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Experimental Travel... Curious.





ocalhoun
I just finished reading a book about 'experimental travel'. It's all about traveling in totally unconventional ways. Some examples:
(I quote because, while this is not true copy-pasting, it is a little close to that)
Quote:

*Counter-tourism: Do exactly the opposite of what a tourist is supposed to do. Seek out what the guide book tells you to avoid, take pictures backwards, take pictures of other tourists taking pictures, find something the city is absolutely not famous for (such as a car club in Venice, or a way to turn heads in New York), and at all times, ask yourself 'what would a classic tourist do?' then do the opposite.
*A-Z travel: Get a street atlas of the city, and draw a direct line from the first listed street to the last listed street, then travel as close to that line as possible.
*End of the line travel: Go to the very end of a nearby railroad (or bus line or road) and explore what you find at the end of the line.
*Ero tourism: Get a partner you know well, then travel to a given city in different ways at different times. Do not arrange a meeting place, and do not telephone each other before a set time (such as 2 days). Then, find each other. (A picture to show to locals might help)
*Rent a tourist: Hire yourself out for odd jobs for a day in an exotic location. (Make sure not to wear provocative clothing, or do this in the wrong neighborhoods, lest people get the wrong impression of just what services you're offering.)
*Poker tourism: Get at least 4 friends together, with a deck of cards. Play 4 hands of poker. The winner of the first hand decides where to go (within set limits). The winner of the second hand decides when. The winner of the third hand decides on the accommodation. The looser of the last hand pays for it all.
*Confluence tourism: Go to a place where a main line of longitude and a main line of latitude meet, no matter what is in the way.
*Bureaucratic Odyssey: Don your white shirt, khakis, and grab your briefcase, then infiltrate your local (or, if you're feeling courageous, do this in a foreign place) bureaucracy; go to the county or state headquarters and visit as many parts of it as you can. Eat at the employee cafeteria. Read the magazines in the waiting rooms. Sneak, bluff, persuade, or even bribe your way into as many parts of the building as possible.

There are many other types, and many more details to each. (I can't copy the whole book in a post, now can I?)
What do you think about this experimental tourism?
Flarkis
Brilliant! pure Brilliant!

i am defiantly going to try one of these next time i travel to england
jsundell
When I have visited all the interesting places in the world (and I am still alive) I will start doing experimental travel. But since I am boring white collar guy I don't have the time nor the money to spend my vacation in any other way than visiting the interesting (sometimes tourist) attractions.

The Ero tourism was my favourite. Make a around-the-world trip with your friend doing this in every city you go to. Very Happy
Subsonic Sound
Doing the opposite of a regular tourist can yield fascinating results.

My family used to live in Hong Kong. One day, we visited the Po Lin monastery on Lantau Island. It's a major tourist trap, and has the world's largest Buddha statue. There's a museum inside it, that's how big it is. Bald-headed men in saffron robes, intricate statues, so much incense you could almost choke.

Down from the back of it was a little path, that we followed just out of curiosity. It led us down the mountain, and past several other monasteries on the way - the further we got from Po Lin, the less touristy they got, until at the bottom there were just a few small shabby buildings, the odd chicken clucking around, and a large gong.

It was fascinating to see the difference between the tourist expectations - which the tourism industry is keen to present them with - and the way things are really done.
ocalhoun
Subsonic Sound wrote:
has the world's largest Buddha statue.

Anytime you see an advertisement that says a place has the 'worlds largest' anything, you should immediately know that it is a tourist trap!
Subsonic Sound
Oh yes.



But an impressive one!
icantthink
I've tried the End-of-the-line-travel-or-something-like-that in many places. It's super fun and easy (compared to other ways mentioned in the book)! You can never expect what its like at the end of the road (well of course except the stop says "BEACH", "LAKE", whatever, but even with that too is exciting). When I was still in high school my friends and I used to look through the city map and go to somewhere no one has ever been to or a place with an interesting name. In Frankfurt, Germany I tried to get to a place called Beethovenplatz just because I thought Beethoven is cool and end up in a small Orthodox chapel with an amusing old lady...and we chatted a little.
tijn01
There is a large difference between being a 'traveler' and a 'tourist'. Travelers head around the globe to seek truth through the difference in human beings, their cultures, and beautiful scenery. They take only photos when they leave and try their hardest to help whoever they can as they go. They travel as the locals do and pay what locals do. They talk to locals and eat the food locals eat.
Tourists, on the other hand, fly from place to place staying in resorts or hotels that don't take them outside of their comfort zones. They sleep in comfortable beds and eat pretty much what they would eat at home. They talk to other tourists, usually from the same country their from, and only use locals as guides or taxi drivers.
Tourists are destroying indigenous cultures and making the world a very small place full 'sameness', travelers are trying to hold on to the difference in the world.
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