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Biggest destination disappointment
Old 01-21-2010, 05:15 PM   #1
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Biggest destination disappointment

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.

That said it is a pretty easy train ride from Delhi, which itself is a pretty good time. Also within close striking range of Pushkar and Jaipur. Overall simple routes up in there for independent traveler type.

Way better alternative = Angkor Wat. It's as impressive up close as far away, the scale is even greater, the style is more varied from temple to temple.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Carmel was a disappointment for me. Too commercial, much preferred Monterey.

Taos, NM was also disappointing.

Me and the kids really disliked Disneyworld too. It seemed to be nothing but stores to buy Disney merchandise. And very crowded.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Vegas. Not my cup of tea.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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Stonehenge ! It's rocks in a field !
Tahiti the Caribbean is so much prettier !
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:31 PM   #5
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Sometimes is more about your expectations than the destination. Vegas is the most tacky, greedy, offensive, neon, money grubbing and gaudy places I have ever seen. That's why I like it. It's a parody of itself. Genuine in its unapologetic hideousness. Perfect, in a perverse sort of way. You know just what you're getting.

But best not to go there if you are seeking a different kind of experience.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Sometimes is more about your expectations than the destination.
I agree with that.

My destination Disappointment would have to be Honolulu. I had this image of a garden paradise. When you fly into Honolulu during the day you'll see the browned out lawn with lots of dirt showing. It kind of goes like that. Honolulu and Waikiki are just an overbuilt (and somewhat yesteryear's) tourist trap. Someone called it fittingly Barstow with a beach.

How disappointing - it certainly didn't fit my vision of what Hawaii should be

Now Kauai that's a different story altogether.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:12 PM   #7
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I definitely agree with Rich on Vegas. I absolutely love the place, it's like some weird fantasyland, one of the few places in the US (Big Easy the other) where someone walking by holding a beer at 8:00 am doesn't turn heads.

Plus it's a people-watchers paradise. I could sit there for hours watching people go by.
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Old 01-21-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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I definitely agree with Rich on Vegas. I absolutely love the place, it's like some weird fantasyland, one of the few places in the US (Big Easy the other) where someone walking by holding a beer at 8:00 am doesn't turn heads.

Plus it's a people-watchers paradise. I could sit there for hours watching people go by.
Ditto - except switch Reno for Vegas.

Worst disappointment - New York City - like the Pace ad.

heh heh heh - I suspect an inside tour guide and more time (than 3 days) would have turned me around on New York. Plus I drove in from Long Island - big mistake.

Biggest ho hum so what - the PacNW from northern CA to Alaska/ grew up there my first 26 yrs. Gimme some swamps, plains, deserts, Texas scorpions. . Also Europe, Mexico, and Carribean - never got beyond the usual tourist traps/tours/etc.

Now take Kansas City or Tonganoxie - pssst don't tell anyone.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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I have found that guided tours have their value. Do your homework and you will enjoy a place more. Watch Rick Steve's Europe Through the Back Door, for example.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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Agree with Moemg, what a disappointment Stonehenge was. I was expecting to be overwhelmed by the sheer size, but it was disappointment all round.

The other big disappointment for me is the Grand Canyon. Whilst everyone will stand around and marvel at the magnificence of the place, all I see is a big hole in the ground.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #11
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Ever been to the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, TX? We have! It was along the way from point 'a' to point 'b', so we stopped to take a look since we'd heard about it many times over the years. All I can really say is just, "Wow!" That's "Wow" as in "Wow....folks must be really hard up to come up with things to do and see in the Texas Panhandle!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacqJolie View Post
.....Me and the kids really disliked Disneyworld too. It seemed to be nothing but stores to buy Disney merchandise. And very crowded.
Same with us.....It's like a vast sea of gift shops, with an occasional ride thrown in to amuse the kids. I'll stick with lounging on a beach somewhere away from the crowds!
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Vegas. Not my cup of tea.
A few years ago during a group tour of the Southwest Nat'l Parks, we had a couple of days layover in Vegas to kick back and do whatever at our own leisure. We were given coupons and cash to eat, gamble, and shop, which we used...but, not being gamblers at all, that was all that we gave the casinos. It was nice to relax and people watch, but we were very ready to leave after the layover was done!
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......The other big disappointment for me is the Grand Canyon. Whilst everyone will stand around and marvel at the magnificence of the place, all I see is a big hole in the ground.
We've always wanted to see the GC, and on our Southwest N.P. tour we saw it. Ummm...Whoopee? A huge @ss hole in the ground. It was by far the least favorite of all of the N.P.'s that we've visited! (Liked Glacier N.P. the BEST!!!)
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:41 PM   #12
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Cancun. I was really turned off by all the tourist resorts in the hotel zone and overpriced bars catering to kids on spring-break. Even though the ocean was beautiful.

I felt much better after going down to Playa del Carmen. That's more my kind of place.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:59 PM   #13
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New York city for me. Now immediately, I went to NYC several time before Mayor Rudy, who evidently did a lot for cleaning up the city and reducing crime, but I didn't like it at all.

I could easily see how Tahiti wouldn't live up to its billing if you had a typical tourist experience. I stayed with a Tahitian family so my experience was pretty special.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:05 AM   #14
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Venice. Its beautiful and all, but in such an artificial way. Its like an old-world version of Disney.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:09 AM   #15
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Ditto - except switch Reno for Vegas.
Our impression of Reno = Vegas with only the downtown and not the strip.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:18 AM   #16
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Boring to me-Almost any "normal" tourist place, especially in a city. View from the Eiffel Tower in Paris isn't bad though. I like the countryside. The places that stick in my mind over the years are almost always the little things that other people don't think are special. The local pub, walk in the Dales, etc. Almost anytime there is a city I start shaking and can't wait to leave. After living in several countries, my fellow teachers all seem to be more interested in "knocking off" the checklist of tourist places, a lot of which I haven't seen. I then ask them if they have been to (fill in a spot) fairly close to where they live.....almost never have they done it. One of my goals this Spring is to ride my bike up to the Tan Hill Inn/pub (1.5 hrs by car) for a pint...uhh....or more.....hopefully my wife will drive up there to bring me back.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:20 AM   #17
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Negril, Jamaica.

I did think it was a beautiful area; but, this is the only place I've been in the Caribbean where I did not feel comfortable (not only personal safety but also general hassle and annoyance factors) wandering around on my own.

I won't go out of my way to return to Jamaica. There are too many other places that have just as much natural beauty without as much hassle factor for me.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:33 AM   #18
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No one mentioned Wall Drug in SD
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:41 AM   #19
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Key West, FL. I grew up in a beach resort town. Between sailing, surfing and skin diving vacations, I've been to a lot of beach resort towns. This is just another one, except maybe for the nightlife which I didn't sample.

Just another one on my list of places that lost what ever charm it had long before I got there.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:55 AM   #20
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I used to love Vegas. Not so much anymore now that I'm married and have a daughter.

Disney World is also rather boring, but perhaps you need to be a child to fully appreciate what it has to offer.

What I found amazing on a couple of recent vacations was stumbling across non-touristy areas/experiences in typical tourist destinations.

For example, when DW and I were on our honeymoon in France, we spent a week in Paris. Naturally, we saw all the museums. While we were impressed by the artwork (which until then we had only seen in books), the crowds were a real problem. However, one morning we got up early and hustled over to the Rodin museum on a Sunday morning (admission was free). We sat in the huge sculpture garden with a grand total of three - yes THREE - people in the entire place. We munched on fresh baugette and brie, sipped some orange juice we had picked up on the way, and just marveled at the silence of the place. It felt like we were back in 19th century Paris, since we couldn't hear any cars/mopeds, there were no crowds, and only the birds for background noise. Simply amazing.

The same thing happened when we went to Florence. While all the tourists were cramming themselves into overcrowded restaurants for menus in English and allegedly traditional Italian cooking, we stumbled across a little hole in the wall restaurant that served only a few tables. No one spoke English, and the owner basically waited the tables himself (his wife the did the cooking). Through hand gestures and a dictionary, we made ourselves understood. Amazing food.
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