Don’t Trip Into These Traps
With the holidays just around the corner, many of you are probably spending hours on end mapping out and planning the perfect vacation or adventure, because while traveling can be exciting and extremely fulfilling, it can also be quite stressful. With so little time, you want to make sure you’ve hit all the iconic spots and seen the famous sights, so luckily, we’ve put together a list of places you can cross off your itinerary! The following 5 globally renowned tourist attractions are either overrated or might be interesting, but are unpleasantly inaccessible or of real interest only to smaller subsets of travelers.
#5: Hollywood Walk of Fame – Los Angeles, California, USA
After checking out this attraction for yourself, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve been duped by the allure of celebrity culture. The city of Los Angeles has a lot to offer the savvy traveler, but it’s also riddled with tourist traps, and The Walk of Fame feels like the linchpin in the oh-so-unsatisfying buffet of sights and sounds that Hollywood Boulevard has to offer. The draw? A bunch of celebrity names etched in the sidewalk. It’s an under-whelming way to try and feel a close connection to your favorite stars; but don’t worry, you’re sure to feel over-whelmed by the street performers, souvenir shops, vendors and tour guides who’ve set up shop there.
#4: Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy
This off-kilter structure really puts the city of Pisa on the tourism map, but is it really worth your time? It certainly makes for an interesting photo op; or rather it would if it were, say, a structure you randomly came across while exploring the countryside. Given the tower’s popularity however, every angle feels like it’s been photographed to death, and the posed “we’re holding it up” photos are more than a little cheesy. Do yourself a favor… skip Pisa altogether and add Bologna to your itinerary instead. Not only is it the food capital of Italy, but it’s also home to not one, but two leaning towers that, although more modest, are way less crowded.
#3: The Forbidden City – Beijing, China
The Forbidden City served as the home of China’s Emperors from the Ming to Qing dynasties, during which time it earned its name by being strictly off-limits to the general population, unless invited. Unfortunately, what awaits visitors nowadays feels anything but “forbidden”. It is now one of China’s biggest draws and attractions, and as such, the Forbidden City is usually very crowded, making it difficult to really soak in or appreciate the majesty of the the Imperial Palace and the surrounding complex. Don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty to see, but you need to get there early if you like personal space, and the various souvenir stalls and shops that dot the Forbidden City kind of kill the vibe.
#2: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – Ratchaburi Province, Thailand
The concept of a floating market is fascinating, and once upon a time, you could have gone and had a genuine experience on the man-made channel connecting the Tha Chin and Mae Klong rivers. For roughly 100 years, the Damnoen Saduak canal was home to numerous water-based markets and served as a central hub of commercial trade. Sadly, Damnoen Saduak is not what it once was. The need for water-based trade dried up in the late 1960s, and since the early ‘70s it’s been replaced by a market aimed explicitly at tourists. From a boat rental to the offerings of local vendors, everything is overpriced. The market is overcrowded and the entire experience, kinda meh.
#1: The Blarney Stone – Blarney, Ireland
Ireland is an island rich in culture and history, with a breathtaking landscape to explore, and numerous sights to see. But for generations, this particular stone has been treated as a must-see, or rather must-kiss attraction, with very little justification. Yes, according to legend it bequeaths those who kiss it with the gift of gab, but talk to anyone who’s puckered up in Castle Blarney and you’re unlikely to be blown away by their eloquence. To be fair, Castle Blarney, which dates back to the 15th century, is an interesting landmark, but the stone with which it shares a name means long lines and a disappointingly underwhelming experience. Also… consider the germs. Seriously.
Have you fallen into any of these tourist traps??? Leave a comment with your favourite travel destination that IS worth the hype!
To find out the full list of attractions you might regret visiting and for all things travel, check out MojoTravels on YouTube and the video below for our pick of the Top 10 Tourist Traps to Beware Of