A San Diego couple was arrested for bare-butt photos they took of themselves at a Buddhist temple in Thailand. It’s one vacation selfie Joseph and Travis Dasilva won’t be forgetting or making postcards of any time soon.
The American couple have been referred to as “minor Instagram celebrities from San Diego” by The Los Angeles Times snapped a photo of their exposed buttocks at Bangkok’s Wat Arun or “Temple of Dawn,” a popular tourist landmark. The two men were hoping to get exposure for their social media feed “Traveling Butts” that boasted 14k followers who enjoyed seeing their asses (literally) at tourist sites around the world.
On temple grounds, there’s signage advising visitors to “dress modestly” and Thai authorities frown on the kind of antics the Dasilvas engaged in. The couple was set to board a plane at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport to leave and taken by police into custody.
Surprisingly, the fine was only 5,000 baht (about $150) for getting naked in public. Both men confessed. But, they could have been facing more serious charges “because they posted their photos on the Internet and took photos of their naked body parts at a religious site.”
According to the Bangkok, they could have been charged for posting pornography online and breaching a government law about this type of behavior at a religious place insulting the Buddhist religion. These offenses could have totaled upwards of $4k in fines, as well as one to seven years in jail.
One month after the incident, they were released from jail and deported. Their Instagram account they previously disabled has been brought back to life to chronicle their further adventures. Hopefully, they learned their lesson.
The Dasilvas aren’t the only ones who have participated in these types of shenanigans. Several Western tourists have been detained for inappropriate behavior at sacred Southeast Asian sites in recent years. In 2015, Cambodian authorities arrested, fined, and deported two American for taking partially nude pics at Angkor Wat. Also, that year, four Canadian, Dutch and German tourists posed naked on top of sacred Mt. Kinabalu. They spent three days in jail and were fined.
Original article appeared on NPR: san-diego-couple-arrested-for-bare-butt-photos-at-buddhist-temple-in-thailand and the follow-up article can be seen here: traveling-butts-instagram-couple-released-from-thai-jail-and-reactivated-controversial-account.
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