Tourists Break Into Eco-Park and Steal All of Its Lotus Flowers

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The world is home to many wonderful public parks and recreational spaces. These areas allow people to get back to nature and relax on their days off, and they’re simply quite beautiful.

But with the human race being the human race, there are folk out there who just have to ruin these lovely spaces for everyone.

It seems that, nowadays, the public cannot be trusted with anything as things will either get defaced or stolen.

Recently, in China, the general public has provided a firm example of this saddening behavior. Read on to find out the story behind the stolen lotus flowers…

This type of water lily has a wide native distribution, ranging from places such as India, South East Asia, and Northern and Eastern Australia. This is a tropical flower that flourishes in humid temperatures and it is the national flower of India and Vietnam.

In Buddhism, the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as, while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment, as drops of water easily slide off its petals.

An eco-park is basically a huge green space – it’s a territory that is characterized by the special care needed for the species that inhabit it, whether that’s animals or plants. These parks are open for the public to use and enjoy for their own leisure. Plant species such as lotus flowers flourish in these spaces due to the controlled environments.

The park, situated in Sichuan, China, has been made famous for its luscious spaces and beautiful gardens. It is, in fact, one of China’s first ecological rural areas.

At their peak, the flowers cover an area stretching across 25,000 square meters. The park closed temporarily in March for construction work and was due to open again to the public in a few months time.

With China being one of the most populated countries in the world, Longquio Park welcomes a vast amount of visitors day in and day out, with the majority of these being Chinese tourists.

Yong Chen, a tourism researcher and post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said in an interview with South China Morning Post: “Bad Chinese tourists don’t intend to be ‘bad’ nor tourists,’ just themselves: Chinese.” A very bold statement there, Mr. Chen…

Jenny Wang, a Beijing-based Maldives travel agent, said that, usually, uneducated tourists usually turn a blind eye to local rules and customs. And that seems to have been what happened in this story.

Apparently, Chen suggested that “living in China, where the rule-of-law doesn’t exist, means everyone has to look out for their own interest. It also means people have little or no respect for laws.”

We’re not sure about that

But this may explain the actions of the tourists who visited Lonquio Park recently…

Members of the public were caught breaking into the park and picking the hundreds of lotus flowers.

The images began circulating on Chinese social media and the people photographed seemed completely unphased at the fact that they were caught in the act.

But, personally, I think that there’s nothing quite as disrespectful as breaking and entering and taking things that don’t even belong to you. It’s called stealing…

The tourists aren’t even attempting to be discreet with their crimes, they’re coming and going as they please, taking whatever they want. An estimated 200 people have been breaking in daily to get their greedy share of the flowers.

As reported by The South China Morning Post, a member of staff named Zhou said: “We cannot control the tourists. We can just guarantee we’ve done our job well.”

She continued: “We’ve put notes on the park gate and near the flower field and we have security personnel on patrol as well.”  

Zhou added that there was no point in reopening as planned as there are now no flowers left, at all. If this doesn’t make you lose your faith in humanity, I don’t know what will…

It’s important to be aware of the cultural significance of a place that you’re visiting before you take actions like this.

“The Chinese government and travel agencies should take the initiative to educate our tourists,” Chen urged.

Incidents such as these need to stop happening, especially when it involves the defacing of the environment. These tourists may not have seen it this way – the flowers are beautiful and I can understand why they may have wanted to take some home – but they have massively slowed down the re-opening of this park and have taken things that do not belong to them.