Lonely Planet: Top Tourist Hot Spots Worth The Crowds

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MLW20, Sep 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Back in April Lonely Planet had an interesting article online that I wanted to share.
    The article is about top tourist hot spots worth the crowds. The list is made up of an interesting and amazing group of sites/ places. Odds are, if a site is overly crowded it must be worth visiting for one reason or another...

    Here is the list:

    1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
    2. Prague's Old Town, Czech Republic
    3. Eiffel Tower, France
    4. Florence, Italy
    5. Grand Canyon, USA
    6. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
    7. Pyramids, Egypt
    8. Taj Mahal, India
    9. Machu Picchu, Peru
    10. Uluru, Australia
    From the list above, I've been to 8 of 10 sites. I found all of them to be well worth visiting and some weren't even so busy or crowded! The sites I have not visited are Victoria Falls and the Taj Mahal. Both are high on my list of places to visit in the future. I almost went to Vic Falls on each of my trips to Africa but it just did not fit into our itineraries. When I visited the Grand Canyon, I went to the area known as Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk. I would also love to visit the sections of the Grand Canyon that make up the National Park someday.

    Find out more about the tourist hot spots listed above in the full Lonely Planet article HERE

    (Originally posted to my blog HERE)
     
  2. SOLTATIO

    SOLTATIO Silver Member

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    The other I'd add to this list is definitely Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. It was breathtaking and while not quite comparable given that it is natural v man-made, I found it to be much more awe inspiring than the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower.

    EDIT: And yes, the Vic falls in Zimbabwe really is all that. I know many people are staying away because of the political climate, but it truly is spectacular.
     
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  3. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I've been to 2,3,4 and 5. I booked a mileage run to see #8, but didn't realize I needed a visa and had to change the run. Prague is magnificent, but there is something so grand about the Eiffel Tower.
     
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  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I might add the Cliffs of Moher to that list. Truly spectacular natural beauty.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I've only been to five of the sites. But two of them five times each, and Taj Mahal twice.

    What about Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Petra? I thought they were worth the trip, too. And Rome (e.g., Colliseum)!

    I guess there's a reason why I am not a big fan of these top 10 lists... they immediately trigger those "but what about..." thoughts.
     
  6. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Just go and see it through the Zambian side if you have an issue with the political aspect of Zimbabwe (it's not as if anyone could blame you). Zambia is by far the preferable destination when compared to the wreck that Zimbabwe is right now.
     
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  7. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    I've always wanted to go to Ha Long Bay. Hopefully when I visit Vietnam again at some point I can get there!
    I've heard that the Cliffs are amazing. Ireland should at some point be one of my next trips to Europe but we'll see. In recent years when I consider heading back to Europe something better usually comes up!
    Tikal is actually one of my favorite sites as is Petra! Great suggestions for additions to any top list. However this list is mentioning crowds too. When I visited Tikal and Petra, they were not so busy but then again I was there at a somewhat off-peak time. Wandering around Tikal with practically nobody else around was amazing!
    For me the Coliseum was amazing from the outside.

    I like the "What about" factor involved in reading these lists!
     
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  8. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I was fortunate enough to have the Grand Canyon as an account to call on, so got paid to go there!! One of the most awesome sights I witnessed was from the south rim, there was a thunderstorm in the middle of the canyon yet sunshine on both the north & south rims. Winter & if there is snow makes for another amazing time to visit.
     
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  9. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    getting paid to see one of the world's natural wonders is not a bad gig.
     
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  10. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    not at all, I also had Yosemite & Sequioa/King's Canyon. The money was not great but the perks with having accounts like this more than made up for it.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I was at the gates of Petra right at opening time and managed to be the first to arrive at the Treasury (other than the guys with the camels waiting for the tourists). Took some quick photos (I had seen it the night before in the dark and also spent more time there on the way out) and proceeded on to see as much as possible of the rest of the site ahead of the folks still enjoying their breakfast buffets ;) The hike up to the Monastery tends to not be too crowded as most people don't seem to walk that far. In the afternoon when we came back down there were definitely lots of people walking around the site (but it is fairly spread out, which helps). Who could blame them, though... I was one of them!

    Did sort of the same thing in Machu Picchu. We stayed overnight at the one hotel on site. The first day we did the sightseeing with our tour guide and thousands of our closest friends. I set my alarm clock to be at the gate the moment it opened the next morning and was able to enjoy the site at sunrise for about a half hour pretty much by myself (with a couple of Llamas).

    Grand Canyon with snow is awesome.
     
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  12. MLW20
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    MLW20 Gold Member

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    Sounds like great experiences!
    I spent 3 days visiting Petra and also did the night visit. It's an amazing place and I'm glad that I too the time for an extensive visit!
    At Machu Picchu we had two days including climbing up Waynu Picchu (the mountain in the back). That hotel is a fortune right outside the gates, isn't it? We stayed in Aguas Caliente and enjoyed the area surprisingly!
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Yeah, it costs about the same as a Motel 6... if you BUY a Motel 6. :(

    Didn't have time for Waynu Picchu, but hey, I needed a reason to go back ;)
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Wow!
     
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