#24–Chiang Mai, Thailand–Why?

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Making arrangements yesterday for 2013 spring and summer travel, I came across TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 Destinations in the World”.   As usual, I started counting and had a bit of a shock.  I’ve been to 17 of the 25 and plan to visit a couple of the unvisited before this year is out.

I really like and trust TripAdvisor.  In 2000 Stephen Kaufer became frustrated with misleading information about & distorted images of, for example, crummy hotels.   Like Stephen, I also became really annoyed by what I thought would be a good place to stay but found myself in a stuffy, badly furnished attic.  That still happens but less often thanks to TripAdvisor.  A couple of travel disasters and the inability to warn people about them was the main reason why I started roadsrus.wordpress.com in 2011.

The #1 TripAdvisor Destination is, no surprise, London, England.  We haven’t been since going there became so lopsidedly expensive due to the strength of the pound.  That was somewhat OK because we had other places to go & had enjoyed annual trips almost every year over a decade.   Main attraction:  The Tower of London.  Main guilty pleasure:  The London Eye. Looking forward to:  Wigmore Hall.

#2, Again, no surprise, New York City.  We make it there about every 2 years and will spend a few days in NYC on our way to London.  Main attraction:  Ellis Island (among almost countless others).  Guilty pleasure; standing in long TKTS lines wondering what show we’ll see.  Looking forward to:  Union Square Cafe.

#3, Rome, Italy.  On my first visit to Rome, I judged it the most difficult, stress-producing destination I had ever experienced.  At the same time, I was truly loving it.   main attraction:  The Pantheon, Colosseum, Via Veneto, etc.   Guilty pleasure:  Italian ice.   Looking forward to:  the Borghese, IF we can get in (it aint’ easy).

#4, Paris, France.  This is still a notable destination but be very, very careful. Crime is lurking.  The last time we were there, a kind expat took us under his wing and saved us from being mugged in The Metro.  Main attraction: the Louvre, which lives up to its hype.  Guilty pleasure;  strolling the Champs-Élysées, especially when it’s snowing.  Looking forward to:  finally going up into the Eiffel Tower, a tourist cliché that has somehow eluded us.

#5, San Francisco.  Well, duh.  We were just there 2 weeks ago.   Main attraction:  walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Guilty pleasure: walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Looking forward to:  walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

#6.  Many have urged us to go there, but Ruth & I still haven’t–Marrakech, Morocco.  Well, here’s the incentive.  Watch this space.

#7.  Istanbul, Turkey.  See #6.

#8, Barcelona, Spain.  No argument–one of my favorite cities in the world and, perhaps, capital of the new country of Catalonia the next time we visit.  Main attraction:  anything by Gaudi.  Guilty pleasure:  walking back streets and then joining the strutting male and female peacocks on La Rambla.   Looking forward to:  dining again in Citrus (166 on TripAdvisor rate it Very Good or Excellent).

#9, Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Help me out there.  Why do I want to go there?

#10, Berlin, Germany.  A way-under-valued, sensational destination, Berlin really surprised me.  Main attraction:  The Holocaust Memorial.   Guilty pleasure:  riding the metro looking for disappearing signs of a once divided city.  Looking forward to:  flashy German cars amid incredible affluence.

Hank

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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