“Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it,” says Peter Hohenhaus.
There are many audacious souls out there who seek thrill in their lives. Every individual has different choices for entertaining himself. Many of us want to encounter the lively and refreshing side of the world; there may still be people who want to see the darker side of it.
With an accelerating trend of daring souls ventures out for some exploration, the countries have also started to promote dark tourism. The administration prevents the reconstruction of such sites and leaves it as it is so these places can depict stories of the grim past.
What is Dark Tourism?
Dark Tourism is tourism to such places and sites which are historically related to atrocities and death or some other disastrous and brutal events in the past. Other terminologies have also been used to describe the same phenomenon such as black spot tourism, phoenix tourism, the heritage of atrocity, dissonant heritage, and morbid tourism so far.
According to the basic concept of dark tourism, disaster can be natural, or it can be industrial as well. At times, environmental disaster may also be caused by human interference. Be the way it is, the end result is humanitarian upheaval.
Such places can be graves, cemeteries, mausoleums, ossuaries, or sites of genuine mortal remains. Globetrotters, in general, history buffs in particular, are attracted to off-the-beaten, unique and adventurous places which are historically significant as well.
Why would someone want to venture out for dark tourism?
Although the one of its kind tourism doesn’t appeal everyone yet it’s a considerable factor in providing information about the past to present. There may be other motivating factors like curiosity, passion or learning for educational purposes only. It may lead to arousal of strong emotions of nostalgia, only if you or your closed one belongs to the certain place of dark history. Moreover, it broadens your aspect of the dark side of civilization and times gone by.
As far as the impacts of dark tourism are concerned, quite a few researchers have surveyed to find out the impacts of such tourism on the general public. Even your home country might have some sites that relate to dark tourism. While studying the impacts, it was observed that it varies from person to person. In case you want to avoid its depressing effects, it is preferred to set out on dark tourism in groups.
Worthwhile Dark Tourism Destinations:
Probably it seems the most illogical to relate Thailand to dark tourism. In fact, many of us think of coastline, temples and other mainstream tourist attractions in Thailand. And for gastronomes, it’s another heaven to treat their taste-buds. But only a few have experienced dark tourism in Thailand. The most classic of these is the Bridge on the River Kwai. It features a part of Death Railway which is a rail line built by the Japanese during the Second World War. To be more precise, it was built under an atrocious government that took countless lives. Other memorial sites include the town of Kanchanaburi and Hellfire Pass. Fuel your imagination with the live experience of such dark sites by taking cheap flights to Bangkok.
Cape Town, South Africa:
Built-in 1960’s, a prison island holds the stories of brutal past in the bay close to Cape Town. Nelson Mandela and his followers were imprisoned in Robben Island for many years in the most ruthless condition. The island has been preserved as a commemorative plaque and is known to be UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being one of the key tourist destinations, it’s visited by all kind of tourists alike. Get yourself a dose of some dark side of ever-lasting South Africa by taking cheap flights to Cape Town.
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Similarly, there are many other famous destinations that can have your passion fulfilled for dark tourism. Most famous among them are Hiroshima, Nagasaki in Japan, Murambi, Nyamata and Kigali in Rwanda, Ground Zero in the USA, Tuol Sleng in Cambodia and many more are still waiting to be exposed.