If you’re planning to visit Myanmar anytime soon and have a Buddha tattoo, you might want to reconsider your vacation.
A Spanish tourist vacationing in the southeast Asian country landed in hot water after some Buddhist monks got offended by a Buddha tattoo on his leg.
The incident occurred in the ancient city of Bagan, where thousands of tourists flock each year to visit the one of the world's greatest archeological sites, including temples and pagodas.
"Monks in Bagan saw a Buddha tattoo on his right leg because he was wearing shorts. They informed us as it's not appropriate," a Bagan police officer told AFP.
Another security official at Yangon airport added the man was deported “because he violated the rules as a tourist here.”
The inking of the founder of Buddhism on body parts, especially on the lower half, is generally considered offensive in many Buddhist majority nations.
In 2014, a British nurse was thrown out of Sri Lanka for a Buddha tattoo on her arm, even though she insisted she was a devotee who got the tattoo as a mark of respect.
It’s, however, all the more problematic in Myanmar these days, since the country is witnessing a surge in Buddhist extremism led by a 45-year-old radical and incredibly influential Buddhist monk named Ashin Wirathu, also known in Western media as “Buddhist bin Laden.”
His malicious campaign against Islamic and foreign influences has caused hundreds of deaths and displaced more than 140,000 ethnic Muslim Rohingyas in almost three years.