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Over-rated Tourist Attractions

World's most over-rated ancient and historical sites

Sep 21, 2009

1. Stonehenge, UK : Famous for its astonishingly huge stones. The summer solstice ceremony held by druids and New Agers confirm it as a cathedral to mystical paganism.

Reality: Tourists can’t touch the stones, can’t walk inside the area, can’t wander about its space and have to pay an entrance fee to see it.

2. Petra in Jordan : It rises out of rose-red sandstone in a hidden valley. Firmly featuring on the itinerary of every traveller to the Middle East since the days of the Grand Tour, Petra is one of the most visited sites in the Middle East.

Reality: The tourism village that has grown up around Petra now threatens to outsize the ancient city itself.

3. Colosseum in Rome, Italy : A breathtaking sight for tourists.

Reality: The sight is often crowded and usually has long queues. The entire building is a traffic roundabout and the interior is too precious to host concerts. Then, there is the danger of tourists falling victim to pickpockets.

4. Machu Picchu in Peru : It is South America’s most-promoted destination. It has held the top spot for travellers eager to see the majesty of the Inca for several years.

Reality: The journey to Machu Picchu is not pleasant, and the entrance fee has risen to more than 25 pounds.

5. Angkor in Cambodia : It boasts of some of the most jaw-dropping Buddhist monuments in Southeast Asia. The dozens of spectacular temples here are crowned by the peerless Angkor Wat - the site’s largest monument - in a memorably atmospheric setting among gnarled jungles and glass-like paddy fields.

Reality: There’s no escaping the crowds here. The days when Angkor was a remote and challenging destination are sadly long gone. The temples are now firmly on the international sightseeing circuit, making it hard to appreciate their majestic architecture and profound religious significance in anything approaching peace and quiet.

World's most over-rated ancient and historical sites
Stonehenge, UK / Image via


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