Describe something special you took home from a tourist attraction

Describe something special you took home from a tourist attraction.

You should say:

  • What it was
  • When you bought it
  • Where you bought it
  • and explain why you think it was special.

Model Answer:

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Let me tell you about the time I visited Namsan Tower, a famous tourist attraction in Seoul, Korea and took something really important home.

I visited Seoul for seven days during last year’s winter with my mom and brother. Although we tried a lot of delicious food and saw a lot of beautiful scenery, I was looking forward to the Namsan trip the most in order to accomplish a secret mission. Namsan tower is famous for the ‘tree of love”, a designated area around the base of the tower where couples can publicly declare their eternal love by placing love locks. My girlfriend, who is a hopeless romantic and a huge K-drama fan, left there a pink, heart-shaped love lock with our names on it a couple of months ago. My mission was to retrieve it and bring it back to her as proof that we were meant to be.

However, I was at a loss for words when I saw thousands of love locks of different shapes and sizes, scattered around the “Tree of love”. My brother and I spent hours searching but there was no sliver of hope. We even had to video call my girlfriend to ask for more directions, but all of our effort was in vain. I gave up two hours later since the tower was closed and ended up buying a new lock back home for my girl, unreluctantly bursting her bubble of a fairy tale love story.

So the love lock was really special to me just because of the funny story behind it. That’s all.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

1. What souvenirs do people buy from tourist attractions?

That’s a long list. From my experience, Westerners like to bring back home ornaments, postcards or mugs, while people from Eastern countries like to buy food. My mom, for example, often buys local specialties where ever she visits, like seafood or fruits from the places she visits, which are more expensive than a T-shirt, for sure. This is because she must share the souvenirs with our relatives and neighbors, given the Vietnamese is strong sense of community.

2. Why do people like to take photos while travelling?

My initial thought was to capture the moments and happy memories to impress our future self when we revisit these pictures. But now I think about it, it seems to be far from reality. Most people now take photos to post on social networking sites and impress their online followers. A volunteer trip to an African village can totally change a Facebook’s profile picture. I’m not a big fan of this virtual lifestyle, though.

3. Is this good that locals sell things to tourists?

Everything has pros and cons. The advantages of selling local goods is that it will help promote economic growth by creating more jobs, especially for underdeveloped areas. Also, this will help preserve traditional values and encourage cultural interactions. However, some tourist attractions are selling overpriced products which creates a bad image amongst international tourists, so overall, I believe this is a positive development if managed properly.

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