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(CNBC)   The most disappointing bucket list destinations in the world. Who's got more?   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Machu Picchu, Inca Empire, Cusco, Bhutan, tour guide, crowd of vendors, Tourism in Peru, Inca  
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537 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 21 Apr 2021 at 10:35 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-04-21 9:16:21 AM  
Mine is Iceland. Their tourist machine has been cranking along pretty hard for about 25 years, touting natural wonders, incredibly friendly locals, etc. I went there mainly to visit friends, so that was the most worthwhile part of the trip. Had I paid for lodging and a rental car, I'd be pretty bitter.

The reality is a (human-)deforested barren tundra that you could find almost anywhere in Canada or parts of Northern Europe. Yes, it's all very modern and easy, and almost every under the age of 60 speaks perfect English. I would still say it's high on the list of "easiest and safest non-English countries to visit," but between the crazy daytime hours and intense cold for most of the year, it's just not worth it. Next time I would just save half the flight time and go to Maritime Canada or something.

Note: If you are a hardcore outdoorsperson, geology nerd, or serious offroader (among other niches), then it's definitely worth a visit. But for the average tourist, IMO it's a bit disappointing compared to the buildup in the media.
 
2021-04-21 9:59:44 AM  
We are a jaded humanity, no?

Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.
 
2021-04-21 10:04:55 AM  
San Francisco: it's a city. Lombard St has curves. Zig zag one way across a mall parking lot to recreate this experience.
 
2021-04-21 10:15:14 AM  
I'd like to add that since I retired a few years ago, I drive all over the place (except for the past 13 months). Stopping by meteor crater was great; buying homemade peanut brittle at some diner in Oklahoma was great; Zion, Bryce, & Sequoia are awesome in different ways. Maui is great and I've visited twice in four years.

If you're going near San Francisco, go to Monterey instead. Or go north of San Francisco and visit Point Reyes and the nearby redwood forests.

(And I grew up in NYC, moved briefly to Chicago, and settled in the Los Angeles area; perhaps I'm jaded regarding cities.)
 
2021-04-21 10:28:25 AM  
The Cherry Blossom Festival in DC.  I had to agree with my wife that the trees down the street from us looked prettier, and without the crowds.
 
2021-04-21 10:40:11 AM  
Every tourist destination sucks because it's a tourist destination.
 
2021-04-21 10:47:34 AM  

edmo: We are a jaded humanity, no?

Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.


Isn't that from a Steven Seagal movie? :P
 
2021-04-21 10:51:06 AM  
The road to Hana on Maui has beautiful vistas that you can admire while you're stuck in the massive, never ending tourist traffic jam.
 
2021-04-21 10:53:47 AM  

NikolaiFarkoff: edmo: We are a jaded humanity, no?

Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.

Isn't that from a Steven Seagal movie? :P


If it is I'd put money on it being The Glimmer Man.
 
2021-04-21 10:54:15 AM  
Disappointing RE: Machu Picchu.
 
2021-04-21 10:54:56 AM  
Subby's bedroom?
 
2021-04-21 10:55:20 AM  
The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota-Weird Al Yankovic
Youtube Tcw326PJuDw
 
2021-04-21 10:59:04 AM  
edmo:

Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.

Thats what people say about me.
 
2021-04-21 10:59:32 AM  
The Mona Lisa. Tiny and crowded. There are a billion more interesting things in that museum alone. Hell, at that time, the Venus de Milo was in a corner by a door and nobody seemed to notice.
 
2021-04-21 11:00:42 AM  
Graceland.  If you've been to the average two story house from the 70s, that's about what the house was like.  The private racquetball court would have been nice.
 
2021-04-21 11:01:05 AM  
And for the locals: Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia. There are more picturesque shore lines up the road and you won't get pestered by tourists. I like Polly's Cove and Duncan's Cove with a quick trip to Nichol's falls when I'm showing people around the shore line. There's a good fish and chips place in between, too.
 
2021-04-21 11:02:21 AM  

mofa: San Francisco: it's a city. Lombard St has curves. Zig zag one way across a mall parking lot to recreate this experience.


Have to agree here. Beautiful coast, but the city itself is meh. Some cool breweries, restaurants, cafes etc. spread between little pockets of obscene wealth and heartbreaking poverty.
 
2021-04-21 11:04:52 AM  

TheGreatGazoo: Graceland.  If you've been to the average two story house from the 70s, that's about what the house was like.  The private racquetball court would have been nice.


This is thoroughly depressing.

pbs.twimg.comView Full Size
 
2021-04-21 11:20:42 AM  
Rather than be Debbie Downer, how about places that are better than you thought they would be?

My vote-Little Wild Horse Canyon in Utah.  It's a slot canyon like the far more famous (and completely overrun by tourists) Antelope Canyon, but it's in the middle of nowhere and at least when we were there almost deserted.  Having to turn sideways to walk through parts of it is a total trip.  Just don't even think about going there if there's any chance of rain- it's so narrow it can fill up in literally a few minutes and hikers get stranded on ledges fairly often.

Photo of my son heading through one of the narrows

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-21 11:27:13 AM  

edmo: We are a jaded humanity, no?
Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.


What if we never knew about it at all, or only saw it in pictures?   Isn't that enough, or does it only count if WE get to record it?
When you take a photo, do you take a picture of the thing, or do you take a picture of yourself, standing in front of the thing?  Isn't it enough to know that such beautiful things exist, or do you always have to insert yourself into the picture to make it MATTER?

Think hard.  There's going to be a test, and we're all failing.
 
2021-04-21 11:28:27 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: Rather than be Debbie Downer, how about places that are better than you thought they would be?

My vote-Little Wild Horse Canyon in Utah.  It's a slot canyon like the far more famous (and completely overrun by tourists) Antelope Canyon, but it's in the middle of nowhere and at least when we were there almost deserted.  Having to turn sideways to walk through parts of it is a total trip.  Just don't even think about going there if there's any chance of rain- it's so narrow it can fill up in literally a few minutes and hikers get stranded on ledges fairly often.

Photo of my son heading through one of the narrows

[Fark user image 850x1274]


So much this. We went to a little slot canyon along Hwy 89 in southern Utah last fall. It was a short little hike, but just phenomenally gorgeous and almost nobody else there. Just a little trailhead behind a small-town elementary school. Of all the stuff we did for that week (including Zion canyon), that little spot was the one my kids remembered best. Because it was a unique and uncrowded experience, the complete opposite of most National Park visits.

There are quite a few slot canyons along that stretch of road that are very accessible and often not too strenuous.

Next time we go, I'm staying 2+ weeks and getting a proper offroad vehicle. A lot of those trailheads are down long, sandy roads.
 
2021-04-21 11:28:47 AM  
Africa. All of it, top to bottom.

The Siberian railroad.

Volga and Danube River cruises.

The Black Hills.

And Montana in  pickup truck.
 
2021-04-21 11:34:28 AM  
Just stay home.  You really don't need to go anywhere.
 
2021-04-21 11:48:54 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

Illustrations based on 1 star reviews of National Parks. More gems found here
 
2021-04-21 11:51:33 AM  
There's no "there" there!*
*applies to all of planet earth except maybe active volcanoes
 
2021-04-21 11:52:20 AM  
"That is the reason we need to put into effect, for its preservation, some other principle than the principals of exploitation or "usefulness" or even recreation.  We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.  For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of sanity as creatures, as part of the geography of hope."

Wallace Stegner --the wilderness letter.
Mr. Sterner was a cool guy but he never saw modern consumerism.

If you drive to the edge of the wilderness and see the guy with the monster Jeep that he rented for the weekend instead of wilderness, do you feel hopeful?  Do you feel like maybe something is being killed that we can never get back?    Good, now you know how I've felt for most of my life.

If you love the beautiful earth so much, then admire it from a distance.  Nobody gives a fark about your bucket list--which is a marketing term, by the way.  You little rebel.Just like all the rest of them.
 
2021-04-21 11:55:34 AM  
I have low expectations for everything, so I'm rarely disappointed by anything.  Try it.
 
2021-04-21 11:58:24 AM  
Oh. I would also recommend accidently renting an entire brothel/hotel for your high school band trip when you're in Paris. That's how you build lifelong memories.
 
2021-04-21 12:16:24 PM  
The good?
- The West Highland Rail line in Scotland. From Glasgow to Fort William & Mallaig. There's actually a touristy train, but it looked very crowded. I took the commuter train (same path) and had a wonderful time. Note that it's literally just sitting on a train for like five hours, enjoying its awesome scenery. It's been voted the most beautiful train trip in Europe a few times.
- Banff / Lake Louise / Columbia Ice Fields (Canadian Rockies; Alberta) Awesome awesomeness; great hiking. Also a ski resort during ski season.
- the various Smithsonian museums in DC
- Freedom Trail in Boston; just a self-guided walk around beautiful & historical sites
- Seattle and the Cascades
- NYC is probably great if you've never been there, but I grew up there and am happy to have left
- Florence and Rome are great off season
-
just throwing in a random place: the Grand Canyon Caverns, about an hour south of the south rim and not actually a part of the Grand Canyon. It's the largest dry caverns in the U.S., and I didn't expect much, but it was delightful. It's maybe 3/4 of a mile of going through a simple loop, but they've got weird crystals, a giant sloth that fell in several thousand years ago and couldn't get out, a big pile of nuclear fallout supplies, and the whole thing is the deepest hotel suite in the U.S. after hours for only $850 per night (I'm guessing they get maybe one guest a year). Just a weird, funny place. 

// I meander; when I visited the uk, I had a five night reservation in London (for a 19 day stay), a reservation for a Stonehenge tour, and a serious obsession with taking the West Highland railway line. I skipped Stonehenge and made up all the rest as the mood hit me, and spent more time in Edinburgh than anywhere else. London has great museums, and I need to return a dozen more times to hit them all.
 
2021-04-21 12:18:18 PM  
Been to both Peruvian sites in the article. Had opposite experience of what the article describes. Lenin's tomb was a bit of a letdown. In and out in a couple minutes. Jamaica as a whole was a letdown. Might as well be Somalia with tropical plants.
 
2021-04-21 12:19:19 PM  
Been to the Great Wall twice. 2nd time was fairly close to Beijing and it sucked. Air pollution spoiled the view, The wait for the cable car was over an hour, it was so crowded you could barely move, and there was no way to get a decent picture.

1st time was very nice. It was a longer bus ride to get there, but it was not crowded at all, there was no wait for the chair lift, the air was clearer, and the kids loved the alpine slide back to the bottom.
 
2021-04-21 12:28:18 PM  
Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains is a letdown more often than not. Fog so bad you can't see 200 yards probably 200 days a year or more. But when the sky is clear, the view is amazing.
 
2021-04-21 12:36:59 PM  

PTP_Professor: Jamaica as a whole was a letdown. Might as well be Somalia with tropical plants.


and weed
 
2021-04-21 12:39:32 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Oh. I would also recommend accidently renting an entire brothel/hotel for your high school band trip when you're in Paris. That's how you build lifelong memories infections .



ftfy
 
2021-04-21 12:40:24 PM  

edmo: We are a jaded humanity, no?

Sometimes it is enough to stand in the presence of a thing or a place and appreciate that it exists.


When I was at Tulum, with my best friend, we listened to people complaining about all the restoration and crowds, and that they had to walk a ways to get there.  I spent time framing shots so that you didn't see all that, but the buildings that were there. My friend, who is not a photographer, grabbed tourist shots. You could hardly tell that we'd been at the same location.

If we're looking for a non-Segal-esque quote? How about Thoreau: It's not what you look at that matters. It's what you see.
 
2021-04-21 12:43:05 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: PTP_Professor: Jamaica as a whole was a letdown. Might as well be Somalia with tropical plants.

and weed


I watched a guy get gunned down by private security when I was there and he was just left in a ditch. All the weed in the island can't erase seeing that from 50 feet away.
 
2021-04-21 12:43:28 PM  
Beijing - Drab, crowded. Very little history left. Most anything from before 1980 has been plowed under for newer buildings.

Shanghai on the other hand is like NYC on steroids. Big, brash, colorful. Still crowded  as all get out.
 
2021-04-21 12:46:00 PM  

X-Geek: Been to the Great Wall twice. 2nd time was fairly close to Beijing and it sucked. Air pollution spoiled the view, The wait for the cable car was over an hour, it was so crowded you could barely move, and there was no way to get a decent picture.

1st time was very nice. It was a longer bus ride to get there, but it was not crowded at all, there was no wait for the chair lift, the air was clearer, and the kids loved the alpine slide back to the bottom.



My wife saw dookie piles in the corners of the "buildings" that make up parts of the wall.

The Great Wall of China is a Great Wall of shiate.
 
2021-04-21 12:51:05 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: Graceland.  If you've been to the average two story house from the 70s, that's about what the house was like.  The private racquetball court would have been nice.


What?

That wasn't the average house from the 70s!

It has a jungle room!
Upholstered ceilings!
It's the tackiest place on the planet!

Except for Las Vegas.


Graceland is a total must-see.

Only because Elvis had the bad luck to die when the entire nation was into tacky decor, and he had the money to outdo most of us. I'd move in tomorrow if I could.

I mean... jungle room.
 
2021-04-21 12:56:04 PM  

PTP_Professor: TheGreatGazoo: PTP_Professor: Jamaica as a whole was a letdown. Might as well be Somalia with tropical plants.

and weed

I watched a guy get gunned down by private security when I was there and he was just left in a ditch. All the weed in the island can't erase seeing that from 50 feet away.


So that's what happened to Phil.
 
2021-04-21 12:59:24 PM  
"I found Stonehenge decidedly underwhelming"

This. They don't even let you near the stones (which I understand). There's a walkway along one side, which at it's closest point is still about 25 feet from them. Of course you don't know this as a tourist because the parking and entrance is past the circle on the opposite side of the road.

They charge like 20 pounds per person, which at the time I was there was about $35. Save your money and look it up online, you'll get a much better view of it. You can even download and listen to their audio guide for free.
 
2021-04-21 1:16:35 PM  
"I managed to slip away from crowds to gaze at the remarkable sights and vistas for just a few minutes at a time before others came along, trying to do the same. It was exhausting and demoralizing. When I finally sat back on the train I felt relieved to be away from the masses, yet sadly unsatisfied that I had barely experienced - and not even seen all of - the hallowed 'Lost City of the Incas.'"

If only everyone else had stayed away so you would not have to deal with seeing them
 
2021-04-21 1:27:05 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-04-21 1:33:13 PM  
Go Away: Melbourne
Youtube PWDB-_-Us6k
 
2021-04-21 1:34:27 PM  

PTP_Professor: Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains is a letdown more often than not. Fog so bad you can't see 200 yards probably 200 days a year or more. But when the sky is clear, the view is amazing.


I've been there a few times in the spring...cold as balls and extremely windy, but we've never had bad visibility. But one of the cool things about the Smokies is you can see three biomes in about 30 minutes. Basically like traveling from Tennessee to Quebec in terms of latitude.

A lot of people underestimate the Smokies (and the Blue Ridge, Black Mountains, etc) because they're lower elevation than the Rockies or Sierras, but there are plenty of spots where it's just as intense. The Mt. LeConte hike is about 4,000' vertical, on par with many strenuous hikes (including a lot of CO 14ers). Plus a lot more oxygen, and less lightning storms.

The flora and fauna are the big differentiator, though. Some of those valleys are full rainforests and look just like the PNW, or even parts of Central America. Hundreds of inches of rain per year.
 
2021-04-21 1:40:21 PM  
The good:
- Kauai is our favorite Hawaiian Island, particularly the west coast. Absolutely gorgeous and not overly full of tourists. (Though our favorite restaurant, now closed, was on Maui)
- Anyplace in Australia (really enjoyed Townsville)
- Antalya, Turkey.  Beautiful, easy access to historical sites, great food, nice people (this was off season)
- Victoria, BC.  Scenic, unbelievable food
- Charleston, SC
 
2021-04-21 1:44:32 PM  

runwiz: The Cherry Blossom Festival in DC.  I had to agree with my wife that the trees down the street from us looked prettier, and without the crowds.


Granddad had an orchard, so was used to seeing acres of cherry trees in bloom when we'd go there for Easter.
Now, I live in a place where an ornamental cherry tree dumps all its petals on my car every year.
 
2021-04-21 1:45:00 PM  
Subby's mom.  Long line to get in and smelled bad ⭐
 
2021-04-21 1:45:57 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: The Mona Lisa. Tiny and crowded. There are a billion more interesting things in that museum alone. Hell, at that time, the Venus de Milo was in a corner by a door and nobody seemed to notice.


We had a similar disappointment/mob scene at a Michelangelo drawing exhibit. (I can't remember where exactly. The Met?) I have mild claustrophobia. (I have modest phobias about everything.) The crowds in the rooms around the drawings made me feel like I was drowning. If you really want a great, navigable, humanely-sized, full-to-the-eyeballs-with-masterworks, try the Frick.
 
2021-04-21 1:49:51 PM  

ReapTheChaos: "I found Stonehenge decidedly underwhelming"

This. They don't even let you near the stones (which I understand). There's a walkway along one side, which at it's closest point is still about 25 feet from them. Of course you don't know this as a tourist because the parking and entrance is past the circle on the opposite side of the road.

They charge like 20 pounds per person, which at the time I was there was about $35. Save your money and look it up online, you'll get a much better view of it. You can even download and listen to their audio guide for free.


Fark user imageView Full Size


There are other stone circles. Nothing of the same architectural heft as Stonehenge, but you can't swing a spotted dick in England without hitting a stone circle.
 
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