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Taking a ‘butt selfie’ in front of a Buddhist temple is a big NO NO


American tourists fined for indecently exposing themselves.

The sun sets behind the stupa of the Buddhist temple Wat Arun or the "Temple of Dawn" seen from across the banks of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand. Two Americans who maintained a social media account called Traveling Butts have been arrested in Thailand after posting photos of themselves at the famous temple with their rear ends exposed. Picture: AP/Sakchai Lalit, File

Bangkok – Thai authorities have fined two American tourists for public indecency for posing for a “butt selfie” in front of a famous Buddhist temple, police said on Wednesday.

The two, who police identified as Joseph Dasilva, 38, and Travis Dasilva, 36, were arrested late on Tuesday at an airport in the capital, Bangkok.

They were each fined 5 000 baht (about R2100) for baring their buttocks for a picture taken last week at Bangkok’s Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn.

“The two American citizens have admitted taking the picture,” district police chief Jaruphat Thongkomol told Reuters.

While Thailand has a reputation for racy night life, the predominantly Buddhist country is deeply conservative and revealing clothing is frowned upon while public nudity is considered offensive.

The two men had an Instagram account called traveling_butts which showcased similar selfies taken at tourists sites around the world. The account had more than 14 000 followers but on Wednesday it had been deleted.

Jaruphat said the two would also be fined for a similar picture taken at another temple in Bangkok.

They were being held at an immigration detention center while police considered a possible violation of Thailand’s Computer Crime Act, as the photograph was uploaded online, Jaruphat said.