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Old 08-09-2012, 09:04 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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Some "exotic" places I've been to include:

Bagan, Myanmar ... there is a vast plain and river valley that is mostly barren but contains literally thousands of Buddhists shrines and temples hundreds of years old. This place impressed me more than either Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the cliff-cut monuments of Petra, Jordan.

Kandy, Sri Lanka ... gorgeous small city on a picturesque lake in the mountains of inland Sri Lanka. Daily religious processions - with drums - to the Temple Of The Tooth!

Amazonian camp down river from Iquitos, Peru. Friendly indigenous tribespeople who knew no Spanish and money was worthless to them. The women wore skirts but no tops (some were very beautiful!)

Lapland, in extreme northern Sweden. A native Sami (Laplander) person presented me with a huge reindeer skull with antlers attached. It is now on the wall in my laundry room and I sometimes hang wet things on the antlers - as if they were hooks - to dry!
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Unfortunately no exotic places for me yet. The most exotic I've been would probably be Jamaica, and I'm sure that doesn't count as exotic for anyone.
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:22 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
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Toronto, ON (Canada) ... Yeah ... I REALLY need to get out more! LOL! Although Canada is similar in a lot of way to the US, it was fascinating to notice the differences even if they were subtle. I really enjoyed the experience of using Canadian currency and loved the colorful bills and the cute names for their $1 and $2 coins (Looney and Tooney, respectfully). It was also fascinating to be there during Canada Day (similar to the Fourth of July in US) and observing how many of the shops/restaurants/businesses were closed to observe their holiday. The festivities was fascinating as well as I observed Canadian patriotism

Actually, I did visit Puerto Villarta, Mexico when I was seven but too young to appreciate the exotic-ness of the location.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:52 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
Toronto, ON (Canada) ... Yeah ... I REALLY need to get out more! LOL! Although Canada is similar in a lot of way to the US, it was fascinating to notice the differences even if they were subtle. I really enjoyed the experience of using Canadian currency and loved the colorful bills and the cute names for their $1 and $2 coins (Looney and Tooney, respectfully). It was also fascinating to be there during Canada Day (similar to the Fourth of July in US) and observing how many of the shops/restaurants/businesses were closed to observe their holiday. The festivities was fascinating as well as I observed Canadian patriotism

Actually, I did visit Puerto Villarta, Mexico when I was seven but too young to appreciate the exotic-ness of the location.
Canada isn't as similar to the US as a lot of people say IMO. But yeah, it's not exotic, except maybe Nunavut and possibly Quebec.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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Being that Asia and Africa don't interest me, and Australia is psychologically too far, in addition to the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road, I limit my travels to places where I speak the language.

That being said: Rio de Janeiro. Captivating city and stunning topography. Some parts of the stay were a little "dicey," but now I look forward to another trip.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by tinalimey View Post
Canaima national park in Venezuela, where we canoed/trekked to the bottom of Angel Falls.
That's what I was going to say--very cool place and I think we all almost got killed there. At one point as we were flying back to our camp in a 6-seater, the pilots began to look at each other with alarm and then made an emergency landing where they banged on the hood (?) of the plane for awhile and then we took off again and the plane died about halfway down the runway after we got back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter31 View Post
Unfortunately no exotic places for me yet. The most exotic I've been would probably be Jamaica, and I'm sure that doesn't count as exotic for anyone.
The question was exotic for you and Jamaica is good enough for now but it sounds like you plan to make more trips to more exotic places. I thought going up to the Blue Mountains and watching men roast coffee beans over little campfires was pretty exotic.

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Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
Canada isn't as similar to the US as a lot of people say IMO. But yeah, it's not exotic, except maybe Nunavut and possibly Quebec.
Maybe not exotic exactly but when I study a road map of Canada I get excited about the fact that there aren't any roads north of a certain latitude and it's just untracked wilderness in vast stretches of the land. I'm sure there's a good reason for that but no matter--it's fun to dream about.

I thought that the underground cities in Cappadocia in Turkey were pretty exotic as well as other parts of the country. Australia and New Z were way more exotic than I anticipated and Phetburi in Thailand was with all these monkeys climbing around the temples and trying to steal the food right out of your hand--you learn not to picnic there! Halong Bay in Vietnam did not feel like home. When I got to Macchu Pichu I was overwhelmed by its beauty but too many tourists tend to destroy the exoticness of any place and who I am I, a tourist, to complain? Next stop in Peru--Iquitos and then further in on the Amazon.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:59 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
Canada isn't as similar to the US as a lot of people say IMO. But yeah, it's not exotic, except maybe Nunavut and possibly Quebec.
I will never forget a motoring trip I made to Newfoundland, Canada. I mainly stayed in a very small town called Trout River on Bonne Bay. The purpose of my trip was to visit Gros Morne National Park and the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America, L'ans Aux Meadows. I just got my brand new fire-engine red (with racing stripes!) Honda Prelude weeks before and to take it to Newfoundland it went on an overnight ferry where it was washed down to prevent the importation of nematodes onto the island! Needless to say my shiny new car created a sensation in some of the smaller poorer towns in Newfoundland.

In some ways it was exotic. Certainly some of the folks I met ... mostly fishermen who only worked 5 or 6 months out of the year and collected unemployment the rest of the year ... lived a different lifestyle and outlook on life. I have more in common with a Thai family living in the suburbs of Bangkok who shop in the local mall and order chicken from KFC (albeit with spicy Thai sauce!) and listen to Lady Gaga.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I guess there would be several nominees:

1. Cobue, a small village in northern Mozambique, complicated by the fact that it was then under occupation by militant revolutionaries.

2. Sikkim, Assam and Tripura, in northeast India, which required a special visa to enter.

3. Visiting a black family after dark in Soweto, during South Africa's Apartheid days. I think it was illegal for me to be there.

4. Attending a huge, gala wedding party with live bands in Mitsiouli, a village in the Comoro Islands.

5. Driving my car from Jordan to Saudi Arabia, where there was no road, escorted by a couple of truckers who navigated by the stars and towed me out of the sand. Then driving across Saudi all day in 120+ degrees of heat, without AC. Then shipping my car across the gulf from Kuwait to Iran and importing it through Iranian customs. After that, the trip was easy.

6. Crisan, Romania, a Danube Delta town accessible only by a one-hour river boat trip.

7. Long-e, south China, a dirt-road village near the Guangxi-Guizhou border, that has no electricity except when the bus stops overnight at the roadhouse, and leaves the engine running to generate power for the VCR to show kickboxer movies.

8. Amboro National Park, Bolivia, accessible only by a 5-mile walk on muddy tracks and wading across a waist-deep river where the current is too fast for a boat.

9. Uganda, during Idi Amin's reign. Hitching a lift to the border on a truck, that turned out to be carrying refugees who were escaping from Uganda.

10. Singkep Island, Indonesia, a smal island slowly being reclaimed by the jungle after the closure of the tin mines.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:44 AM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,676,091 times
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Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
Naviivi Village, Qamea Island, Fiji in 1999. This is a small hillside village on an island with no roads and no airport; accessible by water only. There is but one small resort on Qamea island and it is tucked away from the village, so this village retained much from the past. The villagers still lived in small one-room thatched roof/wall huts with dirt floors and lived simply off the land and sea. They did have a Catholic church and small school where the children wore bright blue matching uniforms; these were about the only major signs of western infulence here. Fijian was primarily spoken with very little English by the elders. Amongst it all were the happiest people I have ever met in my life. I envy the beauty and simplicity that surround these Naviivi villagers in their lives and the happiness they have found while going without most of the modern conveniences most of us have come to expect in life.
We were in Fiji 20 years before that. (I think there were only one or two sort-of resorts on Suva.) Absolutely an adventure and the people were wonderful. We met people who didn't know what the USA was. We also met people who had a picture of JFK in their bura's. (Next to Jesus and the Queen.) Had lunch fished from the sea. Watched men climb coconut trees barefoot. We also had men in sulu's standing guard with rifles ready to shoot sharks while we swam in remote lagoons. We heard tales of Fijian's in WWII. (They served with great bravery. The Japanese never stood a chance against a Fijian with a knife in the middle of a night.) We also hear stories about cannibalism.

I consider that very exotic.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:18 AM
 
Location: on an island
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I've gone a bit off the beaten path, and done my share of camping but am, at heart, more of a Café Society type. I have not been to Asia or Africa (and may never be). I have not had the stereotypical exotic experience.

I've been nervous and even scared a few times, but don't really want to share that stuff.

The 70's were a good time to be young and travel Western Europe with a backpack.

In the 80's, I watched an incredible meteor shower from my tent one summer night on Guanella Pass in Colorado. That evening had a surreal, other-worldly tone to it.

In the 90's, I went swimming in volcanic Lake Atitlan in Guatemala while women did their laundry there on the banks, that was kind of interesting. I definitely had the "you're not in Kansas anymore" feeling. Nothing on that trip felt scripted.
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