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BigGameHunter
05-06-2013, 20:04:22
OK...like a typical xenophobic Yank, I have not travelled much outside the US. I lived in Tokyo for a summer when I was 15...that's pretty much it.

I have the ability, possibly, to take off for a few weeks at some point in the next year, and have been thinking about walking the El Camino road (for one idea). But what I'm hoping is that our multi-cultural community might have some good ideas about a trip that would be relatively cheap, safe, "different" and blow a Yankee's mind in some way...I prefer spiritual, but I can do whorehouses and stuff too.
I kid.

Ideas?

zmama
05-06-2013, 21:38:41
New Zealand

Fistandantilus
05-06-2013, 22:21:21
Rotterdam

jsorense
05-06-2013, 23:26:56
CHEAP? Try Belize.

jsorense
05-06-2013, 23:28:58
Cheap? Forget Europe and try Belize. IMHO

jsorense
05-06-2013, 23:51:13
That was such a great idea I had to post it twice. :D

MDA
06-06-2013, 02:16:29
I hear Belize is cheap.

Koshko
06-06-2013, 03:19:41
Belize

RedFred
06-06-2013, 04:09:05
Cheap and spiritual and mind-blowing... India fits all criteria. India is the most spiritual place ever.

Flights are a bit brutal from the west coast though. The first trip to the inlaws near Bangalore was 36 hours door-to-door.

I have been granted "person of Indian origin" status so I do not have to apply for a visa.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
06-06-2013, 07:03:00
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_St._James

Oerdin
06-06-2013, 09:00:09
Costa Rica is always fun and cheap, Peru is another place I've always wanted to go, Thailand was amazing, or you could to the traditional yankee mad dash through western Europe.

Funko
06-06-2013, 09:56:15
Yeah, whatever you do don't do that. You need to spend a few days anywhere to get even a vague sense of what the place is like. Zooming through destinations in a day taking a photograph of the most famous landmark doesn't teach you anything.

So that'd be my tip, wherever you go, spend a few days, attempt to speak the local language to some locals. However bad you are, they'll appreciate the effort and you'll get more out of it.

MOBIUS
06-06-2013, 10:06:37
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_St._James

I second this one. I reckon you could do it pretty cheaply and the land and history is spectacular!

zmama
06-06-2013, 17:29:51
Yeah, whatever you do don't do that. You need to spend a few days anywhere to get even a vague sense of what the place is like. Zooming through destinations in a day taking a photograph of the most famous landmark doesn't teach you anything.

So that'd be my tip, wherever you go, spend a few days, attempt to speak the local language to some locals. However bad you are, they'll appreciate the effort and you'll get more out of it.

Oh and if you do go to NZ and someone asks you if you want cilid....it's salad!

paiktis
06-06-2013, 17:31:24
Ive been to a few countries but most of them were in europe and spain is one of the few I didnt go. But I do hear it's mezmerizing, rich in medieval scenes and from what I know perfectly safe.
asia is a terra icognita for me, never been there. I do feel a certain allure though towards it but not vast.
france is great for all the food the great monuments and it is said that french are dicks (especially by the americans) but it never seemed that way to me. speaking the language or knowing some words of it would be greatly welcomed anywhere.
for example you can go to paris stay a few days and still not having seen half of it. and i'd imaging it IS something different from the US (it is rather different from many european cities as well).
Italy is also GREAT. there you can do a tour of major cities I think, because noone single city is enough to hold you for more than one or two days. venice, bologna, florence and rome.
england (sorry my friends :D) i never really liked, i find london too oppresive (but that's taste and I'm sure it is a great city with many things to do)
for sea magic if you are looking in europe, the choices are few. there is spain and its islands which are said to be very beautiful, there is croatia, there is turkey (which is great I'm told but not 100% safe these times) and there's greece. i don't want to sound chavinist but there is nothing better in the whole world than the greek islands at summer. but greece is generally sought for for two things: its antiquity and its seas. there are plenty marriages there in islands that have both.

also there are huge differences in ticket prices if you book really really early and allow a margin of 3 or 4 days for departure and arrival. and there are affordable hotels. you just need to look and kind of sense wether there are in a relatively good neighborhood.

BigGameHunter
06-06-2013, 18:19:57
NZis definitely an option...have a friend who lives there currently. I'm thinking El Camino would be what I'm really after, but not sure how long it would take...I suppose that could be adjusted by where I begin...
Thank you!!

Mr. Bas
07-06-2013, 12:29:38
The St. James Way may sound interesting, but the traditional way of doing it on foot would definitely not be my type of holiday. As always, Mike has the best advice: whatever you do, take your time and don't rush from place to place.

The first suggestions that come to mind are Italy and Spain. Many beautiful, historic places, great scenery and awesome food, Italy more than Spain IMO. Also, not that expensive, and in my experience friendly locals (Spain moreso than Italy in this case).

West and Central Europe have plenty of cool places that are reasonably well connected: Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Munich, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Paris and Copenhagen are all worth a trip. And so are many smaller towns in the area. Some quite affordable (in particular the first three), others a bit more expensive. Lots of history, great towns to hang around in, excellent beer and in contrast to Italy and Spain you can easily get by with English in most of these places. The food is decent but not spectacular though.

Outside Europe, my vote would go to Brazil and in particular to Rio de Janeiro. I've heard great stories about Costa Rica but haven't been there myself. Let's see: Japan is awesome, but you've already been there I see. Thailand (and surroundings) offers everything from beautiful islands, good food and great scenery to raunchy whore-infested tourist traps, and it's cheap and very easy to travel around in.

Just to add to RedFred's suggestion: although I'm sure India can be an interesting place to see, the vast majority of people I know that have been there were not really all that positive, and many outright negative. Very dirty, very poor, unfriendly and unhelpful locals, persistent begging and rip-off schemes, and mediocre food that still makes the average western stomach sick were the most common complaints. If you go to Asia, my suggestion would be to go for Southeast Asia instead (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, something like that).

paiktis
07-06-2013, 13:34:35
just for future reference, bruges (in belgium) is considered the venice of the north due to its many piscqueresque canals that run throughout the city. It also has rich medieval history. Also as Mr Bas said, the railway system in those parts is superb. Very fast and reliable and you can definitely easily arrange trips to amsterdam and paris from there.
also london is not so far away, you can go even by boat! (I did it once) although air ticker would probably be cheap.

Funko
07-06-2013, 14:10:05
As always, Mike has the best advice

Take note Tizzy.

zmama
07-06-2013, 14:20:49
Best advice at CG isn't much of a compliment!

MDA
07-06-2013, 14:21:46
It makes up for the dumb cotton ball gifts!

Funko
07-06-2013, 14:23:17
All I need to say to you is "Winter Clothes"

zmama
07-06-2013, 14:25:00
and we all :lol: :lol: :lol:

MDA
07-06-2013, 14:36:29
The best part is the winter clothes disaster actually happened. Glass houses, man, glass houses. :o

MDA
10-06-2013, 13:05:11
I've been instructed to ask about places to spend a few days visiting in New Zealand. It won't be until probably April 2014ish, but my wife is having trouble finding places with enough to keep us busy for more than a day or two at most, which then necessitates hopping from place to place. Where's a good place that we can either wander around without a plan (although that might kill her), or do lots of stuff (that doesn't involve LOTR, because that might be too cheesy even for us).

mr_B
10-06-2013, 13:08:48
i read Belize is cheap

Funko
10-06-2013, 13:14:50
I've been instructed to ask about places to spend a few days visiting in New Zealand. It won't be until probably April 2014ish, but my wife is having trouble finding places with enough to keep us busy for more than a day or two at most, which then necessitates hopping from place to place. Where's a good place that we can either wander around without a plan (although that might kill her), or do lots of stuff (that doesn't involve LOTR, because that might be too cheesy even for us).

Hmm in NZ we did hopping around from place to place. Spent 3 days based in Queenstown though and spent no time at all in Auckland.

Milford Sound (we didn't make it there, were due to fly for a day from Queenstown but weather grounded us... but you definitely should).

zmama
10-06-2013, 13:48:45
Milford Sound, so far the most beautiful place I've ever been and it was raining! What kind of thing does the missus like?

mr_B
10-06-2013, 13:52:14
clothes

MDA
10-06-2013, 14:02:10
Wildlife for sure is good, history, moderate amounts of hiking are fine, doesn't like cruises, but whale watching seems to be OK... she's not a strong enough swimmer to really enjoy snorkeling (it's just hard work). She's no camper. Gets bored within ten minutes of baking in the sun at the beach. Almost never drinks, but doesn't mind a brewery/distillery tour once in awhile (the microbiology/manufacturing process is more interesting than the final product).

We both have different blind spots when it comes to food we like to eat, but can usually find something new to try.

zmama
10-06-2013, 14:09:14
Winery tours in the north of the South Island. Like Funko we were mostly just South Island... Based in Christchurch. Best fish and chips EVAH there. Other specialties the lamb, venison, and ostrich, all three raised on farms.

MOBIUS
10-06-2013, 15:19:10
I've been instructed to ask about places to spend a few days visiting in New Zealand. It won't be until probably April 2014ish, but my wife is having trouble finding places with enough to keep us busy for more than a day or two at most, which then necessitates hopping from place to place. Where's a good place that we can either wander around without a plan (although that might kill her), or do lots of stuff (that doesn't involve LOTR, because that might be too cheesy even for us).

The whole point of NZ is the hopping around because the scenery is so goddamned amazing!!!:bounce::bounce::bounce:

A north or south island road trip is almost a must! Wellington is my favourite city and there's enough there for a good few days.

Places I'd say definitely visit:

Wellington (Just a really nice city to chill out in)
Napier (Wine and Art Deco)
Roturua (Geo-thermal stuff and Maori Culture)
South Island (Fucking beautiful, of which Milford Sound is the fucking beautiful of fucking beautiful!)

Avoid Auckland.:gasmaske:

zmama
10-06-2013, 15:31:15
What he said! :beer:

Funko
10-06-2013, 15:32:47
In the national museum in Wellington they had a possum which had been fossilised in tarmac.

Funko
10-06-2013, 15:33:23
SPOILERS!

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/9017/fossil-possum

MOBIUS
10-06-2013, 15:41:11
For wildlife, my favourites are the Kea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kea)(which you usually can see at either the Fox or Franz Josef glaciers) and the Weta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weta)...:D

zmama
10-06-2013, 15:53:48
but be careful, the Kea will try to eat your car!

zmama
10-06-2013, 16:06:33
ooooh better idea, take me with you and I'll act as guide! :D

MDA
10-06-2013, 16:21:44
I guess I should have mentioned my wife is afraid of/hates grasshoppers and crickets. This is going to be fun. :lol:

Car eating Kea is a step up from the glasses earpiece eating... lorikeet? at Kuranda years ago. How much damage can they do?

I would have assumed that was a modern opossum squashed into sun-softened asphalt by passing cars... :p

Wineries just got the axe. Too bad.

Current plan is to take a European style? month long vacation, split between NZ and Tazmania/Melbourne.

Funko
10-06-2013, 16:29:38
I would have assumed that was a modern opossum squashed into sun-softened asphalt by passing cars... :p

Yes.

It's amazing for those of us from countries where it never gets hot enough for this to happen.

MDA
10-06-2013, 16:30:28
maybe I should have read the whole caption under that fossil picture

...because me thinking the road was mixed with tar from an actual tar pit was dumb

Funko
10-06-2013, 16:31:09
:lol:

zmama
10-06-2013, 16:35:09
CG where you can let your true dumb, hang out for all to experience!

mr_B
10-06-2013, 18:39:25
omg

MDA you are our King

hail MDA
hail MDA

MDA
10-06-2013, 19:10:37
Bow before Sofa King Dumb!

zmama
10-06-2013, 19:44:24
honored your majesty!

MOBIUS
11-06-2013, 08:55:44
*Genuflects in MDA's general direction

Cheshire Cat
11-06-2013, 11:38:39
non possumus!

Lurker
13-06-2013, 21:00:02
These places look great, but if there ain't an Applebees, why bother?

mr_B
13-06-2013, 21:30:32
dhy
are you stjoepit?

zmama
14-06-2013, 16:21:45
Ah but in NZ there is a teashop at every crossroad! Ask for a flat white :D

jsorense
15-06-2013, 23:23:06
That may be true but I hear Belize is cheap.

zmama
16-06-2013, 00:43:42
So Belize is cheap you say?

mr_B
16-06-2013, 19:19:11
question is is Patrick as cheap as Belize

jsorense
16-06-2013, 21:14:06
Strictly "Low Budget."

Funko
17-06-2013, 07:38:08
and jsorense has a package he'd like you to bring back for him if you don't mind.

MDA
17-06-2013, 10:50:58
handle with care

zmama
17-06-2013, 12:36:46
handle his package?! :eek:

Dyl Ulenspiegel
17-06-2013, 13:33:41
with care.

jsorense
17-06-2013, 15:28:48
Don't touch that. :mad:

zmama
17-06-2013, 15:33:48
HAMMERTIME!

Dyl Ulenspiegel
19-06-2013, 10:23:40
On the package.

MDA
19-06-2013, 10:47:07
these boots are made for kicking, that's what they're gonna do