Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fireflies' no-show sparks violence in China

Published on May 2, 2014 10:18 AM
Visitors shout at organisers during an event to release fireflies in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on April 30, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS 

HANGZHOU - It was meant to be a romantic evening under the glittering lights of fireflies by a scenic lake in Zhejiang province, eastern China.

But when the 30,000 bugs refused to glow, a mob of angry Chinese tourists smashed the organiser's office after their demand for a refund was not met.

Ticket sales for the opening night on Wednesday of the summer firefly display at the Xiang Lake plaza in Hangzhou had been brisk. Some 10,000 people had paid 30 yuan (S$6) for a ticket and duly appeared at the venue in a state of high excitement, Times of London reported.

The early summer in eastern China is famous for firefly viewings, and tourist boards have spared no effort in turning the insects into an annual attraction during the May national holidays.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!