Urinating, spitting and trampling flowers: Mainland papers slam Labour Day crowds
Some of the people enjoying the Labour Day holiday in Beijing's parks plucked flowers from gardens, trampled over lawns, spat, and allowed their children to urinate in public, a mainland newspaper reported.
But nobody was punished for antisocial behaviour, it said.
Staff at the capital's park said the bad behaviour also included people camping on lawns at the city's botanical gardens, the Beijing Morning Post reported.
Security guards tried to reason with the campers and persuade them to leave, but many pretended not to hear, it said.
Passers-by said camping in the park sounded like a good idea and they wanted to try it.
At a tulip show in Zhongshan Park, 2,000 plants were trampled underfoot, the report said. Visitors often stepped into flower beds to take photos.
Instead of educating their children, some parents encouraged them to pick flowers and step in to take photos.
Parents also allowed their children to urinate in public, even though there were public toilets metres away. Nobody was available at the park to comment on the report yesterday.
Similar tales of bad behaviour were reported elsewhere on the mainland over the holiday.
In Zhejiang province, hammocks were spotted in the Shijiuyang wetland park, which cut deep marks into tree trunks, the Jiaxing Daily reported.
In Changchun in Jilin province, the New Culture Daily reported that the administrators of the Jingyuetan National Forest Park had to put up signs to stop visitors digging up wild vegetables.
In Hainan province, the Hainan Daily reported that seven names were written on a cactus at a volcanic geological park.
At a mangrove park, a visitor broke off branches because she wanted to plant them at home.
Zhu Liang, a member of the political advisory body in the capital, told the Beijing Morning Post authorities should consider tougher punishments for serious offences.
He said spitting or treading on lawns only warranted a caution from park staff, but damaging property or stealing plants should incur a fine. Zhu said parks should also use ropes as barriers to keep tourists away from flowers and plants. when people saw a barrier, they would not cross, he said.
"Some parents let their children urinate in public, right next to the restroom. Some bring their pets to parks where pets are not allowed," said Zhu.
"These must be in the minority. However, when you see them one after another, you have the impression that tourists are people of poor quality."
Video of a toddler urinating in a Mong Kok street in Hong Kong stirred a huge debate online last month about the behaviour of some mainland tourists.
In Hong Kong, people caught urinating or defecating in public can face fines of up to HK$5,000 and repeat offenders can be fined up to HK$10,000. Upholding the regulations is one of the responsibilities of about 570 officers, plus 2,200 hawker control teams.
The same offence in Beijing brings a fine of up to 50 yuan (HK$63).
Park staff in the capital told the Beijing Morning Post that fewer than 200 enforcement officers were assigned to 11 parks and that more than two million trips were made to the sites over the holiday period.
Zhou Bingde, the niece of former premier Zhou Enlai, said last week that she was embarrassed by some mainlanders' behaviour, and that fines were too low to be a deterrent.