Describe a tourist attraction you once visited (Part 2/3)

Travel – a topic that appears frequently in the IELTS Speaking test. This is a very familiar topic, so when you come across the topic Describe a tourist attraction you once visited, you are always sure that you have “hit it”, right?

Describe a tourist attraction you once visited.

You should say:

  • What the attraction was
  • When you visited it
  • Why you went there

and explain why you enjoyed the visit or not

Sample Answer

I want to call myself a hodophile, a travel lover because whenever I have a chance, I’ll hit the road. I have been to many places, in Vietnam and other countries, and now I’d like to talk about the most recent place I’ve set foot in. That is Hakone, a lovely scenic town in Japan.

I went there last spring on a one-week solo trip to Japan. I was recommended this place by a local friend when I was browsing a travelling guide site. She was also the one who accompanied me to Hakone. To get to the city, I had to take a train from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station and Hakone’s Yumoto Station via Odakyu Railway. Another alternative is to take the train using Japan Railways, but the fare is slightly higher.

Although I already knew about Hakone’s charm, I was still stunned when I got there. From the windows of the train, I could already see the iconic Mount Fuji from afar, which was what I had longed to see. I then met my Japanese friend at Sounzan Station and took the first form of transport, the ropeway, to visit Hakone. Not only did I have a more close-up view of Mount Fuji from the cable car, I also caught a distinct view of the desolate mountainside covered by plumes of smoke in Owakudani. It was actually an active volcanic valley once called Hell Valley.

Then my friend insisted that I try the black eggs, another distinctive thing in Hakone. They are basically chicken eggs but boiled in Owakudani’s natural hot springs, whose water turns the eggshell as black as charcoal, and according to the local lore, eating one of these black eggs adds seven more years to our life. But to be very honest, it tasted like any regular hard-boiled egg to me.

Then, she introduced me to the onsen, which is basically bathing in hot springs but also what Hakone is most well-known for. I had to admit it was indeed a very heavenly experience.

In general, I was totally satisfied with the trip. The experience I had there still lingers until now even though it has already been a year.

IELTS Speaking Part 3: Tourist

1. What do you think are the impacts of tourism in your country?

In general, I would say that tourism has boosted our economy, and I’d say it’s one of the most considerable contributions to the GDP. Since Vietnam has many untouched natural beauty, tourists worldwide flock here to experience the tropical heat, try local cuisine, and get the most incredible services at an affordable price. So I suppose the generation of income and jobs are the primary advantages of tourism.

2. Do you think there are also negative impacts of tourism?

Certainly, everything comes with a cost and the most obvious effect that tourism brings is to the environment. As tourism significantly impacts local land use, it can result in increased pollution, the loss of natural habitats, and more tremendous stress on endangered species. These impacts may eventually destroy the environmental resources that tourism itself depends on. 

3. What kinds of tourists are likely to visit your country in the future?

I would suppose that those from neighboring countries, especially China, Korea, and Russia, will continue to select Vietnam as one of the destinations to spend their holidays. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, significantly fewer foreign visitors went to Vietnam in 2020, but this number is likely to peak soon.