Social media users have condemned a group of young travelers for allegedly changing the number on a border landmark just for fame.
The backlash built this week soon after a member of the group posted a photo on Facebook, purportedly showing them at the 428th border stone in Ha Giang Province.
Many were quick to notice that it's not the real 428th border marker and pointed out that number 8 was actually number 3.
This picture has ignited a firestorm on social media in Vietnam. File photo.
The two landmarks in question are both in Dong Van District.
However, the one with the number 428 stands near the Nho Que River and is much harder to reach.
It is believed that only the most experienced travelers could get there, which may have been the reason why this group of young travelers wanted to claim that they have conquered the challenging journey.
One thing these travelers may have missed: the real 428th stone has a unique pointed tip on top.
The real boundary stone No.428 that marks the border between Vietnam and China. Photo courtesy of Phuot.com
After receiving too much criticism, the owner of the photo removed it from the internet.
He also apologized and confirmed that his group had indeed used lipstick to change the number on the stone marker.
Local border guards have confirmed that there are no permanent marks left on the 423rd border stone.
“Those travelers might have either removed the trace after taking the photo or photoshopped the photo,” Nguyen Hong Phong, a senior border official in Dong Van, told VnExpress.
Phong said if the group had defaced the landmark, they could face legal action for breaching border regulations.
Some social media users are calling for strict punishment to prevent similar fame-seeking acts, saying border landmarks must be respected by all citizens and travelers.