Tourist Traps to Avoid

HongKong_d845e99968_bPeople usually visit certain attractions in top holiday destinations after they’ve read about it in travel books, magazines, or websites. Perhaps, they got the inspiration to visit these sites after they’ve seen a convincing tourism advertisement in television or in YouTube. Perhaps they were drawn to the attractions after seeing them in tourism exhibitions. Well, that is good. After all, a popular attraction is an important icon of a destination.

However, there are some attractions which do not live up to their hype. Tourists may spend an inordinate amount of money, time, and effort to visit an attraction only to find out that it isn’t really par to their expectations. These tourist traps are really disappointments.

According to travelers whom we have interviewed, here are some of the attractions that many consider as tourist traps.

* Dunn’s River Falls, Ochos Rios, Jamaica

The Dunn’s River Falls is advertised as a beautiful place amidst a lush rainforest where tourists can just relax and frolic in the cool water. While it is indeed pretty, the drawback is that too many tourists come here. Add to that the extremely aggressive guides advertising their services and the atmosphere of tranquility is utterly destroyed. This should not be a surprise considering that Ochos Rios is a major cruise destination.

* Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong

Built in 2004, the Avenue of Stars is an esplanade which overlooks the Hong Kong skyline. Chinese tourists from the mainland are the main visitors here, led by loud, flag-bearing guides. The only highlight and attraction here is a statue of Bruce Lee in a signature pose. There are few comfortable resting areas, and lots of spots are reserved on souvenir photo booths.

* Time Square, New York

If you are a diehard fan of outdoor advertising and chain stores, then Time Square, New York is the place for you. But if you’re looking for a better tourist experience, then look for somewhere else. Time Square is really just walls of lighted billboards and endless rows of stores. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is horrible.

* Nanjing Dong Lu, Shanghai

Nanjing Dong Lu in Shanghai was touted to be a commercial hub in China since ancient times. Guidebooks often boast about old shops, cobblestone streets, and many other traces of China’s past that are forever entrenched in Nanjing Dong Lu. In reality, however, there are only a few old shops. Rather, modern brands and stores that can be seen in any major shopping area around the world dominate the area. There is hardly any trace of old Chinese history and culture left.

* Britain at War Experience Museum, London

The Britain at War Experience Museum is supposed to showcase documents, weapons, and paraphernalia that Britain used during World War 2. But tourists come out disappointed as they’re treated to few artifacts and amateur tableaus.

Still, you may want to visit these areas for a thorough travel experience. After all, a real travel experience both consists of positives and negatives.