Got to Love….Tourists!

And now for something a little different. Tourists are an unavoidable part of travelling- might as well embrace it! Which is exactly what David and Helen have done in this eclectic photo essay.

Weʼve all been part of a tour group before…well if youʼve been over to South-East Asia then more often than enough you are bombarded by different tours to take. We do have an option, and sometimes itʼs the easy way to explore…let someone else guide us through a trip for a day or two!

The intrepid explorers of the Silver Mountain and Pagoda Forest, China.
Itʼs always lovely to get the group photo at the end too! This was taken at the end of a not so successful tour with the Chinese Cultural Centre, they got the first hike completely wrong, but heading over to the Pagodaʼs for the second part of the tour was pretty impressive and we did gain a few friends too!
The Japanese and Chinese have a very strong presence in their own countries as tourists and they love to be photographed by all the famous landmarks and historic sites. As we travelled into South-East Asia we were faced by more international tourists, and involved ourselves in this when we booked onto a few tours! So if you fancy delving into the tourist hotspots in this part of the world, it can be easily done and as we found, interestingly documented!
Weʼve compiled a photo-story that shows the types of tourists we came across, each photograph is representative of the feel of what was happening at a certain place and time. You can guarantee that no matter what time of year youʼre visiting these places will always be packed with tourists!

Japan: Takayama.

The town starts getting busy at around 9am when all the bus loads of local tourists and school children arrive!
Every opportunity to get a group photo is taken with great pleasure.

China: Huangshan Mountain.

A mountain described by the Chinese as one place everyone must climb at least once in their lives! (You can either take the steps or the cable car!!)
Not even at the top of the mountain! That just doesn't matter, photo time!
You can be guaranteed that hundreds of tourists head to the popular peaks at sunrise and sunset at Huangshan Mountain!
Safety in numbers. People waited patiently for ages to watch the sun set. If you walked 20 minutes you could have a secluded spot pretty much all to yourself!

Vietnam: Halong Bay.

Not too many tourists in these photos but thatʼs reflective of the tour we took, if you pay a little more you wont see so many tourists. We still woke up in the same bay as around 100 other junk boats though.
Exploring more secluded areas can cost more, but the benefits are clear.
Neighbours at dawn, when you wake up you see how many tourists are around.

Cambodia: Angkor Wat.

Get to the mighty Angkor at sunrise and you wont be disappointed, donʼt aim for this location if you want a quiet place to watch the sunrise.
People waiting for sunrise. Tip: Head inside at this point, it's really quiet and when you come out the sun is in a much more picturesque position above the temple.
Get in early if you want a seated position!
These guys got into the temple early. However they seem more interested in a spot of early morning yoga!
The other side of the lake at Angkor Wat facing away from the sunset.

Laos: Luang Prabang.

People rise early to watch the monks receiving their alms, itʼs a massive tourist attraction for Laos, as are the beautiful Kouang Si waterfalls which are around a 1 hour drive away via Tuk Tuk.
With so many tourists it did feel as if this was an amusement park parade unfolding in front of our eyes.
Traditional practices and tourism collide to create a somewhat surreal experience.
The pools at Kouang Si waterfalls are a great way to cool down, lovely clear water!

Thailand: The Royal Palace.

Not your typical tourists to bump into as we were passed by a group of beauty pageants walking around the Royal Palace!

Tourists can come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some come with an assortment of sashes!

Notworkrelated is a collaboration of two UK photographers Helen and David. Their work-related lives see one as a graphic designer and the other as a fashion and portrait photographer. So far Notworkrelated has provided them with the platform to explore and put their work-related lives on hold whilst they travel around the world…or at least big parts of it! We are David & Helen… Travel, photography, blog. Visit our website 

David and Helen tweet at notworkrelated.






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14 thoughts on “Got to Love….Tourists!”

  1. It’s certainly true that we are all tourists. I realize a huge part of my satisfaction is derived when I get off the beaten path; however, with that being said, I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to visit Halong Bay or Angkor Wat & would go back in a second – tourist hoards and all 😛

  2. Unrelated to this post, but would love Steph’s advice and the advice of any of your readers!

    I am meeting a friend in Thailand in Dec and have a week (including travel so lets say 5 days) before she arrives to travel. I’ll be coming from NY or DC whichever is cheaper, and since you can’t fly direct to Bangkok from the US anyway, I was thinking of stopping in China for that week. Would you recommend Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong? Or is there another place you’d suggest I go in those 5 days? Ideally someplace easier to get to from the US than BKK. Thanks! As you know I love your blog and value your opinion!

    1. Well since it’s such a short trip I’d probably recommend Hong Kong. It’s a cool city with a lot to do, you can even do a side trip to Macau. With 5 days in mainland China you would barely get to scratch the surface. Best of all- you don’t need to shell out $140 for a visa to visit!

      1. My sister lives in Hong Kong and she always recommends people to stay in the YMCA. It’s right by the harbour and you get amazing views, it’s cheap and also not really a hostel at all – you get an en suite etc. But it’s VERY popular so I would book well in advance!

      2. I stayed at the Yes Inn Hostel in downtown Hong Kong twice, and I thought it was a nice home base. Most people stay in Kowloon which I think is a bit more happening, but I liked the big city feel of the main island. It has no extra frills but the all girl dorm was very clean and nice.

  3. I hope you are all joking, because if you are travelling, doesn’t that make you a tourist yourself?

    Very fed up with those real travellers out there. I’ve been travelling for ten years and yep I am still nothing more than a tourist myself (even if I spend six months in a certain place). Do not mistake yourself for a local you will never be…

  4. At the Royal Palace we had to borrow some clothes to cover up our legs and arms, the queues were massive, full of tourists all waiting for their new dress code. A small Thai lady was yelling with a megaphone at anyone who wasn’t dressed appropriately, instructing them to join the huge queue! Hehe.

  5. Aaahh tourists! Yes, you gotta love them if you wanna survive when traveling.

    They were a nightmare to deal with when visiting the Royal Palace and Wat Pho in Bangkok. Groups of tourists everywhere pushing you in the back and yelling at you for being in their pictures…Hard to deal with when you just want to slowly stroll around and enjoy the beauty of these places. Still, now we know what to expect and what to do: go early or late, not in the middle of the day!


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