The world’s tourist attractions you can’t visit in 2023 – and alternative options for each

(CNN) — It’s already looking like 2023 will be a year of “vengeance travel,” as people locked down during the pandemic take the long-overdue dream vacation they’ve saved up for.

Although most of the world has reopened and is operating as before, not every attraction has survived the pandemic unscathed. Some have used the tourism hiatus to rebuild or improve infrastructure, while others have said goodbye for good.

Before you start creating your next travel plan, here are the places to tick off the list for 2023 – and in some cases beyond. For each location, we’ve included a backup objective to explore instead.

Train Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

The “Train Street”, the street popular on Instagram in Vietnam’s capital, has long been controversial. Old Quarter Street became famous for the trains that passed the tracks just inches from homes and businesses. The place became popular with tourists who liked the thrill of posing on the industrial tracks with cafes in close proximity.

However, despite their vintage look, the tracks are still in heavy use. Overtourism on Train Street became not just a nuisance but a legitimate safety concern, with trains sometimes having to be diverted at the last minute to avoid people.

Although the Hanoi government ordered some of the tourist shops that had opened on Train Street to take advantage of foot traffic to close in 2019, the area remained popular. Finally, in the fall of 2022, all Train Street businesses had their operating licenses revoked and cordons put in place to keep people out.

Plan B: Hanoi’s historic district, much of which was built by the French during the colonial era, has many postcard-perfect sidewalks. Make your way to Nhà Thờ Lớn Hà Nội (St. Joseph’s Cathedral) and start exploring from there. Trains don’t rumble past, but lots of motorbikes do.

The Underground Museum, Los Angeles

The Underground Museum, the brainchild of artist couple Noah and Karon Davis, has built a reputation as a champion of the work of color artists.

Housed in a few small storefronts in the lesser-known neighborhood of Bernal Heights, the museum was also a bookstore, organizational space, and community center and survived the death of Noah Davis in 2015.

However, the pandemic has been tough on the Underground Museum. Despite high profile celebrity fans and supporters like Beyonce, Tracee Ellis Ross and John Legend, the museum closed its doors in 2022.

It’s unclear exactly what happened or if the museum will reopen elsewhere in a different format.

“We just don’t have any answers right now. Therefore we will also close the museum until further notice. During this time, we encourage you to engage with the incredible art spaces in our beloved Los Angeles,” Karon Davis wrote in a statement on the museum’s website.

Plan B: The free California African American Museum in Exposition Park also features work by black artists. Art lovers can take Karon Davis’ advice at LA institutions like The Broad and LACMA.

Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

More than 3,500 birds call Jurong Bird Park their home.

More than 3,500 birds call Jurong Bird Park their home.

tang90246/Adobe Stock

However, there is good news for his fans. The park isn’t going away — instead, it will join several of Singapore’s other famous wildlife and natural attractions to create a new ecotourism hub in the city-state’s northern reaches.

The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari will also be part of the project, which is called Mandai and could open as early as 2023.

Plan B: Spending time outdoors in reliably warm Singapore is easy. The Singapore Botanic Gardens are the country’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, while those who want to get up close and personal with animals can visit the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum in the Yishun area.

The Dublin Writers’ Museum, Ireland

savages. beckett Yeats. Some of the greatest authors in English-language literature came from Ireland, and the Dublin Writers Museum in the capital celebrated this literary legacy.

Like so many tourist attractions around the world, the museum closed in March 2020 for what was said to be a temporary closure.

Failte Ireland, the Irish National Tourism Authority which owned and operated the museum, announced in August 2022 that the museum would be permanently closed, saying that it “no longer meets the contemporary museum visitor’s expectations of accessibility, presentation and interpretation . “

Plan B: Goodbye Dublin Writers Museum, hello MoLI. The Museum of Literature Ireland opened to much fanfare in 2019.

A partnership between the National Library of Ireland and University College Dublin, it houses Irish literary artefacts such as the first edition of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ (the museum’s nickname is a nod to the novel’s heroine Molly Bloom) and makes a point of showing it highlighting lesser-known personalities and authors writing in Irish.

Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant, Hong Kong

The floating restaurant failed to reopen after being closed for more than two years due to the pandemic.

Once the world’s largest floating restaurant, years have not been kind to Hong Kong’s Jumbo Kingdom.

The restaurant, which has starred in dozens of movies and TV shows and has been frequented by everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to Chow Yun-Fat, has grown less popular with both locals and tourists over the years.

The cost of maintaining the elaborate three-story vessel has been high and Hong Kong’s tourism has taken a nosedive amid strict Covid closures and restrictions.

After several failed attempts to sell Jumbo to a local buyer in Hong Kong, the ship was en route to a shipyard in Southeast Asia when it sank near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Plan B: Though Jumbo is gone, many of Hong Kong’s iconic landmarks are still thriving. One, the Peak Tram, was redesigned in 2022.
If you’re looking for a floating experience, the green-and-white Star Ferry still ferry locals and commuters alike between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and the Dukling, the city’s last remaining wooden junk available for public use, cruises the waters several times a day in Victoria Harbour.
The digital presence of the 9/11 Tribute Museum remains active despite the closure of the physical space.

The digital presence of the 9/11 Tribute Museum remains active despite the closure of the physical space.

Mark Lennihan/AP

The 9/11 Tribute Museum, New York City

Before the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opened at Ground Zero, there was the 9/11 Tribute Museum.

The quieter, more introspective cousin was opened in 2006 by relatives of those who died in the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks. The small space in Lower Manhattan was a gathering place for those affected by the tragedies and home to many personal belongings and items donated by survivors and the victims’ families.

Citing financial losses during the pandemic, the museum said goodbye in the summer of 2022. Its Tribute Walking Tours through the community, led by 9/11 survivors, have also ended.

Plan B: Although the museum’s physical presence has disappeared, the majority of its holdings are now part of the permanent collection of the New York State Museum in Albany, about 150 miles north of New York City.

TeamLab Borderless and Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo

An immersive new installation by Japanese art collective teamLab envelops visitors in mirrors, soundscapes and over 13,000 living orchids.

Two Japanese museums are both in transition this year.

Although both located in Tokyo, the two museums are very different – the Edo-Tokyo Museum is a traditional history museum focused on Japanese culture, while TeamLab Borderless is an all-digital experience created by self-proclaimed “ultra-technologists”. was created. ”

The Edo-Tokyo Museum has announced that it will be closed for at least three years for renovations. Opened in 1993, this riverfront building in the Ryogoku district is best known for its faithfully recreated Kabuki theater.

Museum officials say it will reopen in late 2025 or early 2026.

Meanwhile, TeamLab Borderless – crowned the most-visited museum in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records – will move from its Odaiba location to a new facility in the highly anticipated Toranomon-Azabudai project, which is nearing completion in the year 2023. No reopening date has been announced yet.

Plan B: Tokyo is a museum lover’s dream, with plenty on offer including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. the Mori Art Museum and the National Museum of Western Art. In Ueno Park, the Tokyo National Museum will scratch your itch for history.

Museum of London, UK

The popular history and culture museum takes a small step with big meaning.

Founded in 1912, the museum will move from its current location on London Wall to nearby General Market, a formerly derelict site that will be renovated and preserved.

In addition to the new digs, the destination will be renamed The London Museum, its hours will be extended on Fridays and Saturdays, and guests will be encouraged to visit local small businesses nearby.

Even better, the museum – due to reopen in 2026 – will be easily accessible via Farringdon station on the new Elizabeth Line, another example of London’s evolution.
Plan B: There are many places to explore London’s rich history. See Shakespeare’s plays performed at The Globe, go underground to explore the Churchill War Rooms and learn about the royal dramas of yesteryear at the Tower of London.

The Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA

After her life as a glamorous transatlantic ocean liner, the Queen Mary retired to Southern California in 1967.

It was a busy retirement, though – the Queen Mary, with its Art Deco decor, served as a restaurant, hotel, and general tourist attraction after settling in Long Beach.

Now the ship needs urgent repairs.

The City of Long Beach, which owns the ship, says at least $5 million in work is needed to repair the Queen Mary, which has suffered more than just wear and tear. In particular, the weight of the lifeboats has caused lasting damage and they are being removed – in the hope that a museum, history society or other attraction will want to display them.

There is no set date for the reopening of the Queen Mary yet.

Plan B: There’s a lot going on in Long Beach, from a downtown happening to a museum of Latin American art. Meanwhile, the ship’s successor, the Queen Mary 2, is still in active service with the Cunard Line.

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