Category: Travel


8 Real Literary Locations You’ve Read About in Novels!

I know it’s the end of summer vacation, yet I still want to share this combo of traveling and literature with you, maybe for your next vacation plans. Here are eight beautiful places that have been set in the world of words!




Thanks to Tim Pile’s recommendation, plus one of my pocket list, here’s the eight literary books:

  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (1994) by Louis de Bernieres
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • River of Time (1995) by Jon Swain
  • Our Man in Havana (1958) by Graham Greene 
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy
  • Out of Africa (1937) by Karen Blixen
  • The God of Small Things (1997) by Arundhati Roy
  • The Stolen Bicycle (2017) by Wu Ming-yi






Images Via Amazon, Amazon UK, lickr.comText Book Centreand The Tough Guy Book Club



Have read these yet? Let’s see the pictures first!



1. Kefalonia in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin


Image Via scmp



The Greek Island of Kefalonia is the soul in both Bernieres’ novel and 2001 cinema. In the story, a young officer came to the island with the Italian army and fell in love with a local doctor’s daughter. However, the woman he thinks is the one is already engaged to someone else. In the real word, the beaches on the island are incredibly beautiful without much contamination of tourism.



2. The Oheka Castle in The Great Gatsby


Image Via scmp



In Gatsby’s world, there’s a mansion called West Egg where Gatsby lives in search of his lost love of Daisy. Though it’s a fictional place, there’s a spot which inspired Fitzgerald in the real world. Located in Long Island, New York, the Oheka Castle is a place where literary New Yorkers should visit.



3. The Mekong River in River of Time


Image Via scmp



Jon Swain’s memoir describes the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. The Mekong River is the soul in Vietnam. Sampans in the picture allow visitors to explore the beauty of the Mekong.



4. The Havana streets in Our Man in Havana


Image Via scmp


It’s a story about a vacuum cleaner salesman living in Havana, Cuba, who agrees to moonlight as a secret agent and recruit local spies for the British government. If you visit the streets in Havana, you can jump directly into the novel as Tim Pile suggests because the view has never changed.



5. Dorest inTess of the D’Urbervilles


Image Via scmp



One of the most famous villages for every English majors: Dorest in England’s southwest aka Hardy Country. It’s a beautiful village with “thatched cottages, grand manor houses, rolling hills and dramatic seascapes.”



6. Kenya’s Malindi beach in Out of Africa


Image Via Rhino Africa Blog


British East Africa, or Kenya, has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!!! Look at the transparent water! You can swim as if you’re in the center of the world and think of the story of Karen Blixen.



7. Kerala in The God of Small Things


Image Via scmp



Kerala is always a mysteriously attractive place to visit. In the jungle, would you find your god of small things?



8. Taipei in The Stolen Bicycle


Image Via Travel Wire Asia


Longlisted in 2018 for Man Booker’s International novel, Wu’s The Stolen Bicycle tells of stories interweaved in this beautiful island called Taiwan. The capital Taipei is a wonderful place to visit. You can find unbelievably delicious food here! 




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Featured Image Via ThurstonTalk


3 Fascinating Guidebooks to Help You Understand Dark Tourism

Dark tourism is an increasingly common phenomenon in today’s society. Instead of going away to beautiful vacation getaways, dark tourists are more interested in the more heinous side of human history. These brave souls prefer to go to unconventional destinations where terrible tragedies and mass death have occurred.

I recently watched the documentary The Dark Tourist on Netflix, and it’s pretty fascinating, check out the trailer! 




So, for the aspiring dark tourist, here are three guidebooks on some of the most desolate, abandoned, hostile, and over all grisly locations on Earth. 


1. The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism




Image via


Richard Sharpley and Philip R. Stone both use their expertise in their study of tourism to craft a welcoming entrance into the lesser-known attractions of the world. Offering somewhat of an academic approach mixed with guides on what to see and how exactly to do so, the authors also provide much background detail about each specific destination. The book expands deeply on the theory of dark tourism and tries to answer as many questions to any dark tourism skeptics out there.



2. Dark Tourism: The Beauty of Death




Image via Rebecca Bathory


Rebecca Bathory uses a collection of photographs to help not only define what dark tourism really is, but also to elaborate on the aesthetic of “beautiful” death or destruction and its meaning to a person, dark tourist or not. Pictures tell us a thousand things per view, and Bathory’s spectacular, yet horrific shots capture both the stigma associated with a specific location but also the shock factor that pulls tourists to visit all year long.


3. I Was Here: Photographs of Dark Tourism 



i was here

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For dark tourism, photographs provide an excellent perspective and the perfect first view for finding potential dark destinations. Ambroise Tézenas is another on this list who uses her photographs to not only offer some interesting locations but to also honor the tragedies and death at every location. The title says it all; when people often become dark tourists, they become somewhat desensitized to the horrors of each destination. The author not only wants to introduce people into the world of dark tourism, but also wants to show how to treat each place with dignity and respect while enjoying the tour.





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