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[LISTEN] Here are some virtual travel suggestions for the lockdown

Written by: Neo Koza

The lockdown period is the perfect way of still experiencing some of the world's best attractions without leaving your home.

Travel correspondent Gabbi Brondani Rego runs us through some of the world's biggest attractions are doing to keep the public's interest in what they do:

  • Google Arts and Culture
  • The China Guide - offers a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China
  • Nasa's research centres - google spacecentre.org/app for a a variety of virtual tours

If you do have access to a VR headset, there are options online where you can climb in inverted commas, the world's highest peak. So there is jaw dropping virtual reality travel experiences...

Gabbi Brondani Rego, Travel correspondent

Click on the link below to find out more....

These virtual tours are a great way to explore the world without leaving your home

We live in an age of unprecedented access to digital technology – and with it, brand new ways of exploring the world around us.

As the covid-19 pandemic intensifies each day, staying safe means staying home for the foreseeable future. And with the world’s best art galleries, museums, tours and parks temporarily closing, it’s difficult to stay positive when it feels like the world is closing its doors. However, self-isolation doesn’t mean we have to stop exploring. Luckily, there are thousands of epic virtual reality travel experiences and tours to fuel our wanderlust from home.

Thanks to Google’s Arts and Culture Project https://artsandculture.google.com/, more than 2,500 spaces around the world are available to view online, plus many institutions and travel experiences are hosting virtual tours for us to immerse ourselves in. From exploring the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to taking a 360° tour of Machu Picchu in Peru https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/santuario-historico-de-machu-picchu-casa-de-losnobles/aQFExMrHgPcnQsv_lng=-72.5449748168174&sv_lat=-13.16402863344787&sv_h=271.9013578429272&sv_p=-2.819208160690877&sv_pid=7Teak5G7DlGXB9DTZSjEEQ&sv_z=0.01584725315686175

Let’s come together as a global community of explorers. Here’s our list of some of the BEST virtual reality travel experiences to try while on lockdown …

Walking tours and adventures

Climb Mount Everest (with the help of VR)

Always dreamed of climbing the world’s highest peak? This jaw-dropping virtual reality travel experience allows you to follow some epic journeys through the eyes of 18 previous explorers. Starting at basecamp, you’ll virtually ascend through the Khumbu Icefalls, Lhotse Face, Hillary Step, and eventually the final push to the top. Your heart WILL be in your mouth. For some of the journeys, you’ll need an Oculus Rift headset, an HTC Vive or the lower-tech Google Cardboard VR viewer, but the amazing God Mode is worth it, offering adrenaline-inducing views.

Chill out with a nature live stream

If, like us, you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, here’s a reminder of the beauty of the natural world. Explore’s https://explore.org/livecams live cams give everyone the opportunity to tune into some amazing wildlife live streams – including elephants chilling by the watering hole in South Africa, lowland gorillas playing in the Congo and nesting eagles in the USA. And breathe.

Take a live virtual reality travel walking tour of your fave city

From the Griffith Observatory is Los Angeles to the iconic Kuromon Ichiba food market in Osaka, Wind Walk https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPur06mx78RtwgHJzxpu2ew/videos has a whole host of walking tours to try from home and help us escape. Even better, the videos are recorded with binaural audio – so wear headphones to really feel the surround sound.

The Great Wall of China

With a history stretching over 2,000 years (the wall was built during the Ming dynasty between the 14th and 17th centuries) and covering 3,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall is absolutely unmissable. Luckily The China Guide https://www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china is offering a virtual tour.

Take a tour of NASA’s research centres

Calling all space nerds, NASA offers virtual tours of their Langley Research Center in Virginia so you can drop into research labs and even take a flight simulation. While The Space Center Houston’s app https://spacecenter.org/app/ offers virtual tours, videos and audio stories about space exploration.

Explore the surface of Mars with 360° images

And if you want to venture even further, check out Access Mars’ http://accessmars.withgoogle.com/ jaw-dropping virtual reality travel experience, where you can journey across the red planet on the Curiosity Rover.

Museums, galleries and culture

Check out the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Whether you’re an art buff or just want to keep your brain active, not only is this gallery https://www.nga.gov/ offering virtual tours of its exhibits, you can also access video recordings of past art lectures online.

Pay a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Home to over 2 million works of fine art, The Met is on everyone’s New York City must-visit list. Good news for us is that their website https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features has a huge online collection with virtual tours of the most iconic pieces from the likes of Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, which makes it one of the best virtual reality travel experiences to try right now.

Look around the British Museum, London

This amazing museum has everything from the ancient Rosetta Stone to Egyptian mummies, not to mention the building’s beautiful architectural features. Check out the British Museum’s virtual tour https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/ – which has seen a huge spike in online visitors, the website traffic has unsurprisingly doubled since the covid-19 outbreak.

Head to the Louvre, Paris

Name a more iconic museum! And you can easily take a virtual tour of the Louvre where you can learn all about the artworks – from Rembrant to ancient pharaohs and the museum’s fortress history. https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

Watch a free National Theatre play

The National Theatre in London has recently announced their new offering: NATIONAL THEATRE AT HOME. Audiences across the globe can stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube. Watch out on Thursday 2 April at 7pm GMT (and on-demand for seven days), first up is Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring Tony Award-winning James Corden. https://www.youtube.com/user/ntdiscovertheatre

So there you have it, you can still travel the world with virtual reality and digital tours. Just because we’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean we can’t keep exploring and planning our next trip – that time will come! Stay safe and keep dreaming.

Travel inspiration podcasts and sites

There are also a host of travel podcasts available on Spotify and Apple music, and, in the Calm app, they have “before bed” stories which are also travel-related – which is also stunning for inspiration!

If you are looking for more travel inspiration, Lonely Planet’s website and the Contiki blog called SIX TWO are great for global inspiration.

This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] Here are some virtual travel suggestions for the lockdown

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