In defence of touristy places

tourist spots i love - in defence of touristy spots

While I suspect I may lose some cred for admitting to adoring all these destinations, I don’t care. I love them anyway.

Hoi An

Hoi An - one of my favourite touristy hotspots - NZMuse

Basically the definition of a tourist town. Were it not for tourism, I’m not sure it would exist. It’s colourful, with fantastic food, a little bit of a time warp in the middle of the country.  As I wrote last year: “It’s all a show, really, but it doesn’t make it any less magical.”

Halong Bay

Halong Bay - one of my favourite touristy hotspots - NZMuse

Yup, another Vietnamese spot!  I had heard negative things about the rubbish and pollution in the waters here, but it was surprisingly clean overall (note that we went during low season). This is a World Heritage site that will leave you feeling humbled and awed.


Santorini - one of my favourite touristy hotspots - NZMuse

The light here is like nothing else. Eat, drink, swim – try to hit the black, red AND white beaches – and be merry. Quite possibly the most romantic spot we visited. Fairly affordable, too.


Venice - one of my favourite touristy spots - NZMuse

I was prepared for the worst – smelly, grotty, humid canals. But there was absolutely zero stench and while it was rather sweltering in August, I looooved the tiny alleyways, the gelato, and our overpriced gondola ride. ALL OF IT.


Queenstown - one of my favourite touristy spots - NZMuse

Picture-perfect, even if it does get bloody cold down there. (The razor-like winds will cut you almost as deep as Iceland’s gusts.)


10 thoughts on “In defence of touristy places

  • Reply Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) July 2, 2014 at 04:33

    I admit, I really did not like Hoi An at all, but I have enjoyed my fair share of touristy places on our adventure. In particular, I LOVED Pai in Thailand, a hippy dippy mountain town that is about as un-Thai as you can possibly get. But the countryside was beautiful, I enjoyed one of the best burgers we had on our entire trip, and pretty much walked around during our 2 weeks there with a perpetual smile.

    I figure touristy places tend to be touristy for a reason. It may not always be a reason I personally respond to, but if places like Venice or Santorini were horrible and had no inherent charms, then people probably wouldn’t flock there!

  • Reply Hannah Wasielewski July 2, 2014 at 06:16

    There’s usually a reason tourist places are so touristy, because they’re beautiful! I can only remember one time I didn’t like a touristy place in Peru on Lake Titicaca, mainly because it was artificial. All these places look amazing!

  • Reply Nicola July 2, 2014 at 06:25

    Venice and Santorini are on my lists of places I want to visit; they look beautiful in pictures!

  • Reply Addison @ Cashville Skyline July 2, 2014 at 07:01

    Touristy places are definitely worth visiting at least once, right? I absolutely loved Rome and wandering around the city at night. I recall walking around a corner, finding the Trevi Fountain on the other side, and it absolutely took my breath away.

  • Reply Jessica Moorhouse July 2, 2014 at 08:19

    I so want to go to Venice. I don’t care if it’s cheesy tourist, but I’ve always wanted to go on a gondola!

  • Reply Suki F July 2, 2014 at 12:44

    I love going off the beaten path but there is a reason why those places became touristy, so I also like to visit them.

  • Reply Genie July 2, 2014 at 16:58

    I’ve been warned of certain touristy places so usually I plan it so that we only spend a few days there to see some of the sights before moving on. I wouldn’t avoid touristy places completely though. The experiences of one person might not be your experience at all.

    One place we were warned not to go to what Ko Samui. We planned 1 night there and were glad we didn’t stay any longer. After being talked into going to a time share demonstration and talking our way out (no, we don’t have $3000 to give you) we ate some overpriced food and drank overpriced beers and went to bed.

    • Reply eemusings July 2, 2014 at 20:51

      I’m so glad for travel blogs, because I absolutely did not want to go to a party / touristy island in Thailand – I found out about Koh Lanta through other blogs and it was just perfect.

  • Reply The Asian Pear July 6, 2014 at 11:27

    I really want to visit Halong Bay one day but I fear I’d melt. But I do love how picturesque it is…

  • Reply Pira July 17, 2014 at 03:23

    Cannot wait to visit Queenstown! I’m doing my research for a big NZ trip and would love your recommendations. 🙂 Will shoot you an email.

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