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Top Traveler Fails That Are Trending On Reddit

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Have you ever taken that bucket list trip only to discover that your sought-after destination or attraction doesn't quite live up to the hype? If you have, you're definitely not alone.

To shed some scars from their recent traveler fails, people across the globe have taken to Reddit to recount their stories of underwhelming travel experiences. Whether the aesthetic didn't quite fit that viral picture they saw on Instagram or the swarms of tourists completely ruined the experience, there was a traveler fail worth venting about. 

From rice fields in Southeast Asia to waterfalls that seem to underwhelm tourists, here are some of our top choices from the traveler fails and disappointments subreddit.

A lot of tourists near famous Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy. Crowds of people are taking pictures and selfies in front of fountain di Trevi, one of the main attractions in Rome.

1. Tegalalang Rice Terrace

We've all seen it (at least on Instagram); those luscious rice fields that seem to sprawl for days on the idyllic island of Bali. One Redditor posted about how her experience seeing this wonder was actually a complete bust.

“Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Bali. I'd seen photos of these lush, terraced rice fields in Ubud and I couldn't wait to visit. They were incredibly beautiful but I wasn't prepared for how the whole area was basically staged to be Instagrammed. There were heart-shaped chairs dressed up like bird nests and swings set up over the rice terraces, all staged for the perfect photo and available for a fee. All of this made the otherwise gorgeous landscape feel fake and overdone.”

Tegalalang Rice Terrace at sunrice. The rice fields are a big tourist attraction in Bali situated 20 minutes from Ubud

2. Antelope Canyon

Is it possible to move past the swarms of tourists to really appreciate a natural wonder? This one Redditor seemed to disagree when they visited Arizona's famous Antelope Canyon.

“Antelope Canyon. You've probably seen the iconic images. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty cool but it was waaaaay more touristy than I expected. I guess I was being naive. As soon as I got down into the canyon, I couldn't wait for the tour to end.”


3. Rainbow Mountain

Spoiler alert, it's not really a rainbow. This Redditor posted about their experience at one of Peru's most famous attractions.

“Visiting Rainbow Mountain in Peru. It was the first time I realized just how much some photos on Google are actually photoshopped.”

tourists walking Rainbow Mountain in Peru

4. Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt is a huge bucket list item, but some travelers just aren't having it.

“Visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza. This might be harsh but the swarm of aggressive market vendors surrounding the pyramids makes visiting this site a bit of a nightmare. One woman in our tour group asked a guard to take her photo and he refused to return her phone unless she paid him. The whole time, we were yelled at and haggled into buying headscarves and assorted souvenirs, which ruined my experience. I spent months looking forward to the trip and felt so disappointed.”

pyramid of giza

5. Trevi Fountain

Iconic? Yes. Super busy all the time? Also yes. Is this just the inevitability of some of the world's notorious attractions? This seems to be the case for the Trevi Fountain in Rome, as one Redditor shared on the traveler fails thread.

“The Trevi Fountain. It looks nothing like it does in the movies. It’s small and literally down an alleyway…but hey, at least you’re in Rome.”

Trevi Fountain with large crowd

6. Khao San Road

If you've been to Bangkok, you've probably been to Khao San Road. Even if your hotel wasn't located on the street, there was probably at least one evening during your trip when you passed through this backpacker haven of Southeast Asia. While some travelers can't get enough, one Redditor had the opposite experience which was a total traveler fail.

“Khao San Road in Bangkok. I love Thailand but I absolutely hated Khao San Road. It's totally fabricated for tourists to make travelers feel like they're doing something exotic and adventurous. There are signs that say things like, “Take a picture eating a scorpion for $5!” and, “Fake passports sold here!” It's all souvenir shops and bars, and compared to the rest of the wonderful country, it's gross and fake.”

To be fair, Khao San Road has never really been promoted as an authentic Bangkok or Thai destination (have y'all seen The Beach?). It was a place built to house an influx of tourists coming to Thailand, and it sells a cheap version of that ‘exotic', which many go to the Land of Smiles for in the first place. But to each their own, as they say. 

woman wearing a hat traveler

7. The Golden Circle

A ticket to paradise sometimes means lots of parking lots, packed buses, and waiting in lines. But it doesn't necessarily have to be this one. One Redditor on this traveler fails thread shared their experience in Iceland and recommended getting a little off the beaten path to find the beauty on this Nordic island. 

“Driving the Golden Circle in Iceland. Let me be clear that I think Iceland is one of the most amazing, stunning, and spectacular places I've ever traveled. That being said, I think the Golden Circle is a bit of a disappointment. This circle, which is easily accessible from Reykjavik and therefore a popular tourist route, takes you past Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Þingvellir National Park. The parking lots, packed with tourist buses, make you feel as if you're at an amusement park and not surrounded by nature. If you simply rent a car and drive around Iceland to the Southern Coast, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or the Ring Road, you'll find incredible beauty and surreal landscapes that feel more untouched.”

Cascades of Gullfoss waterfall with tiny people looking at the water masses, Golden circle, Iceland

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Monday 3rd of October 2022

Unfortunately all very known places in the world are overcrowded. I hated the Mexican tourist traps like Tulum and Cancun for example, with their agressive vendors and fake 'traditional' performances, yak! I'm happy that I did the Golden Circle tour in Iceland about 15 years ago. It was quite cheap and there were maybe 10 other people; I definitely enjoyed the natural wonders in peace and quiet :-).


Monday 3rd of October 2022

go to other pyramids - red, saqqara...nobody there...that was in 2006 anyway...not many tourists when I went to Giza, so minor annoyances from recollection.


Sunday 2nd of October 2022

Add Bermuda w their not at all pink sand