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Great Cities - Not so visited


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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
Yeah, Wroclaw is pretty cool, but I see it as a jumping-off point for the countryside than as a destination in itself for longer than a day or 2.

I should add Kosice, Slovakia. It's pretty, it's laid-back, and it's a great base for day-trips (to picturesque small towns, caves, castles, national parks, skansens, whatever you like).
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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
Try these places:

It's no coincidence in my book that more pleasant places tend to have less cars and sprawl - big town or small town. Which makes me wonder about life (and city planning) in the US - and I'm saying this after driving from Seattle to Savannah, Georgia via Texas up to Boston, MA then back down to Southern Cal (Lived 6 years) via Michigan (Where I was born and lived until 11)and Oklahoma, then back up to Seattle.

I've been to Montgomery, AL. Learned to my surprise about the Confederate White House. Town was pretty dead though from a human life perspective.

Yes sir - we need more Wal Marts, Targets, Home Depots, strip malls, super super stores, and asphalt crude oil parking lots. Yes, more uninspiring architecture please.


As for charms - I'll agree with The Hague and Leiden, Netherlands nearby. Darwin, Australia is a nice base for exploring the surrounding area.

Regional government run and subsidized (To promoe tourism) lodging/onsens (Hot springs) in Okayama prefecture in Japan. Your own modern room with free use of hot springs and kitchen for <$30 in Japan!! If you're going to Japan I can send you a link.

Hope this helps.


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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
Nara, Japan.

I ended up there by accident because all the hostels in Kyoto were full. Talk about a fun-ass place!

The nightlife consisted of one gaijin bar, but it was a blast. People in Nara have a very small-town friendly feel. Additionally, there are so many great temples and shrines to go visit (all while avoiding getting attacked by angry deer)


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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
Montgomery, huh? Well, it's the closest city to here. Maybe I'll go there on MOnday.
I'm not at my best when I moralize or philosophize. Logic is elusive, especially to one who so rarely uses it.
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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
I'll second that vote for Nara. Very quaint. Did you feed the deer any biscuits?


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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
I'd like to second the vote for Basel, Switzerland. I only spent a few days there, but I could have spent much longer. I would also recommend Honolulu. Many people travel to Hawaii to get away from it all or to spend time at the beach. But, I think that Honolulu is a great small city... with alot of lovely museums, beaches, memorials, restaurants... and you'll be hard-pressed to find nicer local people.


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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
After circling the globe a few times, here are my most pleasant surprises:

Hanoi, Vietnam (maybe the nicest city in SE Asia)
Shimla, India
Amman, Jordan (amazing unchaotic for the M.E.)
Aswan, Egypt (just a nice place to kick back)
Istanbul (loved it so much I ended up living there for a while)
Chattanooga, TN (very small city in the south)
Merida, Mexico
almost any town/city in Holland
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  • Added on: December 12th, 2004
Ayacucho in Peru is a lovely town. It's simply beautiful colonial town, full of history and it was home of the second university in Peru after Lima's. Ayacucho was for a while the headquarters of the Peruvian terrorist movement Sendero Luminoso, the obvious reason why it was not a travel destination. But the Sendero is long gone and the city is slowly getting some tourism flow. There's a lot to see in the area of Ayacucho, such as the Wari ruins, pre dating the Incas or the village of Quinua which produces unique pottery and is lovely in itself.

I have a thing for Mikulov, in Czech Republic. It's the capital of the Moravia state and contrary to the Czech beer tradition, that area produces good wine. You can rent a bike and cycle around the surrounding villages and wineyards. You will find tourists, but Austrian ones mainly (few hours from Vienna). It has a few thousand inhabitants only and there's a lot of history over there as well. Mikulov gave shelter to many jews during the Nazi days and there's a huge jewish cemitary, plus, of course a significant jewish quarter. Google it to find more. I was there in 2003, early august, during their culinary festival (which translates in a few stalls in the main plaza and some folk dancing!). Four days of miming and only speaking english with a girl from tourist information and another in one of the pubs. Great time.


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  • Added on: December 13th, 2004
Bangkok--it's an obvious one I guess, but we totally dug it and felt at home--the movie theatres are epic.

Also, Saigon was great--the people are friendly and not too pushy, the food is excellant, and there's an awesome water park.

In New Zealand, we really like Dunedin on the South Island--great scenery, cool Uni, friendly folks, penguins, and neat factory tours.


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  • Added on: December 13th, 2004
I loved Dangriga in Belize. It's a medium size town by Belize standards but it's sooo full of culture and friendly people. Nice ocean views and there are so many less tourists then Placencia, further south.
Also Hue Vietnam
And I really like San Diego.
And here's a strange one...
I loved Wallace Idaho. Pop. 850
Weird place, lovely people, picturesque town. Not much to do...maybe not a good place to go alone...but if you have an ATV and some warm clothes it's great in the winter.
'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings

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  • Added on: December 13th, 2004
I fell instantly in love with Memphis, TN...I think it's the fact that there's music EVERYHWERE.

I'll also register a vote for Lugano, Switzerland...gorgeous, kind of quiet, very nice.
"I am a passenger on the spaceship, Earth." -Buckminster Fuller


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  • Added on: December 13th, 2004
The city of Cadiz, south-west Spain.

I don't really know why either. I guess if I knew why it would n't be fit for this topic.

Oh and I agree with Dunedin. Nice town.
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  • Added on: December 14th, 2004
I agree about Wroclaw and Torun, though I think two weeks in each is probably a little too long to stay, though both have plenty to see, and sitting in the Rynek in Wroclaw in the summer watching the world go by is great. While still in Poland, I would rate Poznan, very undervisited, and a city full of character as it has both the old (the rynek, etc.) and the young, i.e. the University, and nightlife, which is one of the most lively in Poland, and the Lech brewery for lovers of good continental beers.....
In the Czech Republic, Liberec, though sharing none of the splendour or historicity of some of the older places like Telc or Cesky Krumlov (which are too small for a long stay, and very touristy anyway) is a very pleasant place, with the best swimming-pool in the Czech Rep!
If you're not allergic to cities and their dirt, noise, etc, Bursa in Turkey is under-rated by non-Turks, as is Erdine (originally Adrianoupolis).
Greece? Kastoria, not really a city, more a small town, with all its Byzantine churches, is a nice place to stay for a week, but not just because of the attractions the town itself has to offer, but also the surrounding countryside. It is, however, a small place (pop.about 17,500)and also a fur centre, which would put off plenty on these boards. But if you're interested in Byzantine art,or interested in Macedonian architecture of the 18th and 19th Centuries, it is heaven. And its location on a lake is a fabulous sight.
Indonesia? Bandung, though it doesn't have that much to see, is up in the hills of Java, and close to more than one active volcano, and so cooler and more restful than mad Jakarta, and Jogjakarta has its moments. I wonder if the splendid old building the Hotel Garuda still exists, along with its notorious reputation...
At present, most of the striking cities in Romania are still undervisited; get there before it is too late and the likes of Timisoara, Cluj and Brasov get deluged.

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
What a cool list. Eek

Okay, I had some major day-dreaming time today, so I took every place suggested on this thread and made a list. Then I looked at it and imagined an epic RTW trip. Start in Eastern Canada, work down through southeastern US. Pop in on Mexico and down to Central America and onto South America. Jump over to Europe. Go west to east. Then down to Greece. Then to the Middle East. Bounce to India. Then Asia. Quick stop down under. Then after all that traveling it would be time for a little R&R so head up to Siberia for some chill time in Ulan Ude by Lake Baikal. Here's the list. (I only deleted two places, Wallace Idaho just didn't pencil in, and Honolulu, though I guess we could stop to refuel there.) Thanks, all.


Montreal, Quebec
Quebec City, Q
St. Paul de Vence (is that in Quebec?)
Halifax, N.S.

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Montgomery, Alabama

Merida, Yucatan


Dangriga, Belize


Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Cajamarca, Peru
Ayacucho, Peru


Cadiz, Spain
The Hague, Netherlands
Leiden, Netherlands
Brussels, Belgium
Brugge, Belgium
Basel, Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland
Belgrade, Serbia (? How embarrassing)
Torun, Poland
Wrocklaw, Poland
Krakow, Poland
Warsaw, Poland
Poznan, Poland
Ceske Budejovice, Czech Rep
Mikulov, C.R.
Liberec, C.R.
Kosice, Slovakia
Rimisoara, Romania
Club, Romania
Brasov, Romania
Kastoria, Greece


Tel Aviv, Israel
Amman, Jordan
Answan, Egupt
Istanbul, Turkey
Bursa, Turkey
Erdine, Turkey



Bandung, Indonesia
Bangcock, Thailand
Hanoi, Vietnam
Saigon, Vietnam
Hue, Vietnam
Nara, Japan

Dunedin, NZ


Ulan Ude, Siberia


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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
St. Paul de Vence in Provence, France

Thanks for the day dream, and the summary.


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