American Couple Arrested In Thailand After Taking “Belfies” At Sacred Temple

Americans Joseph Dasilva, 38, and Travis Dasilva, 36, are facing well-deserved criminal prosecution in Thailand after taking “belfies” where they expose their butts in pictures at famous sites.   This juvenile and disgraceful practice is viewed as funny by the Dasilvas, but it was hardly humorous for the Thais who saw the pictures at Bangkok’s Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn, as demeaning and insulting. 


We have have previously discussed the destructive narcissism of tourists who write their names on historic locations or art, including the recent incident involving a Houston Rockets player.  This includes the Chinese tourist who wrote on an ancient Egyptian temple or the Russian who carved his name intothe Colosseum. An unidentified 55-year-old man from Missouri snapped the finger off a 14th or 15th century marble masterpiecewhen he decided to measure it by grabbing the hand. Two California women (again strangely allowed to go unidentified) were arrested after carving their names into the Colosseum. Then there was a 126-year-old statue of Dom Sebastian that crashed to the ground and shattered after man climbed on top of its pedestal to take a selfie with the 16th century Portuguese King.

In this case, the Dasilvas were arrested at the Bangkok airport and each fined 5,000 baht ($154) for exposing their buttocks. The married couple is facing  charges of public indecency and the United States is now expected to assist them.  So these two certifiable juvenile delinquents travel the world showing utter contempt for historic and cultural sites, then, when they get into trouble, the United States spends money and time to try to secure their release from their well-deserved arrests.  There must be an overwhelming temptation for our State Department personnel to simply tell them to kiss their well-photographed butts goodbye.  Many people felt the same way when President Trump used part of his official trip to China to secure the release of UCLA college basketball players who decided to shoplift in an authoritarian country known for its lack of criminal justice.

The couple reportedly contacted San Diego officials for help with their case.


It remains a mystery why anyone over the age of 4 would find this “Traveling Butts” theme to be funny.  Yet, their account had more than 14,000 followers before it was deleted. I find that following far more unsettling than the fact that two adults would engage in this type of offensive conduct.  Friends say that the pictures are a form of artistic expression.

46 thoughts on “American Couple Arrested In Thailand After Taking “Belfies” At Sacred Temple”

  1. American Couple Arrested In Thailand After Taking “Belfies” At Sacred Temple

    While these idiots may or may not be prototypical ugly-Americans they most assuredly should not have been arrested for taking tasteless pictures of themselves that have harmed no person nor any property.

    All of the examples involving tourists visiting historical sites that were given above involve cases where persons physically defaced property.

    The pictures in this case are tasteless but they are also completely harmless(unless you consider hurt feelings grounds for arrest/indictment).

    Should the traveling louts have honored local culture?


    All travelers would be well served by adhering to the following :

    When in Rome do as the Romans do.

    1. That’s a point for the people of Thailand to come to terms with. Be thankful that in these United States, at least for now, you can get away with nonsense like this. If the Thai would like to follow our example that’s up to them. Bottom line, it’s a crime in Thailand and they got bustted for it – no different than if you jaywalked in Singapore and were fined 50SD, or got caught in Dubai riding in a subway car containing people not of your gender.

  2. “Beer For My Horses”

    Toby Keith

    Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
    A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
    Take all the rope in Texas find a tall oak tree,
    Round up all them bad boys hang them high in the street
    For all the people to see

    That justice is the one thing you should always find
    You got to saddle up your boys, you got to draw a hard line
    When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
    And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
    We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
    Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

  3. The amount of bloodthirst in these comments is more disturbing than any quasi-sexual part of a human body displayed in public could ever be.

    May you never face the bloodthirsty mob you clearly imagine yourselves as part of.

  4. A couple of homos who are obsessed with their butts. I actually buy into the whole “immature” schtick, because that is the root cause of what is behind most homosexuality – an inability to grow up. That and OCD.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. What about heterosexual women in g strings? I rarely see men, straight or gay in g strings, but straight women are everywhere on the beach and at public pools in g strings, even in the Bible belt. It is only immature when men do it.

  5. These guys are in their late 30s so the “immature” excuse does not work for me. Some Americans are wholly ignorant — even contemptuous of other cultural norms. Would they have dropped their drawers at St Peters or the Notre Dame? I suspect not. Thailand has enough problems without having to put up with these boors. Too bad they were not put in jail for a year. Such an experience would have added some reality to their blog!

    “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 after they were fined it had been deleted.”

    1. I live in Cambodia, but have spent a several years in Thailand and will be heading back to Bangkok in a few days for visa reasons. You are right. Thailand has enough problems with its police state, but I have had excellent very affordable medical and dental care, find the people overall to be quite tolerant of eccentrics like me, but not always. The Muslims live along the canals and are basically far more Thai than anything else, which makes their Islam quaint and harmless. I have taken photos of well over three hundred of the four hundred temples in Bangkok, many temples like Wat Arun in the article I have revisited and will revisit time and again. It is not too much to ask to wear longer shorts in temples. I have seen weird things where western women will cover their legs at the entrance, but once they get inside the National Palace will shed their leggings in favor of their hot pants and miniskirts. I am tempted to think there is some innate sense of entitled rebelliousness for being woman in the west. You can do far worse than Thailand for intolerance. Curiously, the Muslim country of Malaysia is every bit as tolerant as Thailand, be it Chinese Penang or Islamic Kuala Lumpur

  6. As an American who has traveled to upwards of 20 countries best rule of thumb is, when overseas don’t think for a second that the rights you enjoy in America follow you abroad. In places like Thailand, defacing the currency is a criminal offense – deface a bhat note in public and you’ll want the police to arrest you because the locals might just beat you to death.

    I don’t see the humor in a belfie but I guess I’m not a hipster millenial that voted for The Bern and vacays overseas while whining about a $15/hr minimum wage or nationalized health care.

    1. Try being a male in Miami and walking into a Hooters bar in orange short short runners, then you will find how much freedom you have in America

  7. More post modernism on display. We are slipping into viscous mess of competing visceral satisfactions that author its own perverse morality. Watching it consume itself, as being played out in entertainment, will eventually take down this movement, but it will probably take all us down with it.

  8. Patrickcolliano, like the way you use words. Seriously, these 2 were guest in another country. And they were behaving very disrespectfully. They got what they deserved.

  9. Disgusting and embarrassing.
    Maybe we entice dumb tourists with a
    Free trip to Komodo Island.

  10. I could crack a joke at their expense, but I’ll be brief: I see no reason for the President or our diplomats to butt in when American tourists make asses of themselves with uncouth, cheeky behavior in foreign countries. Obviously, their parents didn’t rear them well, and I’ll make an end of this tirade now.

  11. Then we have U.S. Catholic missionaries who broke the law in Amazon jungle.
    The Peruvian culture of ministry confiscated this video. Then aired it for all to see.

    An Indian boy named Koka scores a red hat…..And won’t give it back. Here’s the video Peru, 2013.

  12. …and “married” yet !!! When will our dumb Americans realize that the entire world has not yet become sympathized or understanding of our modernly progressive way of life and customs !!
    Let these queers enjoy their 5 year tour of Thai jails–and then make a film documentary of the modern pleasures that they enjoyed !!!! DMD

  13. They deserve a nice long visit in the Bangkok “Hilton”. I’m sure they will find plenty of love there and maybe a knife or 3. Perhaps some interesting ladyboys.They are lucky that there weren’t a lot of Thais around when they showed their true selves. They would still be in a hospital, if alive. One thing that is unforgivable here is an insult to the royal family and to the culture involving religion. Thais are a very proud people and they do not fight one on one. Although, I know a couple of Muay Thai fighters that would wipe the pavement with them quickly.

  14. It is insulting regardless of whose culture it is. 6 months in jail would be a nice lesson and I don’t think the US should help them out. I don’t think Trump should have helped out the UCLA basketball players either.

    1. Trump didn’t ‘help’ the UCLA players to ‘help’ the players. He did it for a media op. The whole thing was about how Trump personally intervened with the Chinese leader to ‘help’. This is par for the course for this disgusting embarrassment. Constantly on the make, tweeting, bellowing, lying, to prove to his dupes and himself that he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Now, he is trying for an even huger tax cut for his bracket. It took Obama the better part of eight years to fix the mess left by Bush. The question is how much of a mess will Trump leave and how long will it take to clean up.

      1. issac – this is going to come as a bold surprise to you, but Trump is in the process of cleaning up Obama’s mess. He has been able to clean up some of the mess, but the Deep State is hindering on some of it.

      2. “It took Obama the better part of eight years to fix the mess left by Bush.”

        Are you serious? Really?? He just took the handoff and ran down the field with it. And I thought you had start to become lucid…

        1. Slohrss29 – re “He just took the handoff and ran down the field with it” exactly – too big to fail, too rich to jail, Patriot Act still intact, Indefinite detention, NSA spying on steroids, etc.

          1. Hi Autumn! — yeah, I just don’t get it. I guess the anti-Trumpers have now found Bush to be their new BFF. Amazing. Just goes to show you that you can’t extract the herd mentality from humans.

            1. slohrss29 – I wish Thomas Frank’s books were mandatory reading.

              “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” explores how the Republican party moved away from Conservative values to embrace corporatism

              “Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?” explores what happened to liberal values – elitism and corporatism.

              People should wake up and judge polcies – move on from the A or B paradigm.

              Talkin the talk is easy wakin the walk is not

              1. All financial growth during Soweto bin Bama benefited the top 2%.

                Of all Soweto pre-election promises, the one promise he made most often and with the most vigor was to END THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS. Post-election, Soweto swore “NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND” ever in Syria.

                Both Iraq and Afghanistan wars persist 10 years post-promise, plus we have 1700 “BOOTS ON THE GROUND” in Syria (which boots Soweto said are not boots), plus we turned Syria in to a hell hole, plus Soweto, through then SOS HRC, utterly destroyed Libya causing Libya to now be controlled by ISIS, and having caused hundred of thousands of displaced refugees and a living hell hole in N. Africa.

                Beyond the above, even Soweto’s best sycophants and surrogates do not and can not deny Soweto’s extra-judicial drone assassinations of two Americans both named Anwar Al Awlaki, one of them a 16 year old minor.

                Any record of Trump assassinating American citizens? I thought not.

      3. He did it for a media op. The whole thing was about how Trump personally intervened with the Chinese leader to ‘help’.

        At least he had the sense to not parade the 3 delinquents in front of the media for a Rose Garden Ceremony.

      4. T rump is preparing for ground war in Korea. Yes, da mess will be far bigger than we have seen. The Commander in Chief is delusional. Please step up to da plate republicans and stop the indanity.

          1. Pence is willing to undermine our sovereignty. Pro TPP – no wonder the establishment R & Ds would like to see him in the Oval

            1. T rump is willing to undermine da middle class. He and Soros boy Mnuchin engineered da biggest corporate give away ever. Pence is just a Koch boy but not an
              Oligarch himself who is padding his accounts on da back of da elderly. You can spend your day earning peanuts on a blog defending da T rump Mnuchin oligarchy. Who cares.

              1. If Mnuchin’s pal gal Kamela Harris had done her job as CA AG he would be in jail for illegal foreclosures Corporate Dims as beholden to interests

                1. He is now beholdened to T rumpBut but but T rump hired 8 of those gis. T rumpie not for the little guys and gals. Fools.

        1. Yes, da mess will be far bigger than we have seen. The Commander in Chief is delusional.

          You’ll have to be more specific. Which CinC was delusional by enabling N. Korea to acquire the nuclear and missile technology in the first place. In your professional diplomatic and military experience, what should the current CinC be doing differently to clean up this mess?


  15. Destruction of historical property and mooning a camera isn’t really the same. Oh my god, two asses. What do we tell the children.

    1. Destruction of historical property and mooning a camera isn’t really the same.

      Way to think little Dave. The problem isn’t that they aren’t the same thing. The problem is people such as yourself have accepted this self-absorbed behavior and will continue to until they are the same thing. And not in a good way.

  16. Thailand will of course do with them what they will. But for me I like the Singapore solution. Shredded Bamboo used for flogging. No one wants a second treatment. Thailand is different. Short of crapping on the altar or touching the King not much is forbidden anymore. Probably just a fine and kick them banned forever. Being from San Diego which makes them Californian they not only weren’t raided to be more civilized and wouldn’t care anyway.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
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