Unconventional travel on YouTube
April 12, 2020 8:02 PM   Subscribe

I've started to get into watching travel videos on YouTube and it's really fun! I'm looking for more. In particular, can you recommend channels or videos about visiting places that are not common tourist destinations?

I watched some videos about visiting the towns in northern Canada on the Arctic Ocean that were pretty fun, as well as some of Wonderhussy's videos about ghost towns in the American Southwest. I subscribe to Atlas Obscura's channel. I loved the Mexico episode of Salt Fat Acid Heat where Samin avoids touristy areas and instead tries tons of local fruits that are hard to find in other places. So this is kind of the vibe I'm going for. Who else on YouTube is making videos about locations that are rural, isolated, or just rarely visited by tourists?

...or even just rarely visited by American tourists! I would include things like roadside attractions that are tourist destinations, just not ones that are widely known outside of the place where they're located. (An example of this that I liked was Safiya Nygaard's video about visiting the cheese theme park in Imsil, South Korea.)

I am primarily looking for YouTube videos because I like the shorter length, but I do also have Amazon Prime and Netflix if there is a streaming series you are dying to recommend me.
posted by capricorn to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Trevor James, aka the Food Ranger goes all over the place to try street food. He's super earnest and tries his best at the local languages, which I appreciate. (Bonus: there's an episode on Wuhan).
posted by thebots at 8:10 PM on April 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It's a very deep dive, but there's a great show on Netflix called Raja, Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan which is all about different regional foods in India, through the lens of what would have been served to the kings of all these regions. But mostly, what it is an excuse to show the places and people associated with all different kinds of Indian cuisines - and it goes to lots of places that I've only heard of in passing (like Lucknow!), or places I've never heard of at all (Sikkim!), and speaks to really interesting people. It's narrated in Hindi but subtitled in English, and reminds me quite a bit of Salt Fat Acid Heat. It's requires a little more focus because it's subtitled, but it's also just really beautiful and relaxing to watch.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:51 PM on April 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Check out some Salton Sea and Slab City videos.
posted by davidmsc at 9:48 PM on April 12, 2020

Best answer: I've been following a couple of travel blogging couples on YouTube.They go all kinds of random places, generally not the usual famous travel spots. They're both good at what they do (good sound, video, editing, storytelling) and they're both upbeat and excited about their travels (but not annoyingly so).

Endless Adventure

Kara and Nate
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:53 PM on April 12, 2020

Best answer: A sketchy british fellow going by the name Bald and Bankrupt is obsessed with remnants of old Soviet culture - architecture, railways, dottering old pensioners with nostalgia for Stalin. and the British connection to India as well. Occaisionally the "take the piss" version of brit humor becomes grating, but a lot of interesting stuff.
posted by zaelic at 10:15 PM on April 12, 2020 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Paolo from TOKYO makes great videos about Japanese culture - including places to visit.

City Beautiful is a town planner - who visits places with urban design in mind.

Sal Lavalo has visited every country in the world - and will tell you about how he managed it, the high points; the lows.

Tom Scott visits many unusual places.

ibx2cat is interested in quirky maps - a good inspiration of places to visit.

Kraig Adams goes on treks and films his experiences so that you can follow in his footsteps.

Finally: a shout out to Anthony Bourdain's shows such as Parts Unknown and No Reservations are often available on Youtube. He was one of the originals to make this kind of travelogue video.
posted by rongorongo at 1:03 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding rongorongo’s Bourdain recommendation. He was all about finding the non-touristy places, often using local guides.
posted by okayokayigive at 7:02 AM on April 13, 2020

Best answer: A number of Michael Palin’s travelogues can be found on line. They’re a real treat if you haven’t seen them.

Full Circle
Pole to Pole

He’s done a few more but those will get you started.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:47 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Thanks for reminding me of this previous metafilter post:

A map of 675 video walks around the world

viewing clips of places I've been refreshes subtleties of my travels.
posted by tinker at 11:06 AM on April 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh man, so many great ideas here and so many things I already love (Tom Scott! Bourdain! Kara and Nate! Wonderhussy has a great Slab City video! Atlas Obscura does Salton Sea!) which suggests the rest of the suggestions will be right on the money. Watching a Burkina Faso video (a place I've long been curious about) from tinker's link right now.
posted by capricorn at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2020

Best answer: Geowizard’s “Mission across Wales” in which he attempts to cross the entire country in a straight line - is nearly 3 hours of surprisingly compulsive travelogue.
posted by rongorongo at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2020

Best answer: I like Bald and Bankrupt but sometimes he gets a little too condescending and/or patronizing. My Russki partner can't take too much of watching him but I look on it as entertainment, rather than an actual learning experience. In general, he really doesn't know too much.
posted by JJ86 at 8:32 AM on April 14, 2020

I've long been fascinated by the storied (and sordid) history behind Pitcairn Island -- sailors from the Mutiny on the Bounty shipwrecked there, and their descendants remain in one of the most isolated communities in the world. So I was happy to come across a mini documentary about the long sojourn to visit the island.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:07 PM on April 26, 2020

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