You know, considering that Bagan is literally strewn with signs warning foreigners of dressing inappropriately, you would think that they’d get the hint. However, it seems as though at least one foreigner went screw it, and decided to do away with clothing altogether.
Yesterday, model Warso Moe Oo drew attention to the Instagram account cheekyexploits which, as the name suggests, displays photos of people baring their butts. While we didn’t realize there was an entire part of the internet dedicated to such a bizarre ‘hobby,’ there’s obviously no harm done, right? Well, there wouldn’t be, except a recent post shows a white woman baring her butt in what is supposedly Bagan, according to their geotag.
A few hours later, the account removed the location information, but not before the original post, complete with the Nyaung-U geotag, was screenshotted (remember kids, this is the internet).
According to the cheekyexploits caption, the picture was submitted by another account called bumaroundtheworld (side note: who knew there were so many butt accounts on Instagram?), which is run by a couple who “quit our jobs to travel the world together” and upload photos of their butts from each of the places they visit. Why? Who knows?
Although there’s no geotag on bumaroundtheworld’s original post either, it did have the hashtags #seasia and #travelasia, which would make sense if it was taken in Myanmar. They first uploaded the photo on May 12, but it was only reposted on cheekyexploits on Monday.
The couple also seems to have taken a naked picture in front of a waterfall in another part of the country, although it’s unclear where. One Myanmar Instagram user commented, “Before many angry Burmese come and curse at you guys, as a first Burmese I would like to say ‘COOL! And please don’t mind when some butt hurts come and cruse [sic] you’”.
Under Warso Moe Oo’s post, several users echoed the model’s sentiments. One wrote, “Would they dare to do this in Mecca or at the Vatican? This is extremely insulting.” Another commented, “It’s okay to take photos in Bagan, but taking a photo like this in a sacred Buddhist place is crossing the line.”
On the other hand, it seems that some found the act too ridiculous to even be insulted. One user who shared the post joked, “Maybe this is why lately I’ve really been itching to go to Bagan.”
However, it seems that both bumaroundtheworld and cheekyexploits have realized that what they did could potentially land them in hot water, as both sites have taken down the picture, with the former completely disabling their comments as well.
In 2015, several tourists were arrested by Cambodian authorities after having similar naked photoshoots at the Angkor Archaeological Park. Experts have said that the act of taking nude photos in a foreign country — referred to as ‘naked tourism’ — and especially in a location where they know such actions are prohibited, is ‘indicative of less-experienced travelers.’ Speaking to the Phnom Penh Post at the time, Professor of Tourism at Queensland’s James Cook University Philip Pearce noted: “It is a ‘clever’ twist on the theme of achievement and ‘I am/have been here statements by also proclaiming I am liberated and can break the rules in an exotic place.”
Come on, guys — if even Vogue Korea couldn’t get away with a Bagan temple fashion shoot, what made you think this was acceptable? To all future visitors — we can’t believe we have to say this, but please keep your butts (and several other parts of your body) covered at all times, at least while in public.