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EDIT: 2017 Vacations -- Where are you going?


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#321 McNulty

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:53 PM

Going to London at the end of the month for my first vacation in a looooooong time.  First time leaving the country, any advice for the solo traveler?

 

I'm going to London next month too.  Paris for Christmas, should be great.


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#322 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:47 PM

In London, the Imperial War Museum is great.

 

http://www.iwm.org.u...sits/iwm-london



#323 NewMarketSean

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 04:53 PM

I'm going to London next month too.  Paris for Christmas, should be great.

Christmas markets in Europe are amazing. Stay safe.

 

Outside of the main sites in London which will eat up a bunch of time I would love to visit the tube museum.


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#324 Dupin

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:00 PM

In London, the Imperial War Museum is great.

 

http://www.iwm.org.u...sits/iwm-london

 

I'll probably do this one, especially since it's free.  The Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast are also tempting.



#325 mweb08

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:59 PM

Going back to New Orleans for President's Day weekend! 


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#326 NewMarketSean

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:47 AM

Was in NOLA in 2014...need to get back there soon.


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#327 mweb08

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

It's a fantastic city to visit.

But so you know, New Orleans is just behind Baltimore in murder rate.

#328 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:31 PM

It's a fantastic city to visit.

But so you know, New Orleans is just behind Baltimore in murder rate.


Solid joan for sure

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#329 mweb08

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:40 PM

I don't know what that means.

#330 The Epic

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 03:49 PM

I don't know what that means.

 

 joan = burn.

 

We were going to go to Hawaii for the 10-year, then my co-worker went and got pregnant, so I need to hold down the fort for coverage. Our anniversary is in April, but now it's looking like a June or August trip. And the wife doesn't want to do Hawaii anymore. 

 

So we're back to square one. Nothing really to note here. Just rambling. 



#331 NewMarketSean

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 04:40 PM

 joan = burn.

 

We were going to go to Hawaii for the 10-year, then my co-worker went and got pregnant, so I need to hold down the fort for coverage. Our anniversary is in April, but now it's looking like a June or August trip. And the wife doesn't want to do Hawaii anymore. 

 

So we're back to square one. Nothing really to note here. Just rambling. 

 

Why not Hawaii?

 

And do you have any interest in going to Europe? Great time to go there now...airfare is super cheap. Portugal or Croatia would give you that beach time and some extra culture too.

 

Just sayin.


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#332 The Epic

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 04:47 PM

Why not Hawaii?

 

And do you have any interest in going to Europe? Great time to go there now...airfare is super cheap. Portugal or Croatia would give you that beach time and some extra culture too.

 

Just sayin.

 

Mainly the flight. Trying to convince her that we can spend a day or two on the west coast each way, but she ain't feeling it. 

 

We're definitely looking into Europe. 



#333 Nigel Tufnel

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 05:00 PM

I went to Hawaii about 10 years ago, and man was that a long flight.  On the other hand, our connection both ways was in Chicago, which meant one of the legs was 9 hours.  That was a mistake.



#334 Mackus

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 06:14 PM

Mainly the flight. Trying to convince her that we can spend a day or two on the west coast each way, but she ain't feeling it. 

 

We're definitely looking into Europe. 

 

So she probably wouldn't be interested in a flight to Thailand?  That was a 14 hour jaunt to Tokyo then a quick 7 to Bangkok.  Probably a cheaper vacation all-in than Hawaii! 

 

If you can deal with the flight, it's the best place I've ever been.  My wife always wants to travel to new places, and new places are amazing, but I would go back to Thailand in a heartbeat.  Well...21 hours worth of heartbeats.  It's the only place I've ever visited that I think I could've stayed and never come back.


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#335 NewMarketSean

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 07:16 PM

I felt the same way about Croatia but I know Thailand is cheap and supposed be awesome. That flight though. If she can’t make Hawaii its more than twice that for Thailand. It’s 6 hours to London then about two hours anywhere else in Europe.
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#336 McNulty

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 08:36 PM

So she probably wouldn't be interested in a flight to Thailand?  That was a 14 hour jaunt to Tokyo then a quick 7 to Bangkok.  Probably a cheaper vacation all-in than Hawaii! 

 

If you can deal with the flight, it's the best place I've ever been.  My wife always wants to travel to new places, and new places are amazing, but I would go back to Thailand in a heartbeat.  Well...21 hours worth of heartbeats.  It's the only place I've ever visited that I think I could've stayed and never come back.

 

What specifically about it makes you say that?


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#337 Mackus

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 08:51 AM

What specifically about it makes you say that?

 

Short answer is a a cop out, but...everything.

 

Long answer below:

 

We visited Bangkok, Siem Reap (in Cambodia, to see Angkor Wat), Chiang Mai, Khao Lak, Phuket, Lanta, and Kradan.  Basically one week in cities touring all the temples and then one week at various islands diving, beaching, and relaxing.

 

The food everywhere was incredible.  And you could get great stuff whether you were spending $1 from a street vendor or $50 at a fancy restaurant.  Markets also were really cool.  Just near the portion of Bangkok where we stayed, there were several huge markets, open in different places every day.  Imagine two or three times the size of the Sunday Farmer's Market underneath 83 downtown.  One of them actually was a floating market, so all the vendors were on boats on the river, and you'd walk along a path with water on both sides, and you could buy noodles or fresh fried fish or papaya salad.  Everything delicious.  The temples are also quite incredible to get to walk through.  Angkor Wat is an entire different beast, it's more of a ruin, but is also pretty overwhelming.  In Chiang Mai we also went to an elephant sanctuary, where we spent an entire day walking around with a group of elephants that were all rescued from former work either in the logging industry or entertainment (like elephant rides).  Just walked through the jungle with them, feeding them whole pumpkins or watermelons (tiny ones, but still...), then we got to a river and helped give them a bath.  Really cool.

 

The diving we did was the first time me or my wife had gone.  We got certified just for the trip.  We went to the Similan Islands which is a small group off the coast of Khao Lak and is considered one of the greatest places to dive in the world for sealife (other places are better for seeing coral, there wasn't a remarkable amount of that).  I think we're spoiled for life now in terms of diving elsewhere.  I could see underwater equally as far as above, the visibility was 100%.  We saw every type of tropical fish imaginable, plus lobsters, shrimp, sea turtles.

 

And then my favorite part was actually the final 5-6 days where we slowed down and just lounged on the beaches.  We went to the islands on the western side of the country, that was the better side for weather based on the time of year we visited.  Every hotel had a beachfront bbq every night.  There would be a big upturned canoe or something like that filled with ice with tons of fresh fish, shrimp, crabs, and lobster.  You'd walk over and pick out a few things, and then they would cook it over a charcoal grill right on the beach for you.  We then spent our last three days at an incredibly tiny island.  No roads, only accessible via boat and only at certain times of the day due to the tides going in or out.  Only a handful or so of guests at each of the hotels.  Could circumvent the island in an hour or two.  We kayaked around it also. 

 

Just the best vacation ever.  People everywhere we great.  Had no problems communicating, most everyone spoke English, at least in the tourist industry places.  Also there are expats everywhere.  Not many Americans, but a significant portion of the tourist industry staff are people who moved to Thailand from England or Switzerland or India or wherever and just kind of never left.  It'll never happen but I've got a vision bouncing around in the back of my head of doing the same, setting up some kind of B&B that serves American-style BBQ or something like that (plus Thai food, any restaurant that does something else...Indian, Italian, Chinese, French...also does Thai food).  Fill a niche that isn't there yet and get to live in paradise.


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#338 McNulty

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:02 AM

The reason I ask is because:

 

Short term - my lady friend wants to go next year.  

 

Long term - been thinking about moving to SE Asia for a while now.  I need some new ridiculous challenge after I'm done with my current job or I'm going to become a gelatinous piece of shit pretty quickly.  A friend of mine is moving to the Philippines to do something very similar to what you described.  I've had a very small taste of living abroad with ex-pats and I absolutely love it.


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#339 Mackus

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:22 AM

I can't more highly recommend traveling there for a vacation, so you definitely should do that if your lady wants to go.  There is a website called Travelfish that has tons of information about several southeast asia countries.  I found their information to be highly useful and accurate for Thailand and imagine it'd be the same for other countries in the area.  I used Trip Advisor to research and pick all of our accommodations and any hotel or B&B you stay at will be able to arrange cars to get you from the airport or wherever.

 

I can offer no long-term advice besides my observation that there were a very large amount of ex-pats living in Thailand, so lots of different people must have the same idea and really love the lifestyle.  They can't all be wrong!



#340 mweb08

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:49 PM

Although I've already been to NOLA, I'm curious if IG or McNulty or anyone else has any recommendations as to where to stay. We're going with another couple so we're open to airbnb or the like.

 

BTW, any thoughts on airbnb in general? I've used it multiple times, but recently there's been a lot of stories about how it's bad for various neighborhoods, which I can totally see, so now I'm conflicted.  






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