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Fake destinations


The travel magazine, Vagabond, gives you tips about artificial experiences – some of them are good, some are apparently not so good. The article is about destinations which don’t offer any genuine experiences, to the extent that they try and create their own or they add a little zest to make things more interesting for visitors:

   1. Garden by the Bay, Singapore
The area, which the young city of Singapore has encroached upon, comprised of rainforest not very long ago. In an attempt to recreate the origins of the area, a jungle, the size of 77 football pitches and comprising mainly of natural plants, is being built. The fake bit is what they call Super Trees, which are artificial trees, 25-50 metres tall, which catch rainwater and can glow in the dark.

   2. Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki
The Japanese city has built a park the size of Monaco, comprising all that you might expect from a park in a Dutch town. Judging by the number of visitors, it seems that tourists heading for Japan want to experience Japan and not Holland.

   3. Paris Plages, Paris
With 2000 tonnes of sand, a couple of hundred sunbeds and around 40 palm trees, a part of the Seine is transformed into a different kind of resort from what you might normally associate Paris with. The attraction draws several million visitors during July and August each year. You are not allowed to sunbathe topless or swim in the Seine but you can swim in the floating pool.

   4. Volcanic eruptions in Las Vegas
A large part of Las Vegas is artificial, but one of many examples are the volcanic eruptions at the Mirage Hotel. Flames fly 30 metres into the air and lava flows from the edge of the crater.

   5. Lapland, Kent, UK
The UK’s “home of Father Christmas” attracts families to Kent (to the south-east of London) to experience reindeer, the Sami people and Father Christmas himself.

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