Believe it or not, travel bloggers are faking tourist destination - GulfToday

Video: Believe it or not, travel bloggers are faking tourist destination


A combo photo shows the fake and real image of the Lempuyang Temple in Karangasem, Bali.

A photograph is something that you always treasure. Reviewing it later makes you nostalgic. That’s why we need it. When the camera, and only the camera, stands between you and a serene subject, you can actually get lost in the intricacies of the picture. That is what leads to a perfect picture developed especially when no one is around to photobomb and disturb.

These days, the social sites have become the new travel guides. And it pretty much gives us the picture of a place and its ambience. If we like it we add it to our bucket list for holidays.

But what if these social sites were updating slightly doctored images. Well, by doctored I don’t mean that Acropolis of Athens will be in some other country. It is just for consumption, and of course the person who shared the image may get those extra likes on Instagram. No, harm!

But in the bargain, when you decide to visit the place, you are completely disappointed by what was sold to you by Instagram. Now, that is a serious blow.

In the past couple of months, some travel bloggers were able to bust some of the myths, fiction, and fake vs. reality in the world of Instagram.

Gulf Today compiled a series of places and travel hotspots where usually the tourists are left upset with the actual picture.

Let’s solve the Bali temple mystery

Bali1 The photographs of water at the Lempuyang Temple are fake.


Thousands visit the Lempuyang Temple in Karangasem. It is also called “Gates of Heaven.”

Tourists take stunning photographs at the highly respected site with dreamy cloud background and water foreground. Serene isn’t it. Right. Now let’s face the truth. There is no water at the foreground, in fact there is no water in the surroundings. So how on earth the water appears in the images.

Polina Marinova, Fortune magazine editor, revealed the truth with disappointment.

“Proof that Instagram influencers have ruined everything... My hopes & dreams were shattered when I found out the ‘water’ at the ‘Gates of Heaven’ is actually just a piece of glass under an iPhone.

In a tweet she said, “Proof that Instagram influencers have ruined everything👇

My hopes & dreams were shattered when I found out the ‘water’ at the ‘Gates of Heaven’ is actually just a piece of glass under an iPhone.”


Bali2 A Balinese man takes a photograph using a piece of glass.

The glass is used to reflect the image making it look like water. With Polina’s tweet, our dreams were also shattered like a glass piece.

Let’s go to Europe

San1Tourists take pictures in Santorini.

The tranquil island of Santorini, one of Greek’s tourist havens, may not always remain calm. The whitewashed houses and scenic landscape are on the bucket list of many. But what is not known is that, sometimes the place may have a carnival around the corner. And for sure, if you are taking a picture, you may not get those whitewashed houses.


San2 Residents and tourists enjoy an event in Santorini. AFP

Perhaps, if you are okay with strangers and strange faces photobombing, then give it a shot.

Oh, one more thing, tourists have been cautioned of pickpockets in the island.

Siberian ‘Maldives’

Sib-1 A couple has a light moment near the Novosibirsk energy plant.

Wait, we are not finished yet. Instagram influencers have invented a new tourist destination. This time, it is in Siberia. The industrial dumpsite attracts bikini-clad models and romantic couples who enjoy the turquoise waters. The locals named the Novosibirsk energy plant's ash dump site as the Siberian “Maldives.”

Siberian Generating Company said the lake's bright colours are due to calcium oxides — substances found in quicklime and harmful to humans — diluted in shallow waters.


Siberian ‘Maldives’ is an industrial dumpsite.

Despite the “Danger Zone” signs, shutterbugs keep visiting the site in their quest for Instagram "likes."

The Taj Mahal

A tourist takes a photograph in front of the Taj Mahal.

India, the land of diversity and spices, has a lot of tourist destinations. The most popular one is the Taj Mahal. The ivory-white marble mausoleum in Agra attracts millions every year. Royals, heads of states and diplomats get special access. But to visit as a tourist, here what you may have to face. The compound would have a sea of people, some hungry monkeys, and if you manage to escape those. You might get beaten by the weather and pollution.


TAJ1 A sea of people visit the mausoleum.

But the reality is you can never have a picture all by yourself in front of Taj Mahal. It is always crowded.

Let’s dig history

A couple has a romantic moment near the Giza Pyramids.

The Pyramids at Giza is a must on the list of adventure travellers. Photographers share breathtaking images on social sites. Those images influence us to visit the place. We found an image of a couple around the Pyramid.


EGY2Tourists take photographs near the Giza Pyramids.

But in reality, if you take a picture, you may find this result…!


This kind of spacious seats are only available on Instagram.

Well so much to say about travelling to a much talked about destination, we usually start cutting those corners and manage the budget for the destination. The first thing comes to rescue on this ordeal are the budget airlines.

Now here also, Instagram influencers take their spots. They often share photos of aircraft seats with abundant legroom and plenty of space to sleep and move around. And the photos, usually come with a hashtag luxurytravel.


space2Passengers share cramped seats.

But the actual picture would be like the picture above.


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