While May’s public holidays, school breaks and long weekends may be very different this year with travel or day trip plans postponed, digital travel platform Agoda shows how you can still explore the globe.
Taking Agoda’s travelers’ favorite destinations throughout 2019, combined with the top travel motivations from its Usage & Attitude Survey (U&A), Agoda shares a handy guide to travel in the virtual world. According to Agoda’s U&A survey, Nature/Countryside; Beaches; Food & Dining; Landmarks; and Culture are the top five reasons cited to travel globally, so whether you have always wanted to check out the bustling cosmopolitan cities of Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul or Kuala Lumpur, the Arts and Culture of New York, London or Paris, or the natural beauty of Canada, Vietnam, or Japan, thanks to the wonders of technology you can.
Travel Motivation #5 – Culture
Agoda’s Usage and Attitude survey found that culture – artefacts, dance, the arts – is the fifth highest reason to travel globally.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- Don’t wait to see the Mona Lisa, The Wedding at Cana or Venus de Milo, housed in the world famous Le Louvre in Paris, instead check out this virtual tour and get up close view of these world-famous paintings, without leaving home.
- Singapore’s cultural scene gets better and better. With theatre, arts, fine food and dining all to explore. Have a taster as you view the ArtScience Museum. located right in the heart of the lion city, nestled between the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, overlooking the harbor, the museum hosts a range of fabulous exhibitions throughout the year – take a look at its contemporary art and science shows all throughout this #stayathome period.
- Meanwhile, the Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok houses a huge collection of valuable paintings and sculptures that promotes and highlights the rich legacy and heritage of Thailand. While not fully interactive, travelers can still learn about the works of local Thai artists such as Professor Emeritus Chalood NImsamer, and Professor Paitun Muangsomboon.
- Any visit to New York is not complete without a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and what better way to whet your appetite for a future visit than with a virtual tour. The Met 360 project has released a series of six short videos inviting viewers to virtually visit the Met’s art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. Experience the wide expanse of the six halls, which includes The Great Hall, The Cloisters, The Temple of Dendur, The Met Breuer, The Charles Engelhard Court and Arms and Armor Galleries.
- Korean pop culture may be influential now but Korea has a long, proud and exciting history worth exploring further. Take your pick of eras to explore via Gyeonggi Art and History with virtual sightseeing of some of South Korea’s world heritage UNESCO sites including the Namhanhangseoung World heritage center, Jeongak Pre-history Museum and Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art.
- In Malaysia, which ranks number three on the top destination list for Agoda travelers during 2019, you can dive into Islamic history with a virtual walk-through of the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur, which showcases the rich cultural history of Islamic influence on art, architecture, clothing and calligraphy dating back 1400 years.
- The National Palace Museum in Taipei, offers a fully interactive virtual tour so travelers can enjoy the museum and historical artifacts at your own pace.
- If science is more your thing, enjoy a 360-degree view of London’s world-class Natural History Museum from the comfort of your home.
THEATRE AND MUSIC
There’s nothing quite as magical as a trip to the theatre for plays, musicals or dance performances. While currently you can’t get to Broadway or the West End, the Royal Opera House or pop concert tours for your favourite artists, with the magic of showbiz and modern technology, it can come to you.
- If dance is more your scene than West End musicals, be mesmerized by the Bolshoi theatre’s performance of Swan Lake or check out Handel’s Acis and Galatea or The Winter’s Tale, performed by the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet.
- If you want to indulge in your musical obsession and check out with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Shows Must Go On’, which includes song bursting The Phantom of the Opera, and toe tapping Joseph’s Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat.
- If you can’t wait until the theatres re open or just wanted to dip your toe into the world of Opera to watch the magnificence of a ‘live’ performance of Gloriana or Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte check out the Royal Opera Houses Our House to Your House performances on youtube.
- Not to be outdone, and equally as renowned for it’s distinctive building as it’s performances, tune in to ‘live’ music and dance performances from the Sydney Opera House.
- If you have always loved to see actors treading the boards, and long for works of the The Bard, performed at the world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, prepare to be inspired and awed, through this series of ‘live’ performances here.
- Pop stars and singers might not be able to fill stadiums right now, but they are doing their best to perform for you at home. So, whether you like to rock to Bruce Springsteen, sing along with Gary Barlow and a selection go world wide artists during his Crooner Sessions, or want to bust a move to chart-topping Columbia Records artists like Diplo and John Mayer, you can catch them on live stream or their social accounts.
Travel Motivation #4 – CULTURAL LANDMARKS
Chinese and Indonesian tourists are most likely to visit famous attractions when traveling. But globally, it’s the fourth biggest motivation to travel, so check out these Instagram worthy destinations – online.
- They say there is nowhere like Paris in the springtime. Enjoy a virtual trip of, The Eiffel Tower, the most-visited paid monument in the world, which welcomes 7 million visitors every year.
- The rose city of Petra in Jordan is said to be holding secrets of decades past. Virtually discover what inspired the sets of the lost city in Indiana Jones’ movie ‘The Last Crusader’ at your own pace.
- The Apostolic Palace – or the Vatican City – is the official residence of the Pope and visited by 12 million people every year. Take a chance to explore the Sistine Chapel or Raphael’s Rooms at your own leisure via the Vatican Museums’ 360-degree tours and videos.
- A chance to take a look inside the Royal palaces may be even more appealing during this stay home period, and for many travelers planning a trip to London, a visit to Buckingham Palace is often on the cards. Fret not, you can still have a nose around, as the Royal Collection Trust is showcasing the palace and sharing its rich history through virtual tours.
- If there was one destination that makes every one, no matter their age believe in magic, it has to be Disneyland. Keep the child in you alive with virtual tours of some of the best Disneyland rides.
Travel Motivation #3 – FOOD & DINING
The number three motivation to travel according to Agoda’s global Usage & Attitude survey, is to experience the food and dining at the destination, this rises to the top spot for travelers from Asia. Just because you can’t travel doesn’t mean you can’t explore the vibrant flavours of the world’s cuisine.
- Replicate Michelin-star dishes with famous Italian chef Massimo Botturo and man behind #KitchenQuarantine encouraging chefs and people from around the world to recreate food they love and travel for. If you have been taking constant trips to the snack cupboard, why not give it a gourmet twist with Munchies from chefs that make it the best.
- If you want a break from watching endless episodes of Queer Eye but cannot get over Antoni Porowski’s, check out his easy cooking recipes.
- If you would like to relish dishes from your favorite movies, cook alongside American filmmaker turn chef Andrew Rea on Binging with Babish.
Travel motivation #2 – Beaches/Islands
Beaches and/or islands are the second favorite global reason to travel. While you might need to wait a while until you can feel the sand between your toes or waves on your back, you don’t need to miss the magic of the ocean completely.
- Dating back 10,000 years, the Buck Island Reef National Park houses many unique corals and sea life. Take National Geographics’ guided dive with marine life photographer Brian Skerry and drift into the spectacular details of the gem colors and textures of this unique and protected barrier reef, watch sea turtle hatchlings make their way into the ocean at night.
- Alternatively, take a virtual dive with sealions at the National Marine Sanctuaries courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Travel motivation #1 – NATURE/SCENERY/COUNTRYSIDE.
The number one motivation to travel for explorers across the world is nature and scenery. So Agoda has compiled a collection of natural beauty and cityscape videos to whet your appetite for travelling when it’s time to not stay at home.
- Renowned its great outdoors, Canada offers so much beauty to explore. Gaze into the magical night skies for glimpses of the Northern Lights streamed live every night. How about exploring Banff National Park, where it has a variety of videos available for your “trek” across the country’s oldest national park – Johnston Canyon.
- Indonesia’s beautiful island of Bali is often referred to as paradise on earth. Known for its volcanic mountains, rice paddy fields and most of all its bone white beaches. Get away virtually to the many beaches of Bali, while staying safe at home.
- Japan is increasingly popular among travelers, and taking a closer look at JNTO’s tourism promotion campaign video, “Visit Japan.”, you’ll see why. The video highlights 16 of Japan’s most unique attractions such as Tokyo Tower, Kyoto’s Sagano Bamboo Forest, and the torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine.
- The wild and rugged landscape of South Africa, with it’s Big Five animal safaris, is captured in Wild Earth’s daily live sunrise and sunset safaris – Wild Earth Safaris South Africa.
- Hang Sơn Đoòng in central Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park, explored by scientists for the first time in 2009, after a local man, Ho Khanh, discovered it in 1991. Enjoy a virtual trek complete with images and atmospheric sounds, zoom into of the flora and fauna.
Scenery / Cities
If you are daydreaming of the hustle and bustle of city life here is a bird’s eye view of some of the world’s most breath-taking cityscapes:
- Hong Kong is known for its edgy skyline and fast-paced life. Brandon Li’s Hong Kong Strong video showcases the city’s futuristic culture while staying true to its roots.
- The financial capital of India, Mumbai is not just famous for Bollywood, it is also a melting pot of cosmopolitan India and celebrates several sub-cultures, cuisines and scenery. Mumbai also hosts the world’s second largest number of art-deco buildings amongst other historic colonial, gothic and contemporary architecture as seen on the video.
- One of the most beautiful destinations finds yourself transported to serene rivers and cobbled walkways. Step inside the Colosseum or walk through the Forum, where many of the Ancient Rome discoveries are tucked away, waiting for you to discover them.
- Singapore which ranks 13 on the Agoda travelers list for 2019, the island country is a powerhouse of experiences rooting from its mixed culture, yet modern perspective. Enjoy unique views of Garden city’s eclectic culture of modern and traditional.
- UK ranks 15 on the Agoda traveler list London its capital city is pure magic. With 2000 years of history, London is one of the worlds most visited cities and has something for everyone. Walk through iconic landmarks like Tower Bridge, London Eye and Carnaby Street.
- They say New York city never sleeps. One of the world’s fastest, most expensive cities has something to see at every corner, New York is a breath of fresh air. Take a look at world famous Times Square, Grand Central station and Washington Square Park like never before.
And finally, for a truly out of this world travel experience….
Check out the views from NASA’s International Space Station which takes sixteen orbits around the Earth in 24 hours. It sees either a sunset or a sunrise every 45 minutes. What better time to view Earth on NASA’s Space Station live stream than right now?
Agoda’s Top Destinations throughout 2019
6. South Korea
9. United States
11. Hong Kong
16. United Kingdom
Agoda’s Usage & Attitude Survey (June to August 2019) was conducted in among 22,000 respondents in 20 countries surveyed.