• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:07pm

Chinese tourists smash up resort office after bugs fail to appear in fireflies display

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 2:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 May, 2014, 3:37pm

What was promised as a romantic evening display under the glittering lights of 30,000 fireflies by a scenic Zhejiang lake resort turned into hours of staring at the blank night sky followed by a riot.

The no-show by the insects prompted a mob of angry tourists to march on the resort's management office and smash the doors and windows when they couldn’t get a refund.

No need for photos, just point us to the toilet, say mainland tourists

The nearly 10,000 tourists had paid 30 yuan (HK$38) to see the fireflies show – some paid up to 180 yuan for scalped tickets – for opening night at the Xiang Lake plaza in Hangzhou city.

But after the scheduled 7.30pm start, the insects were nowhere to be seen, China News Service reported today.

After two hours of waiting, the tourists surrounded the lake management office in Xiaoshan district, demanding refunds and an explanation. They got more upset when the organisers provided neither.

Witnesses said some people began vandalising nearby exhibition facilities, according to China News Service. Pictures from the scene showed people smashing windows and kicking down the doors of what appeared to be lockers for tourists.

The low temperatures in Xiaoshan were likely a factor in the absence of the fireflies, which emit beams of light from their abdomen to attract mates and “flash” more in warmer weather. It was expected to be below 20 degrees Celsius over the next six evenings.

A tourist at the scene posted messages on Weibo criticising the event organisers for failing to return the audience’s money, some of whom came from faraway provinces just to see the show.

“We can live with the fact that no insects showed up, due to [the cold], but the organiser should have stopped selling tickets and offered us a refund,” the tourist said.

According to a report on Friday in Dushi Kuaibao, a tabloid owned by Hangzhou Daily Press Group, the event organiser has cancelled the firefly show and visitors can claim refunds in the next 10 days.

The fireflies display was slated to run during the golden week holiday from yesterday to May 3. Local police said they were investigating the vandalism.

Wild fireflies are typically spotted late at night in July and August at parks and in rural areas where there are no crowds.

When the event in Xiaoshan was announced before the holiday, many internet said it would be cruel to bring 30,000 fireflies on a 10-hour journey from a Jiangxi farm to Xiaoshan Lake.

Some said releasing the bugs into a strange environment would kill them as they were sensitive to temperature, noise and light.

Adult fireflies have a notoriously short life span, living for three to five days (long enough to mate and lay eggs) depending on the species or up to two months in the wild.

Last July, a forest park in Hunan province released 15,000 fireflies but the insects were deterred by the crowds’ noise and camera flashes, which also nearly caused chaos among disappointed tourists.

The same month, Qingdao’s Zhongshan Park also released 10,000 fireflies but more than half of the insects died after three days.


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This article is now closed to comments

It's a challenge to stay open minded on mainland tourists.
After watching this footage, the US should think twice before sending ground troops to invade China. If civilians could wreak such havoc over such trivial matters, imagine what the military could do. Super soldiers are bred by depriving them of education, feeding them with tainted food compounded by brainwashing them that toilets are irrelevant.
The greatest day for planet earth will be when the sun goes supernova and destroys this place.
What a pathetic race we are.
$38HKD for "no show" fireflies entitles these people to go on a rampage - what a planet.
No fireflies, but a few thousand Chinese maggots instead. Well, at least they could have a nice s**t-in together:)
I wonder what the Global Times has to say about this? All fine, no doubt, and anyone who disagrees is a fascist skinhead?
Ahhh...a civilized people enjoying their China Dream...
Someone probably defecated.
The Global Times will not write anything about this, because the Chinese media will shield the population from making themselves look bad. If they (or even the same journalist) does write something about it, he/she will probably say that the fireflies were in the wrong for not turning up and are skinheads for turning their backs on visitors.
Once again, it is another display that mainlanders use anger and violence whenever things don't go their way.
Firstly, you cannot control nature, secondly, just because you paid for something doesn't mean things will be guaranteed to be smooth. As someone who travels a bit for work, there are times when you wonder whether some people feel that they must make flight attendants' lives hard on purpose to get the full "luxury experience", although, I've seen that with passengers who are from outside of Mainland too, but of the times I've seen force and anger being displayed, it has been mainlanders.
What a bunch of skinheads!
Were Mainlanders behaving badly again and causing havoc over a $38 ticket? Perhaps they were just looking for a toilet?



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