Aurora borealis or the Northern Lights are live-streamed at
Emily Hon via Agoda/Released
Traveling without flying: Destinations to add in your virtual wanderlust 
( - May 26, 2020 - 6:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Social distancing, travel restrictions and stay-at-home measures have limited our ability to travel and the desire for the human connection is now more important than ever. 

Even as some countries begin to ease travel restrictions, the Department of Tourism is looking to temper Filipinos’ expectations as limitations are likely to remain for the rest of the year.

Thanks to technology, however, you can still explore the globe without leaving home.

According to the usage and attitude (U&A) survey of online travel platform Agoda, nature/countryside views, beaches, food and dining, landmarks and culture are the top five reasons people travel around the world. 

Arts, cultural, historical landmarks

With the newly introduced Virtual Interactive Experiences (VIE), online travel experiences booking platform Klook aims to take viewers across continents for exclusive interactive tours of famous landmarks.

All sessions are hosted live and participants will have a chance to speak directly with expert guides or animal handlers from attractions all around the world. You can even participate with a bunch of friends to share the experience together.

The VIE sessions are offered for free on the following: 

  • May 30: Tour Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain with an expert guide
  • June 6: Get cozy with baby Komodo dragons from Bali Safari, Indonesia
  • June 13: Familiarize yourself with assorted wines at a wine tasting session with Tower Tours
  • June 20: Explore the tropical Cebu Safari in the Philippines
  • June 27: Visit the “most popular filming location in the world” Old Royal Navy College in London, United Kingdom

Korean pop culture is widely influential these days, 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.  

Related: International Museum Day: Digital museums to visit amid COVID-19 pandemic

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 invites people to virtually visit the Met’s art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. Experience the wide expanse of its 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.

Though you can’t fly off to Paris just yet, you can still enjoy a digital sightseeing trip to The Eiffel Tower, the most-visited paid monument in the world. 

Another spot you can virtually tour is The Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City, which is visited by millions of people every year. Likewise, 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. 

Online access to museums and galleries is emerging these days so people can cope with the quarantine at home. Google Arts & Culture allows users to seek digital travel experiences via virtual and augmented realities, walking tours, and 360°views of some of the world’s beautiful destinations and interesting cultures. Here are places that you didn’t know you can explore through Google Arts & Culture: 

Related: Watch for free: CCP launches new online shows for National Heritage Month

Brimming with rich cultural treasures, religious history, contemporary art, and ancient monuments, Indonesia is a must-visit country for every traveler. While everyone’s waiting for the perfect time to fly again, one can get to know Indonesia virtually with Wonders of Indonesia online exhibit. It features a special 360 tour of the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, Borobudur, and a close look at local handicraft in Galeri Batik.

The app also has curated stories and exhibits about Europe’s gems such as Italy and France. Take a grand tour of Italy and discover how much it has changed over time, enjoying 360° VR video of the Roman Amphiteather and a street view tour along the waters of The Grand Canal. See more of France’s natural and cultural wonders, getting an up-close view of the Eiffel Tower and enjoying the view at the snowy peak of Mont Blanc. 

Literary fans can also know more about the life of famous authors, Virginia Woolf and the Brontë Sisters, with online exhibits that offer a peek into these authors' childhood and bring them to the places that inspired their famous works. 

Musical and orchestra fans can also enjoy anything from the Australia’s renowned performing arts theater The Sydney Opera House, to New York’s finest concert venue Carnegie Hall and Italy’s largest opera house Teatro Massimo of Palermo. Viewers can closely see the theatre houses on their screen and even get treated to a special performance from an orchestra group. 

Interested in style icons and fashion classics? Users can also take a closer look inside Manolo Blahnik’s design studio, learn about the story behind Coco Chanel’s Black Dress and the Japanese kimono


Dating back 10,000 years, the Buck Island Reef National Park off the US Virgin Islands houses many unique corals and sea life. Take National Geographic’s guided dive with marine life photographer Brian Skerry and drift around to view the spectacular details of this unique and protected barrier reef, and watch sea turtle hatchlings make their way into the ocean at night. 

You can also take a virtual island hopping tour of Caramoan in Camarines Sur with 360-degree views of its pristine beaches and interesting shoreline rock formations. 

Nature, scenery, countryside

Renowned for 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 or check out Banff National Park, with its variety of videos available so you can “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 also 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. 

Off-the-beaten path

Keeping the spirit of World Museum Day alive, learn about the events that transpired during one of the dark days in history with a tour of Anne Frank’s Family Home. It features a 360-degree tour of the young girl’s house where she and her family lived and tells anecdotes about her childhood. 

Those with a penchant for space can go inside a space shuttle and experience space travel with a 360° video tour. — As released

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