China's 20 Craziest Tourists of 2016

By That's, December 27, 2016

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201612/thats-year-review-logo-mini.pngFor many in the West, 2016 will be remembered for Trump, Brexit, terrorism in Europe and an absurd number of pop culture deaths, from Bowie to Muhammad Ali. By comparison, China had an unusually quiet year. Nonetheless, there were still a few goings-on in the world's most populous country. 

In our 2016 Year in Review series, we recap the best (and worst) of China's year in the worlds of technology, social media, sport, fashion, food, arts and more.

A look back at some of the most bizarre Chinese tourist moments of 2016.

20. The thousands of tourists who flocked to a Sichuan pool to cool down

PHOTOS: Thousands Flock to Sichuan Pool to Cool Down
Over 6,000 visitors were spotted this summer getting their splash on at the "Dead Sea" resort in Sichuan as the mercury reached a sweltering 40 degrees in August. We're sure it was a relaxing day at the pool for all 6,000 of them.

19. The 4,500 tourists who feasted on chicken and beer in Korea

PHOTOS: 4,500 Chinese Tourists Feast on Chicken, Beer
Chinese cosmetics firm Aolan International Beauty Group flew out 4,500 of its employees for a company vacation to South Korea in March, treating the team to a 'traditional' meal of fried chicken and beer. The employees sat around 750 tables in the South Korean city of Incheon.

18. The 5,000 tourists who swarmed an amusement park offering free entry

Shaanxi Amusement Park Swamped upon Offering Free Entry
An amusement park in Shaanxi found itself overwhelmed with thousands of visitors after coming up with the bright idea to offer free entry for a day in March. Around 5,000 people swamped Lewa Adventure Park's entrance to redeem their free spots.

17. The zoo intruder who got tackled by a panda

WATCH: Panda Tackles Intruder to the Ground in China Zoo
Intruders, beware the sleeping Panda. Mei Ling, an adult male panda at Nanchang Zoo, was recently caught on CCTV wrestling an intruder who snuck into his enclosure after being rudely awakened.

16. The Chinese man caught smuggling a live lobster in his luggage

Chinese Man Caught Smuggling Live Lobster in Luggage
Customs officials in Ningbo stopped a man who was allegedly attempting to smuggle in a live lobster from Australia in March. The man had transited through Hong Kong and was found carrying a live lobster weighing 3.16 kilograms and packaged in sawdust. Ningbo officials say it was the first time that they had seized a live lobster in customs. 

15. The travelers who scuffled with airport staff after thunderstorms canceled hundreds of flights in Shenzhen

WATCH: Flights Canceled in Shenzhen, Chaos Ensues
In March, thunderstorms in Guangzhou and Shenzhen saw a collective 400 flights cancelled. That led to roughly 6,000 passengers stuck in Shenzhen's airport as a result of the cancelations. The delays and cancelations caused some understandable frustration, with video footage emerging of travelers scuffling with airport staff. See the video here.

14. The Shanghai cruise ship passenger who spent 38 hours at sea

Shanghai Cruise Ship Passenger Stranded at Sea for 38 Hours
38 hours is a long time to be stuck somewhere, an airplane, a hospital, the ocean. Which is exactly where one Shanghai tourist found herself after falling from a cruise ship that was on its way into Shanghai’s Wusong Port.

13. The Chinese tourist who returned to Guangzhou with deadly African seeds

Deadly African Seeds Seized At Guangzhou Airport
One Chinese tourist returned home with a very unique and highly toxic souvenir from a recent trip to Ethiopia in March. The man was busted at Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport with 0.1 kilograms of seeds from the highly toxic abrus precatorius in his suitcase. The toxin abrine has been closely compared to ricin, the deadly compound of Breaking Bad fame.

12. The poor suckers who bought bags of fresh air in Guangdong

Guangdong Villagers Sell Bags of Fresh Air to Tourists
A group of villagers in northern Guangdong province decided to profit off the gray skies in March and swindle a few desperate urban dwellers. The villagers claimed that puffed up plastic bags (which sold for RMB10-30 each) held prized oxygen captured from the purest depths of the mountain valley. Many fell for the campaign, awkwardly cradling dozens of ballooning air bags down the mountain as they left.

11. The traveler who assaulted an airport worker in Shenzhen

Shenzhen Airport Worker Assaulted by Angry Customer
In June, graphic photos emerged online of a female airline employee who had been bashed in the head by an impatient customer at Shenzhen’s Bao’an International Airport. The would-be passenger used a sign from the airport counter to inflict some serious damage on the woman, who ended up lying on the floor in a pool of blood. 

10. The cockpit stormer

WATCH: Plane Forced to Land After Man Storms Cockpit
In June, a China Southern Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger made a scene in the cabin. Just five minutes into the flight from Wuhan to Harbin, a passenger suddenly threw money on ground and shouted, “Someone is trying to get me. I want to go up into the sky.” The flights crew managed to calm him down for 6 or 7 minutes, then the man suddenly charged to the cockpit. Security men and other travellers joined hands in restraining him.

9. The tourists who covered Everest Base Camp with graffiti

Chinese Tourists Cover Everest Base Camp with Graffiti
In an effort to put a stop to graffiti that litters the path to Mount Everest, Chinese authorities recently announced that they will name and shame tourists who scribble messages on monuments at the world's highest mountain. Graffiti can routinely be spotted on signs and monuments at Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side of the mountain. Photos show the signs rife with signatures, short sentences declaring “I was here” in Mandarin and doodles.

8. The visitors who trashed Shanghai Disneyland

PHOTOS: Chinese Tourists Deface Disneyland
If you build it, they will come...and probably deface it. Back in May, the interwebs were all in a huff over photos that surfaced of Chinese tourists storming the Shanghai Disneyland park surrounding the resort. Photo-documented misdemeanors include people carving their names in places, stepping on grass despite signs prohibiting such behavior and the occasional child urinating in public.

7. The Chinese tourist who had a bathtub full of stinky hairy crabs in his hotel room

Stinky Hairy Crabs Found in Chinese Tourist's Hotel Tub in RussiaA Chinese tourist's remedy for homesickness reportedly left Russian hotel employees nauseated when they discovered a bathtub full of hairy crabs in his roomThe guest had been harboring the crustaceous culprits in his bathtub to keep them fresh while he devised a way of cooking them. 

6. The tourists who damaged cherry blossom trees for selfies

Chinese Tourists Damage Cherry Blossoms for Selfies
Some tourists were so keen to get a good picture of cherry blossoms this past spring that they didn't mind if the trees were damaged in the process. Many wanted to get that perfect petals in the breeze picture, but sometimes the weather wouldn't let them. So some decided to take matters into their own hands by climbing trees and pretending to kick them. The behavior drew widespread criticism online.

5. The visitors who broke into a prison for peach tree photos

Tourists Break Into Guilin Prison for Peach Tree Photos
Photographs circulating online this spring showed grown men and women scaling a prison compound's fences, apparently leaving litter, broken branches and dead flowers in their wake. The Guilin prison is home to a large peach blossom orchard located within the boundaries of the staff living quarters, and authorities decided to close the orchard off to visitors in order to regulate the number of strangers wandering the grounds. From there the situation only intensified.

4. The tourists who accidentally killed two peacocks after taking too many selfies with them

Peacocks Die At Yunnan Zoo After Being Used For Selfies
Two peacocks died at a zoo in southwest China in Februaryafter tourists picked them up for selfies. A spokesperson for the Yunnan Wild Animal Park confirmed the incident, and maintained that they had never had this problem before.

3. The travelers who incited a shameful Tokyo airport brawl

Chinese Tourists Incite 'Shameful' Tokyo Airport Brawl
In what has been referred to as “shameful," a fight between two female Chinese tourists in Tokyo’s Narita International Airport attracted some negative attention from the media in February. The fight was instigated when one woman bumped her trolley into another’s, and escalated into a physical altercation which was later broadcast on Japanese television news. 

2. The tourist who accidentally wound up at a refugee camp in Germany

Chinese Tourist Mistakenly Lands in German Refugee Camp

A 31-year-old Chinese tourist accidentally wound up in a German refugee camp for 12 days after trying to report his stolen wallet. The traveler, a Beijing resident, found himself at a home for refugees after attempting to report his missing wallet in Heidelberg. Thinking he was at a police station instead of city hall, he unwittingly signed an application for asylum. The tourist — who didn't speak any English or German — was then placed in a shelter in Duelman and given food and shelter along with other refugees. According to a Red Cross official, authorities only realized their mistake after visiting a Chinese restaurant to help translate. 

1. The auntie who accidentally activated an airplane's emergency slide

Auntie Activates Emergency Slide, Delays Flight 2 Hours

A 50-year-old auntie flying from Chongqing to Shenzhen got so fed up of waiting for the bathroom that she turned around and began searching for an alternate door. This was her first time flying, so it’s likely she was feeling rather stressed. Unfortunately the door she settled on was not a door, but an emergency exit. The auntie tried to open the door, which activated the emergency slide outside. Fortunately the plane was still situated on the Chongqing runway when it happened.

READ MORE: Video Compilation of People Freaking Out on Chinese Glass Bridges

For more 2016 Year in Review coverage, click here.

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