All over the world, from good old California to Thailand, there are places that are just built to take your money. You know it, the people running the destinations know it, but guess what? You are going to go anyway.
You can't help it, the tourist traps on this list are just too hard to pass up. I mean everyone has been talking about them your entire life; you simply have to go. Some of them were actually really cool places at one point, but have now been ruined by too many tourists and the smell of the almighty buck. Others are just things that have been hyped way up, but when you go they are underwhelming to say the least.
Still though, you have to go so that when you get back from your vacation you can tell all your family and friends what you did, and put up the photos on Facebook. You can't help it really, you got tricked, that is why they call them tourist traps after all.
Here are the 15 Worst Tourist Traps in the World. See you at the line to get in.
Patpong was at one point an infamous red light district in Bangkok, where all sort of illegal things went on. Now it is sort of like a red light district Disneyland. You are way more likely to encounter a tourist from New Jersey with a fanny pack here then you are to see anything illegal go down, what remains in this area is just for show, as the real down and dirty stuff has moved to areas where tourists fear to tread.
Plymouth Rock is what the folks on the Mayflower first stepped on when they got off the boat. So if you want to take a long drive, and then fork out some cash, you can check out...wait for it... a rock. Pretty cool right? I am sure that it is way cooler than it sounds. I am sure that Native Americans are not quite as excited about the rock as the rest of us, since they didn't need a boat to get here.
The Space Needle is like the West Coast version of the Empire State Building except not nearly as cool, and that is saying something. Here you wait in line for hours, then pay 20 bucks to wait in another line for the elevator, then you ride the elevator, check out the view for a bit then ride the elevator back down. And actually I think I even made that sound a little more cool than it actually is.
Ireland is very cool and has a lot of cool places to visit. The Blarney Stone is not one of them. Basically it supposedly gives you the gift of gab to kiss the stone, so you wait in a long line, then have someone lower you down on your back so you can kiss a stone that has literally had millions of other people's lips on it. If this sounds like a good time to you then you are wrong, but still every day hordes of excited tourists descend on the Blarney stone for some odd reason.
Sure the Empire State building is cool, and yes it is quite an interesting piece of architecture. The problem is you are not the only person who knows this. The crowds here are ridiculous. Your lasting memory will not be a brief view that you glimpse through the top; it will be waiting for hours, and fighting through throngs of people to get to the top, most of whom will be from Iowa.
Yes, Niagara Falls is lovely, there is no doubt about that. Who can resist an amazing waterfall? But as with many natural wonders in this fine country of ours it has been taken over by cash. Cheesy hotels, third rate casinos, and tacky tourists are all over the place. The new slogan of Niagara Falls should be "come for the amazing view, stay to get a waffle cone and play the slots."
Salem is well known for being the area where the original witch trials were held and has a relatively cool vibe, as many New England cities do. While there are no witches to be found there these days, there are numerous female actresses that can't get a job in movies playing witches in bars and gift shops around town. The whole place is like Disneyland for the gothic set, and yes that is as lame as it sounds.
The pyramids are oh so cool. They really are, imagine traveling across the world to witness this amazing marvel, in a part of the world that is so desolate and beautiful. Now imagine going there and walking around the pyramids with about 5,000 other people, including all of their screaming babies and teens playing on their phones. Then imagine wondering why you came in the first place.
I get it. I really do. You are in New York, you have to go to Times Square. It would almost be a crime if you didn't. But the thing is, every single other tourist in New York is thinking the same thing. Times Square is pretty much filled with thousands of tourists every moment of the day, along with thousands of New Yorkers trying to get their money. All of which is pretty much the definition of a tourist trap.
Hey look everyone! It is a cool looking building that was constructed badly. But hey, it has not fallen down yet; isn't that the coolest thing ever? Oh I know, maybe you could pay all sorts of money to see it, then take a photo and put it on social media that looks like you are holding the building up! I swear you are the first person to ever think of this. It will be totally funny, I promise. This place just needs to fall down already.
The Forbidden City is on the exact opposite end of the spectrum than Plymouth Rock, in the sense that it truly is something to see. The place is formerly the home of all the emperors from the Ming dynasty and was closed to people from the outside for hundreds of years. Now it is a bit of a tourist trap, filled with thousands of people at all times walking around bumping into each other. It even had a Starbucks at one point.
Ah Graceland. There is nothing like a hardcore fan of Elvis Presley to make the rest of us feel sane. Yes he was a legend, and yes he died, but seriously who really cares all that much? People travel from all over the world to visit his old house. It costs around 30 bucks and there is pretty much nothing interesting about it at all. He lived here. We get it. So what? Does it make me a bad person that I don't care?
Roswell is like a museum for people that like UFOs and while that might sound fun, or funny at least, it misses the mark in pretty much every way. If you go to the place believing in aliens, you probably will change your mind after seeing all of the dusty old UFO displays they have going on in here. You might as well just take your money and throw it in a trash can before you wait in line and go in here.
Does Cancun have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Yes it totally does. Is it filled with tens of thousands of drunk frat boys? Yes it is. Are all the businesses in the area designed to take advantage of these drunk frat boys and everyone else that comes along? Yep. If you want to be taken advantage of and spend time in an area that is close to being ruined by tourism, then Cancun is the place for you.
Ah, the Walk of Fame. If you don't know what it is, then let me explain. There is a sidewalk of sorts. Engraved on this popular sidewalk are a bunch of stars. Featured on the stars are famous people's names. That is pretty much it. Except for the fact of course that surrounding the walk of fame are numerous businesses and street performers all trying to get your money. If this sounds good to you then congrats, you are the target market for all of the people that make money from tourists.