Here’s something that all travelers need to be aware of- wherever you go, PLEASE DON’T be a pretentious dick. Just in case that wasn’t clear, DON’T BE A PRETENTIOUS DICK.
As the world gets smaller, more people have the opportunity to expand their footprint and step all over the world (especially to ‘poorer’ countries). But with that power, comes responsible tourism. You may roll your eyes at me, but it’s a real problem. Really, some of you are ruining it for everyone.
Let me get this straight- just because you might have more money than the local people and you might have been afforded more privileges in your life doesn’t make you royalty. No, you don’t get to just grab local girls and sexually assault them. No, you can’t just throw money at people to do what you want- they are people too, not some subhuman servant. And yes, maybe you can go ride that elephant or visit those tiger temples, but I hope you know that it’s because of people like you that these animals are literally dying from exhaustion and being tortured to please you.
I hope you know that when you go see those ping pong shows where pretty girls stick odd and unnatural objects in their vaginas for your entertainment, that you’re supporting human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of young girls who didn’t want to be there in the first place. I hope you know that when you touch ancient artifacts that the tour guides plead you not to touch, you are putting your oily fingers on something that will probably deteriorate faster due to the chemicals on your skin. I hope you know that when you scuba dive drunk and touch the coral with your clumsy limbs, that you’re the reason why the coral is being bleached and that these beautiful ecosystems are being destroyed.
So if you don’t know, now you do. And if you know and you keep doing these things, you’re just an asshole and I hope you get confined to your home and are never allowed out again.
PSA: I’m not condemning anyone who has made these choices unknowingly, but those that make these choices who know full well what they are buying into. Either way, make sure wherever you go, do ample research and support ethical tourism. Speak with your money- together we can show there is a demand for treating people and animals right.
Regarding Sexual Exploitation: Economics of Sexual Exploitation, The Price of Sexual Torture? USD $181/Month
Regarding Animal Endangerment: Angkor Wat Elephant Dies from Exhaustion, Is Enough Being Done to Protect the Asian Elephant?, Tiger Temple Report, What Really Happened at the Tiger Temple?
Picture of Bangla Road taken from Asia Web Direct.