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Old 01-12-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,185,041 times
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My mother went to the Taj Mahal in India and was quite underwhelmed by it. Yet to me it seems like it would be an amazing experience nonetheless...

Personally...

I've rarely been underwhelmed by natural attractions. The Grand Canyon actually exceeded expectations; the thing is HUGE, and spectacular viewed from a helicopter!

I have to say one attraction that underwhelmed me slightly was Halong Bay, northern Vietnam. It was spectacular but, the water was a bit dirty and well, there are only so many limestone karsts you can photograph. The cave was the highlight for me really. Guilin was similar. Wuyi-Shan National Park in Fujian province, south-eastern China, was magnificently beautiful, as was Sapa.

The Royal Palace in Bangkok and Wat Arum were both very impressive.

Phi Phi Island and the famous beach where 'the Beach' was filmed was packed with tourists. Hardly as idyllic as portrayed in the movie. Coral was also sadly lifeless and damaged. Ruined by tourism.

I never made it to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, but My Son in Vietnam was pretty cool.

In Sydney the Opera House is actually pretty impressive/bigger than it seems. The bridge, well, it's just a bridge isn't it?

In NZ Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps were pretty special.

Hollywood Blvd just seemed like a big theme-park tourist trap. Beverly Hills was okay. I liked Santa Monica. Disneyland was nice but smaller than I imagined.

Vegas...well it was Vegas, what I expected! The spectacle of all those lights was enough for me!

Playing the piano Jerry Lee Lewis recorded many of his tunes on at Sun Studios was a highlight, as was singing into the mic Elvis used! Also saw the room where MLK was shot in Memphis. Graceland was cool but a lot smaller than I expected. Visiting the family graves was quite emotional, and I'm not even a fan of the King!

Washington D.C. and it's sights were pretty impressive. The Smithsonian was vast, it took me half a day just to see a quarter of the Museum of Natural History. Viewing the Mall, Capitol, White House is rather awe-inspiring, as is viewing the Constitution at the Archives.

Times Square in NY is just how I imagined. It really did feel like the centre of the world, loved it, even jostling shoulder to shoulder with about a million tourists. I strained my neck looking at the neon signs, billboards and big screens.

Going to the Top of the Rock...the view of the Manhattan skyline at dusk, seeing the lights go on, beautiful! The Statten Island ferry was an experience, free as well. I enjoyed Central Park and Coney Island, although it the sweltering heat made it a bit of a slog.

The French Quarter in NOLA was charming and unforgettable.

Hong Kong was pretty impressive as a city. Taking the tram up to Victoria Peak and the view of the skyline and the harbour, as well as taking the ferry, were great. Loved the light show at night.

In China, the Forbidden City actually underwhelmed me slightly. I don't find Chinese architecture as grand as European architecture - e.g. Versaile, but it was still cool. Tiananmen square is huge, but I got separated from the group and feared I would freeze to death in the sub-zero temperatures. Waiting in line to view Mao's body and having my phone stolen was a highlight.

The Great Wall of China is hard to fully appreciate as it's so long, you can only see a part of it. I remember the experience primarily for the bitterly cold winds, strenuous climb up the steep hills, and being harassed by touts hawking tiny replicas of the wall, buddha statues, carved pig heads, necklaces, jade and other assorted goodies.

I found the Summer Palace more my style. I couldn't believe the lake was dug using shovels, it is massive!

The Terracotta Warriors, tombs, pagodas, city wall, bell tower, pagoda in Xian are hidden gems.

Cruising down the Yangtze and seeing the Three Gorges was an amazing experience. Seeing the mighty Mississippi and Mekong Delta were both awe-inspiring too.

Most of the scenic spots in my own country, Australia, impressed me. Great Ocean Road, Nullabor, the deserts, Daintree, Great Barrier Reef.etc.

Overall, nowhere has really totally let me down, a few places have exceeded expectations, while most have satisfyingly met them.

Last edited by Trimac20; 01-12-2012 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:19 AM
 
33,612 posts, read 34,487,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post

In Sydney the Opera House is actually pretty impressive/bigger than it seems. The bridge, well, it's just a bridge isn't it?

Hollywood Blvd just seemed like a big theme-park tourist trap. Beverly Hills was okay. I liked Santa Monica. Disneyland was nice but smaller than I imagined.

Vegas...well it was Vegas, what I expected! The spectacle of all those lights was enough for me!

Washington D.C. and it's sights were pretty impressive. The Smithsonian was vast, it took me half a day just to see a quarter of the Museum of Natural History. Viewing the Mall, Capitol, White House is rather awe-inspiring, as is viewing the Constitution at the Archives.

Times Square in NY is just how I imagined. It really did feel like the centre of the world, loved it, even jostling shoulder to shoulder with about a million tourists. I strained my neck looking at the neon signs, billboards and big screens.

Going to the Top of the Rock...the view of the Manhattan skyline at dusk, seeing the lights go on, beautiful! The Statten Island ferry was an experience, free as well. I enjoyed Central Park and Coney Island, although it the sweltering heat made it a bit of a slog.

In China, the Forbidden City actually underwhelmed me slightly. I don't find Chinese architecture as grand as European architecture - e.g. Versaile, but it was still cool. Tiananmen square is huge, but I got separated from the group and feared I would freeze to death in the sub-zero temperatures. Waiting in line to view Mao's body and having my phone stolen was a highlight.

The Great Wall of China is hard to fully appreciate as it's so long, you can only see a part of it. I remember the experience primarily for the bitterly cold winds, strenuous climb up the steep hills, and being harassed by touts hawking tiny replicas of the wall, buddha statues, carved pig heads, necklaces, jade and other assorted goodies.

Most of the scenic spots in my own country, Australia, impressed me. Great Ocean Road, Nullabor, the deserts, Daintree, Great Barrier Reef.etc.

Overall, nowhere has really totally let me down, a few places have exceeded expectations, while most have satisfyingly met them.
I have only seen the Sydney Opera House from the air coming by small airplane and landing at Sydney International Airport. From that aerial view it was impressive.

Hollywood Blvd. is just a regular street with some tourist attractions as far as I am concerned. But it is nice to walk along it at least once to see what all the fuss is about.

All I know of Las Vegas is the airport having changing planes there a few times. But I always have watched with interest passengers passing the time at the airport slot machines.

I visited Washington, D.C. as a child mostly and was always impressed by the White House, the Mall and Lincoln Monument. As an adult I visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum which I found to be quite impressive.

I agree that Times Square in NYC feels like the crossroads of the world. I would venture to say NYC is like an official world capital.

I haven't been to the Top of the Rock, but the view from the Empire State Building (and in the past the World Trade Center) is impressive day or night. It was always nice to see the view for free of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry. I see Central Park as a large park and doesn't impress me more than San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Coney Island is nice for a stroll in the summer.

In Beijing, the Forbidden City overwhelmed me as I visited during the Chinese National Holiday Week, which meant being completely crushed for approx. an hour & half in line to buy admission tickets with my colleague. But the size of the Forbidden City was really large. When I visited later the Confucius Temple in Qufu (the hometown of Confucius), I found it to be more manageable like a small version of the Forbidden City.

As for the Great Wall, it was great to be able to visit it in the fall when it wasn't too cold. But walking up the those uneven stairs made it difficult to climb too high for anyone not in peak physical condition.

In Australia, having spent time in the Melbourne area, I found it to be a lovely city. I enjoyed visited Philip Island and seeing the mini-penguins. I also liked Ballarat and learning about the Australian Gold Rush. A weekend in Tasmania was another interesting trip and seeing the Tasmanian devil and other typical Australian animals was great.

To add, I have enjoyed a boat safari on the Zambezi River in Botswana, a land safari at the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, visited the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, seen most important sites of Western Europe and the holy places in Israel & the West Bank, been to the Sinai Desert, viewed the Niagara falls as well as several other major cities and attractions in the USA (and some other countries worldwide). It always interesting to visit and experience new places.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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I seldom go to places that I had heard about before I went, and when I do, I usually find them disappointing. A couple of places that I'm glad I went were Petra, Jordan, and Valley of the Kings, Egypt. I'm glad I went to the Pyramids, because I climbed to the top, which I don't think people are allowed to do anymore, and might not have been allowed then, because nobody else was doing it, but nobody said anything.

I'm glad I went on a wildlife safari in Tanzania, because four of us did it unguided in a rental car and slept in a tent. But I don't think I'd like being driven around in a Land Rover and having the animals pointed out to me.

I've see Victoria Falls and Iguassu Falls, and that's enough of those. I've seen the Mona Lisa, and that's enough great paintings.

Venice is OK to walk around in by yourself, and stay off the main paths.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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I have been repeatedly underwhelmed by New York city, but mostly because I never get to see what I'm interested in when I go there .

I found the Taj quite amazing! Yes it's full of tourists and local street hawkers all trying to sell you something the minute you get off the bus but they are banned from hassling you once you get inside the grounds. The building is a blinding white when you first walk thro the main gate (you have to keep your sunglasses on) but as you get up close you realise the white marble is inlaid with 1000s of tiny coloured stonework creating flowers and leaves and decorations all over the building. The craftsmanship that went into this and all without modern tools is astounding! The tombs themselves are pretty small and non-descript but the gardens and reflecting pool and surroundings buildings really make it spectacular.

Not sure I would willingly get up at 4am again to go there though

I found the temple at Abu Simbel more impressive than the pyramids. Again, handcarved thousands of years ago and once you walk inside, incredibly eerie and somehow moving.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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There was a long, long line of people waiting to kiss the Blarney Stone. We finally decided to just TELL everyone we had kissed it. Seemed fitting.
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:47 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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When we went to see the Grand Canyon I sat in the car while everybody else oooooohed and ahhhhhhhed. I have never much been impressed with holes in the earth, mountains and such.

Probably the only time I was really, truly impressed with a "famous sight" was when we went to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. I also loved Curacao but it's not really a "famous sight" I don't think.

I did like Key West, Florida, and the water in the Grand Caymans and Bahamas. But considering the plethora of [domestic] "natural wonders" I have seen, I can't say I have been much impressed by any of them.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,185,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
When we went to see the Grand Canyon I sat in the car while everybody else oooooohed and ahhhhhhhed. I have never much been impressed with holes in the earth, mountains and such.

Probably the only time I was really, truly impressed with a "famous sight" was when we went to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. I also loved Curacao but it's not really a "famous sight" I don't think.

I did like Key West, Florida, and the water in the Grand Caymans and Bahamas. But considering the plethora of [domestic] "natural wonders" I have seen, I can't say I have been much impressed by any of them.

20yrsinBranson
You couldn't even be bothered to get out of the car to have a look?

Maybe going on a helicopter ride would've changed your mind.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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Went to the Louvre and DID NOT see the Mona Lisa. My cousin, who had been before, convinced me it was overrated and the line was long. So believe or not all we did was drink Cafe au Lait in some little shop.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:40 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 47,185,041 times
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Went to the Louvre and DID NOT see the Mona Lisa. My cousin, who had been before, convinced me it was overrated and the line was long. So believe or not all we did was drink Cafe au Lait in some little shop.
Seeing those famous paintings in real life does nothing for me. Already seen them a million times. I saw some famous paintings at the Met and I was like cool, it's a painting.
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
You couldn't even be bothered to get out of the car to have a look?

Maybe going on a helicopter ride would've changed your mind.
probably not in this lifetime.


How Safe Are Tourist Helicopters? - ABC News

20yrsinBranson
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