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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Messages 1 2 

Any advice? by hunnicut.bj on 3 March 2006 5:42pm
Me and my friends Nome, Vig, Kat and John have decided to travel around the world in 2009 (Early days, I know, but I've got to finish uni first!) going, and we've decided to do the whole avoiding planes where possible bit. We've worked out our route as far as Japan, but as for the rest of the places, I personally am a little stuck. There are a million places I'd love to see, but as that's not practical, I wondered if any of you lot had any suggestions for any places in particular that you'd consider from experience to be unmissable?
Re: Any advice? by sighthound on 4 March 2006 1:14am
Istanbul, arriving by boat at sunset.
Re: Any advice? by drsmith on 4 March 2006 5:02pm
Big question - Big world.
Between the 4 you, the 'must sees' will differ, so I think it would be fair and avoid disappointment if you agree on the 'definite' items, before you commit to each other.
The other thing is to be flexible, so that impromptu opportunities, chance meetings, local festivals and events that aren't in the guide book are a feature. You'll get more of a kick doing something different than the tourists before you.
Re: Any advice? by montyfreak0234 on 4 March 2006 5:32pm
tokyo disney. i heard it was small from my friend but i think she liked it (well if your into that sort of thing) and you can go into the country side of japan i heard it was baetiful but i have never been to japan or anywhere outside the u.s so i wouldnt know. and never go to the desert in the middly of the summer espesially without airconditioning i dont think those mormans out in utah belived in that sort of thing, no where seemed to be airconditioned.
Re: Any advice? by hunnicut.bj on 7 March 2006 2:37pm
Instanbul sounds great! That's somewhere I've always kind of wanted to go anyway, so I'll add that to the list! And I know at least 3 of our party (me included) really want to go to Japan, so that's pretty much a definite.

drsmith: That's some really good advice there. We'll have to lock ourselves in a room and work something out. I completely agree with what you said about doing something different. Although obviously we will have to stick to some kind of timeframe, we do intend to allow room for some flexibility for the very reasons you said.
Re: Any advice? by Spursfan on 7 March 2006 5:02pm
Things to see/do in Istanbul (apart from shopping in the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar!!) are:

Aya Sofia; Topkapi Palace; Underground Cistern; Sultanahmet Mosque; Dolmabahce Palace (sorry I don't know how to do accents on this site); Pera Palace Hotel (where Kings and Queens have stayed, the Orient Express passengers stayed and Agatha Christie was when she was missing. They have her room as a museum, also a room where Ataturk stayed. They are only too pleased to show you round but stay a night if you can. We spent our 25th wedding anniversary there!!);go on the ferry along the Bosphorous going from shore to shore, which takes up most of a day; eat freshly cooked fish in half a loaf cooked by fishermen in a swaying boat on the quayside - tastes scrumptious!!

All I can think of for now, we've visited 3 or 4 times and it is still magical.

Re: Any advice? by montyfreak0234 on 13 March 2006 2:15pm
go to.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................somwhere besides here..................................................
Re: Any advice? by hunnicut.bj on 13 March 2006 5:46pm
Eh? Was that a bit of travel advice, or a request for me to sod off?
Re: Any advice? by Faustus on 9 April 2006 1:38pm
As far as Japan, I would say don't bother with Tokyo Disney. I haven't been there myself, but the feedback I've heard from those who have is that it's not that great, involves long periods waiting in huge lines, is expensive, and isn't different enough from the Florida and California incarnations to make it worthwhile. This is coming from other people who live here, so if you're in Japan with limited time, I would say that there's other stuff that's more worth seeing, such as:

-Himeji Castle- just down the road from me and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the few original castles left in Japan (most are concrete reconstructions from the 1960s).

-Sapporo Snow Festival- rumor has it that it's phenominal (though, as with everything in Japan, crowded and expensive). Worth checking out if you're in Japan in the winter.

-Onsens- communal bathing with water provided by one of Japan's volcanic hot springs. They're phenomenal after you get over the group nakedness bit, and a great way to end a day of power sightseeing.

-Kyoto- too much stuff there to list individually, but if you want shrines, temples and palaces, this is the place to go. Better than Tokyo for Japanese cultural stuff.

-The Daibutsu at Nara- one of the biggest Buddhas in the world and not far from Kyoto.

-The Atomic Dome at Hiroshima- along with the musem and peace park.

-Itsukushima Shrine- located on Miyajima Island, a short ferry ride from Hiroshima. Miyajima is far and away one of my favorite places I've been in Japan. One of the few places in Japan featuring nature untouched by endless concrete.

-Koya-san- a sacred mountain where you can spend a night in a Buddhist monastery. Highly recommended by everyone I've ever met who's been.

-Okinawa- a bit of a schlep if your time is really limited, but its culture is unique from Japan's and may be worth a look.

-Sumo- if you're in Osaka in the spring and willing to spend $50-100 US, you can go to the grand sumo tournament held each year in March. I went last year, and it was great- something you really can't do outside of Japan. Other tournaments are held in Tokyo and a couple other places at other times during the year.
Re: Any advice? by hunnicut.bj on 12 April 2006 5:52pm
Wow, that all sounds great! I'll certainly put those ideas to the rest of the mob
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