When the Tourist Becomes the Tourist Attraction – Agra, India
This scene became all too familiar during our travels through Northern India. Indian’s loved Nicole’s long blonde hair and tall frame. Many thought she was an ‘American movie star’ and wanted to have a picture taken with her.
This ironic moment was captured at Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist attraction in the city of Agra, which also happens to be home to the magnificent Taj Mahal (located a short auto-rickshaw drive from Agra Fort).
I couldn’t help myself. I had to take a photo of this proud father taking a photo of his daughter with Nicole. We imagined the conversations they would have with friends and family when they returned home, “And this is the photo of our tall blonde friend from Canada that wears funny clothing for a woman.”
There we were, in one of India’s most beautiful forts, and we had become the attraction worthy of photos. It’s moments like this that remind us why we love traveling to foreign countries.
Have you ever been a tourist that became the attraction?
Share your experience in the comments section below, we’d love to hear about it!
I know the feeling. Happened to me in Macau. You’re self-conscious but you also enjoy the attention at the same time.
Traveling Canucks says
Yea, it was fun. A little weird at first, but we ended up having some great conversations. It was usually other Indian tourists from out of town that wanted to take pictures of us
Amy had a very similar experience in the Northern Philippines near the attraction of Tagaytay… wherever we would go, people would just stop and stare and the kids would nudge their parents and point at us. It’s so bizarre!
Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad says
Reminds me of China, I lost count at how many photos me and my friend were asked to pose for 🙂 And when we were pushing around his baby in a pram in the park, well, then we really were the local attraction! 🙂
Stephanie - The Travel Chica says
Did Nicole play along with the movie star thing?
I have noticed people taking pictures of me a couple of times but always from a distance.
Matthew Karsten says
This happened to me in Mexico at a club one night before my Spanish was better. A couple came out onto the balcony and pointed at their camera. I assumed they wanted me to take a photo of the two of them…
Instead the guy wanted to take a photo of me with his girlfriend! 😀
lol, i also saw an event like this they want to have a picture with foreigner especially the cute and the beautiful one 🙂 ima feeling star like that.
This EXACT same scene played out with me at the Taj Mahal.
It was tempting to get myself in a huff while people snapped my photo instead of the beautiful building behind me, but in the end, all I could do was laugh.
I mean, if I saw an ‘American movie star’ maybe I would be the one asking to get my photo taken…
Jade - ourOyster.com says
OMG this happens to me ALL the time. I am 6 foot tall and red headed so you can imagine the frenzy that I have when I visit Asia. I get like 2 – 3 photos of me taken per day with randoms!
Dani | Globetrottergirls says
That happened to us a couple of times – most recently in a rural region of Laos, where mainly Hmong people lived, who rarely get to see foreigners. When we arrived, several of them asked us to have their picture taken with us, which was quite funny because we felt they looked so much more exotic in their traditional costumes than we did in our backpacker clothes 😀
Jinky - me says
super relate much in this scene haha.
we can attract them even wer just dropin in some place. anyway i also like the attention 😀
Christy @ Technosyncratic says
We traveled to India with someone who is super tall, has long blond hair, and is absolutely gorgeous. She’s also very shy, so she hated all the attention she received – photos and catcalls and lots of hair-touching. By the end of the trip I think it really started to wear on her, but she tried to make the best of it. Funny how something like that can affect your experience so much.
This happened to me a lot in Bangladesh – my blonde hair was like a beacon! Strangely enough though, this also happened just a couple of days ago when I was hiking in the mountains outside my home city of Melbourne!! What the? Not quite sure what that was about 🙂
This is a bit bizarre and cool at the same time. I’ve never actually experienced being asked to take a photo with people but I’ve seen a lot of these 🙂
Yes. To be honest as a Black woman I get stared at many places including places where you might not think I would (I was surprised at some of the staring I got in Dublin, Ireland). I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s also not always easy. The most recent place was Turkey, particularly in Istanbul, where I didn’t expect I was going to have to experience that. After being catcalled “Beyonce” and being pointed at, I was kind of done. At the same time, I loved Istanbul and my experience there.
Celine Lee says
I encounter that before. When i arrived at a provincial place here in the Philippines, it seems like i am a celebrity on that hometown and that is funny!
Journeys and Travels says
That was a fun experience hehe. I have had many times over, taken photos of backpackers but not with me, unless they are my friends. I usually have taken photos of them as they walked or as they look far beyond.
Leslie (Downtown Traveler) says
Too funny! This reminds me of your post about staring as extras in Bollywood productions 🙂
So funny 🙂 That happened to us on the Great Wall of China. People kept coming up to us to have the whole family pose for pictures with us while we wanted to take picture of the wall. We felt famous and kept wondering in how many family albums we’ll be included 🙂
I could not believe the number of people who wanted photos of me in India! At the Taj Mahal it was horrible. After being asked to pose in over a dozen photos, my husband finally decided to use their own tricks and started (jokingly) asking for “photo rupees”. One man actually got out his wallet and told us we were asking too little!
Venkat Ganesh says
I understand this kind of feeling that all the foreigners receive in India. Funny thing is even I get all the attention and always am mistaken for a westerner when the fact is I look like any other Indian out there. May be its biking gear that I have on me while checking into a hotel or a guest house or while riding through highways on the country side.
All I can say is enjoy all the attention.
Lauren, Ephemerratic says
This happened to me and Todd throughout India, usually with huge groups of schoolchildren running toward us like some strange Children of the Chapati horror movie. Todd in particular, because of his creative facial hair, attracted a lot of attention in China, where facial hair is not very common!
Hannah @ Getting Stamped says
This happen to us in Bali, Indonesia! They wanted picture after picture with us! And I was holding a large beer (like 40oz), so I am sure it was quite the talk of the town!
This was one of the highlights of our visit to China. People swarmed around us at every single place to take pictures with my mom in her colorful sarees (we’re Bangladeshi). We literally ran for our lives at tiananmen square when we spotted a mob charging towards us brandishing different kinds of cameras 😀
Gotta say we love China!
Ha! Yes, it’s happened to me in Sumatra. And to both of us visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok (I guess we’re an odd looking couple but you would have thought that the Japanese couple in question would have had more interesting things to photograph…)