Dark Tourism On her great blog, historian Donna Seger discusses the phenomenon of Dark Tourism - a cultural trend responsible for the proliferation of ghost tours, vampire tours, and graveyard tours as well as interest in more historically serious places such as Holocaust sites, Civil War Battlefields, and even contemporary war zones. Also known in academia as thanatourism, its subcategories include fright tourism[PDF], disaster tourism, morbid tourism, and grief tourism. [more inside]
Once you've tried all the usual poses with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can use other posing tourists as your props.
In "An Edwardian Package Holiday," Kirsty Hooper mentions the role that "lively representations" in illustrated travel books such as Spain Revisited: A Summer Holiday in Galicia and A Corner of Spain played in promoting northwest Spain to British tourists (more here). Many other richly illustrated travel books from the same period are available online, perhaps most notably the "Beautiful England" and "Beautiful Ireland" series published by Blackie & Son and the wide variety of titles published by A & C Black. [more inside]
Kidlington is a quiet little suburb in Oxfordshire, England. Well, it was quiet until tourists mysteriously started showing up for no reason.
Do You Speak Touriste? [PDF, 3 MB, in French] and the accompanying website is the Parisian tourism board's guide for workers in the Parisian tourism sector on traveler preferences from 17 different countries on subjects such as their habits, preferences for transportation, views on quality and price, dining times and specific cultural tics -- for instance, the fact that Americans "are hoping to have fun and not limit themselves"* or that the Japanese "won't complain about anything immediately, at least until they return home."** [more inside]
In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole. Tunis does not rock the casbah. Barcelona is a gin and tonic town. Maps are worthless in Ulaanbaatar. Altitude is a bastard in Ganzi. Eating local in Hargeisa means devouring "a metric shit-ton of gamey, tough, and greasy camel meat." And nothing can prepare you for platzkart on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad. These are some of the many things you can learn from Roads and Kingdoms' regular feature, Know Before You Go.
The Delights and Perils of Navigating New York City with a Guidebook from 1899, in which Luke Spencer at Atlas Obscura spends a weekend with the 1899 Baedeker guide to NYC.
An unusual rock formation in Chattanooga appears perilously balanced; but more than thirty people can stand on its top at one time. It's called Umbrella Rock. In one of the earliest picture of Umbrella Rock is of soldiers taken in 1863. Today, of course, it looks different. [more inside]
Scott Waters is a 66 year old American, artist, photographer and ex-Apple Computer employee. He recently took a trip in England (Portreath, Redruth, Wadebridge, Padstow, Ashby de la Zouch, Little Eton, and Oxford) and listed his observations on Facebook. It went viral; coverage in Cosmopolitan, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, and the Metro. Naturally, some people disagree. [more inside]
Just an hour North of NYC there's a nice little hike to be had up the Timp-Torne Trail to the top of Dunderberg Mountain. This is the best way to view the remains of the Dunderberg Spiral Railway. [more inside]
Consider an arthouse, darker, noir version of Men in Black with secretive alien refugees trapped in Manhattan, tentacle sex and concept art by H. R. Giger. Clair Noto's The Tourist could have been transformed into a great movie in the right hands. Instead, it has languished in permanent development hell since the 1980's. Some call it "the greatest scifi screenplay never produced" (Article, part 1 and 2.) Decide for yourself and read Noto's original screenplay. [more inside]
These cats are the "image characters" (mascots) for Jalan, a travel site in Japan. Stars of many adverts, the older cat is "Nyalan" ("nya" is "meow" in Japanese), and his apprentice is "Deshi." They also have their "own" Twitter account and more pictures are on the Jalan Facebook profile. And yet more pictures.
Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York." And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart." Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book, published in 1920. [more inside]
For eight hours a day to Oct. 13, Facebook and Twitter users can log on to the Melbourne Remote Control Tourist website and "control" two volunteer explorers with helmet-mounted streaming video cameras. Users can check out the explorers' Instagram feeds, track their locations using Google Maps or FourSquare and ask them (via a tweet or Facebook) to visit certain places, check things out or even sing a song. via adage [more inside]
Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips (slyt)
Drawn The Road Again, artist Chandler O'Leary's "illustrated road trip blog."
I’ve logged a lot of miles in my life, visiting as many patches of earth as possible and getting as much down on paper as I can. And for the first time, I’m putting these sketches out into the world. So here we are: I’ve collected all my drawings of crazy tourist traps and Paul Bunyan statues and hidden gems and panoramic vistas, and I’m sending them out like postcards. To you.[more inside]
An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
"To the world of today the men of medieval Christendom already seem remote and unfamiliar. Their names and deeds are recorded in our history-books, their monuments still adorn our cities, but our kinship with them is a thing unreal, which costs an effort of imagination. How much more must this apply to the great Islamic civilization, that stood over against medieval Europe, menacing its existence and yet linked to it by a hundred ties that even war and fear could not sever. Its monuments too abide, for those who may have the fortunate to visit them, but its men and manners are to most of us utterly unknown, or dimly conceived in the romantic image of the Arabian Nights. Even for the specialist it is difficult to reconstruct their lives and see them as they were. Histories and biographies there are in quantity, but the historians for all their picturesque details, seldom show the ability to select the essential and to give their figures that touch of the intimate which makes them live again for the reader. It is in this faculty that Ibn Battuta excels." Thus begins the book, "Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354" published by Routledge and Kegan Paul. Step into the world of "the first tourist" who made his mark as the world's greatest traveler before the age of steam. [more inside]
Sarah Brightman, multi-million selling singer, actress and songwriter, has taken her medical and will soon start training to become the 7th or 8th 'Space Tourist', visiting the ISS in 2015. [more inside]
Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn of the Dark is now taking pictures of its audiences, and posting them to Facebook so you can tag yourself watching a Broadway show.
"Of the many pieces of advice proffered, four of the most common are: eat with your fingers (sometimes), arrive on time (always), don't drink and drive (they take it seriously here!), and be careful about talking politics (unless you've got some time to spare)." Advice from the tourism guidebooks for foreign visitors to the United States.
The Korean DMZ (pdf) / PLZ has been a hot tourist attraction for years, featuring must-see sites like the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, the Dora Mountain Train Station, the Freedom Bridge and the Imjingak Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth, -- will be patrolled by killer robots. [more inside]
Photos from North Korea. Photographs from a 2 week long trip to North Korea by photographer Eric Lafforgue.
Charles Phoenix's Disneyland Tour of Downtown Los Angeles... featuring Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Feel like taking your own walking tour of Downtown? Here you go. But hey, why not stop and gorge yourself on a giant pancake breakfast at The Pantry first, just because? Open 24 hours a day, it hasn't closed since 1924 so the doors don't even have locks. Just like Disneyland!
Nothing To See Here A guide to "some of the world's lesser-signposted places to go - attractions that may not be all that attractive; coastal towns they forgot to close down; high streets that haven't been homogenised; oddities and one-offs."
Michael Hughes takes cheap souvenirs, and then takes photographs with them superimposed over the real thing. A Flickr photo set.
via Wired's Table of Malcontents
via Wired's Table of Malcontents
NFT (not for tourists) has relaunched their web site. Their city guide books are excellent and they offer free city guides in PDF format (editorializing inside).
Life Goes On: Just as curbing rampant capitalism in post-9/11 America is letting the terrorists win, I guess canceling vacations to Indonesia would be to let the tsunami win... [via Geisha asobi blog]
1001 Things To Hate About The Convention. Funny, and exhaustive, stuff from New York Press.
How to Walk of Japan. Strange tourist attractions - some NSFW.
Project: Shutterbug. Taking pictures of tourists taking pictures. It's a small collection right now, but maybe you can help it grow. From the Hungover Gourmet.