names and messages onto the leaves of a native agave plant at a famous scenic area in Taiwan's Taitung county.

From NetEase:

Famous Taiwan plant becomes mainland tourist “message board”

The agave plants inside Taiwan Taitung City’s well-known “Water Runs Up” Botanical Garden scenic spot are being damaged by tourists. 500 leaves on 30 agave plants have had words and messages carved onto them by tourists using dried branches and other tools, with few left untouched. The park’s cleaner/custodian claims many mainland tourists treat the agave plants as a Taiwan tourist message board.

Words and messages carved onto the leaf of a native agave plant by mainland Chinese tourists at a famous scenic spot in Taiwan's Taitung county.

According to Taiwan’s “United Daily News” report, on the 22nd, a reporter saw on site a group of tourists from Zhangjiajie [a city in Hunan province] on the mainland at the botanical gardens taking photos, with one person shouting “there are words carved on the leaves” as if discovering a new continent and the rest of the tour members all crowding around.

On the leaf, someone had written “Henan province Wang Gang”, “Nanjing Xiao Su was here”, as well as “beautiful scenery of green hills and white clouds” written in simplified characters.

Some of the leaves had even been repeatedly carved in, with one leave having old traces of “2010” with a more recently written “2012 April 13th”.

One mainland tourist while looking through the leaves said: “See if there are any also from our Zhangjiajie [a Hunan province city].” Not long later, an excited shout: “There really are!” The mainland tourist group that had been taking photos collectively turned their heads to take photos of the “agave message board”.

“Carving messages and leaving names often happens, with mainland tourists doing it the most.” A “Water Flows Upward” Scenic Area custodian expressed that they often see mainland tourists using dried branches or rocks to carve messages on the agave leaves, and of the various flora in the botanical gardens, tourists have the most “affection” for the agave because its leaves are relatively larger and easier to carve on.

The custodian said this kind of situation has been happening for over two years and that the botanical gardens have put up “don’t step on the grass” and “don’t climb on or break the trees and plants” signs but the tourists ignore them, going onto the grass and entering the flower and plant areas at will, climbing on and breaking trees and plants or carving messages. They’ve even had serious arguments happen in the past for stopping mainland tourist groups from going into the grass and plants to take photos.

The Zhangjiajie mainland tour group said that even if on the leaves are written Henan, Nanjing or simplified characters, it can’t be determined that it was done by mainland tourists, “maybe someone is intentionally trying to frame us.”

East Coast Scenic Area Administration Department Deputy Chief Lin Weiling said the “Water Runs Up” scenic area encompasses 667 hectares and there is only one police officer stationed there, so its difficult to protect the entire park. However the practice of message carving cannot go on, and they will strengthen the ban in the future, as well as ask travel agencies and tour guides to supervise, and if similar damaging behavior is discovered, they will be fined.

A cartoon from Hexun:

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A Chinese cartoon depicting mainland Chinese tourists carving messages onto an agave leaf found at a famous scenic spot in Taiwan.
The above cartoon shows the mainland Chinese tourist lacking "公德心" gong de xin, "public mindedness" or "public consideration".

Comments from NetEase:

kollentt [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

The most SB message to leave when traveling is “XX was here”!!! Who knows who you are SB!? Doing this will only make people despise you!!!

salcohk [网易广东省佛山市南海区网友]:

“The Zhangjiajie mainland tour group said that even if on the leaves are written Henan, Nanjing or simplified characters, it can’t be determined that it was done by mainland tourists, ‘maybe someone is intentionally trying to frame us.'” Haha~~~ I laughed~~ Still defending this kind of practice~

德迷之粉 [网易福建省网友]:

Who would try to frame this on you!? Those bastard tourists who go traveling on public money are truly without character! Not long ago, several Anhui female civil servants even stole the life preservers from the flight they were on!

网易上海市手机网友:

There’s a book called “The Ugly Chinaman“! What’s frightening is that many of our countrymen do not know that their behavior in public is improper! So sad! So sad!

晴天白日齐飞扬 [网易辽宁省抚顺市网友]:

The characters of Chinese tourists, like the moral character of Chinese businessmen, is world famous!

hudn2007 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

Chinese characteristics.

波521 [网易江苏省网友]:

Henan people yet again.

网易中国网友:

Embarrassing.

网易河南省郑州市手机网友:

So embarrassing! So ugly!

网易天津市手机网友:

Are mainlanders incapable of paying attention to their characters [behavior]? Leaving the mainland and embarrassing themselves throughout the world.

The “Water Runs Up” scenic spot:

Taiwan's famous "water runs up" scenic spot in Taitung county.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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