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40,000 Chinese tourists turn idyllic salt lake into garbage dump

Cleaners are now working 13 hours a day to clean up the mess left behind by tourists

Located high on the Tibetan Plateau in remote Qinghai province, the Chaka Salt Lake is known as the “Mirror of the Sky” with its crystal blue water above a snow-white lake bed. Summer tourists are now threatening to turn the place into a garbage dump.

Recently, 40,000 travelers visited the idyllic lake, leaving behind heaps of garbage. Photos from the scene show trash covering either side of a pier that stretches out into the lake.

The surge in visitors has led to an increased workload for cleaners. One worker told reporters that in order to clean up all the garbage left by tourists, they have to work 13 hours a day.

Across the world, the ever-increasing number of Chinese tourists is creating similar headaches. While China’s new middle class may now have enough money to travel, they sometimes lack the knowledge of the responsibility that being a tourist comes with, leading to sites of natural beauty getting trashed and tarnished.

[Images via NetEase]