real life

7 places NOT to put on your bucket list.

Natalie Dau in Dubai


A recent trip to Dubai has inspired this post after experiencing something that I never need to see again.

We constantly hear about the best places to visit around the world, but what about the ones that are the “must NOT do’s before you die”. Author Catherine Price, has even written a book on the topic.

So where are my Top 7 places you shouldn’t bother putting on your list? Remembering the below is taken from personal experience and taste, and research by other writers (everyone is of course entitled to put together their own list).

– Times Square on New Years Eve. Unless of course you like to stand out in freezing temperatures with a million people in a confined space, no alcohol and minimal portable toilets

– Four Corners monument. It is in the middle of nowhere where four states intersect – New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. There is nothing to look at but a concrete slab with markings and apparently it is 1,800 feet away from the correct point.

– The Seattle Chewing Gum Wall. Definitely not art! Used gum stuck on a wall for 15 years is just not hygienic or pretty. Makes me appreciate the gum ban in Singapore.

Natalie Dau

– Beijing Museum of Tap Water. Yes you are reading correctly! Inside there are 130 real objects, 110 pictures, 40 models and sand tables on display to reflect the 90-year-old history of Beijing tap water. Would suggest saving your 20 cent admission fee.

– The Taj Mahal. I know some people love this place, but for me it was disappointing. A 4-hour car journey each way (from Delhi) only to have people trying to rip you off at every turn. Then you line up only to find the building is actually empty except for a while tomb. Lesson learnt – do more research before going.

– Burj Al Arab, particularly the Skyview Bar. The excitement of going to a 7-star hotel (I strongly dispute that fact too as it’s self-awarded and just a marketing ploy, I have been to far more luxurious and exclusive hotels)… anyway it was a let down. The Skyview Bar on the top level is a cross between walking into the inside of a computer (complete with circuit boards on the walls) and a bad 1980’s nightclub that has a spaceship theme. Enough said!

– Machu Picchu. I have personally done this trek, and again, just my opinion: was it life shattering? Definitely not. To start with, it’s a long way to get to Peru to share a path with thousands of 18 year olds on their gap year. Even more disappointing is the fact you can buy a can of Coke from hundreds of stalls along the way. And then in reality it isn’t really that old (again my lack of research). The Terra Cotta Warriors are approximately 700 years older, the Colosseum 400 years, and Westminster Abbey 300 years older.

Click through the gallery to reminisce with me on the places I went and but wish I didn’t.

So what are your must “not” do’s?

Natalie is originally from Australia but has been based in Asia for the past 8 years. She is a full-time working mum of one and writes a blog called WTF- Work, Travel, Fashion. You can read it here, and follow her on twitter here.