Great Cities - Not so visited
Luang Prabang, Laos
Hoi An and Halong Bay, Vietnam
Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia
absolutely lovely!! (although they are getting touristy)
(2) Tohoku region in Japan.
quote:Originally posted by Not the first Travis:
What a cool list.
That would be Timisoara and Cluj just making sure the towns are correctly spelled
~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius
Here are some of the cities that I would comment on:
Darwin, Australia - Many people told me that I would hate Darwin, so I only spent a few days there coming and going from Kakadu. I really liked it. It has personality and friendliness. There's a cool museum on the beach that has a giant stuffed croc and you can listen to the recorded sounds of the deadly cyclone that hit Darwin. There's shared taxi buses with friendly passengers. There's a place you can feed giant fish with bread. It was such a mellow place so who cares if the architecture is uninspired.
Aswan, Egypt - I agree that this was a mellow place to stay and wander around. I was there several days just wandering around and enjoying the heat along the Nile.
Stromness, Orkney Islands - I actually stayed outside of Stromness in a tiny place that wasn't even a village, but went into Stromness to eat a lot since it was the nearest real town. The innkeepers, the restaurant owners, the guides all know each other and gossip about each other - it feels like the small town it is. The area I was in was walking distance to two stone circles and a famous neolithic tomb. There weren't alot of people let alone tourists. Heck, people were showing up 5-10 minutes before flights at the airport in Kirkness. Very easy going place. We didn't have a car and the innkeeper offered us to use theirs (we didn't). Plus beautiful moody weather.
Bangui, Central African Republic - Hard to get to, but you can't say there are lots of tourists there. The ex-pat community was super friendly and there was a bar there with a pet mongoose. You could sit on the fancy hotel patio (even though we were camping outside of town) and watch hippos. Downside, there is crime. There was a part of town I definitely felt unsafe in -and I did get scared walking during the day in one part of town where some young men were hanging out and looking menacing - nothing happened but I had to trust my feelings. Scenery of the countryside is amazing with zillions of butterflies and waterfalls - it has a park-like look and feel in the highlands near the city. My husband told me to add the private hospital was very nice (during his stay with malaria). They supplied the patients excellent food from the French restaurant next door, which Chris couldn't eat, but I really enjoyed. The lizards ran up the walls and gave us a sense of life unlike western hospitals where everything is killed off. Chris felt it was psychologically healthy to see them.
Hilo, Hawaii, US - A very mellow mellow small city on the big island of Hawaii. I loved this place when I first visited it in 1993. I kept going back because it is such a beautiful natural environment, has a good bookstore and cafe, and also everyone is welcoming. So I decided that I would live there some day. I plan to move there in 3-5 years. The people are so friendly and even though it gets tourists heading to the volcano, locals treat you like people not like a source of cash.
Yokohama, Japan - As mentioned before, it's overlooked since it's so close to Tokyo but it's a cool place on its own. Great food and a silvery harbour. We went to the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Yokohama last September. The Japanese fans who ran the convention were incredibly friendly and welcoming. (By the way, the Worlcon in 2009 is in Montreal and that's the place that started this thread..)
So, hopefully see you in Montreal in 2009 if not elsewhere in the world before...
What I really love though, are the little villages that you can't get to with public transport. That's why I choose to ride my bike around the world.
Steeped in World War history is very beautiful and laid back. I was there in winter so I don't know how touristy it can get but with Menin Gate I would assume there would be crowds in summer and on significant dates. Was only meant to be there for 2 days and ended up staying a week. Most people talk about how great Brugge is but I really disliked it, it felt tacky and overly touristy after spending a week in Ypre.
It is almost axiomatic that the worst trains take you through magical places.
- Paul Theroux
my travel website
I would also like to mention:
Dingle and Doolin, Ireland
My choices would be:
Memmingen, Germany - i have a good uncle (who actually looks like Borat) that lives there and i stayed with him for a week or so. I was lucky enough to catch the annual town festival Kinderfest - it was pretty interesting! - the town square is beautifully surrounded by small canals where during one day of the Kinderfest, the residents of Memmingen all jump into the canals and try to pull out the biggest fish - whoever catches the biggest fish gets pronounced 'Fisherman of the year'.
Other cool cities:
Lublin, Poland - beautiful old town - would make a great stop over between Warsaw & Krakow.
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