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Have you ever made that trip on your to-do list only to find that your desired destination or attraction doesn’t quite live up to the hype? If you have, you are definitely not alone.
To get rid of the scars of their recent travel failures, people all over the world have taken to Reddit to tell their stories of disappointing travel experiences. Whether the aesthetic didn’t quite match that viral image they saw on Instagram or the swarms of tourists completely ruined the experience, there was one traveler fail worth mentioning.
From rice paddies in Southeast Asia to waterfalls that seem to put off tourists, here are some of our top picks from the traveler fails and disappointments subreddit.
1. Tegalalang Rice Terraces
We’ve all seen it (at least on Instagram); those lush rice paddies that seem to stretch on for days on the idyllic island of Bali. A Redditor explained how his experience of seeing this wonder was actually a complete failure.
“Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Bali. I had seen pictures of these lush rice terraces in Ubud and was looking forward to visiting them. They were incredibly beautiful but I was unprepared for how the whole area was basically staged to be Instagrammed. There were heart-shaped chairs dressed as birds’ nests and swings set up above the rice terraces, all staged for the perfect photo and available for an extra charge. All of this made the otherwise stunning landscape look fake and overdone.
2. Antelope Canyon
Is it possible to walk past the swarms of tourists to truly appreciate a natural wonder? This one Redditor seemed to disagree when they visited Arizona’s famous Antelope Canyon.
“Antelope Canyon. You’ve probably seen the iconic images. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty cool but it was waaaaay more touristy than I expected. Guess I was naive. As soon as I’m descended into the canyon, couldn’t wait for the tour to end.”
3. Rainbow Mountain
Spoiler alert, it’s not really a rainbow. This Redditor posted about his experience at one of Peru’s most famous attractions.
“Visiting Rainbow Mountain in Peru. It was the first time I realized how some photos on Google were actually photoshopped. »
4. Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt are a huge bucket list item, but some travelers just don’t get it.
“Visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza. It may be tough, but the swarm of aggressive market vendors surrounding the pyramids makes visiting this site a bit of a nightmare. A woman in our tour group asked a guard to take her picture and he refused to return her phone unless she paid for it. The whole time we were shouted at and haggled over for assorted scarves and souvenirs which ruined my experience. I spent months looking forward to the trip and felt so disappointed.
5. Trevi Fountain
Iconic? Yes. Super busy all the time? Yes too. Is it just the inevitability of some of the world’s notorious attractions? This seems to be the case for the Trevi Fountain in Rome, as a Redditor shared on the Traveler’s Chess feed.
” Trevi Fountain. He looks nothing like what he does in the movies. It’s small and literally down an alley… but hey, at least you’re in Rome.
6. Khao San Road
If you’ve been to Bangkok, you’ve probably been to Khao San Road. Even if your hotel wasn’t located across the street, there was probably at least one evening during your trip when you passed through this Southeast Asian backpacker’s paradise. While some travelers can’t get enough, one Redditor had the opposite experience which was a total traveler fail.
“Khao San Road in Bangkok. I love Thailand but absolutely hated Khao San Road. It is totally made to make tourists feel like they are doing something exotic and adventurous. There are signs that say things like “Take a picture eating a scorpion for $5!” and, “Fake passports sold here!” It’s just souvenir shops and bars, and compared to the rest of the wonderful country, it’s disgusting and fake.
To be fair, Khao San Road has never really been promoted as an authentic Bangkok or Thai destination (have you all seen The Beach?). It was a place built to accommodate an influx of tourists coming to Thailand, and it sells a cheap version of that “exoticism”, for which many go to the Land of Smiles in the first place. But to each his own, as they say.
7. The Golden Circle
A ticket to paradise sometimes means lots of parking lots, crowded buses and queues. But it doesn’t have to be this one. An editor of this traveler chess thread shared his experience in Iceland and recommended getting off the beaten path a bit to experience the beauty of this northern island.
“Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland. Let me say that I think Iceland is one of the most amazing, amazing and spectacular places I have ever traveled. That being said, I think the Golden Circle is a little disappointing.This circle, easily accessible from Reykjavik and therefore a popular tourist route, takes you past Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area and Þingvellir national park. tourist buses, make you feel like you are in an amusement park and not in the middle of nature.If you just rent a car and drive around Iceland to the south coast, the Snaefellsnes peninsula or the ring road, you will experience incredible beauty and surreal landscapes that seem more untouched.
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