This word, over tourism has reared its ugly head once again. By now, you know all of the places I try to avoid, like China, cruise ships, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, you name it. Certain national parks fall into this category, like nearby Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and a few others.
I know it is totally unfair, since I have been to many of these places. All I ask is that you pick and choose wisely. The national parks belong to us, the people, and should be enjoyed.
Remember last spring in Walker Canyon (CA), heretofore a place nobody cared about? The golden poppies bloomed at once, creating a huge blanket of gold over the hillsides. But they had to close Walker Canyon for the hordes of people wanting to see this great phenomenon.
They had to close “train street” in Hanoi for overtourism, since it became rather dangerous. The pop up food stalls and retail kiosks move when the train comes by, and then return just as quickly. It is rather charming, but very dangerous. While we did not dine there, our moto bike drivers followed the route for several blocks. They say tourists have been killed or injured trying to take photos along the street.
Near and dear to us is Big Sur, crowded with too many road trippers and photogs. Can you believe this area draw over 5 million tourists annually? Traffic, litter, and air pollution threaten the pristine area.
The Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris is under constant threat of people, flash cameras, and selfies. Personally, I think they need to enclose it is a glass room, and have people view it from a distance of at least 20 feet. That said, I have been there numerous times, and it is inspiring! Over 10 million visitors annually have to take a gander.
Amsterdam is a big city on a small footprint. The area is one of the most popular cities in the world. Visitors place undue strain on the local residents and infrastructure. I think it is one of the most charming cities in the world, with great museums and culture. It would really be a shame to limit access. Only 1.6 million people visited Baikal, mostly Russian nationals. It was one of the highlights on my Trans Siberian Railway journey across Russia and Siberia.
I always wanted to visit Ayers Rock or Uluru in central Australia. But I understand both the environmental and cultural limits that have been placed on this natural wonder. While only 250,000 people make it here, it is probably 249,999 too many! It is sacred to the indigenous people of the area, and we should respect that.
Everest is a different animal. The climbs have become so commercial and border on the ridiculous. the amount of trash (11 tons were removed in 2019) on the mountain is outrageous. And so many have died. Yes, we saw it form the sky, so that was enough. About 800 people attempt to make the summit, and 40,000 make it to Base Camp. Eleven have died. Go ahead, leave me behind!
Personally, I think Venice stinks. And it is sinking and stinking, or the waters are rising. I strongly suggest staying away! Go to the klongs of Bangkok for a better experience, in my view.
I could add plenty of others, as above. Just be smart about where you go and what you do!
I do not understand why Lake Baikal would be on this list. Who is going to the hinterlands of Russia (other than me) to see this gem? Baikal is bigger than Israel, Albania, or Rwanda. It is the largest freshwater lake in the world, by volume. The lake freezes over in the winter, up to 5 feet in places. It is home to both freshwater dolphins and mythical monsters.