Best Countries to Visit?

Apr 3, 2010
15,814
2
0
Seattle, WA
#1
For me New Zealand ranks way up there especially the south island. The people are incredibly polite and hospitable (rivaling Japanese). The place is uncrowded and beautiful. You can go from beach to Fjords in one day! Was dirt cheap when I went (NZ $ was half of ours). Very kid friendly with every motel room having a kitchen and multiple beds, with milk in the fridge! And with seasons reverse of ours in US, a great place to go in Winter time. And of course, they speak English so no language barrier :).

BTW, the direct flight takes you there from LA and the time difference is only 3 hours! Well, it is really 21 hours but that translates to 3 hours and a day lost or gained. So there is little jet-lag.

Close second would be some parts of Japan such as Kyoto or that depends on how much you enjoy Japanese food and your ability to get past language barrier.

So what are you favorite best places to go overseas?
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#2
Never been to New Zealand and always wanted to.

A little closer to our neck of the woods is Costa Rica. I took my family there two years ago and had the time of our lives. What a wonderful country with magnificent friendly people. Very affordable with plenty to see and do. I even rode the zip lines which IMO was probably the scariest thing I have ever done
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#4
do it before you kick the bucket

The outdoor photos we took of the countryside, birds and seacoast etc were terrific.

Best way to analogize Costa Rica is that it is similar to Hawaii but in a far more rural setting.

We stayed at Manuel Antonio
 

rblnr

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 3, 2010
1,912
35
48
NYC/NJ
#5
So many great destinations, but a few off the beaten track:

Burma -- I have been in many countries in Asia, but no place quite like it. The nicest, most open people caught in the worst possible circumstances. Turn a corner on a small path and in the middle of the forest are four back to back seated Buddhas over two hundred feet high. Shwedegon Pagoda is on par w/Taj Mahal and there's a 300 ft. or so long reclining Buddha nearby. The Pagan area has over five thousand Pagodas in various states of repair with a 20 mile radius or so. And then you can go up to the Candacraig, an old teak British officers club and guest house near Mandalay. The remains of British occupation are still all over and many Burmese speak English. Hard to describe how magical the country is in many ways. Many, many stories

If your into hiking/trekking, there's nothing like the Himalayas in Nepal. Hopefully the political situation will stabilize there.

A bit more on the map, I love the Greek Islands, paradise really. Santorini is a favorite -- it's the rim of a volcano that blew up and sunk. Buildings start at the top of the rim and work their way down. Beautiful blue water and black sand beaches. Nice people and spectacular food. Naxos is another pretty island, a little more low key. Crete is interesting for the cultural remains.
 
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Apr 3, 2010
15,814
2
0
Seattle, WA
#6
I was invited to a trip in Greece last year and had planned to go to Santorini to take pictures of the buildings on the cliff. Alas, the plans changed at the late minute and I got stuck in Athens, watching one of the worse soccer games of my life which our host owned and invited us to (too rude to turn them down). Oh well. Hopefully one of these days I make it there again. Truly picturesque stuff.

Burma sounds fascinating too.

Boy, making it through the bucket list seems to take infinite amount of time and money :).
 

rblnr

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 3, 2010
1,912
35
48
NYC/NJ
#7
The couple times I've been to Greece I've gotten out of Athens ASAP. That's too bad about Santorini. Time and money aside, since you're already interested, it's a must.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
.

Boy, making it through the bucket list seems to take infinite amount of time and money .
.

That's what we do when retired. I've cruised the Greek Isles. Stopped at Rhodes Mykonos and Santorini
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
5
38
New York City
#9
I know it's boring but I'm kinda partial to the UK. I love London's charm and Edinburgh when in bloom in the spring! We even speak the same language--though Brits would disagree there :)

It doesn't hurt that there's plenty of vinyl to be found over there. Fattened up my LP collections with my frequent visits in the late '90s and early 2000 :)
 

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#10
to me, the ultimate holiday will be a tip to tip tour of the Philippines.

we're on the 5th day of an 8 day Hawaiian vacation. we're loving it here in Kauai, reminiscent of the old provincial life when I was growing up in the Philippines. as my wife says, the less contact with human, the better.



taken earlier this morning, here's a thumbs up for Kauai, Hawaii, US of A
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#11
Man

I am envious. Kaui is my second favorite island with Maui number 1. I used to own a condo in Maui for many years. In fact I have had my Hawaiian medical license for almost 35 years thinking one day I might retire there and work a few mornings per week

BTW, who is looking after those fish
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,638
240
63
Boston, MA
#12
Speaking of Greek islands, try Corfu on the other side - unlike the Aegean islands, the Ionian islands are lush green. I think you will find Corfu fascinating. My favorite place so far is Bermuda - never seen anything as clean.
 

Dimfer

Member Sponsor
May 8, 2010
460
13
18
Canada
#13
BTW, who is looking after those fish
I fed them heavily twice the day before we left. My mom fed them today, should be good enough. Big fish can survive weeks without eating.

we just came back from a luau party... all I can say is wow!
 

jadis

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2010
7,382
845
113
Manila, Philippines
#14
Though I've visited it only once, China is a fascinating place to go. I plan to bring my family there very soon. I took a 30 day tour with some friends back in the mid 80s (I know today, the living conditions are so much tourist-friendly compared to then). What won't change is the scenery. The major tourist spot that I believe one has to see at least once in his lifetime - The Great Wall of China. 5,500 miles of wing span and built thousands of years ago. Seeing it in pictures does not do it justice. Climbing it from tower to tower does. It looks easy but I started to pant midway from one tower to the next, and I was only 23 then. LOL. Xian is an ancient city and the hallmark there was a mummy preserved so well one could see the flesh still intact on parts of its body. And of course the Terra Cotta warrior statues in the dig. Incredible artistry. Taking a Yangtze River cruise was another great experience. Then we went to Szechuan to see a panda natural habitat in the forest. Cute big things. LOL

As for quick trips, nothing beats a one and a half hour plane ride to Hong Kong. I have frequented it since the 90s, specially to listen to high end audio gears in places like Golden Strings of Winston Ma, Excel Hifi (dealers of Magnepan, ARC and Sonus then), Sound Chamber (Spectral, Wilson then, Von Schweikert now, Magico), and I dug up a lot of rare 'world music' LPs too from the record sellers around town. Chinese food is one of the best in the world, and going around the island in their mass transit system is a breeze. Shopping? Your wife will definitely want to be with you here. LOL This is a place where west meets east. LOL. Exciting place.
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,353
296
83
Manila, Philippines
#15
to me, the ultimate holiday will be a tip to tip tour of the Philippines.

we're on the 5th day of an 8 day Hawaiian vacation. we're loving it here in Kauai, reminiscent of the old provincial life when I was growing up in the Philippines. as my wife says, the less contact with human, the better.



taken earlier this morning, here's a thumbs up for Kauai, Hawaii, US of A
Ey Shaka Brada, Howz'it? :D

I'm with you bro. I've been to beaches on three continents and each and every time I say none of them has got anything on the Philippines. Probably why I've been doing mostly domestic travel lately and I feel I haven't even scratched the surface.

Come on over folks!!!!!!!!!
 
Jun 8, 2010
347
0
16
N. California
#16
...Burma -- I have been in many countries in Asia, but no place quite like it. The nicest, most open people caught in the worst possible circumstances...
I agree. Did you get to Inle Lake in the north? It has villages on stilts over the water and floating gardens (fields really). And there are five? small golden Buddha's that are transported around the lake by boat once a year. One was lost lost during a storm but was returned to the temple under mysterious/magical circumstances around which a legend has formed.

But the Burmese people are the main attraction. When I was there in 2001 the universities had been shut down, the senior professors were in monasteries and my drivers and guides were engineers and English literature majors. Since I stayed with the same guys for several days I eventually got to know them. At first, they would be quite cautious since they could never know who might be an internal spy. After a while, they would open up and we had a lot of fun. I was traveling up and down Burma by jet, and members of the military junta traveled on the same jet. That meant that we had to head for the airports long before the plane left since they would close the road when the junta made the same trip just before the plane was scheduled to depart. One time we were late and ended up behind the convoy. Normally we would be stopped but someone made a mistake and saluted my car. The driver turned to me and told me to salute back. So we drove like royalty for the 20 miles to the airport. We reached the roundabout but instead of stopping they asked me if we could go around a second time with all the junta's guards snapping salutes and my guide and driver laughing hysterically.

Have you read the book "Finding George Orwell in Burma" by Emma Larken? It turns out that Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), author of "1984", was a British policeman in Burma during the 1920's. The British were extremely repressive and created a police state with everyone spying on everyone else, a legacy that remains to this day. One can easily imagine that Blair/Orwell drew heavily on his Burmese experiences in his future writing career. At one point in her book Larken described searching for remnants of Blair's legacy in Burma and asks a group if they know of him. After some consultation, they reply: "Oh yes. We call him The Prophet".
 

rsbeck

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
848
0
0
#18
Turkey. Istanbul was once Constantinople, capitol of the Roman Empire. Ephesus has amazing ruins. Cappadocia has ancient underground cities complete with temples. They have incredible beaches and crafts. They have interesting customs. For example, it is against their culture to refuse to help a stranger. So, when we were lost, we would ask someone for directions and if they didn't know, their culture demands that they accompany you as together you find someone who can help. There were times we would collect a little roaming band of Turkish people looking for someone who could give us directions. One of the best vacations I've ever taken and one I highly recommend.
 

audioblazer

Member Sponsor
May 14, 2010
591
0
16
Malaysia
#20
The beautiful island of Maldives, with pristine sandy beaches, surrounded by beautiful and lively corals in crystal clear water
 

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