I think if you took some time to ask people who love traveling why they bother to leave their comfort zone and flee to some foreign place, the answer would be quite clear: for us, it’s always good to experience some place that we’ve never been before.
But then again, don’t think that all places that we’ve visited gave us some satisfaction, because sometimes you expected something too much that when you got there, you did nothing but cringe because you were just not ready for such an ugly truth.
I mean, with the technology and all, pretty much like your face with Instagram filter, some places look even greater in the pictures and when you get there, well clearly the pictures are simply overrated.
On this post, I’ve listed 7 tourist attractions that made me feel that way. You may not agree with me, so I’m open with your two cents! 😀
1. Merlion Park – SingaporeThe legendary statue of Merlion.
Being an Indonesian, I get told so many times that visiting Merlion and taking a picture of myself in front of the statue is mandatory for all of us.
It sets by default, it’s a custom when you visit Singapore. Whatever.
So 3 years ago when I visited Singapore for the first time, that’s exactly what I did. And boy was I disappointed! *lol*
I mean, sure I enjoy walking down the park just to see around. But the hype of Merlion though? It’s just too much. Not to mention when you come here a little late, the place will be full of tourists wanting to take the mandatory picture. 😛
I thought it was just me, but it turned out I shared the same feeling with my brother who recently visited Singapore for the first time: that empty feeling like you could distribute your time elsewhere.
Also as Indonesian, just know that we also have the imitation of Merlion in Bontang, Borneo. So really, why bother? 😀
2. Marmaris Beach – TurkeyOne of the pics I took at Marmaris Beach.
7 years ago, when we got a 3-day break from TOMER, my classmates and I decided to go down to Marmaris as we stayed in Izmir for summer course.
I was never really familiar with what’s in Turkey until I was actually in Turkey, so when my classmates told me that we could spend our break on the beach, I was totally in. Besides, I had been to Cesme before and I loved it there! 😀
I was so excited when we were getting there as my friend told me that Marmaris beach was a beautiful place. Probably even better than Cesme as the water there was so blue and whatnot.
By the time I got there though, what did I get? Frankly speaking, the beach itself was kind of rubbish.
I know I can’t just compare one place to another, but I’d rather go back to Indonesia and spend my summer in Yogyakarta.
3. Mecca – Saudi ArabiaSource: https://pixabay.com/en/al-abrar-mecca-saudi-arabia-hotel-15082/
You have probably understood that I’m not exactly a religious person by now. But just like every Muslim in the world, I also had a dream to go to the holy mosque just to see the Kabaa.
That, until 4 years ago when I moved to Saudi Arabia for work and going to the holy mosque to see Kabaa was no longer just a dream because I could just flee and take the bus to get there.
So on my off day, my roommate and I went there for umrah. I was really expecting something big when I saw it for the first time. But nothing really happened, I was only like, “Oh, so that’s Kabaa.”
And my roommate was actually crying for happiness as she saw Kabaa for the first time. I mean, I wanted to feel bad that I felt nothing when I saw it. But I really couldn’t feel a thing so I just stared at it awkwardly.
4. Madame Tussauds MuseumMe and Audrey Hepburn, Madame Tussauds Singapore.
I got a chance to visit Madame Tussauds in Singapore last year, and from that visit, I don’t consider visiting any other Madame Tussauds because it was kind of boring.
I don’t know if I felt that way because I traveled alone and I didn’t have anyone to take a pic of myself around those wax celebrities, but I think the museum is just overrated.
However, there was a brief moment when I was at the museum and I really wanted to pose as the third wheel of Brangelina. Since no one took a pic of it for me, it was only on my thought. A week later, I read the news about their split.
Jeez, that regret feeling though… :/
5. Kanbawzathadi Palace – MyanmarThe palace.
Located in Bago City of Myanmar, Kanbawzathadi Palace was reconstructed in 1990 as the original palace (and what’s inside) was burned down in 1599.
So I went there with Max without doing any research about what happened in the past or the historical background of this palace for a start. You see, the palace looks okay in the picture, it looks okay too from afar.
But when we got inside though, all were just imitation stuff if not just exhibited as a printed piece of paper. We were so disappointed, we thought that we could just google about it on the internet instead of going there for real.
Even worse, because in some areas, it smells like piss. And I don’t know whether it’s a default custom in Myanmar, but why are there so many couple having a good time at the corner of some areas in the museum?
Also read: 7 Best Things to Do in Yangon, Myanmar
6. Izmir Agora – TurkeyUs reminiscing the good ol’ day of Smyrna.
The first reason why I visited Izmir Agora with my friends was that we were interested to the fact that Izmir was once called Smyrna back when it was considered as one of the Greek city-states.
We were keen to visit agora because we found out that the ruined of agora or central public place was actually not so far from Kemeralti. So when Abul and Hendrik paid a visit to Izmir from Istanbul, we decided to visit Agora just to see how it is.
Lots of expectation as we’ve been to Ephesus. Our mistake was to expect too much, because when we went there, the place was rather boring.
We were probably the only people visiting Agora that day. And as long as I remember, we only sat and chilled in one area as the other areas were either boring or just too hot. 🙁
7. The Symphony of Lights – HongkongTsim Sha Tsui, NOT during the Symphony of Lights.
For anyone who’s planning to go to Hongkong and doing some research about what-to-do in the city, I’m sure you will find the Symphony of Lights on the list.
I mean, why not? It’s named as the ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’ by Guiness World Records. It literally holds the world record, so of course it must be worth to see it. So I did.
And when I did, I cringed because I can’t believe something like this could hold a world record. I low key think that the KLCC Lake Symphony Water Fountain was even more attractive than this.
I was so bummed with the situation, I had to ask the girl beside me whether it was the show already when it happened.
Why? Because I felt like it was the kind of laser show that my cats would get excited about. But not me, because I wasn’t even the one holding the laser. Basically.
So yeah, I know I’m just being a bitch to rant about this. But then it’s just a reminder for you fellow travelers not to expect too much about the place you visit next to avoid this kind of disappointment.
Despite everything though, I think to get there once and disappointed is probably better than never been there at all.
But well, what about you? Have you ever visited a tourist attraction that kind of disappointed you? Where was it and why was it cringeworthy?
Drop your comment below and cheerio! 😀
25 thoughts on “7 Cringeworthy Tourist Attractions That I’ve Ever Visited”
Love your writing style!
hi andrea, thank you so much for dropping by to read it. 😀
it is one of my dream land. very beautiful picture thank you for sharing. lovely post
I love these honest looks at popular tourist attractions – and I tend to trust bloggers over most! We went to the Madam Tussauds in London and was very underwhelmed so I know where you’re coming from Marya!
i know, right? i mean sure the places are acceptable at some point, but some can be boring as well. like madam tussauds. 😛
Haha some funny and unfortunate experiences! I can totally relate to your Turkey beach story as sometimes my expectations exceed the reality. How gross about the smell of piss at Kanbawzathadi Palace though haha!
seriously though, kanbawzathadi palace kind of disappoints me big time. not to mention that at some point, so many young couple think that it is the right place to actually get some funny business there somewhere around the corner. lol.
Really liked the way you explained your point of view. Enjoyed the article.
thank you. 🙂
Loved the honest, no-nonsense approach to some of the over-hyped places.
i suppose someone gotta do it. :p
Congratulations! You’re officially a travel snob! And I mean that in the most sincere kind of way as I totally get it. Sometimes, you go somewhere and find the most amazing places that no one really mentioned, and it’s so uplifting and wonderful. Other times, the moment you mention you’re going somewhere, people recommend all the ‘must see’ places, which may be historic and popular, but in reality are just ‘meah’ when you actually see them yourself. At least you can say that you’ve ‘been there and done that” 🙂
hahaha. i know, right? i actually forgot to put ‘hoi an’ on the list, but anyway.. your comment actually inspired me to write about the place that no one has actually recommended but i found interesting despite the review for others. so thanks a lot jes! 😉
Ha, this made me laugh. Sometimes the hype of a place makes for a huge letdown. Thanks for sharing yours. I haven’t experienced any, but I will keep your reviews in mind for a more balanced viewpoint.
yesss, like you expect too much that when you see it, it’s just.. meeeeh. and yes, you should totally prepare the worst case scenario when you go somewhere. don’t believe everything you read on the internet. lol. 😛
Hahaha. I can understand why you found them cringeworthy. As a long-term traveler, I’ve learned to trust my guts when visiting places. It helps me manage my expectations, and it gives me the freedom to explore a place beyond the popular suggestions of other people. 🙂
yup, it’s so true.. sometimes you find a gem somewhere unexpectedly. and most of the time, it never made it into the headline on the internet. 😀
I haven’t been to any of these but can totally appreciate how they would just be…underwhelming! Although I was surprised you included Madame Tussard’s – not that I have ever been but I thought it would still be super cool! But maybe you are just right – you need someone else to be there to capture the photographs!
well, yeah.. for me it was rather boring, but i’m not so sure whether the vibes would be different should i got there with a company. but the ticket price was rather expensive, so i’m not sure whether i would consider to go there again even if i don’t have to go alone next time. 😛
It’s just like everything in life, the more hype something gets the harder it is to live up to the expectation. I don’t put expectations on anything I see or anywhere I go and I don’t go somewhere either just because others do. This keeps expectations in check. At the same time, people see things differently and travel for different reasons so I don’t worry about that either and just focus on what we do and what we want out of our travel and do it regardless of whether it is seen to be touristic or not.
i gotta agree with the part where you think it’s like everything in life when the more you expect something good out of it, the more disappointed you get when you don’t find it the same way. it’s true! 🙂
I’m totally with you, there are definitely sights which I think are overrated and rather meh when you finally see them! For example, I agree about the HK light show — the lights throughout the evening are so colourful, with many of them including immense moving images and patterns, that a few weak white laser lines coming out of the tops of some buildings really add almost nothing, even though they are in time with the music!
yes, i’m glad that i’m not the weird one on this. i mean, it’s worth to visit hk but hk light is nothing compared to the whole vibes that hk offers! 😀
Merlion, yeah, it’s just a statue. But the show in front of Marina Bay Sands is super cool. I can recommend going for the 8 PM show in front of the MBS and then for the 8:45 show in Gardens by the bay. Both are cool. But if you have to choose – first one is definitely better. But merlion is just a merlion, haha.
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