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How to know when a place is overrated?

This morning I was looking through vacation destinations and I saw a Groupon for Machu Picchu. Nothing tells me more that a place is going to be overrun with tourists or is on track to be overrated very soon … than seeing a Groupon for it. There is something very liberating about being able to take a packaged, “no-risk”, sanitized trip … it’s great for those super risk averse people.
MP

If you see any of the following below, the place is going to be over soon

  • I think that once you see American reality celebs talking about a place, it’s going to be done pretty quickly.
  • American chain restaurants like Margaritaville … over!
  • Starbucks … over!
  • Packs of cruise ship visitors or junkets … over!
  • If you can buy a T-Shirt with the following syntax
    “I Went to <insert place> and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt.”
  • The entire place has Wi-Fi … over!
  • Kelly Ripa mentioned it on her stupid American morning show … super over!

There are also different opinions on overrated destinations. For instance, there is another post about Reddit’s most overrated places in the world. Personally, I’ve visited all of these places and I’ll give my own commentary on each one.

  1. Casablanca
    The only reason I visited Casablanca was to head over to Rick’s Cafe. Seeing the Hassan II mosque redefined ridiculous for me. It’s a phenomenal artificial structure built on reclaimed land. Outside of visiting the mosque while walking through the slums around it and visiting Rick’s Cafe … there was nothing else memorable about Casablanca.  Completely agree with the article on this one.

  2. Malè, Maldives
    I was able to see all of Male in about 90 mins. There’s not much there … period. It’s ridiculously overcrowded, there is precious little to do except see a mosque and be in traffic around town. However, with global warming … The Maldives wont be here about 50-60 years in the future, so visit now. I didn’t think the town was a shithole, but I definitely couldn’t spend more than 4 hours there. I’ll agree with the article.

  3. Jamaica
    I hate washing an entire island with overrated. I do not think that Jamaica is overrated. I do think that the hospitality, service and experiences packaged for tourists are completely overrated. I cannot think of another island in the Caribbean that has been destroyed more by external influences than Jamaica. Tourism has completely spoiled this island. As a vacation destination for white tourists, Jamaica is completely overrated and there is no place that I push away from than than Jamaica.I’m thankful that as a Trinidadian, they don’t ask me for tips. Jamaicans know which tree to bark at.
    1000% overrated!!

    Outside of resorts and all inclusives … there is nothing else for the average tourist. I wouldn’t recommend any Jamaican all inclusive.
  4. The Great Pyramids, Cairo, Egypt
    Have not visited and I will absolutely visit them. I won’t spend the time I thought I would when I first read about them when I was 8 years old. Just because someone said something is overrated, won’t stop me from making my own judgment. That being said, I am aware of the “Jamaican” forwardness for tips and sales.
  5. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
    For me, it is such an hyped tourist destination, and when you get there, all you think was “I thought I was better than that”.  What’s funny, is that the thing is an epic fail of engineering and who really needs to see an engineering disaster? After you’ve taken the obligatory photos “pushing over” the tower (and accidentally photo-bombed the background of many strangers’ photos), there’s not much to do here except be hounded by the many hawkers who patrol the area. The bad part of this, is that it’s a long journey, especially if you’re coming all the way from Rome, just to see that the tower does, in fact, live up to its name. Agreed on the overrated note!
  6. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, US
    I always thought it was bigger. Like most things in the USA, it’s completely overrated and blown out of proportion.
    Mount-Rushmore
  7. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
    I can’t think of a single place that has had more hyped and is such a colossal bore and example of overhype than Stonehenge. It’s BRUTAL on how overrated this place is. Getting to Stonehenge isn’t a problem, it’s only once you’re there that you have the problem. Don’t be fooled by all those wonderful pictures you see of Stonehenge in books, travel brochures and magazines. You know those pictures that make the place look like something out of Lord of the Rings, yeah those pictures that manage to catch the stones bathed in a splash of sunshine and framed by puffy white clouds. England is rainy and cloudy … that’s what it looks like in real life.
  8.  Daytona Beach, Florida, US
    Why people would actually rave about a beach in Florida is beyond me. If you happen to live in Florida, then I have no problem with you going to the beach. Scotland and Ireland have beaches, yet we don’t talk about them. Iceland has beaches, yet we don’t talk about them. In fact, those beaches are nicer than the tripe that people are fed by destination agents about Florida. There are NO good beaches in Florida. If there is a nice one, chances are some billionaire bought the entire thing. Completely overrated.
  9. Pompeii, Italy
    When I went, I was so excited about going Pompeii and it didn’t disappoint! The first thing I noticed was that Pompeii was much bigger than I thought it would be. One has a certain image of what a place like would seem like, and while my image was consistent with my readings and exposure, the overall scale of the place was definitely different. If the place is crawling with tourists, then go in the offseason or when there aren’t any cruise ships in Rome. I didn’t agree with the article … it’s not overrated at all.

  10. Gibraltar
    I don’t see what the fuss is about. Gibraltar has never claimed to be the hotspot of everything. Anyone who would spend a week or so in Gibraltar should have their head examined. Some places aren’t overrated bur rather a example of tourist/visitor failures to research properly. I had a great time in the 24 hours that I was in Gibraltar for. Not overrated for a day or two … anymore than a day, the fail is on you.

    I even met my soul monkey over there!
  11. Sentosa Beaches, Singapore
    I loved my time in Singapore. It was all about eating. I went on an epic food tour and I had a brilliant time.

    I agree that Sentosa is a bit overrated, but it’s just because there is so much goddamn humanity there. How can anyone truly enjoy this place? Sentosa is just one tiny part of Singapore. I lump this place as being one of the Daytona Beaches of Asia, because of the crowds, noise and the oil tankers in the distance. Reluctantly, I think I have to agree with the article.
  12. Naples, Italy.
    If you’ve been to Hamilton, Ontario, then you’ve been to Naples. The food is pretty good, of the little I had in 24 hours. I couldn’t get past the garbage that was all over the streets. In 2008, I went there in the middle of a garbage strike. 5 years later, the garbage strike was still going on. It’s completely sad and disgusting that an old city like this, with so much history is now defined by multiple garbage strikes. I did have one of the best sandwiches of my life in Naples though … Spicy Sausage, Brocolli Rabe and Garlic Rapini on Olive Ciabatta (of course, I declined the 1/2 lb of cheese they would have put on it).I would have had pictures of this amazing sandwich, but it was late in town and I didn’t want to be wandering with my cameras late at night.
  13. Andorra
    Super cute, super small. It’s not overrated if you’re looking to increase your country count. Completely overrated if you going to stay there for a week.
    Valley-town-Encamp-Andorra
  14. Marrakesh, Morocco
    I don’t know what crack the author of the article is smoking but I loved Marrakesh. I had a phenomenal time while I was there. Maybe it was the combination of meeting locals who wanted to show me the best of Marrakesh combined with visiting at the right time. I learned so much while I was there, plus I visited a local hammam, that has to be easily among the most authentic experiences I’ve had travelling.As for the sexism, I couldn’t speak directly about this, but does this really contribute to a place being overrated as much as a pervasive social issue in that part of the world? Completely DISAGREE with the article here.

  15. Athens, Greece
    This is another article fail. Does routine maintenance make an overrated experience … I don’t think so. Athens was excellent as a photographic destination. Food was good and while it was as hot as an oven, I enjoyed my time there and I wouldn’t hesitate in going back.

    Yes there was a lot of scaffolding at the Parthenon … but this is routine maintenance. I called hardcore bullshit on those who say Athens is overrated.
  16. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    This is another joke item used for filler in this article. Anyone who says that Vegas is overrated, is clearly delusional. Everyone can find something in Vegas. If you’re going to Vegas, expecting a scene out of the Hangover, then you’re going to be sadly disappointed, since we all don’t have half a mortgage to spend on that type of craziness. You absolutely cannot walk everywhere, if you had to walk around in Vegas, you’re obviously going to be walking around Paris or Montreal or Prague right? Don’t be an idiot and expect the red carpet everywhere else. Hence I absolutely disagree with the article here.

    Because you can walk and drink, you can order a 64oz alco-slushie with no problem
    Drinks at the tables .. dancing ladies are optional
    This is Jeff Koon’s 33 Million $USD steel sculpture at the Wynn!
    Here’s a gorgeous display at the Wynn.

 

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a PeopleSoft HRMS Project Manager and Oracle Solution Architect. Over the past 10+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 2 major consulting firms. He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]

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