This Website Lets You Virtually Explore the World With Local Experts

Amazon Explore lets you have a one-on-one online tour with a local.

( What makes sightseeing tours interesting are the anecdotes you get from your tour guide. The information and details you usually get from them are things you won't find in travel books or blogs, which makes your vacation even more memorable. While you can't go out to book trips just yet, Amazon introduces a new way to explore various destinations, cultures, and experiences from the comfort of your homes: Amazon Explore.

PHOTO BY website/amazon
PHOTO BY website/amazon via the verge

Unlike the usual virtual tour, Amazon Explore has a personal travel guide hosting a live-streaming session on location and in real time. It uses one-way video and two-way audio stream, so you can see him/her but you can choose not to be seen (just in case you're still in your pajamas while you're "touring" Mexico City's urban art scene or the Old Town of Prague). You can take snapshots of your "tour" through the built-in camera/screen recorder on the Amazon page.

You can even ask your guide to buy souvenirs along the journey and have it shipped to you via Amazon. You can also book cultural experiences like a language lesson from a Cantonese expert in Hong Kong, making chimichurri for Argentine asado, or creating a shibori artwork.

The beta platform launched on September 30, Wednesday and is only available to U.S. residents for the time being. We just have to wait and see until Amazon expands it to the global market, the same way we can "Add to Cart!" orders from abroad.

Main image from Amazon's website.

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