Louis Vuitton has partnered with Soundwalk to produce a series of surreal audio tours that whisk listeners through some of China’s most well-known cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The tours offer a strange and captivating mix of music, sound effects, and narration that are sure to enhance any traveler’s visit to the country. Listeners stuck at home can enjoy the tours as well – simply relax and watch the stories through your mind’s eye.
Three of China’s most well-known actors (Gong Li, Shu Qi, and Joan Chen) supply the narration, which blends instructions (walk down this road, open the door) with heartfelt and nostalgic story telling. Each city essentially serves as a stage for a different tale of love and longing that helps bring the tour’s destinations to life. It sounds weird, but it works.
These tours are sure to be a hit with the throngs of tourists that will soon head to China for the Olympics, as well as with listeners at home. But be warned: this isn’t your typical travel guide, so don’t buy one expecting a tour full of trivia and factoids.
Louis Vuitton Soundwalk tours are $17 for each hour-long tour, and are available in English, French, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. Soundwalk, the company that Louis Vuitton has collaborated with, describes itself as a creator of “audio tours for people who don’t normally take audio tours”, and has offerings for a number of other cities worldwide.