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Old 03-22-2018, 06:39 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,967 posts, read 2,903,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I've found that taking a cooking class/school specializing in the local cuisine is a nice way to get off wandering around the sights & interact with a friendly local plus other curious travelers who can make for interesting companions even after the class.
Yep yep, we love these.

I remember once we were making curry in Thailand, 3 of the 8 people attending were vegetarians. It was great seeing their reactions as they went through the steps grinding the shrimp paste in to make the curry paste, as it dawned on them that ordering the vegetarian option at a restaurant just means they aren't putting the large chunks of chicken/pork/fish but much of that rich agrio taste comes from shrimp paste.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:00 AM
 
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Mine was in France. I am a huge fan of ski touring and managed to visit couple of great spots in the French Alps last year. Here is the full list - [url]https://www.sport2000rent.com/en/skirental/destinations/france/[/url] My personal pick for best destination - Chalmazel.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:04 PM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,877,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IonRedline08 View Post
A Palos Verde tour in Costa Rice.. It was my now wife and myself, the tour guide and the boat captain on a 30-40 person boat.. Saw so many cool things, crocodiles swimming up to the boat, jesus christ lizards, birds, and the coup d grace, a monkey fighting an iguana with a stick over a banana.
Palos Verde is fabulous--it's so cool to see the dense jungle from the river, and there are just so few boats on the river. We were with a group of about 8 including the guide and boat captain, and also visited an historic sugar plantation.

A few of my favorites:
Visiting champagne houses in Epernay--a day trip from Paris in winter, when there are few visitors to the region. Enjoyed a tasting with the proprietor of a small champagne house in the sitting room in front of a fire.

Hiking the Routeburn track in NZ. The whole thing was beautiful, and lots of great chats with other travelers.

Christmas picnic on the beach at NZ's Abel Tasman Nat'l Park.

Waking up jetlagged before the first call to prayer in Istanbul (which came around 5:30am).

Walking through crowds of sobbing fans in Nantes when France was knocked out of the Euro cup.

A gorgeous 11pm sunset in Patagonia.

A weekday, post-storm hike in empty Point Reyes, California--following some large and fresh mountain lion tracks.

Watching a jazz-rock jam in a basement club in Barcelona.

Tasting vintage Burgundy in Beaune.

Jetlagged, walking the empty streets of Paris at dawn.

The world is such a large and wondrous place.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:47 PM
 
Location: The edge of the world and all of Western civilization
956 posts, read 899,402 times
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Mine is very personally meaningful, and probably couldn't be repeated by most people in the same way, in part because they'd need to be in a similar situation as I was, and also that the atmospheric conditions would be tough to replicate.

In 2006 I was going through a lot personal tumult (coming off one of the worst past years of my life) and went to South Korea to clear my head, recover and get everything back in order. I agreed to a "rock-climbing" expedition, not thinking the person was serious, but did it anyway. Early on a Saturday morning he took me to Gangwhado, an island off northwest South Korea/southwest North Korea, to climb Manisan. It was pretty gray, wet, cold and dreary, and was all around miserable for the first part of it and I was not really in the mood for it.

Then we came to a spot that's just frozen in time for me: we were atop a rocky crag that rose just above a soft blanket of clouds so thick the island beneath us was completely obscured, and before us was a winding ridge of mountain crests, like a fractured spine, creating a trail just above the gray. From there, nothing in the world existed except gray above, gray below, and a single rocky path ahead. It seemed almost to be allegorical to me. We kept on and came to a resting place, where suddenly the clouds above and below broke for a period. Beneath me I could see the lush greenery of the island, the concrete mass of metro Seoul beyond the farmland, and not far from that, the solemn quiet of North Korea. But from where I stood, it blended together as the island, the emerald greenery of the Korean Peninsula, the sun sparkling on the waters of the Yellow Sea and Han River, and both countries seeming to be as one, even though I knew the two could launch a full-scale invasion of the other at any time, though from there it was sheer harmony. But the clouds and fog rolled in again, and it all went away.

I think it just really stuck with me, and was one of those moments of clarity and inspiration that nudged me into what I knew I needed to do when this stay was all over.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:04 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,920 posts, read 1,593,647 times
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I suppose my best excursion might be that late afternoon 31 or so years ago in the office when some sort of very stressful situation came up up & everyone got heated & I felt pains in my chest near my heart. I thought "I don't want to die here under the flourescent lights & beige decor" so I left & drove up to the mountains, about 20 minutes away, & sat next to a scenic vista for a couple of hours waiting for the cinematic death I thought I could arrange.

It must have been just a stress reaction because well over 3 decades later & very healthy I consider that to be my most successful excursion since I am still above the ground.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,777 posts, read 572,301 times
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I went to Norway on company business for a week. I was in Bergen. What an absolutely spectacular country. Nice people and a handsome folk. Just for reference, I have also been to Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and quite a few places in North America. When I came back from Norway, I was buying books and videos on it. It really made quite an imoresssion on me.
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:05 PM
 
659 posts, read 325,627 times
Reputation: 1974
My best excursion: About 2/1/2 years ago I was in Luang Prabang, Laos on an escorted tour. We had some downtime; and some of us (3)went to an elephant sanctuary deep in the jungle to ride elephants. We were the only visitors; and got to interact with the elephants; including baby ones. For about $30 for an hour, we had our own elephant to ride with a Mahut. The Mahut got off the elephant and we were able to ride the elephant bareback by ourselves. The elephant would stop and eat vegetation and we had a leisurely ride. I'll never forget it. The animals were treated well at this sanctuary. The mahut must have taken hundreds of pix of me on my elephant, whose name was Kuun.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:07 PM
 
510 posts, read 306,114 times
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For me it would be Ang Thong Marine National Park in Thailand, near Koh Samui. Spectacular place and the only way to get there is by a guided excursion.

We also loved visiting the Mayan ruins on excursions from Cancun. Chichen Itza, Coba, Ek Balam, Tulum as well as swimming in cenotes.
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:54 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
40,252 posts, read 15,198,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyJuly View Post
My best excursion: About 2/1/2 years ago I was in Luang Prabang, Laos on an escorted tour. We had some downtime; and some of us (3)went to an elephant sanctuary deep in the jungle to ride elephants. We were the only visitors; and got to interact with the elephants; including baby ones. For about $30 for an hour, we had our own elephant to ride with a Mahut. The Mahut got off the elephant and we were able to ride the elephant bareback by ourselves. The elephant would stop and eat vegetation and we had a leisurely ride. I'll never forget it. The animals were treated well at this sanctuary. The mahut must have taken hundreds of pix of me on my elephant, whose name was Kuun.
This sounds like an incredible experience! I love getting away from the crowds and touristy places. To ride an elephant in Laos - what an amazing way to spend a day!

I'm glad this thread was resurrected. It's great hearing everyone's stories.

.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:14 AM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,379 posts, read 13,358,100 times
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Hiking the levadas on Madeira.
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