Because the world is such a vast place, there are plenty of places to explore. But some locations are perceived as better than others due to the reputation they get from passing tourists. Whether it’s a famous monument or a large city, the more positive tourists feel about the place the more will show up. Yet it all starts with getting the tourists to come first, and that’s traditionally done through advertising by travel agencies or websites created by the local government of the place-in-question. Though in the Internet age, tourists have now become the advertisers by placing pictures of the places they visit on social networking websites while expressing their opinions of the place.
This in turn catches the viewer's’ attention more readily than any travel agency which requires making an appointment going through brochures and so forth. However, promoting a place through social networks can work both ways. It can either promote the location positively or negatively depending on the tourists’ personal opinion (which can be biased) and the pictures they take. Because we believe these are real people, we’re willing to take their word over a travel agent’s since their whole job revolves around getting people to places for the sake of profit without having to necessarily be honest with them. So here are some pictures from some popular destinations around the world that have been spoiled due to the images people have produced from them.
25 Olympic National Park - Lots of Driftwood
When thinking about the state of Washington, one typically pictures damp forests cool weather and rocky beaches. Yet here at the famous Olympic National Park coastline, we see an entire beach littered with driftwood which is huge compared to the various people that are scattered about in colorful raincoats.
So where did it all come from?
Well, it turns out this is something that naturally occurs along the shores of this area since the waves are so intense due to the frequent storms which pass through causing many trees to get uprooted along the shore and come back as driftwood.
24 Retiro Park - Blocked by Bikes
Also known as Buen Retiro Park (Park of the Pleasant Retreat in English), this is one of the more famous places to go to in Madrid, Spain, due to its amazing architecture and pristine lake. Ironically, this park was originally owned by Spain’s former monarchy before becoming a public place in the 1800s.
Today, we see the unfortunate result of that decision as this picture clearly shows a lot of people occupying the park near the lion statues.
Also, there are a lot of bikes present with two standing closest to the camera preventing us from admiring the lake’s beauty.
23 Milan - Kind of Sketchy
One of the more famous cities in Italy, Milan used to be the capital city of the Western Roman Empire (which was established around the same time as the Byzantine Empire) before becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire after that.
Nowadays, it’s known for being a center of art and fashion due to various events and artworks created by Leonardo da Vinci (who lived in Milan during his early years) that are housed here.
Though judging by the graffiti on the closed shop doors and the litter on the streets, one wouldn’t think this is Milan but it is.
22 Spanish Steps - Awkward Group Photo
If the previous picture may have seemed like a bad coincidence on the photographer’s part, then this one is doubly unfortunate. Taken at the Spanish Steps, which are located in the city of Rome, Italy, between the Piazza di Spagna Square and the church known as Trinità dei Monti, we see thousands of people pouring down the ancient steps from the church to the fountain in the square as clear water pours out.
Considering these steps were made back in the 1700s, it’s amazing that they’ve lasted so long especially when they’re burdened by so many people standing awkwardly together.
21 Charles Bridge - Crowded
Located in Prague, Czech Republic, this bridge dates back to the Early Middle Ages and is named after Charles IV of Bohemia who became the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Because it connects Prague’s Old Town settlement and the famous Prague Castle, there’s naturally going to be a lot of people on it as this picture shows with a few kiosks set up along the edges near the statues that are visible further down.
Religious in nature, it’s an ironic contrast to see these statues next to a kiosk showcasing pictures of what appear to be famous celebrities.
20 Bangaru Tirupathi - Unkempt Temple
While there are a variety of temples in India, some are more famous than others. This one, though, is not and yet it’s modeled after the Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh in terms of architecture.
But as we can clearly see in this picture, the temple has seen better days given the lack of people around and the murkiness of the water in front of the temple steps.
Even the faded paint on the temple’s main structure shows a lack of proper upkeep, which is unfortunate due to the historical significance of these places no matter how minor they are.
19 New York-New York Hotel & Casino - Not as Thrilling as It Seems
Of the various casinos that exist in Las Vegas, Nevada, this one’s definitely one of the most visually recognizable as it replicates the New York City skyline including famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty.
To top it off, there’s a rollercoaster that weaves its way through these various structures in a series of twisty turns and loops.
Despite being advertised as a way for people to experience New York City without actually going there, this picture screams blatant tourist trap given the kinds of people that are going to and fro from the casino’s entrance.
18 Cairo - Can’t See The Pyramids
When most people think of Cairo, Egypt, they’re not thinking about the city so much as the Giza Pyramids. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World, they are considerably the oldest and greatest structures ever built by man despite being nothing more than glorified tombs for the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Yet like many modern cities such as Los Angeles, Cairo is plagued by a heavy amount of air pollution which is so bad in this picture that the pyramids are practically invisible.
By contrast, the modern buildings of Cairo stand out more including a partially constructed one close by.
17 Boracay Island - Major Sewage Problem
Located in the Philippines, the small island is known around the world for being a popular tourist spot due to its pristine white beaches.
Yet this picture shows a completely different story, as we see children digging around a dirty looking sewer while someone in the distance is pouring water a few feet from the shore which has a strange discoloration (though it could be the lighting).
So what’s going on in this so-called paradise? Well, apparently, the sewage system on this island was completely broken leading to a temporary closure early this year which seems to be fixed.
16 Mount Takao - A Bit Confusing
While most people know Japan’s famous Mount Fuji, this mountain is apparently popular among hikers. With that said, though, this picture is a bit odd to look at. First of all, the trail is mostly empty with only one other person seen walking further ahead.
Though the posts on either side are a nice touch, it’s hard to tell where the trail ends.
Even the sign on the left is too blurry to get a sense of where one is in relation to the entire trail, though that could be a mixture of bad lighting and the photographer’s awkward angle.
15 Arrecife - Not the Best View
Of the various Canary Islands which are governed by Spain despite being near the West African coast, Lanzarote is a favorite among tourists due to its volcanic landscape and warm weather which lasts all year long.
Yet this shot of a beautiful sunset along the coast near the capital city of Arrecife with the waves crashing along the shore and some volcanic-looking mountains standing in the distance is ruined by the cement post on the right that’s covered in chipped white paint.
Also, the buildings further down the coast are a bit underwhelming due to how small they look.
14 Niagara Falls - Get Out of The Way
One of the most recognizable places in the world, Niagara Falls rests on the border between New York State and Ontario, Canada.
Thousands of tourists flock to this place every year to either take pictures of it from afar or up close on one of the many tour boats that are available.
But now a new thing has entered the picture, which is zip-lining. Set up close to the Niagara Falls, it allows people to swing by and see the entirety of it from the air though at the cost of getting a good view as this picture shows.
13 Shilin Night Market - Nighttime Drag
While traveling through Taiwan, many people like to visit the Shilin Night Market (also spelled Shihlin). A tightly knit hub of food courts and other forms of entertainment like movie theaters and karaoke bars, it’s become a popular destination for tourists following the construction of a rail-line in recent years that has made the market more easily accessible.
But as this picture demonstrates, it’s clearly gotten a bit too crowded and uncomfortably so as seen by the guy in the black T-shirt who’s covering his face up (though he probably just doesn’t want to be in the picture).
12 La Rambla - Not Very Interesting
For centuries, this street in Barcelona, Spain, that currently connects the Plaça de Catalunya Square to Port Vell where the Christopher Columbus Monument stands was a center for various festivals and markets creating a unique sense of character overtime.
Though due to the large number of tourists that have flocked to the area, it’s become less distinct and more typical of any street in any major city which this picture represents perfectly.
Bordered by trees that were planted in the 1800s, we see people going up and down the street while some look at the different kiosks on both sides.
11 Sacré-Coeur - Unromantic
Like many places in Paris, France, this domed church is marveled for its architecture as well as its history. It’s also apparently become a popular place for couples to go to, as it is known for being religiously dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Yet here in this picture, we see all kinds of people walking on the stairs leaning against the rails at the top and standing around the outside of the church itself.
This is all while statues of Jesus stand near the bottom of the stairs and in the church’s facade which towers above everyone forebodingly.
10 Taj Mahal - Not So Special
Declared as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, this place is not only widely recognized but it’s also popular among tourists the world over. A sacred monument, it was commissioned by a Mughal Emperor during the 1600s in India to house the remains of his departed wife (who was one of many though this woman was his favorite) with several additions made in the following years.
Though given the large numbers of people walking along the pathways and in front of the main building, plus the guy’s flat expression, the whole thing seems less special.
9 Keswick - Packed Like Sardines
Just north of London, this little lakeside town resides. While there’s not a lot of people living here, the place has been a popular place for tourists to head up to during the holidays since the 1700s which serves as its main income.
Apart from several noteworthy landmarks such as Moot Hall and the Theater by the Lake, there are also outdoor concerts and boat rides available. But as we see here from the perspective of someone on a boat ride, it’s pretty packed with lots of people crammed together including a couple of young kids that are partially visible.
8 Times Square - Billboard Central
Of all the various places to go to in New York City, this place is certainly one of the most iconic. It’s appeared in several pictures, including the famous V-Day kiss one, and movies including Jason Takes Manhattan as well as the Ghostbusters remake.
Also, it is where the famous glowing ball drops on New Year’s Eve to signify the new year.
But for all the hype it gets, the place is nothing more than a busy intersection with lots of cars driving through people walking by and electronic billboards that are plastered everywhere which this picture perfectly encapsulates.
7 Shibuya Crossing - Want to Walk Through That?
If Times Square looks overwhelming, then it’s got nothing on Shibuya Crossing. Located in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, Japan, this intersection of roads is made up of several pedestrian crossings which intersect one another outside of the nearby railway station while television screens are mounted on three different sides (one of which is visible in this picture) and multiple billboards.
Like Times Square, though, this place has also appeared in lots of movies notably Tokyo Drift and two Resident Evil films. With that said, this place seems like something to watch from afar but not be a part of.
6 Great Wall of China - How Is That Holding Them Up?
Another one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this ancient barrier which served to protect China from northern invaders (though it wasn’t always effective) has now been recognized as one of the most impressive feats of architecture in history.
Though given the multitude of tourists we see walking along the wall in this picture, it’s amazing that the wall has held up for this long.
Yet recent reports claim that for years now, the wall has actually been shrinking due to the lack of repairs on certain sections while the remaining areas have been renovated using modern materials.
5 Venice - Too Many People to Handle
Like Paris, France, Venice has garnered a reputation as being a romantic city due to its various canals and partially submerged buildings due to the land sinking beneath it.
Yet as more tourists flock to this city every year, it’s gotten ridiculously crowded as this picture shows.
Apart from the obvious crowds near the foreground and background, there are also lots of tour boats parked along the pier while the other side has outdoor seating for restaurants. Plus, there’s even a large kiosk selling clothes near one of the restaurants which just shows how tourist-oriented this place has become.
4 Puerto Rico - Pretty Deserted
Though Britain was known for colonizing many places around the world, America did its fair share of that too. Enter Puerto Rico, a territory that’s still owned by the United States yet it’s not an official state like Hawaii (which had a similar history).
For many years, it was a popular place for tourists to go due to its tropical location yet as we see in this picture there’s hardly anyone around except for the two people walking further ahead. The main reason is that a lot of people are migrating elsewhere, since the territory has a large debt problem.
3 Bishkek - Cold and Lonely
While it’s not well-known compared to other cities in the world, Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan and the country’s largest city. What it lacks in tourists it made up for in history, as it was once a fortress that controlled various trading routes. So it’s only natural that travelers today would be passing through Bishkek, such as cyclists and wanderers.
But given it’s in the northern part of Kyrgyzstan, the temperatures are naturally pretty low as we can see by this picture which was taken during winter and not the romantic kind due to the lack of people.
2 Green Lake - Evaporated Away
Not to be confused with the neighborhood of the same name in Seattle, Washington, this freshwater lake is located in Hawaii though particularly on Big Island. It is known for being the biggest in the whole state, yet as we see here in this picture the lake is drying up with billowing smoke coming from the right side.
The cause of this was a volcanic eruption that occurred earlier this year, which made Green Lake evaporate completely due to lava flowing into it.
Now the lake is no more much to the dismay of the entire state and its people.
1 Dome - Profit Over Tragedy
Also known as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, it serves as a reminder of what happened to the city at the end of WWII when the first disaster dropped. Though it was at the center of the explosion, the building’s main structure survived.
Since then, it’s remained part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which is visited by tourists the world over as seen in this picture. The combination of sunlight and the casualness of the onlookers has a strange but unnerving diminishment of the tragedy itself in the face of the modern cynical world of capitalism.
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