The couple behind the 'Travelling Butts' Instagram page have just been arrested in Thailand
Tourists – you hate them or you hate them.
You'll call yourself a "traveler" so as not to be categorised among the loud and annoying bumbag-wearing folk bumbling around with cameras slung around their necks, and you'll prefer to hit up the "local spots" and try to blend in when not standing by and silently judging the hoard of tourists around you at must-see attractions.
Recent years have seen the emergence of a new kind – the Instagram tourist. The ones who hog the "good spots" at attractions in order to get the perfect pic for the 'gram, posing candidly in front of sunsets from a good variety of angles, all in order to post it online along with the hashtags #authentic, #blessed and #wanderlust.
One pair of these Instagram tourists – touting themselves as the "Traveling Butts" – have recently made headlines after proving that even the latest iteration of the tourist still embodies the typical insensitivity and lack of cultural awareness that the worst of the worst take on holiday with them.
In all fairness, they've got to stay consistent with their "brand" when traveling, which – as the name implies – means they go to different destinations and drop their pants for a photo.
Only now, their popular Instagram account has been shut down, and the two men behind the account have been arrested after posting a photo of themselves – butt naked, as per usual – at a famous Buddhist temple in Thailand. The two men, both 38, are Joseph and Travis Dasilva, a couple from America.
They were visiting Bangkok and decided to stop at Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, for a cheeky pic. After posting the image to their 14,000 followers, uproar was caused in the Buddhist-majority Thailand, which then prompted a police investigation.
According to deputy police spokesman Krisana Pattanacharoen, the couple was arrested at a Bangkok airport on Tuesday night. They now face charges and even possible jail time. Authorities said the men were each fined 5000 baht already ($150) and have now been handed over to immigration authorities.
Visitors to the temple are expected to dress modestly by preferably not wearing shorts or shirts that expose shoulders and with visible buttcheeks a definite no-no.
Especially considering the image was posted online to a sizeable audience, police are treating the incident very seriously. Bangkok Yai district police station's deputy chief Wisit Suwan said authorities are also considering charging the men under Thailand’s computer crimes act – a controversial law often used to stifle free speech from political activists or those who insult Thailand's monarchy. This could mean further fines and even a prison sentence of up to five years.
The couple has asked their city commissioner for assistance, who said: “Though I am very disappointed in their actions, I am talking to U.S. government officials to see what assistance we can give them.”Here's a tip for anyone traveling to Thailand anytime soon: don't be a gronk and pose half-naked in front of a sacred Bhuddist temple.