Visiting famous tourist attractions is one must thing that we would do every time we travel. We would want to see with our own eyes after seeing countless photos & watching numerous videos about the places we have always wanted to go to. However, not everything we see would be as what we see on the photos and videos. Ugly parts of those tourist attractions are always pulled out from the scenery. This can really be disappointing when we see the reality of it.

In this article, we will be sharing about few famous tourist attractions that have this ugly side, for being dirty – polluted with tonnes of rubbish. It happens mostly due to the fact of ignorant tourists who just throw rubbish everywhere they like.

1. Mount Everest

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.  As early as 1963, a climber wrote in National Geographic that parts of Mount Everest had become “the highest junkyard on the face of the Earth.” Empty oxygen bottles, human excrement, food packaging, broken climbing gear and torn tents continue to spoil the environment there.

Last year (2016), UN reported that there are over 140,000 kg of trash in Mount Everest region following decades of tourism. Efforts had been made to solve this issue, interestingly the Eco Everest Exploration led by Asian Trekking organizes an annual clean-up tour, and had collected some 15 tonnes of garbage, 600kg human waste and six bodies since 2008.

2. Ladakh, India

You may not have heard about Ladakh but this is among the beautiful places that you may fall in love with. Ladakh is a high-altitude desert located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This often overlook corner of its own country was featured in 3 Idiots 2009 film, making the place suddenly flooded with eager tourists. Read more here.

However, the influx of tourists creates another problem – high amount of disposable waste!  According to Mr Alex, Future Earth, a staggering 30,000 plastic bottles are dumped everyday in Leh, its largest town. If not taken care, it would destroy the beauty of the place.

3. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Phi Phi Islands are naturally stunning. This place has became famous after Ko Phi Phi Leh once used as film set of ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But with it comes problem of rubbish, overcrowded and noise pollution. Thankfully, there is initiative under Phi Phi Island Conservation & Prevention Team (PACT) has started since 2015 to do clean-up on the islands, on every 10th, 20th and 30th every month. More need to be done to keep this beautiful place clean, before it get destroyed completely.

4. Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea is the world’s largest inland sea, which is surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa. Polluted ocean is not only seen here but in almost every corner of the ocean. The video above is just an example showing how clearly rubbish has pollute our ocean. For your information, marine debris worldwide kills more than 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals each year, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

5. Batu Caves, Malaysia

Closer to home, we have the same problem with rubbish. Batu Caves is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions. It is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. It has also become one of the sacred place for Hindu believers. Lord Murugan Statue in big golden color is one of the main attractions to this place.

However, the cleanliness of this place is not being done properly. There are about 600 Trip Advisor reviews that said Batu Caves being dirty specifically, out of over 10, 000 reviews! Handling rubbish could be much easier if upcoming tourists know where to throw their rubbish properly, not by simply throwing them everywhere.

What can you do then?

Just remember that when you visit a place, treat it like your home. As simple as throwing your trash at the right place! You can also reduce plastic waste by using reusable bottle or container. One person may not impact much on the ecosystem, but imagine if every tourists that come and visit do the same – those places mentioned above would have a different story.