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Old 01-22-2010, 11:06 AM   #21
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Niagara Falls, at least from the US side.

We used to love Cozumel as a sleepy town to spend a week in but now it's grown and its main town is full of people desperately trying to get you to buy something. The big cruise ships stop there and probably have hurt the town more than helped it in that more stores opened but passengers rarely spend any money or eat in the restaurants, causing more desperation by the merchants. I hope Playa del Carmen (haven't been there myself) escapes this fate.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:32 AM   #22
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St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The island was dirty and the residents were rude and nasty. I can't imagine how tourism survives there when (we) tourists were treated so badly. This goes back 15-20 years, so maybe it has changed/improved since then, though.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #23
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Agree on Stonehenge and Niagara Falls.

I was also disappointed in an Amazon River Boat trip that I took from Iquitos, Peru. The river is so wide that it is hard to see anything (birds, animals) on the bank, and for miles and miles and miles it is burned out and farmed out. Not exactly the pristine experience I was hoping for. That didn't sour me on Peru, though. It just made me realize that I need to do more research before I travel.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:50 AM   #24
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Stonehenge ! It's rocks in a field !
Tahiti the Caribbean is so much prettier !

LOL... this is one I do not have to put down... the people I worked with in London warned me not to go... and I did not...
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #25
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The Irish Pubs in Ireland. Go in one, you basically went into all of them. Very corporate, same stuff on tap, same set-up behind bar etc.. They do have some brew pubs that were fantastic. And yes several of the older pubs were interesting places to go, but overall beg disappointment.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #26
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OK... now that I have read them all....

I was disappointed in Disney last year... way to many people and trying to get any amount of 'riding time' was horrible... and WAY overpriced.. but it is not up there on my list of disappointments...

My #1 is Egypt... I have been to the 'resorts' on the Red sea... a nice place, but cold water.. also, horrible food... but the bad part of the trip was the Nile River cruise...

Every place we went, we were being accosted by Egyptions wanting MONEY... they would harrase you and follow you to try and get a sale.. they would try and show you around the ruins and then expect to get money for it... they would jump into your picture and then try and get money for it... they would act like they were your friend... and try and get money for it...

Then the tour would show you an old ruin for maybe an hour or two... back on the bus to the perfume shop, another ruin, a stone shop.. bad food, some other shop... you spent more time in shops with them trying to sell you something than actually seeing sites...

I would never recommed someone to go there unless they were ready for this onslaught.... heck, some people actually LIKE this...
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #27
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No one mentioned Wall Drug in SD
Ahh the advantage of no expectations. We ran across this in the middle of a very boring point A to point B drive (including the signs). It entertained us and gave us food. We were pleased by it but can't imagine anyone making a special trip.

San Francisco was definitely ruined by expectations. My big first impression was dirty with no greenery. The neighborhoods with their vertical gardens and staggered houses were much more interesting. Loved Muir Woods. I think our guide (person we were visiting) was part of the problem though. She even chose an expensive restaurant where the food was awful. Much happier with the irish bar and thai restaurant we randomly found while wandering around.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #28
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Grand canyon. Saw it as a teenager. Big hole in the ground. Scale of the thing is amazing, but after you look at it for a while, that is it.

I love vegas, but I think it is one of those places that you either like or hate. Great place to just relax and let it go - "what happens in vegas..." and all. Where else would I be sipping strawberry daiquiris served by mostly naked ladies with my wife sitting happily next to me? Where else can you think "It's 4 am, I really want a big beer and a big juicy steak, but I only want to pay $7 for it"?

Haven't been yet, but Hawaii is something the DW really wants to see. I'm kinda so-so on it, since it is a loooong flight from the east coast USA, and we have tropical islands in the Caribbean so close (many of which we have been to). But we'll have to go just to see it.

The Grand Canyon is the same way for her - she really wants to see it, but it is hard to explain that it is neat and all, but hard to justify a very long day trip or a 2 day trip from Vegas just to see it for a few hours. One day though...
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #29
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Epcot Center! We just didn't feel the love. Overcrowded, and really not a lot to do.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:14 PM   #30
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You guys are motivating the hell out of my travel plans. At this point I'm just going to wait for the videos...
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:42 PM   #31
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My #1 is Egypt.
Good info and good ammo.

We're heading to Laos in February but the next big trip after that is going to be North Africa. Wife wants Egypt, I want Morocco.

Now I can officially say "but this dude from the retirement forums says" etc.

Also - on the people bothering, same applies to my original post in this thread on Agra. Almost everything is a scam or someone who won't take no for an answer. All the hotels are kind of lined up in the same area and as soon as you walk out the door instant crowd of children wanting something, you can even feel their fingers "accidentally" inside your pockets. My wife caught a kid trying to unzip my backpack, a ride we hired to the long distance bus station instead took us to a travel agent he kept claiming was the bus station etc. the list is non-stop.

Funny = the train from Delhi to Agra has lots of broken windows. We asked why, it's the local kids when bored like to throw rocks at it when it goes by. Nice.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:43 PM   #32
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I'm thinking a little 'boonie' - and contemplating giving the Missouri Ozarks this summer - in contrast to - get ready for the tourist machine aka Branson.

The battle royal is on for the late summer family reunion already(after San Diego in Feb) - Lake Tahoe, back to Nags Head, The Mexican condo on the Pacific, etc.

I wouldn't a house on a lake/res. in the MO or Arkansas Ozarks. Got one branch in Rolla who hasn't spoken up - like Madden he doesn't fly.

heh heh heh - And then I have this American Passport renewed and itching to use.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #33
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The Irish Pubs in Ireland. Go in one, you basically went into all of them. Very corporate, same stuff on tap, same set-up behind bar etc.. They do have some brew pubs that were fantastic. And yes several of the older pubs were interesting places to go, but overall beg disappointment.
As people have mentioned before. For travel it pays to do your research.
It's no different than in the u.s. there are tons of ho-hum bars
and a few diamonds in the rough.

If you are in county Mayo,
here's the one to go to (owned by a member of the chieftains)
to that has awesome music and atmosphere most every night

Matt Molloy's - About the Pub
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #34
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You guys are motivating the hell out of my travel plans. At this point I'm just going to wait for the videos...
It's funny, but you don't know how true your statement is. You can probably get enough videos from the library particularly DVD and Blue Ray discs, that show the most amazing sites without the time and expense of actually getting there. DW and I watched videos on Italy before we went. We were disappointed that some sites didn't look as amazing in person. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the videos were shot from helicopters, private yachts, etc...
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #35
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For me it's the Taj.

Sure it's absolutely stunning from a distance, in fact that first glance from far away is unforgettable as is when you first enter the compound thru the gates.

That said, up close it didn't do much for me just plain white and smooth and big. Not much else near it a couple other cool buildings but it's just not one of those things where you can spend a day wandering the grounds being impressed.

Worst was inside. I guess it has some cool inscriptions but it's pretty small and you've got tons of people who don't believe in using deodorant creating a mosh-pit of sweat, heat, and body odor....
LOL, the Taj. I have an Indian friend who regretted never having visited there before becoming an ex-pat; his comment was, “the guy loved his wife too much.” Perhaps his gut instincts were correct, to see Disneyland first. j/k
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:17 PM   #36
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All this Taj talk reminds me of the classic radio blooper where it was triumphantly described as "the largest erection ever achieved by a man for a woman."

"Intimidating" might be more apt than "disappointing."
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #37
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All this Taj talk reminds me of the classic radio blooper where it was triumphantly described as "the largest erection ever achieved by a man for a woman."....
I've got to get out more. Around here we say that about Coit Tower.

Edit: Slight difference: Coit Tower was funded by a woman. My current avatar is from its dedication plaque.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:10 PM   #38
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Have to agree with the comments about Egypt. It was disappointing when you went to the pyramids and you could see the cesspool of Cairo in the background. The Sphinx I was expecting something on a far greater scale than it was. Then the Nile, I had a romantic vision of Cleopatra floating down on her boat, but it was nothing more than a filthy stream of murky water which would would not dare want to immerse your body in. As for the locals, the amount of harassment was off the scale. The highlight of the trip for me was undoubtedly the Egyptian Museum, such a fascination collection, you could spend days there and I say that as a non-Museum type of person.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #39
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Mmm...gonna have to show this thread to my DH regarding Egypt. That's a shame...

Reckon I'll plant some flowers in by backyard and stay put.

btw, I haven't traveled much, but the places I have visited and enjoyed/didn't enjoy were all about my attitude.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #40
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Have to agree with the comments about Egypt. It was disappointing when you went to the pyramids and you could see the cesspool of Cairo in the background. The Sphinx I was expecting something on a far greater scale than it was. Then the Nile, I had a romantic vision of Cleopatra floating down on her boat, but it was nothing more than a filthy stream of murky water which would would not dare want to immerse your body in. As for the locals, the amount of harassment was off the scale. The highlight of the trip for me was undoubtedly the Egyptian Museum, such a fascination collection, you could spend days there and I say that as a non-Museum type of person.

I will agree about the Cairo museum... but we were there maybe two or three hours along with thousands of other tourist being shown the same thing... we had to wait for other groups to move one before we were shown the next 'item'... if you want to go... go there by yourself AFTER all the tour groups have left (this from my brother who went without a tour group)...

Also, about the harrassment... it is MUCH WORSE if you are a woman... my wife had kids after her the whole time... sometimes dozens... and the men were chatting her up like crazy... she is not American... but when they found out I was... WHOA.... they LIKE Americans because we have more money and they want it... From what I could tell talking to a few locals, not many Americans go there anymore...

SOOO, anybody wanting to go... just remember... it costs a lot, lots of hassles... and what you see that is interesting has a total time of say 12 to 20 hours on your week there.. the rest of the time you are on a bus, a boat, a train, sitting in some shop you would rather not be... checking into a hotel, checking out... not to say that some of what you see is not interesting.. it IS... but putting something interesting in a cesspool takes away a bit on what you see...
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