• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:19pm

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

Question is why didn't they just refund in the first place?
This is a wrap up microcosm of China today. People who have no idea of nature and feel entitled to unreasonable demands, caused by greedy people out to make a quick RMB. Is there anything I said here which is not true affecting this situation and China in general? Apply this to the "relatives" of the MH370 situation who demand unlimited free hotel and room service. Where else has this ever happened after an air crash? China.
this would've happened anywhere in the world. had this amount of people (10,000) been denied a refund and an explanation in say, US, UK, ****ia, Rwanda, Argentina, etc, you would've seen the same result. heck, i've seen people rioting (causing major damages), after their sports team loses a championship game. things in China get put under a microscope more so than other places due to the medias' and their audiences' appetite/craving for anything China-bashing related. I'm sure had the internet been around during the age of the "ugly American" tourists, you would've constantly been made aware of similar occurrences too.
"this would've happened anywhere in the world..."
Actually, I can pretty much guarantee you'd never see this kind of behavior in Japan.
Because in Japan, they would've refunded....
Haha, guess what, tried to quote this article on the Global Times op-ed about us being skinheads, and it gets immediately removed.
It is little wonder that mainland people think that they could do no wrong, because they are never made aware how wrong some of their actions are.
Stop blaming the fireflies!!! Everyone knows it was the Philippines fault!
The tourists in HK are just the appetizer, the best are yet to come. Wealthy Chinese are already skipping HK travelling to Europe, better off are hopping across Asia, boarder liners are coming to HK...below poverty liners stay and travel around China. We’d better be prepared for the next zombie wave!
All of this could have been averted if the organizers would have just refunded the people's money due to the fireflies NOT giving a "performance"! Of course the actions by the hooligans cannot be condoned!
The worlds ugliest tourists
They certainly know how to make a name for themselves don't they




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