A tourist trap is to travelers as fatty french fries are to health buffs: something that you avoid, but sometimes you indulge on it just for the "taste" of it.
Like fries, tourist traps - attractions that were only built with tourists in mind - are readily available and something that you'll encounter often as you travel around.
As most are easily recognizable, you're most likely to visit it and have a snapshot of you taken with it on the background, like the Merlion statue in Singapore's Marina, after which there's nothing else to do but to watch other travelers fall for the same trap. Others may just be worth visiting because they become part of the story to be told when you're back home, like the notorious Patpong district of Bangkok and its pingpong girls.
While gorging too much french fries is ultimately bad for your six-pack, indulging too much on tourist traps will distract you from experiencing the "real" place. So, like they say, consume sparingly!
pics, clockwise from top: Bruce Lee statue on Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong; the Merlion statue in Singapore; the signs beckon in Patpong district in Bangkok; the man-made Siloso Beach in Sentosa, Singapore