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This land of Gujarat has cared for me, Gujarat has given me strength. Modi has had made his humble background his biggest USP.

By calling him a chaiwala in a tweet, which was subsequently deleted, Congress has inadvertently armed Modi with more firepower. Modi's point was simple yet impactful — that the Congress cannot reconcile with the fact that the party and its first family have been thrown out of power.

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Though he didn't refer to the Bofors or any other scams, his intended message was clear. Nov 27, Gujarat Assembly Election Results: Narendra Modi tells BJP workers to cheer up, says victory matters not numbers.

BJP's victory is due to party's politics of trust and development, says Devendra Fadnavis.

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Gujarat Assembly Election Results Right to privacy, declining infant mortality, renewed fight against TB: India has a lot to look forward to in Iran protests continue despite govt warnings and Hassan Rouhani's call for national unity: All you need to know. From Suriya 36 to Rajinikanth's long awaited 2. New Zealand beat West Indies by 47 runs. South Africa beat Zimbabwe by an innings and runs.

Australia drew with England.

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India beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets. New Zealand beat West Indies by runs. India beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs. India beat Sri Lanka by 93 runs.

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Not doing homework and behaving like you do at home. I remember trying to warn a Brisbane couple that wearing a chunky gold chain out onto the street in Saigon was asking for trouble. I was snootily advised that the necklace was of sentimental significance and it never came off. By the evening she was minus the necklace and bruised. What was worse was that they were just about to go out for dinner with a charming student they had met who "wanted to practice his English".

You'd think in a first world country plane travel would be a quick and easy exercize. S it's anything but. Do not fly in the U. S if you are within 3 or 4 hours drive of your destination i. Not only will you be jampacked onto the smallest jets yet built for commercial travel, you will more than likely spend hours on the plane as it takes the longest route Washington - Chicago - Detroit - Boston - New York to get you there.

Woe betide if the wind direction changes at your destination causing them to reconfigure their landing runways and you find yourself sitting on the airport tarmac for 3 hours with no aircon, water, entertainment and a pilot who refuses to go back to the terminal as "we could get the signal to take off any second now". If you can, take the intercity trains. Quick, quiet, comfortable, smooth and they drop you in the middle of most cities.

I too found Phnom Penh incredibly uninteresting but in my opinion Seoul has to rank as the most uninteresting city on the planet. It's a mass of concrete with incredible air pollution and little of interest to any visitor. After 2 days of Korean food I swear I'll never eat it again.

LA when it's wet and cold Sunny and warm it can be OK but cold, wet and back-packing, meaning no car, get out quick! All the boredom you describe in Vienna with the addition of glue sniffing addicts, overpriced hotels and little entertainment. And I still break out in a cold sweat with the memory. Having been kicked out by my then boyfriend totally my own fault and having no friends of my own on the east coast, I bought a ticket for myself and everything I owned to LA.

Words cannot describe some of the people who catch the Greyhound over there. I bought a dodgy samosa from a road side stall and spent 3 days with it coming out both ends, hot and cold sweats and every muscle, bone and joint in my body throbbing.

I've had food poisoning of all degrees in a dozen countries. This was the worst by a long long shot. But every cloud has a silver lining Then, during a 2 hour layover in Vegas I learned just how much fun you can have with complete strangers and no money. And if you're going to be sick , there are worse places you could be than in the clean crisp air of Karimabad, looking up to Rakaposhi. I went there on a package holiday with a company called Extreme Holidays who completely shafted me in terms of what they were meant to provide when I was living in the UK and had the worst week of my travelling life.

The accommodation was horrible, the touristy areas are very tacky think of this: I had an ok time in colonia, rented a golf cart.. Mind you if I wasn't going to be getting around the rest of Uruguay I probably wouldn't have gone. Seeing the terracotta warriors had been a dream of mine since I first saw a visiting exhibition at the museum as a child. Nearly 20 years later I finally got to Xian I was holding back tears the entire time I get a bit like that.

I'd recommend to anyone to fly in, go to the warriors, take a quick wander through the Muslim quarter and then fly out in the evening.

Arguing from an exhaustive poll of 1 person, Vienna is the same as anywhere. It's a fantastic place, if you meet the right people. There are funky underground clubs, house parties and great cafes for the morning after. Went there last year with a friend, we'd arranged to spend 4 days there. Accomdation was insanely expensive and hard to find with most of the hostels shut down. The tourist attractions were mostly undergoing repairs or were only open for a few hours each day.

We spent most of the time looking for somewhere to stay, that we could afford or trying to find museums that didn't exist anymore. We would have been much better to done it as a day trip and spent our time elsewhere. I met some nice people, the seats were much larger than on a plane, the bus was not crowded and I had a great view of the scenery.

Now may be different, and I did buy a car and drove the way back! Very simple, cheap and easy. Thank god im not the only one that thinks Vienna sux. Was there on my bday and as a treat i went to this butterfly house thingy inside a castle that i happened to wander past Venice we got roped into a glass blowing extraviganza complete with dodgy English commentry "The Mastero will now make a liddle horsey" DO NOT take the volcano tour in Bali I have to disagree with hanging out in Phnom Penh I mean what's not to like?!

They have ONE supermarket, the river is a lovely brown, and the 2 minute noodle stalls on the street are great! OK so I wouldn't exactly spend more than 4 days there but I think it is a good experience none-the less Seriously, if there was ever an anti-climatic experience Going to the Grand Palace in Bangkok had to be it Then again, when you have just seen Angkor Wat - it's hard to compare Yep, US Airlines are tedious.

For an 8hr flight, Paris to NY - I remember a snack box. Oreos, marshmallows, pringles, mars bar I looked around to see other ppl's reactions to pure junk, but everyone else was digging in.

And you wonder why there is endemic obesity. It was 4th of July, so I was treated to some freaky displays of patriotism, or perhaps jingoism About eight hours in, the carcus started to really smell.

It scared the crap out of the driver, and everyone else, almost causing a major accident. Someone tipped the driver off, who carried out random ticket and ID checks at roughly one hour intervals. There's really only so many times you can 'accidently' walk in on someone before it becomes obvious you're a creep. Nice - use it as a base to check out Monaco, maybe walk along the main promenade, but don't hang out there. Everything a block back from the beach is a ghetto.

Budapest - ok, go there, check out the Danube, Castle Hill nothing like Sydney's cr ppy Castle Hill , and all the major monuments, even visit their baths. But don't head out for a night on the town. Strangely, I've never had a problem either in or out of Heathwick, apart from my usual game of 20 questions with the immigration officers I always win and it's worth the minutes just to see the despairing look in their eyes when it suddenly dawns on them they've lost You're a bit harsh on the US airlines, aren't you?

They are extraordinarily safe considering the volume of air traffic over there and the weather conditions. If you stay away from peak holiday periods you should be ok flying. You are right about the greyhound bus, though - I could imagine that drinking Ugandan tap water might be preferable. That's why you take the plane instead or drive Stay home and go to the local RSL club they need you.

Leave the adventure travel to others Green Island on the Barrier Reef Um Tourist hordes have trashed it and all you see is weed. Cardrona near Wanaka is much better. Terminal 4 at Heathrow is better than the others. If you score a business class ticket, you also get an express line. You will get a chance to feel like what it's like to be devoid of life. Food is good, but if you are not interested in shopping, well Took the train from Sydney to Cairns. It is exactly like a Greyhound bus in the US social security earns you a hefty discount on the train.

It's fine if you are on a honeymoon or in a boring relationship and have no interest interacting with anyone, including other couples. How come everyone in this blog is dumping on places overseas. Otherwise numbnuts like myself! Norway is lovely but it's tough to find cheap or even reasonably priced accommodation at the best of times.

When the Rolling Stones are playing, good luck in finding accommodation at all. I disagree with Budapest - its a beautiful city - but then again I was staying with family.

I spent 9 days there and didnt have the chance to get bored. There is plenty to do if you do some research and have luck with some of the visiting exhibitions. First snow of the season was lovely too. Go to the synagogue on Dohonucsa St - its the 2nd biggest in the world and there ia a holocaust memorial behind it.

Vienna was nice for a day - as was Cordoba - I stayed there for two. Brugges is beautiful - for a day use any other time you have by going to the Flanders Fields for a day. Gatwick was fine if crowded - but the plane ran on time which definately helps. Heathrow is a crap hole - rude immigration people threatening you when you are stopping over for a night before flying home - believe me chums I dont want to stay in your country a minute longer than necessary - so stop being arses.

Dunedin of New Zealand. The southern most city of NZ and the most boring-est city of all southern island of NZ. Oh yeah, have to agree with the comment about Athens. Most disappointing place I've been.

Maybe I was expecting too much, but man that place is a dive. Take the 'most dangerous road.. Taking a tiny plane to the rainforest is the most viable option I would suggest not flying the old Qantas 's on the Perth to Sydney run.

I'm completely confident that they won't crash, but as I have just experienced you can't be sure you'll leave on time. Crossing the border from Hong Kong into Shenzhen on the eve of a major public holiday was the most horrendous experience ever. We got off the plane around 10pm and the queue was literally a mile long at Customs.

Not to mention the bus queues. I have NEVER seen that many people queueing at 2 am in the morning and the officials said they expext it to just get worse towards the morning.

People who had live chickens tied to a broomstick, crying kids and a tendency to jump queues topped it off. Travelling on Air Canada their moto is "we're not happy till your not happy" to LA their moto if if it moves we can loose it and by the way please que here for 3 hours , bring back Qantas flying direct to Vancourer please.

Generally speaking, don't stay in any hostel in which early teen school kids are also staying Fly into Sydney airport on an international flight must be the most un-inviting and off-putting experience a tourist can get. Long queues for immigration and once you get through that queues starting at the luggage belts to get though customs. If you can avoid Sydney airport, avoid it like hell, and try and enter Australia via Cairns, or Melbourne or any other airport.

Pretty little city, but where the hell are all the blond bombshells? I think they must export them all because all the swedish backpackers you meet are honeys but in stockholm they look like they've been wacked with a giant scandinavian scary stick.

Oh yeah, and Colombo. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, its just a shame you have to fly into Colombo to visit it. I've seen more aestetically pleasing Stockholmers. I cannot for the life of me recall why I thought it would be a good idea to go to Detroit. The aroma of sheep heads being roasted until they are quite black first thing in the morning I think it was the scent of burning wool as much as anything else well it was Eid ul-Adha so serves me right I suppose. If you have to go to this unattractive city, then definitely go to the Bardot Museum nothing to do with Brigitte and a cuppa in Sidi Bou Said where the Tunisian Tourism Board takes those oh-so-pretty-whitewashed-houses-over-the-Med pictures What a memory there.

It was a short trip Vancouver to Seattle where I had two people fall asleep on my shoulder on separate occasions. At least it gave one passenger something to laugh at. As for US airlines On a flight from Chicago to Vegas I saw a few passengers bring on containers of take-away food which struck me as strange.

When we were served our can of drink and bag of peanuts for the 4 hour flight, the penny dropped. Agree with Agra besides the Taj and Red Fort and mini Taj it is so polluted my contact lense disintegrated in my eye after a few hours. US airlines are a constant source of comedy - on a NY to Puerto Rico trip every seemed to bring huge pizzas on board and then pass it up and down the aisles to extended family.

On a LA - NY trip in business class the air steward actually yelled at the woman next to me for falling asleep during food service and told her it was her fault there was no food left. But the trip that seems to continually bite me is being lazy and booking a 21 day tour through Vietnam with an Australian tour company out of Hanoi.

Having already travelled through some part of Vietnam I thought it would be useful to travel with the Kangaroo crew up to SaPa and down south. The guy who runs the company is an arrogant twit and the only time we had really crappy hotels, got perpetually lost and shafted by touts was when we were on his tour.

Needless to say the 12 of us en route to SaPa all come down with some mystery virus that involved alot of perpetual vomiting.

And don't bother complaining to him - he somehow managed to have us apologising to him. In the end we ended the tour early despite the money, went out on our own and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Heathrow and Gatwick have their problems but if you consider the volume of people passing through That said, the English can't be commended for their attitude towards customer service. And the Heathrow Express may be expensive for Australians but it's a pretty good option nonetheless - reliable, regular and so fast!

I prefer the two main airports because getting into Central London from the others is painful. I think flying into another UK city is the way to go then taking train to London - the trains cop a lot of grief but travelling out of peak times is relaxing and pretty. Any having no loo paper. I'd have to put Delhi as being way worse than Agra.

The pollution is so bad that you can't see anything on a tour anyway and the cleanest thing in the city is the Gandhi memorial which was lovely btw. Some of my very best times were when I just sat down and read a book. In the midst of all those inevitable dull and dreary moments, finding a glimpse of sun, maybe at some run-down cafe, with your choice of warm beer or cold coffee, and whipping out a shredded book makes for some very memorable moments.

Well, OK, the whole of Singapore, at any time of the year, at any time of the day or night, would be the exception. Sucks the fat one but a cheap way to get to Hong Kong by flying there from other parts of Asia and taking a ferry across. Well excuse me Billybob I think you should keep your damn opinion of Darwin to yourself. I am from Darwin and love it, stay down south moron!!!!!!!!!!

Flew in last week from Madrid. Another hour wait to register the lost bag and by then it was after midnight meaning no tube. Luckily found a bus and had an oyster card I had no cash and arrived in my hotel at 2: I've never had a problem with customs anywhere in the world, I have always found them polite and courteous, if a little deadpan.

I think people need to remember they are there to screen incoming passengers, and getting annoyed or playing games with them will not achieve anything. I simply answer their questions and my passport is stamped within 30 seconds. Casablanca, the Mosque is great the rest is very forgetable. Especially during Ramadan no bars or restaurants to wait in for the flight out, go straight to Marrakesh or the coast.

I would have to agree the US airlines comment for most airlines. I am currently working in the US, and fly to work every week. I have so far found the big established airlines are 3rd world standard AA, United, etc , always late, rude staff, etc. However the discount airlines such as Southwest, JetBlue and Frontier are great, generally on time other than weather delays, and actually cost half the price. The service is just so much better on the discount carriers.

I would say never go to Brussels. Most boring city in the world, with absolutely no nightlife. The only place I found on my one night there was an english pub that was showing NRL. May as well be in Sydney. I would also say never do Paris, but I guess the Louvre makes it worthwhile. Just the people are so rude, and I found the food pretty average. Definitely far more worthwhile experiences elsehere.

Maybe you can toss half of western Europe into the don't bother basket. It is good as a training area for travel, but by starting your trip in Berlin and heading east, you will have a lot more fun, meet friendlier people, and will still have somewhere new and safe to travel when you retire. I lived in London for about 3 years and one summer when I was a bit low on cash but desperate to get somewhere with open space and a few beaches to take advantage of the warm weather a couple of mates and I booked a lastminute.

The departing flight from Gatwick was at some ridiculous time like 5am or so, meaning we had to get up around 2ish. I had booked a minicab the day before and when it came time for it to show up still in darkness it simply wasn't there. I rang the taxi co and there was a bit of a pause - I realised right away that they'd forgotten about me, my friends looked at me frowningly and I started to get that sinking feeling as I'd volunteered to organise everything, at that hour there is basically no public transport from where I was living to Gatwick so not only was I giong to ruin my holday but 2 other guys aswell.

Anyway the taxi co said they'd send a guy out to us, so we waited outside, as the minutes ticked by my stomach started to sink lower and lower, no-one said anything, then at about the time when it was probably too late a cab arrives.

The driver was Oriental and didn't speak very good English but I think he could tell by the anxious looks on our faces that we needed to get to the airport damned quick - and boy did he get there quick! I can assure you that driving out of the maze that is the London road system to Gatwick is not easy and I don't know how many laws he must have broken on the way but he could us there just in time.

By the time we finally arrived in Ibiza around lunchtime I was tired and still a bit stressed from the ordeal. Would I do another cheap holiday deal like that again? No, but I can't say I regret doing it just the once. Don't ever go to Kingston Jamaica. Biggest mistake i ever made, absolute hole and the guys are extremely menacing and i can handle them everywhere else, i'm not one of those"don't go anywhere alone" types.

One example, hopping off a bus in town w fellow girl S has the most crazies. First he pretended he was asleep and his hands slipped But still a horrible experience. Interestingly, their domestic airlines are now described as Greyhound Buses in the Sky.

Flying in the US is a nice cultural introduction to how they do things over there. Luckily, Greyhound in Canada is a good way to get around for a backpacker especially with skis. Anywhere the Lonely Planet over zealously suggests you must go is, 9 times out of 10, a good place to circumnavigate.

And the places they tell you to avoid are, 5 times out of 10, just the thing you want to see. Have they decided to take on the role of the tour guide who keeps you firmly on the beaten path like the eds day in Venice? Despite their recent turmoil, they are racist, rude, demanding and ugly not that being easy on the eye should matter much Have to add the tap water in Malawi to your list of things not to try.

Other substances readily available in that country might make you think drinking the tap water's a good idea but it's not. Your stomach will let you know this within 2 hours. I quite enjoyed Delhi so have to disagree with Tania on avoiding it at all costs but I walked around instead of jumping on tour.

It's not just from Dogs Also, don't bother going to Gisenyi in Rwanda unless you're having a crack at getting into the Congo. Yes, there's a lake but it's toxic in parts so not real good for swimming and no cheap accomodation either. You will get to spend an extra couple of hours in a Mutato overcrowded minibus each way from Ruhengeri though which is exciting in it's own special way, but you'd be better off just heading to Kigali and the Genocide Museum, then the Gorillas and on to Uganda.

Another place to avoid is the Copacabana in Rio on Public Holidays. They have a tendency for the lid to explode when you try to tap into them and shower the entirement train compartment with beer. Funny initially while your pissed from shot-gunning the keg but a bit sticky afterwards Got through Heathrow from plane to outside world in 10 minutes. Never seen anything like it. Must have been change of shift or something. Don't bother with it. If you're in Ireland, give Cork a miss - very dull place - skip it and head to a smaller more scenic town nearby.

Now I don't feel so bad after spending 12 hrs in San Francisco courtesy American Airlines canceled flights and two weeks later spending 6 hrs from midnight in LA airport with no facilities and security shutdown you can leave but you cant get back in.

This was two weeks ago. After that delay they still lost my bags. Can't think of an Australian town I visited where I haven't run into a local even in the city who knows everything about the bush, can wrestle crocs, catch snakes bearhanded, ride bulls etc The people are rude, it's damn expensive and there's not really a hill or viewing point to take in the overall cityspace. It seems to lack the large scale granduer and soul of other eastern European cities such as Budapest or Prague.

It sounds lovely, therefore it should be lovely? Everyone always assumes Vienna will be spectacular, then you go and realise you were wrong. Warsaw was another lowlight. After 3 freezing, rainy, grey days unable to find a pub with any character or patrons, for that matter we decided the weather seemed to reflect the feel of the city in general.

Made that mistake in Middlesbrough. The home fans hide and wait for the away fans to be released from the stadium and then start street fights. I have never seen so many broken bottles and punch ups in my life. It was like running a gauntlet.

Arrived from Athens last month. Previously stayed there 1 or 2 days then headed for the islands. However this time, having relatives there I spent a total of 11 days. Had one of the best holidays ever.

Helps to know the locals. Your experience of a place ia far better if you know the locals and avoid the tourist traps. But i reckon suffering at a london airport is an unavoidable Aussie right of passage, just like drinking too much Bintang in Bali or bruising your arse skiing in Queenstown.

At least you avoid the "boring backpacker" syndrome spoken about last week, because everyone you know has done it too. But Agra is most definitely a shithole. Chennai is the major city I'd recommend avoiding in India - it's just plain boring! Phnom Penh - yeh, likewise. The Thai-Cambo border crossing is pretty nasty, and a Singapore actually Riau Archipelago - Jakarta ferry ride I took once was excruciating.

That's gotta be the greatest shithole on the face of the planet! I'd almost forgotten that one. Yogyakarta is hardly any better, redeemed only by the trip to Borobudur.

Indonesia has them all! Most overrated experience I can think of: I have my doubts about Abu Simbel in Egypt as well, which isn't a very great return for the four hours each way that you need to do in a day trip in cramped minivans from Aswan. Bahrain is also painfully boring, enlivened only by the Indian expats. I'm sure there are hundreds more, but I'm through with whingeing for now. Just remembered two cities worse than Jakarta: Addis Ababa - horrible, horrible, horrible.

Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras - nothing to do, nothing to eat, other than fast food chains seriously! Everything closes at sunset. Spent the whole time singing a version of the Jollyrock Lighthouse song from the Goodies: Totally agree with regional toilets in China, stopped at a servo and never quite got my sense of smell back Skip Ibiza and Mallorca full of red English and German drunken tourists eating baked beans and curry wurst whilst watching the soccer Go to north Tenerife instead its spectacular, cheap and yobo free.

Dumped me in Barstow at 2. I've managed to get through Heathrow and down to the tube in about 45 minutes, with little waiting time. One of the first times I landed at Gatwick, I was out within 30 minutes.

Venice - I've taken the lagoon tour to Murano, Burano and the other one with the little church. It was in Winter, freezing, but our Tour guide was a jovial lady who was rather like Maragarita Pragatahn when she rolled the rrrrrr's in Murano and Burano.

She alighted at Lido, of course. I didn't mind the glass blowing it was warm but saw it for the touristy thing it was, but then guess what.

That' s exactly what I was. I'm over these uber cool global lonely weary traveller guide things giving you the heads up on where to go if you want to eat some rare african bush widgety thing while dancing to an authentic drumming lap dance song performed by a real tribal warrior in a grass skirt made in the village, while you with face covered in real beetle dung, dyed with the finest heather valley grass liquid dance an authentic rain dance, then get introduced to a friend of a friend in Berlin who then takes you to meet the original german stand up comedian.

I like doing touristy things as much as backpackers like the beach and a good barbie when they come here. I do appreciate the guides that I've seen on telly, but think sometimes the best thing to do is just find you own way and not try to be too cool when you want to get the vibe of a city.

It was bitterly cold and the trip to the very depths of the dungeons was enough to make my blood almost freeze. How prisoners managed to survive, and if, is beyond me.

It did however allow me to get a real feel for what it would have been like for those making that fateful journey over the bridge of sighs, glimsing their beloved Venice for one last time.

I have travelled all over the world and my 3 day oddysey from New York to San Francisco on Greyhounds stands as one of my all-time favourite adventures. I found American 'Greyhound travellers' to be wonderful open people, always up for a chat, full of great stories and very hospitable to this wandering Aussie.

In fact, I could probably write a book about the characters I met on this trip. Also, I love Phnom Penh. If for nothing else than bearing witness to the atrocities of the S Prison; its up there with the WWII concentration camps as a place where people should pay their respects and remember the horrors of war and ideology gone mad.

However, my contribution to this 'Things not to try list.. In between the major sites and sometimes stunning scenery, there are endless small towns with very little to do and shocking accomodation -- the worst being my tiny 'cell-like' room somewhere in Colombia where there was blood smeared all over the walls and a trickling, cold communal shower where an old man stood naked and shivering when I walked in to freshen up.

With no other accomodation in town, I had no choice but to sleep in this hellish hovel. I can agree and disagree with all comments because, as one blogger noted, it depends on what happens to you and who you meet.

Athens downtown is indeed a horrible, concrete jungle, but where I stayed for four months up in the hills 14km from the city centre was wonderful, and I could take the train directly to Piraeus and onto the islands. I loved Agra and most of India and I was there is the late 70s when things were much poorer and rougher than today. Here's a blog idea: An example would be Duessledorf in Germany, with its 16th centre Altstadt, the club and party-central of the rich industrial heartland of North Rhine Westphalen, but which remains friendly and relatively innocent and crime free the red light district is in another part of town.

Any more overlooked gems? I liked Vienna - and Europe in general - but as a 40yr Aussie cycling in europe, people seemed to go out of their way to help. My partner tried to go to Singapore with parents, fully booked 5 star accommodation, but was not allowed out of the airport - three days on couches with itinerant indians. I haven't tried Greyhound but I have to advise that one should never, under any circumstances, take a bus from Amsterdam to London.

I went to a weekend party in Amsterdam, flew in from London, but was unable to get a flight back so I booked a seat on the bus for the return leg. The bus was an hourlate departing, it visited dozens of nondescript Dutch Villages, ostensibly to pick up and drop off passengers but in reality just to slow down before empty bus shelters. It was then stopped by the French police just inside France and there was near hysteria on the bus from the handful of backpackers who thought it was great idea to carry grass and hash to the UK.

The luggage was flung out of the bus storage bay onto the grass verge and sniffer dogs went over luggage for ages. Two guys were then dragged off the bus pleading innocence in a wobbling falsetto. The dogs then came on the bus and another five or six people were dragged off including the Aussie girl next to me.

And if you're reading this post I have to say that if you want to challenge the sniffer dog then you must hide it in a better place than at dog nose height in the roll of your sock.

When we got to the Chunnel more French police were there, same story again but no one dragged off. Bus driver then lost his rag because we had missed two allotted train slot and he screamed at the remaining passengers. More delays courtesy of the French, then the furious bus driver roared off - without all our passports, which were still with French Customs.

Massive diversion around through cargo areas to get back to customs and then we missed the next train slot. Waited another two hours for next train. On the UK side, passengers and luggage were turfed out, searched, and another sniffer dog was brought out to work. A couple more hours lost. Bloke who was sitting opposite to me was then arrested terrorism suspect and I was then questioned by police.

Then we have to wait hours for another dog to arrive - this one trained to sniff for explosives. Luggage and bus searched again. Finally made it to Victoria Station. And I'm told that this is not an unusual experiecne for this particular trip. I agree with Tania, Delhi is completely worth avoiding.

I'm lucky I didn't get rabies from that experience. Also in India, avoid Jaipur like the plague. Every single person in that city will try their hardest to rip you off. My friends and I split up for the day and all came back with the unanimous agreement that it was the most awful place we'd ever been to. But with regards to squat toilets on trains, I dunno They're just feet, it's not like you eat with your toes.

If you really can't handle it, tie plastic bags to your feet or wear shoes with extra thick soles. Greyhound buses in the US are truly the bottom of the abyss. But then again, the experience gives you something to talk about for the rest of you life!

Where else will you get the chance to meet the people you see on Jerry Springer? You will get robbed for sure! The closest Italians have to a Chemist is the local Tabboconist. So if you are sick, drop in for a packet of band aids, some over priced asprin and a dirt cheap packet of smokes A few locals took me out to a great restaurant and a stack of amazing bars that would put almost anywhere in Sydney or Melbourne to shame with their mixture of vibe, style and elegance.

Loved it, spent 11 days in all and going back this year for another 2 weeks. Maybe you were just blind. Must disagree with Lynnie, Loved the Bali Volcanoe tour. As for the greyhound The DOG I have heard stories which put these into context, one of which included an uninvited shower from a fellow passenger And I had a fabulous time on Greyhound buses in the US.

Lots of very different people, if you get my drift. Calcutta, Bombay, Macau in the monsoon season, taking your kids on holidays in another country. Ask any American and they'll tell you don't even think about Greyhound. I would never have touched it with a foot pole, but then again I suppose one might now know that if one didn't grow up in the USA.

Nothing seems to get Australians more excited than a whinge when it comes to their overseas travel. Most of your complaints seem to stem from a frenetic desire to "do" as many places as possible a peculiarly Australian use of the verb "do" for a peculiarly AUstralian way of looking at foreign countries.

Why not just spend a bit of time in a few places, and come to understand their rhythm a bit? The world's not there for your entertainment. My point about Venice was for people on tours, who are all forced to go to those demonstrations, and who all only get one day there.

Which I thought I explained Swimming with the Dolphins at Zanzibar esp during the rainy season. The boat, which is made of wooden plank bits has no oars or lifejackets and the guides take you out so far, that when you look back you cannot see any sign of land.

Oh and after all that, we did not see any dolphins! The block of rooms is situated right beside a smelly garbage dump. You will be constantly attacked by millions of flies every time you step outside your room and when you have breakfast in the morning.

Though I did rather enjoy one when I was about 25, from the Gold Coast with my grandparents "Probus club" members and their old friends, to the Granite Belt of Queensland, which they claim is their wine growing area OK if you like horrible wine , for the sheer incongruity of my being on it.

We stayed in a motel that may have been in Stanthorpe, and I went for a walk with a retired carpet salesperson. I liked Colonia - agree its not the most exciting place but I found the people to be very hospitable and some nice foldable paintings that is now hanging on my wall. A little piece of history I bumped into also - Arthur Phillip was a captain of the Portuguese fleet stationed in Colonia before he came to Australia.

There is a little plaque in the national museum in Colonia to commemorate him. Don't even contemplate flying into Kazakhstan without your visa in your passport. I spent a night in an immigration holding cell and then had to buy a flight back to Turkey. I took a Greyhound bus from Vegas to LA--another female travelling alone.

The guy behind me, a large African-American, insisted on swapping seats with the lady next to me because he wanted to hear all about Australia. He was adamant that I stay with him at his apartment on the outskirts of LA, and even held the bus up at Compton where he got off demanding that I come with him. Claims to have been a record producer with Natalie Imbruglia on the list of credits!

Scary, but not as scary as staying at an LA hotel close to LAX , and going for a stroll just down the corner to Sizzlers have to have eyes in the back of your head. Generally find Americans to be very pleasant and friendly, but Vegas and LA are strange spots. In Vegas, I had a guy stop me, asked me where I was from; said he was a professional caddy for Stuart Baker Finch, and said he could get me a good room deal at his hotel. After hanging out for a few hours, the penny dropped that he was likely a compulsive gambler shock, horror it's Vegas because he appeared to live off fast food vouchers, and said that he was waiting for money to be couriered in.

After spending all day to get to the Grand Canyon on a bus, and about one hour there before embarking on the return journey, and then the nightmare bus ride to LA, I departed with a bag full of interesting memories. China and the squat pits--couldn't agree more. Also in China, having to pay a tip to have your hotel room opened by floor staff, and having staff barge in unannounced to check that you are not 'entertaining' any extras!

And Xian is only worth the terracotta soldier visit, but a lot of work to get there. Still, endurance is the name of the game when travelling on a budget on the beaten track. An 8 hour train journey from Budapest to Zagreg in summer, with no water or food available for purchase en route, and no chance to get off to buy refreshments--stock up with tons of water in summer; I had a litre of water, but within an hour I was parched.

Had to change carriages three times during the journey which drove me insane. To those who had awful flights in America, I suggest you try Southwest. The flight with them was great fun, as they took the piss out of the whole thing. The usual pre-flight safety lecture included little gems like "Fix your own oxygen mask before fitting your child's I have travelled a lot on American flights, and most of my experiences have not been too bad.

However one thing that astonishes me is the number of major airports where the baggage carousel is OUTSIDE the secured area, meaning anyone can just come in off the street and help themselves to an interesting-looking piece of luggage.

My top four Don't Bother Destinations: Yes, I'm sure it's lovely, but the crowds are unbelievable. Sells itself as "the Gateway to Antarctica", but actually the boats go from Ushuaia. You can get a flight to Ushuaia from Rio Gallegos, but I guess "the Gateway to the Gateway to Antarctica" didn't get the nod from the coke-sniffing marketing bods. Meanwhile, the most interesting thing to do in Rio Gallegos is queue up behind the schoolkids at the Post Office for use of the internet computer.

A city with a ferry port at one end, for tourists arriving on the ferry from Greece, and a railway station at the other end, for tourists to get a train to Rome. In the two kilometres in between, each day as the ferry arrives, the local pickpockets, cheats, sleazes and nutters conduct The Running Of The Tourists.

I agree that Heathrow is madness I haven't been through Gatwick. And hey, I really enjoyed Vienna and I am currently living in Singapore - there are plenty of nice places parks, cafes, hawker centres in Singapore to sit down and have a warm beer or cold coffee with a book.

Unfortunately I have no choice but to fly them because of routes and availability. I have had 6 bags lost in the last two weeks and only 1 has been returned thus far. Their customer service is so busy they dont answer your call and they do not answer emails either.

Having spent a few weeks travelling through Syria and Jordon having one of the most amazing experiences that your dream of as a traveller. That m feels like km carrying the backpack in 45 degree temperature. With more guns pointed at you than you can imagine. Actually, I would say avoid Israel in general, they are more racist and rude than any other nationality I have ever met.

If you want gun carrying crazy's go to the US, at least they like us there. I checked out the very expensive 'menu' for sale on the second flight on the airline website, and there is absolutely nothing my kids will eat. Looks like I'll be packing sandwiches and cheesesticks in Sydney so my kids will have something to eat the following day. At least I'm not staying in Detroit - we'll be driving across the border to stay with family in Canada. The thing I would never do again? CJ I totally agree with you.

This blog is so amusing, more whinging than a bus load of middle age English tourists. I don't know about most people, I'd rather be bored in Athens, sipping my Uzo listening to Greek musicians play in the warm air in the Plaka, tucking into an overpriced Yeros, than stuck in the burbs in my PJs looking at my entertainment guide looking for something to watch on my bloody Plasma.

As my wise now dead grandfather used to say- only boring people get bored. My last Heathrow experience,the last time I was in Heathrow I was locked up for 2 hours, it happens often to me at a few International Airports - as I am a scruffy looking Asian bloke. Rather than cry and whinge about it, I had some rather interesting conversations with some Africans that were trying to seek a better life in England but were caught and were going to be sent home to a life of shit.

It put my two hours waiting in nasty backrooms of Heathrow in perspective. Sorry Ben, whining about the boringness of place is more an indication of yourself rather than the place itself. Never the less, I do like your blogs. But I do agree with you on Ugandan tap water. What could be easier? I am telling you, squat toilets are designed for dysentry.

Amy, the whole of the Costa del Sol is full of the dregs of English society who go abroad with the sole intention of getting drunk, laid and fighting, like Ibiza is too.

It's just like a hotter version of Blackpool as pretty much all of the pubs there are English run and lots of English people move out there to live. Martin C, don't agree with Oxford being overcrowded. However i was living near it before i went backpacking myself so maybe i didn't notice it as much Try Gorakhpur in North India Not one hotel in the whole town is worth staying in, so we just picked one that was close to the train station. No sheets on the beds, just a filthy cotton rag, blood on the walls from bedbugs, green slime bubbling up from the drain, hint of vomit on the stairs, "music" blaring out of the railway station all night, in between train announcements, fighter jets flying up and down all night it's on the Nepal border , filthy frozen mud caked all over the streets, people shuffling around wrapped in brown blankets trying to keep warm coming at you out of the fog, red-eyed, red-toothed tight bird shit denim-panted con men everywhere.

The A-hole of the A-hole of the world. Don't bother going it's full of arrogant aussies who hate the poms but still decide to stay in London. I agree with Phnom Penh - dirty, rundown, charmless and ragged. However I found the mass graves and Tuol Sleng S21 a sobering, interesting visit and would definitely recommend that; you would only need to be in Phnom Penh a day to go to these two places. I would add though avoid like the plague in the week before Christmas it is 10 times as bad.

Was particularly smug last Christmas sat around the pool hearing about Heathrow being shut down due to fog, mass delays, lost baggage mountains etc.

Yes the crowds suck, but I went there, go with a few ppl and go punting, have a pint, get some food. Don't go to Constanta in Romania food poisoning coupled with some dodgy mofo pretending to be a cop and some other idiot trying to pick my pocket all in one day! Rest of Romania was cool though. Don't eat anything given to you on an Egyptian Train.

It won't kill you but I guarantee it won't make you stronger either. I can't believe everyone is bagging out Gatwick and Heathrow airport and haven't mentioned Stansted airport.

It's like telling someone they're flying to Sydney and dropping them in Gosford. Your point on Venice WAS very clearly explained, and very true! Just returned from a tour and yes, I was suckered into attending a glass blowing demo in Venice. Needless to say, I didn't buy any authentic Venetian glass, and wasted a good hour or so of my limited time there bored witless, but felt too rude to leave.

A night at the pub with drunk idiots and no women because the men in Oz don't know how to act towards them. Neapolis - Southern Peloponese, it's not in the rough guide but the ferry to Gythio stops there, don't make the same mistake!

It's not in the book for a reason, there's nothing there. Moruya - NSW, unless u like ghost towns - only place I ever walked down the main st at 8. Manila Airport - on a busy evening, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait, and watch custom officers looking at every arrival suspiciously as if anyone arriving could lower the tone of the place! Heathrow - I can only add to the complaints.

Once, after the usual 24 hour trip, I stopped here, dumped my bag, went to visit a friend then came back. I thought a shower might be in order, so I went looking for one in the terminal I was in 2.

An hour later I gave up, asked someone, and discovered that in all of Heathrow airport, all four terminals, there is exactly one female shower. And that was in Terminal 4. Some more completely pointless destinations: In fact, any 'famous' scenery in the UK. It's disappointing for Australians, and must be incredibly underwhelming for Kiwis. I also had to endure the microwave pizza catastrophe.

Always fly United if flying internally in the States - the food is edible and the staff look atleast a little groomed! Got a fresh one for ya's. Pamplona, Spain for the bull run festival. If you are keen enough to hold a spot for 3hrs to see the actual bulls run, enjoy the 10 seconds that they will pass by. Bilbao on the other hand is top drawer, with the Old town bars, Guggenheim Museum and coastal areas nearby brilliant.

Just dont go to the rough area of town aptly named San Franciso , or you may get stabbed in the hand like me whilst attempting to get my wallet back from a pickpocketer. Anyone who would travel to the USA and use Greyhound as a means of transportation is either stupid or cheap. Do as I did while in OZ Avoid buses in India also. I was in a head on collision in which both the driver and co-driver were killed and the first few rows of passengers injured.

Caravan parks in Australia unless you don't mind older Australians constantly telling you how wonderful OZ is, it is - but I didn't need to be told everyday for six months.

Sorry Ben, I have to disagree with your assessment of Agra I just spent a week there and found it thoroughly relaxing, full of character, and real India which your photo represents an element of Admittedly I was there in low season, and the touts maybe a trifle more assertive then some other parts of India Not surprised that no one has mentioned Pakistan. It must be the part of the world where God dumped all the crappy bits he had left over when he finished making the world.

Oh they will tell you that it has some of world's tallest mountains. Yes and it has most of the world's terrorists, extremist nutcases and dysentery that will make you wish you could find at least one or two of the former to finish you off. And the national past-time is sitting on street corners drooling over any Western women silly enough to walk by. Apparently they take Hollywood literally - all Western women go like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct especially for smelly, malnourished terrorist wannabes.

The east coast of Tasmania. At sunset, vacant-mouthed and criminally-featured townsfolk in St Helens gathered on streetcorners like they were auditioning for Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers. We retreated to our hotel room which memorably had a mottled flock nylon carpet that ran not only across the floor but up the walls like a fungus. It meant I shifted from running around thinking "what can I see, what can I do?? How it looked in basically unchanged since the Khmer Rouge rolled in.

How wonderfully anarchic it was. Have to argue with the Heathrow comment, it's not that expensive to get from Heathrow to the city. Totally agree about Naples, but if you really want to hit rock bottom catch the graffiti covered train to Puzzouli. I'm thrilled when I go through Heathrow or Gatwick in London. If you think they're bad then you haven't experienced Luton Airport. What shitty experience that is each and every time. I saw someone say earlier taht cardiff is a place to avoid.

What a joke of a comment. When there's international rugby on there it's an absolute ball. Drunken chaos, I admit, but great fun. Someone else said that they though Stockholm was crap and the girls weren't that good looking. Where the hell did you hang out? Go to soem of the clubs around the Stureplan and you'll see heaps of those girls that Stockholm is famous for. And dress to the nines or the bouncers won't let you in. Can't agree with the Greyhound buses, Ben.

Granted they're not luxury, but I'm of the opinion that a memorable trip is made by experiences good and bad. In fact anywhere in Switzerland. I think the Swiss have let the beautiful tag go to their heads a little and it seems as though permission is not granted for anything that looks like fun! Can't believe all the Aussies whinging about Heathrow.

Have you flown into your own place recently? Tangiers-I would rather gouge out my eyes with rusty plyers than ever set foot in that hellhole again. It's like when your a little kid, and see that bright big box under the x-mas tree just waiting for you to open it. As soon as you do - there's nothing in it. Sunset stip is also quite boring, and VERY overhyped Rude staff, tight seats, hot, uncomfortable airlines, staff that might as well dress up in a striped black and white uniform and have name tags such as "zombie 1", "zombie 2" etc Sorry -- any average American could have told you to avoid the bus for the reasons you described.

Total chaos at immigration and baggage claim. A hell to which I will never subject myself again. All I could think of was "this place must be teeming with rats. Did nothing for me. I was far more occupied with less when in Broome -- a lovely place.

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US airlines are a constant source of comedy - on a NY to Puerto Rico trip every seemed to bring huge pizzas on board and then pass it up and down the aisles to extended family. On a LA - NY trip in business class the air steward actually yelled at the woman next to me for falling asleep during food service and told her it was her fault there was no food left.

But the trip that seems to continually bite me is being lazy and booking a 21 day tour through Vietnam with an Australian tour company out of Hanoi. Having already travelled through some part of Vietnam I thought it would be useful to travel with the Kangaroo crew up to SaPa and down south.

The guy who runs the company is an arrogant twit and the only time we had really crappy hotels, got perpetually lost and shafted by touts was when we were on his tour. Needless to say the 12 of us en route to SaPa all come down with some mystery virus that involved alot of perpetual vomiting.

And don't bother complaining to him - he somehow managed to have us apologising to him. In the end we ended the tour early despite the money, went out on our own and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Heathrow and Gatwick have their problems but if you consider the volume of people passing through That said, the English can't be commended for their attitude towards customer service.

And the Heathrow Express may be expensive for Australians but it's a pretty good option nonetheless - reliable, regular and so fast! I prefer the two main airports because getting into Central London from the others is painful. I think flying into another UK city is the way to go then taking train to London - the trains cop a lot of grief but travelling out of peak times is relaxing and pretty.

Any having no loo paper. I'd have to put Delhi as being way worse than Agra. The pollution is so bad that you can't see anything on a tour anyway and the cleanest thing in the city is the Gandhi memorial which was lovely btw. Some of my very best times were when I just sat down and read a book. In the midst of all those inevitable dull and dreary moments, finding a glimpse of sun, maybe at some run-down cafe, with your choice of warm beer or cold coffee, and whipping out a shredded book makes for some very memorable moments.

Well, OK, the whole of Singapore, at any time of the year, at any time of the day or night, would be the exception. Sucks the fat one but a cheap way to get to Hong Kong by flying there from other parts of Asia and taking a ferry across.

Well excuse me Billybob I think you should keep your damn opinion of Darwin to yourself. I am from Darwin and love it, stay down south moron!!!!!!!!!! Flew in last week from Madrid. Another hour wait to register the lost bag and by then it was after midnight meaning no tube. Luckily found a bus and had an oyster card I had no cash and arrived in my hotel at 2: I've never had a problem with customs anywhere in the world, I have always found them polite and courteous, if a little deadpan.

I think people need to remember they are there to screen incoming passengers, and getting annoyed or playing games with them will not achieve anything. I simply answer their questions and my passport is stamped within 30 seconds. Casablanca, the Mosque is great the rest is very forgetable.

Especially during Ramadan no bars or restaurants to wait in for the flight out, go straight to Marrakesh or the coast. I would have to agree the US airlines comment for most airlines. I am currently working in the US, and fly to work every week. I have so far found the big established airlines are 3rd world standard AA, United, etc , always late, rude staff, etc. However the discount airlines such as Southwest, JetBlue and Frontier are great, generally on time other than weather delays, and actually cost half the price.

The service is just so much better on the discount carriers. I would say never go to Brussels. Most boring city in the world, with absolutely no nightlife. The only place I found on my one night there was an english pub that was showing NRL.

May as well be in Sydney. I would also say never do Paris, but I guess the Louvre makes it worthwhile. Just the people are so rude, and I found the food pretty average. Definitely far more worthwhile experiences elsehere. Maybe you can toss half of western Europe into the don't bother basket.

It is good as a training area for travel, but by starting your trip in Berlin and heading east, you will have a lot more fun, meet friendlier people, and will still have somewhere new and safe to travel when you retire.

I lived in London for about 3 years and one summer when I was a bit low on cash but desperate to get somewhere with open space and a few beaches to take advantage of the warm weather a couple of mates and I booked a lastminute. The departing flight from Gatwick was at some ridiculous time like 5am or so, meaning we had to get up around 2ish. I had booked a minicab the day before and when it came time for it to show up still in darkness it simply wasn't there.

I rang the taxi co and there was a bit of a pause - I realised right away that they'd forgotten about me, my friends looked at me frowningly and I started to get that sinking feeling as I'd volunteered to organise everything, at that hour there is basically no public transport from where I was living to Gatwick so not only was I giong to ruin my holday but 2 other guys aswell.

Anyway the taxi co said they'd send a guy out to us, so we waited outside, as the minutes ticked by my stomach started to sink lower and lower, no-one said anything, then at about the time when it was probably too late a cab arrives. The driver was Oriental and didn't speak very good English but I think he could tell by the anxious looks on our faces that we needed to get to the airport damned quick - and boy did he get there quick! I can assure you that driving out of the maze that is the London road system to Gatwick is not easy and I don't know how many laws he must have broken on the way but he could us there just in time.

By the time we finally arrived in Ibiza around lunchtime I was tired and still a bit stressed from the ordeal. Would I do another cheap holiday deal like that again? No, but I can't say I regret doing it just the once. Don't ever go to Kingston Jamaica. Biggest mistake i ever made, absolute hole and the guys are extremely menacing and i can handle them everywhere else, i'm not one of those"don't go anywhere alone" types. One example, hopping off a bus in town w fellow girl S has the most crazies.

First he pretended he was asleep and his hands slipped But still a horrible experience. Interestingly, their domestic airlines are now described as Greyhound Buses in the Sky.

Flying in the US is a nice cultural introduction to how they do things over there. Luckily, Greyhound in Canada is a good way to get around for a backpacker especially with skis. Anywhere the Lonely Planet over zealously suggests you must go is, 9 times out of 10, a good place to circumnavigate.

And the places they tell you to avoid are, 5 times out of 10, just the thing you want to see. Have they decided to take on the role of the tour guide who keeps you firmly on the beaten path like the eds day in Venice? Despite their recent turmoil, they are racist, rude, demanding and ugly not that being easy on the eye should matter much Have to add the tap water in Malawi to your list of things not to try.

Other substances readily available in that country might make you think drinking the tap water's a good idea but it's not. Your stomach will let you know this within 2 hours. I quite enjoyed Delhi so have to disagree with Tania on avoiding it at all costs but I walked around instead of jumping on tour.

It's not just from Dogs Also, don't bother going to Gisenyi in Rwanda unless you're having a crack at getting into the Congo.

Yes, there's a lake but it's toxic in parts so not real good for swimming and no cheap accomodation either. You will get to spend an extra couple of hours in a Mutato overcrowded minibus each way from Ruhengeri though which is exciting in it's own special way, but you'd be better off just heading to Kigali and the Genocide Museum, then the Gorillas and on to Uganda.

Another place to avoid is the Copacabana in Rio on Public Holidays. They have a tendency for the lid to explode when you try to tap into them and shower the entirement train compartment with beer. Funny initially while your pissed from shot-gunning the keg but a bit sticky afterwards Got through Heathrow from plane to outside world in 10 minutes.

Never seen anything like it. Must have been change of shift or something. Don't bother with it. If you're in Ireland, give Cork a miss - very dull place - skip it and head to a smaller more scenic town nearby. Now I don't feel so bad after spending 12 hrs in San Francisco courtesy American Airlines canceled flights and two weeks later spending 6 hrs from midnight in LA airport with no facilities and security shutdown you can leave but you cant get back in.

This was two weeks ago. After that delay they still lost my bags. Can't think of an Australian town I visited where I haven't run into a local even in the city who knows everything about the bush, can wrestle crocs, catch snakes bearhanded, ride bulls etc The people are rude, it's damn expensive and there's not really a hill or viewing point to take in the overall cityspace. It seems to lack the large scale granduer and soul of other eastern European cities such as Budapest or Prague.

It sounds lovely, therefore it should be lovely? Everyone always assumes Vienna will be spectacular, then you go and realise you were wrong.

Warsaw was another lowlight. After 3 freezing, rainy, grey days unable to find a pub with any character or patrons, for that matter we decided the weather seemed to reflect the feel of the city in general. Made that mistake in Middlesbrough. The home fans hide and wait for the away fans to be released from the stadium and then start street fights.

I have never seen so many broken bottles and punch ups in my life. It was like running a gauntlet. Arrived from Athens last month.

Previously stayed there 1 or 2 days then headed for the islands. However this time, having relatives there I spent a total of 11 days. Had one of the best holidays ever. Helps to know the locals. Your experience of a place ia far better if you know the locals and avoid the tourist traps. But i reckon suffering at a london airport is an unavoidable Aussie right of passage, just like drinking too much Bintang in Bali or bruising your arse skiing in Queenstown. At least you avoid the "boring backpacker" syndrome spoken about last week, because everyone you know has done it too.

But Agra is most definitely a shithole. Chennai is the major city I'd recommend avoiding in India - it's just plain boring! Phnom Penh - yeh, likewise. The Thai-Cambo border crossing is pretty nasty, and a Singapore actually Riau Archipelago - Jakarta ferry ride I took once was excruciating.

That's gotta be the greatest shithole on the face of the planet! I'd almost forgotten that one. Yogyakarta is hardly any better, redeemed only by the trip to Borobudur. Indonesia has them all! Most overrated experience I can think of: I have my doubts about Abu Simbel in Egypt as well, which isn't a very great return for the four hours each way that you need to do in a day trip in cramped minivans from Aswan.

Bahrain is also painfully boring, enlivened only by the Indian expats. I'm sure there are hundreds more, but I'm through with whingeing for now. Just remembered two cities worse than Jakarta: Addis Ababa - horrible, horrible, horrible. Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras - nothing to do, nothing to eat, other than fast food chains seriously! Everything closes at sunset.

Spent the whole time singing a version of the Jollyrock Lighthouse song from the Goodies: Totally agree with regional toilets in China, stopped at a servo and never quite got my sense of smell back Skip Ibiza and Mallorca full of red English and German drunken tourists eating baked beans and curry wurst whilst watching the soccer Go to north Tenerife instead its spectacular, cheap and yobo free.

Dumped me in Barstow at 2. I've managed to get through Heathrow and down to the tube in about 45 minutes, with little waiting time. One of the first times I landed at Gatwick, I was out within 30 minutes. Venice - I've taken the lagoon tour to Murano, Burano and the other one with the little church. It was in Winter, freezing, but our Tour guide was a jovial lady who was rather like Maragarita Pragatahn when she rolled the rrrrrr's in Murano and Burano. She alighted at Lido, of course. I didn't mind the glass blowing it was warm but saw it for the touristy thing it was, but then guess what.

That' s exactly what I was. I'm over these uber cool global lonely weary traveller guide things giving you the heads up on where to go if you want to eat some rare african bush widgety thing while dancing to an authentic drumming lap dance song performed by a real tribal warrior in a grass skirt made in the village, while you with face covered in real beetle dung, dyed with the finest heather valley grass liquid dance an authentic rain dance, then get introduced to a friend of a friend in Berlin who then takes you to meet the original german stand up comedian.

I like doing touristy things as much as backpackers like the beach and a good barbie when they come here. I do appreciate the guides that I've seen on telly, but think sometimes the best thing to do is just find you own way and not try to be too cool when you want to get the vibe of a city.

It was bitterly cold and the trip to the very depths of the dungeons was enough to make my blood almost freeze. How prisoners managed to survive, and if, is beyond me. It did however allow me to get a real feel for what it would have been like for those making that fateful journey over the bridge of sighs, glimsing their beloved Venice for one last time. I have travelled all over the world and my 3 day oddysey from New York to San Francisco on Greyhounds stands as one of my all-time favourite adventures.

I found American 'Greyhound travellers' to be wonderful open people, always up for a chat, full of great stories and very hospitable to this wandering Aussie.

In fact, I could probably write a book about the characters I met on this trip. Also, I love Phnom Penh. If for nothing else than bearing witness to the atrocities of the S Prison; its up there with the WWII concentration camps as a place where people should pay their respects and remember the horrors of war and ideology gone mad.

However, my contribution to this 'Things not to try list.. In between the major sites and sometimes stunning scenery, there are endless small towns with very little to do and shocking accomodation -- the worst being my tiny 'cell-like' room somewhere in Colombia where there was blood smeared all over the walls and a trickling, cold communal shower where an old man stood naked and shivering when I walked in to freshen up.

With no other accomodation in town, I had no choice but to sleep in this hellish hovel. I can agree and disagree with all comments because, as one blogger noted, it depends on what happens to you and who you meet.

Athens downtown is indeed a horrible, concrete jungle, but where I stayed for four months up in the hills 14km from the city centre was wonderful, and I could take the train directly to Piraeus and onto the islands. I loved Agra and most of India and I was there is the late 70s when things were much poorer and rougher than today.

Here's a blog idea: An example would be Duessledorf in Germany, with its 16th centre Altstadt, the club and party-central of the rich industrial heartland of North Rhine Westphalen, but which remains friendly and relatively innocent and crime free the red light district is in another part of town.

Any more overlooked gems? I liked Vienna - and Europe in general - but as a 40yr Aussie cycling in europe, people seemed to go out of their way to help. My partner tried to go to Singapore with parents, fully booked 5 star accommodation, but was not allowed out of the airport - three days on couches with itinerant indians.

I haven't tried Greyhound but I have to advise that one should never, under any circumstances, take a bus from Amsterdam to London. I went to a weekend party in Amsterdam, flew in from London, but was unable to get a flight back so I booked a seat on the bus for the return leg. The bus was an hourlate departing, it visited dozens of nondescript Dutch Villages, ostensibly to pick up and drop off passengers but in reality just to slow down before empty bus shelters.

It was then stopped by the French police just inside France and there was near hysteria on the bus from the handful of backpackers who thought it was great idea to carry grass and hash to the UK. The luggage was flung out of the bus storage bay onto the grass verge and sniffer dogs went over luggage for ages. Two guys were then dragged off the bus pleading innocence in a wobbling falsetto. The dogs then came on the bus and another five or six people were dragged off including the Aussie girl next to me.

And if you're reading this post I have to say that if you want to challenge the sniffer dog then you must hide it in a better place than at dog nose height in the roll of your sock. When we got to the Chunnel more French police were there, same story again but no one dragged off. Bus driver then lost his rag because we had missed two allotted train slot and he screamed at the remaining passengers. More delays courtesy of the French, then the furious bus driver roared off - without all our passports, which were still with French Customs.

Massive diversion around through cargo areas to get back to customs and then we missed the next train slot. Waited another two hours for next train. On the UK side, passengers and luggage were turfed out, searched, and another sniffer dog was brought out to work. A couple more hours lost. Bloke who was sitting opposite to me was then arrested terrorism suspect and I was then questioned by police.

Then we have to wait hours for another dog to arrive - this one trained to sniff for explosives. Luggage and bus searched again. Finally made it to Victoria Station. And I'm told that this is not an unusual experiecne for this particular trip. I agree with Tania, Delhi is completely worth avoiding. I'm lucky I didn't get rabies from that experience. Also in India, avoid Jaipur like the plague.

Every single person in that city will try their hardest to rip you off. My friends and I split up for the day and all came back with the unanimous agreement that it was the most awful place we'd ever been to. But with regards to squat toilets on trains, I dunno They're just feet, it's not like you eat with your toes. If you really can't handle it, tie plastic bags to your feet or wear shoes with extra thick soles. Greyhound buses in the US are truly the bottom of the abyss.

But then again, the experience gives you something to talk about for the rest of you life! Where else will you get the chance to meet the people you see on Jerry Springer? You will get robbed for sure! The closest Italians have to a Chemist is the local Tabboconist. So if you are sick, drop in for a packet of band aids, some over priced asprin and a dirt cheap packet of smokes A few locals took me out to a great restaurant and a stack of amazing bars that would put almost anywhere in Sydney or Melbourne to shame with their mixture of vibe, style and elegance.

Loved it, spent 11 days in all and going back this year for another 2 weeks. Maybe you were just blind. Must disagree with Lynnie, Loved the Bali Volcanoe tour. As for the greyhound The DOG I have heard stories which put these into context, one of which included an uninvited shower from a fellow passenger And I had a fabulous time on Greyhound buses in the US. Lots of very different people, if you get my drift. Calcutta, Bombay, Macau in the monsoon season, taking your kids on holidays in another country.

Ask any American and they'll tell you don't even think about Greyhound. I would never have touched it with a foot pole, but then again I suppose one might now know that if one didn't grow up in the USA. Nothing seems to get Australians more excited than a whinge when it comes to their overseas travel.

Most of your complaints seem to stem from a frenetic desire to "do" as many places as possible a peculiarly Australian use of the verb "do" for a peculiarly AUstralian way of looking at foreign countries. Why not just spend a bit of time in a few places, and come to understand their rhythm a bit?

The world's not there for your entertainment. My point about Venice was for people on tours, who are all forced to go to those demonstrations, and who all only get one day there. Which I thought I explained Swimming with the Dolphins at Zanzibar esp during the rainy season. The boat, which is made of wooden plank bits has no oars or lifejackets and the guides take you out so far, that when you look back you cannot see any sign of land.

Oh and after all that, we did not see any dolphins! The block of rooms is situated right beside a smelly garbage dump.

You will be constantly attacked by millions of flies every time you step outside your room and when you have breakfast in the morning. Though I did rather enjoy one when I was about 25, from the Gold Coast with my grandparents "Probus club" members and their old friends, to the Granite Belt of Queensland, which they claim is their wine growing area OK if you like horrible wine , for the sheer incongruity of my being on it. We stayed in a motel that may have been in Stanthorpe, and I went for a walk with a retired carpet salesperson.

I liked Colonia - agree its not the most exciting place but I found the people to be very hospitable and some nice foldable paintings that is now hanging on my wall. A little piece of history I bumped into also - Arthur Phillip was a captain of the Portuguese fleet stationed in Colonia before he came to Australia. There is a little plaque in the national museum in Colonia to commemorate him. Don't even contemplate flying into Kazakhstan without your visa in your passport. I spent a night in an immigration holding cell and then had to buy a flight back to Turkey.

I took a Greyhound bus from Vegas to LA--another female travelling alone. The guy behind me, a large African-American, insisted on swapping seats with the lady next to me because he wanted to hear all about Australia. He was adamant that I stay with him at his apartment on the outskirts of LA, and even held the bus up at Compton where he got off demanding that I come with him. Claims to have been a record producer with Natalie Imbruglia on the list of credits!

Scary, but not as scary as staying at an LA hotel close to LAX , and going for a stroll just down the corner to Sizzlers have to have eyes in the back of your head. Generally find Americans to be very pleasant and friendly, but Vegas and LA are strange spots. In Vegas, I had a guy stop me, asked me where I was from; said he was a professional caddy for Stuart Baker Finch, and said he could get me a good room deal at his hotel. After hanging out for a few hours, the penny dropped that he was likely a compulsive gambler shock, horror it's Vegas because he appeared to live off fast food vouchers, and said that he was waiting for money to be couriered in.

After spending all day to get to the Grand Canyon on a bus, and about one hour there before embarking on the return journey, and then the nightmare bus ride to LA, I departed with a bag full of interesting memories. China and the squat pits--couldn't agree more. Also in China, having to pay a tip to have your hotel room opened by floor staff, and having staff barge in unannounced to check that you are not 'entertaining' any extras!

And Xian is only worth the terracotta soldier visit, but a lot of work to get there. Still, endurance is the name of the game when travelling on a budget on the beaten track. An 8 hour train journey from Budapest to Zagreg in summer, with no water or food available for purchase en route, and no chance to get off to buy refreshments--stock up with tons of water in summer; I had a litre of water, but within an hour I was parched.

Had to change carriages three times during the journey which drove me insane. To those who had awful flights in America, I suggest you try Southwest. The flight with them was great fun, as they took the piss out of the whole thing. The usual pre-flight safety lecture included little gems like "Fix your own oxygen mask before fitting your child's I have travelled a lot on American flights, and most of my experiences have not been too bad.

However one thing that astonishes me is the number of major airports where the baggage carousel is OUTSIDE the secured area, meaning anyone can just come in off the street and help themselves to an interesting-looking piece of luggage. My top four Don't Bother Destinations: Yes, I'm sure it's lovely, but the crowds are unbelievable. Sells itself as "the Gateway to Antarctica", but actually the boats go from Ushuaia.

You can get a flight to Ushuaia from Rio Gallegos, but I guess "the Gateway to the Gateway to Antarctica" didn't get the nod from the coke-sniffing marketing bods. Meanwhile, the most interesting thing to do in Rio Gallegos is queue up behind the schoolkids at the Post Office for use of the internet computer. A city with a ferry port at one end, for tourists arriving on the ferry from Greece, and a railway station at the other end, for tourists to get a train to Rome.

In the two kilometres in between, each day as the ferry arrives, the local pickpockets, cheats, sleazes and nutters conduct The Running Of The Tourists. I agree that Heathrow is madness I haven't been through Gatwick. And hey, I really enjoyed Vienna and I am currently living in Singapore - there are plenty of nice places parks, cafes, hawker centres in Singapore to sit down and have a warm beer or cold coffee with a book.

Unfortunately I have no choice but to fly them because of routes and availability. I have had 6 bags lost in the last two weeks and only 1 has been returned thus far. Their customer service is so busy they dont answer your call and they do not answer emails either. Having spent a few weeks travelling through Syria and Jordon having one of the most amazing experiences that your dream of as a traveller. That m feels like km carrying the backpack in 45 degree temperature.

With more guns pointed at you than you can imagine. Actually, I would say avoid Israel in general, they are more racist and rude than any other nationality I have ever met. If you want gun carrying crazy's go to the US, at least they like us there. I checked out the very expensive 'menu' for sale on the second flight on the airline website, and there is absolutely nothing my kids will eat. Looks like I'll be packing sandwiches and cheesesticks in Sydney so my kids will have something to eat the following day.

At least I'm not staying in Detroit - we'll be driving across the border to stay with family in Canada. The thing I would never do again? CJ I totally agree with you. This blog is so amusing, more whinging than a bus load of middle age English tourists. I don't know about most people, I'd rather be bored in Athens, sipping my Uzo listening to Greek musicians play in the warm air in the Plaka, tucking into an overpriced Yeros, than stuck in the burbs in my PJs looking at my entertainment guide looking for something to watch on my bloody Plasma.

As my wise now dead grandfather used to say- only boring people get bored. My last Heathrow experience,the last time I was in Heathrow I was locked up for 2 hours, it happens often to me at a few International Airports - as I am a scruffy looking Asian bloke. Rather than cry and whinge about it, I had some rather interesting conversations with some Africans that were trying to seek a better life in England but were caught and were going to be sent home to a life of shit.

It put my two hours waiting in nasty backrooms of Heathrow in perspective. Sorry Ben, whining about the boringness of place is more an indication of yourself rather than the place itself.

Never the less, I do like your blogs. But I do agree with you on Ugandan tap water. What could be easier? I am telling you, squat toilets are designed for dysentry. Amy, the whole of the Costa del Sol is full of the dregs of English society who go abroad with the sole intention of getting drunk, laid and fighting, like Ibiza is too. It's just like a hotter version of Blackpool as pretty much all of the pubs there are English run and lots of English people move out there to live. Martin C, don't agree with Oxford being overcrowded.

However i was living near it before i went backpacking myself so maybe i didn't notice it as much Try Gorakhpur in North India Not one hotel in the whole town is worth staying in, so we just picked one that was close to the train station.

No sheets on the beds, just a filthy cotton rag, blood on the walls from bedbugs, green slime bubbling up from the drain, hint of vomit on the stairs, "music" blaring out of the railway station all night, in between train announcements, fighter jets flying up and down all night it's on the Nepal border , filthy frozen mud caked all over the streets, people shuffling around wrapped in brown blankets trying to keep warm coming at you out of the fog, red-eyed, red-toothed tight bird shit denim-panted con men everywhere.

The A-hole of the A-hole of the world. Don't bother going it's full of arrogant aussies who hate the poms but still decide to stay in London. I agree with Phnom Penh - dirty, rundown, charmless and ragged. However I found the mass graves and Tuol Sleng S21 a sobering, interesting visit and would definitely recommend that; you would only need to be in Phnom Penh a day to go to these two places.

I would add though avoid like the plague in the week before Christmas it is 10 times as bad. Was particularly smug last Christmas sat around the pool hearing about Heathrow being shut down due to fog, mass delays, lost baggage mountains etc. Yes the crowds suck, but I went there, go with a few ppl and go punting, have a pint, get some food. Don't go to Constanta in Romania food poisoning coupled with some dodgy mofo pretending to be a cop and some other idiot trying to pick my pocket all in one day!

Rest of Romania was cool though. Don't eat anything given to you on an Egyptian Train. It won't kill you but I guarantee it won't make you stronger either.

I can't believe everyone is bagging out Gatwick and Heathrow airport and haven't mentioned Stansted airport. It's like telling someone they're flying to Sydney and dropping them in Gosford. Your point on Venice WAS very clearly explained, and very true! Just returned from a tour and yes, I was suckered into attending a glass blowing demo in Venice. Needless to say, I didn't buy any authentic Venetian glass, and wasted a good hour or so of my limited time there bored witless, but felt too rude to leave.

A night at the pub with drunk idiots and no women because the men in Oz don't know how to act towards them. Neapolis - Southern Peloponese, it's not in the rough guide but the ferry to Gythio stops there, don't make the same mistake! It's not in the book for a reason, there's nothing there. Moruya - NSW, unless u like ghost towns - only place I ever walked down the main st at 8. Manila Airport - on a busy evening, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait, and watch custom officers looking at every arrival suspiciously as if anyone arriving could lower the tone of the place!

Heathrow - I can only add to the complaints. Once, after the usual 24 hour trip, I stopped here, dumped my bag, went to visit a friend then came back. I thought a shower might be in order, so I went looking for one in the terminal I was in 2. An hour later I gave up, asked someone, and discovered that in all of Heathrow airport, all four terminals, there is exactly one female shower. And that was in Terminal 4. Some more completely pointless destinations: In fact, any 'famous' scenery in the UK.

It's disappointing for Australians, and must be incredibly underwhelming for Kiwis. I also had to endure the microwave pizza catastrophe.

Always fly United if flying internally in the States - the food is edible and the staff look atleast a little groomed!

Got a fresh one for ya's. Pamplona, Spain for the bull run festival. If you are keen enough to hold a spot for 3hrs to see the actual bulls run, enjoy the 10 seconds that they will pass by. Bilbao on the other hand is top drawer, with the Old town bars, Guggenheim Museum and coastal areas nearby brilliant.

Just dont go to the rough area of town aptly named San Franciso , or you may get stabbed in the hand like me whilst attempting to get my wallet back from a pickpocketer.

Anyone who would travel to the USA and use Greyhound as a means of transportation is either stupid or cheap. Do as I did while in OZ Avoid buses in India also. I was in a head on collision in which both the driver and co-driver were killed and the first few rows of passengers injured.

Caravan parks in Australia unless you don't mind older Australians constantly telling you how wonderful OZ is, it is - but I didn't need to be told everyday for six months. Sorry Ben, I have to disagree with your assessment of Agra I just spent a week there and found it thoroughly relaxing, full of character, and real India which your photo represents an element of Admittedly I was there in low season, and the touts maybe a trifle more assertive then some other parts of India Not surprised that no one has mentioned Pakistan.

It must be the part of the world where God dumped all the crappy bits he had left over when he finished making the world. Oh they will tell you that it has some of world's tallest mountains. Yes and it has most of the world's terrorists, extremist nutcases and dysentery that will make you wish you could find at least one or two of the former to finish you off.

And the national past-time is sitting on street corners drooling over any Western women silly enough to walk by. Apparently they take Hollywood literally - all Western women go like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct especially for smelly, malnourished terrorist wannabes. The east coast of Tasmania. At sunset, vacant-mouthed and criminally-featured townsfolk in St Helens gathered on streetcorners like they were auditioning for Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers.

We retreated to our hotel room which memorably had a mottled flock nylon carpet that ran not only across the floor but up the walls like a fungus. It meant I shifted from running around thinking "what can I see, what can I do?? How it looked in basically unchanged since the Khmer Rouge rolled in.

How wonderfully anarchic it was. Have to argue with the Heathrow comment, it's not that expensive to get from Heathrow to the city. Totally agree about Naples, but if you really want to hit rock bottom catch the graffiti covered train to Puzzouli. I'm thrilled when I go through Heathrow or Gatwick in London. If you think they're bad then you haven't experienced Luton Airport. What shitty experience that is each and every time. I saw someone say earlier taht cardiff is a place to avoid.

What a joke of a comment. When there's international rugby on there it's an absolute ball. Drunken chaos, I admit, but great fun. Someone else said that they though Stockholm was crap and the girls weren't that good looking. Where the hell did you hang out? Go to soem of the clubs around the Stureplan and you'll see heaps of those girls that Stockholm is famous for.

And dress to the nines or the bouncers won't let you in. Can't agree with the Greyhound buses, Ben. Granted they're not luxury, but I'm of the opinion that a memorable trip is made by experiences good and bad. In fact anywhere in Switzerland. I think the Swiss have let the beautiful tag go to their heads a little and it seems as though permission is not granted for anything that looks like fun!

Can't believe all the Aussies whinging about Heathrow. Have you flown into your own place recently? Tangiers-I would rather gouge out my eyes with rusty plyers than ever set foot in that hellhole again.

It's like when your a little kid, and see that bright big box under the x-mas tree just waiting for you to open it. As soon as you do - there's nothing in it. Sunset stip is also quite boring, and VERY overhyped Rude staff, tight seats, hot, uncomfortable airlines, staff that might as well dress up in a striped black and white uniform and have name tags such as "zombie 1", "zombie 2" etc Sorry -- any average American could have told you to avoid the bus for the reasons you described.

Total chaos at immigration and baggage claim. A hell to which I will never subject myself again. All I could think of was "this place must be teeming with rats.

Did nothing for me. I was far more occupied with less when in Broome -- a lovely place. Patricks Day in Dublin: Just a bunch of drunk Americans -- even the parade is dominated by American high school and fire department marching bands!! I can stay home for that. Why do foreigners want to go here? It's a disgusting ash tray of sprawl.

Please visit Nashville or Chicago or our national parks instead. Before I sounds too negative, please let me recommend Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Sweden for a visit; and everyone should get to Shanghai at least once. White Sands Beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand - The beach is anything but white more like grey , water shines iridescently courtesy of an oil slick and a qick dip often involves surfacing with various parts of water bottles clinging to you and the odd bit of thong as in flip-flops ;.

There used to be the largest American military base outside of the USA from memory there and by god could you tell. The only place I saw where you could go into any shop and pay with American dollars not a positive sign for me I'm afraid and the servicemen were complete idiots.

Was an ok place after about 9 or 10pm as curfew came in and they all left. Stockholm I live in Sweden now. Like any stereotype it seldom stands up in the clear light of day Stansted - never get a late flight in. The train stops at You then get the joys of the bus trip to central London. It is not the only airport guilty of that - try most airports served by Ryanair. Frankfurt Hahn may actually be somewhere in France. Stockholm Vasteras, if you were in Belgium it would be in The Netherlands.

To top the lot Magalouf in Mallorca. A little place where the English have recreated their version of England in Spain. A friend of mine - known as the Princess - asked for the wine list. The response was "we have white or red". Of course it came out of a tap and the rose was even worse. Don't go there people. What are you doing? Next you'll be telling people to go to the Registan although I think that secret might be out.

I like going to NRW and being the only Aussie. Don't change it now. But seriously, for me, the great wall of china was pretty forgettable. I lost the digital photos I took there and wasn't even that bothered. LA Airport during first gulf war breaking out. So what does the chirpy Australian girl do when she realises she left her Mexican sombrero in the X-ray machine I was about to board the plane and was entering it when I realised. I turn around, tell my partner I forgot it and start running back to security.

I did not see all the commotion behind me. Yep, they thought I was a terrorist and about to blow up my sombrero. I think my partner now husband wishes they shot it to pieces as it hangs pride of place in the study.

I laugh when I remember that. The famous Jet d'eau fountain is hardly ever on. Sure the lake is nice and the city is Just very rich looking people parading up and down shopping streets, occasionally popping into a Louis Vuitton here and a Cartier there.

I think all the diplomats and international organisations made this a numb city. The old town is very charming though, but that can be done in 1 hour. A half day for the city if it can be called that is more than enough. After travelling the world for 4 years this was the worst.

The bus stopped at every tin pot town and city on the way,disgorging every passenger at every greasy spoon,rundown diner they could find. Oh my god my fellow travellers! We cashed our return ticket in and caught a plane but that's another story. I have my own Scandinavian Saga to tell on my month-long experience in these 18 little islands, but here are the highlights: There's a reason only 40, people live on these grass covered, rain-smattered rocks.

Leave them be, and let them die there. Maybe you needed to look around a bit more. Nightlife is just as good if not better than Sydney. I went for a month and stayed there four years! Don't bother with the touristy Mozart concerts. There are much better places for all sorts of music. Just landed this morning from Dubai, and visiting the Grand Mosque at Jumeira is one of the best travel experiences that I have had. Two twenty-something Muslim guides invited any questions, no bars held, and responded to the terrorism-based questions of the predominantly western group with patience, tolerance and good humour.

I was horrified to realise how little I knew about the Muslim religion and culture. I wish our media and government would focus on some of the positive aspects of this religion. It depends on where you are catching it from and where you are going to in the bus! Yes, avoid catching the Greyhound bus from LA if you can, you may have to wait for hours until you can actually get on. Other routes are however perfectly fine and a dirt-cheap way to get around.

Sometimes it's the only way unless you are driving. LA is however excellent for shopping. Be careful in the USA though- if you end up in the wrong area in can be very, very dangerous. Lots and lots of people have guns over there - ask the locals where the bad areas are and avoid them like the plague.

Bad areas in the USA make every "bad" area in Australia look like a holiday camp. Walking along a highway even in a densely populated and suburban area can be equally dangerous if you are woman That is because some highways in the USA are known as hooker highways and some men will pull up their cars next to you even if you do not look even remotely like a hooker At that point remember that any American may carry a gun on them at any point and therefore, do not walk alone on a highway even during the day.

My best advice for travelling in the USA: I had no trouble flying into heathrow I was off the plane and out of the airport in no time at all that being said, my flight landed at 6am so that may be a factor Leaving london was a different story Our friends, Seattle natives informed us in all seriousness that we should get some mace for the journey. But it actually wasn't that bad, apart from a close encounter with a deer in snow covered mountains, the deer survived the journey was uneventful.

I think people should take this advice with a grain of salt. I did the BA to Colonia trip and stayed a night in Colonia at a hostel and had an awesome time! It's good advice for the most part but if you're thinking of cancelling parts of your trip because of it - don't you think it's better to experience things for yourself? It's part of the adventure! If you try to bring food into the US from Australia, you may well get pinged especially if they know about it. As for people complaining about people 'whinging', wow, I guess you get these types in every group.

Don't complain about anything! Hello trees, hello sky. Oh, why has everyone fallen asleep? I've found the tales here very entertaining, interesting and some are very, very funny.

Bad experiences are part of travelling, and people are talking about them here. I think I've done more things on this list than on any list of things to do before I die! I particularly relate to the squat toilet on a train - try doing that when you have the worst food poisoning you have ever had in your life whist zipping through the Vietnamese country side. It's a little disconcerting seeing the railway tracks through the floor as you lose your breakfast! I have to say I'm one of the people who finds Vienna a beautiful city but the people are so rude and waiters in cafes treat you like the scum on the bottom of their shoe, so I'd have to agree with you on that one.

Avoid American Airlines in particular is my advice - I never knew a commercial airline had 10 seater planes with no toilets on board where you can see right through to the pilot and out the front windscreen! And finally my personal favourite, the greyhound in America. I caught head lice, sat next to some of the scariest and smelliest individuals I have ever met and had insane erratic drivers on a death wish. Amazingly, just across the border, Canadian greyhound is fabulous - clean, efficient, cheap and cheerful!

Not sure why people knock phnom penh. It is a charming little city with lovely colonial architecture and great food if one knows where to go. Manila - it's a bit like Bangkok but without the attractions. It's also more polluted and more dangerous guns and armed guards everywhere. Get out of the city and see the rice terraces - about the only thing worth seeing in Luzon. Hyped-up as being a major tourist attraction, fun, cradle of civilisation etc but in fact it's a dump.

See the Acropolis and get out. Maybe visit some of the other awful Greek cities. The islands are quite nice though. Clean and tidy, magnificent scenery and well ordered. Beyond that, no history of note, no interesting food fondue anyone? Possibly a great place to live but not really worth a visit.

Closer to home of course, we have Brisbane. I can't actually think of any reason to visit. Nothing there that you can't see or do in any other major or minor Australian city. Go to Northern NSW where the weather is just as good, the scenery is infinitely better - and they actually have beaches.

I presume it was Cow's. The body is still recovering. Just because you are in Egypt, don't expect the barman to understand what you mean when they ask you if you want another drink and your response is "I'm not a camel, mate" They just don't get it Even Dave Hughes would struggle to get a laugh over there!

Also, when visiting the Pyramids which are absolutely amazing be careful of people who come up to you offering a small present of beads or offer you a ride on a camel so your friends can take a picture I have to object about Heathrow and Gatwick - yes, they are busy and queuing isn't fun, but face it, these two airports alone handle between them million passengers a year and those figures don't include the three other airports serving London.

Compare this to Sydney's 30 million passengers, they're not even in the same ballpark. And all of these passengers have to be screened in the current security climate - it's no wonder you might have had to queue for a little bit. I agree with a previous post, has to be a place to avoid. The combination of the constant wind, bleak weather and non-existent accommodation makes it in my mind one of the saddest towns in the world though Porvener in Chile comes a close second.

Also worst Airline in the history of flight has to be Aerolinas Argentinas. Surly, frost-bitten staff, vegemite and cheese sandwiches and a cabin full of other travellers that have also realised that they have made a mistake. Luckily it is an experience I avoided but having seen the poor wretches sitting there on a long flight from BA to Ushuia, it has stuck in my mind.

Dhaka - and in fact most of Bangladesh beat Dehli and Agra in the never go there stakes! Oh and never fly Biman Bangladesh airlines. My my gf and I were stuck with a loud and fat african french lady with her 4 kids in a 4 seater cabin, they were eating pizza, singing, and giving them coke at 2am!!

Tourist pathways tend to become tired, worn and ugly and attract rip-off merchants; off the beaten path people tend to be genuine, natural and friendly. Although I can't forget was it a Chevy Chase movie where he got on a Greyhound bus to find a couple making love sprawled on the seat across the aisle, then when he can't help but look, they returned chewing gum sullen 'whaddyou lookin' at!?

Things to try when traveling? How about a week in the old city of Fez in the middle of summer? When we got to Marrakesh we stayed at a place with air conditioning and I don't know if the city was nicer or not Patong beach in phuket! Im not political and I dont agree with everything Israel does but Could I just rebut the Israel comment.

eyes may

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This allows to link your profile to this item. Try Gorakhpur in North India Not one hotel in the whole town is worth staying in, so we just picked one that was close to the train station. No sheets on the beds, just a filthy cotton rag, blood on the walls from bedbugs, green slime bubbling up from the drain, hint of vomit on the stairs, "music" blaring out of the railway station all night, in between train announcements, fighter jets flying up and down all night it's on the Nepal border , filthy frozen mud caked all over the streets, people shuffling around wrapped in brown blankets trying to keep warm coming at you out of the fog, red-eyed, red-toothed tight bird shit denim-panted con men everywhere.

The A-hole of the A-hole of the world. Don't bother going it's full of arrogant aussies who hate the poms but still decide to stay in London. I agree with Phnom Penh - dirty, rundown, charmless and ragged. However I found the mass graves and Tuol Sleng S21 a sobering, interesting visit and would definitely recommend that; you would only need to be in Phnom Penh a day to go to these two places.

I would add though avoid like the plague in the week before Christmas it is 10 times as bad. Was particularly smug last Christmas sat around the pool hearing about Heathrow being shut down due to fog, mass delays, lost baggage mountains etc.

Yes the crowds suck, but I went there, go with a few ppl and go punting, have a pint, get some food. Don't go to Constanta in Romania food poisoning coupled with some dodgy mofo pretending to be a cop and some other idiot trying to pick my pocket all in one day! Rest of Romania was cool though. Don't eat anything given to you on an Egyptian Train. It won't kill you but I guarantee it won't make you stronger either. I can't believe everyone is bagging out Gatwick and Heathrow airport and haven't mentioned Stansted airport.

It's like telling someone they're flying to Sydney and dropping them in Gosford. Your point on Venice WAS very clearly explained, and very true! Just returned from a tour and yes, I was suckered into attending a glass blowing demo in Venice. Needless to say, I didn't buy any authentic Venetian glass, and wasted a good hour or so of my limited time there bored witless, but felt too rude to leave.

A night at the pub with drunk idiots and no women because the men in Oz don't know how to act towards them. Neapolis - Southern Peloponese, it's not in the rough guide but the ferry to Gythio stops there, don't make the same mistake! It's not in the book for a reason, there's nothing there. Moruya - NSW, unless u like ghost towns - only place I ever walked down the main st at 8.

Manila Airport - on a busy evening, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait, and watch custom officers looking at every arrival suspiciously as if anyone arriving could lower the tone of the place! Heathrow - I can only add to the complaints. Once, after the usual 24 hour trip, I stopped here, dumped my bag, went to visit a friend then came back. I thought a shower might be in order, so I went looking for one in the terminal I was in 2. An hour later I gave up, asked someone, and discovered that in all of Heathrow airport, all four terminals, there is exactly one female shower.

And that was in Terminal 4. Some more completely pointless destinations: In fact, any 'famous' scenery in the UK. It's disappointing for Australians, and must be incredibly underwhelming for Kiwis.

I also had to endure the microwave pizza catastrophe. Always fly United if flying internally in the States - the food is edible and the staff look atleast a little groomed!

Got a fresh one for ya's. Pamplona, Spain for the bull run festival. If you are keen enough to hold a spot for 3hrs to see the actual bulls run, enjoy the 10 seconds that they will pass by.

Bilbao on the other hand is top drawer, with the Old town bars, Guggenheim Museum and coastal areas nearby brilliant. Just dont go to the rough area of town aptly named San Franciso , or you may get stabbed in the hand like me whilst attempting to get my wallet back from a pickpocketer. Anyone who would travel to the USA and use Greyhound as a means of transportation is either stupid or cheap. Do as I did while in OZ Avoid buses in India also. I was in a head on collision in which both the driver and co-driver were killed and the first few rows of passengers injured.

Caravan parks in Australia unless you don't mind older Australians constantly telling you how wonderful OZ is, it is - but I didn't need to be told everyday for six months.

Sorry Ben, I have to disagree with your assessment of Agra I just spent a week there and found it thoroughly relaxing, full of character, and real India which your photo represents an element of Admittedly I was there in low season, and the touts maybe a trifle more assertive then some other parts of India Not surprised that no one has mentioned Pakistan.

It must be the part of the world where God dumped all the crappy bits he had left over when he finished making the world. Oh they will tell you that it has some of world's tallest mountains. Yes and it has most of the world's terrorists, extremist nutcases and dysentery that will make you wish you could find at least one or two of the former to finish you off.

And the national past-time is sitting on street corners drooling over any Western women silly enough to walk by. Apparently they take Hollywood literally - all Western women go like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct especially for smelly, malnourished terrorist wannabes. The east coast of Tasmania. At sunset, vacant-mouthed and criminally-featured townsfolk in St Helens gathered on streetcorners like they were auditioning for Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers. We retreated to our hotel room which memorably had a mottled flock nylon carpet that ran not only across the floor but up the walls like a fungus.

It meant I shifted from running around thinking "what can I see, what can I do?? How it looked in basically unchanged since the Khmer Rouge rolled in. How wonderfully anarchic it was. Have to argue with the Heathrow comment, it's not that expensive to get from Heathrow to the city. Totally agree about Naples, but if you really want to hit rock bottom catch the graffiti covered train to Puzzouli. I'm thrilled when I go through Heathrow or Gatwick in London. If you think they're bad then you haven't experienced Luton Airport.

What shitty experience that is each and every time. I saw someone say earlier taht cardiff is a place to avoid. What a joke of a comment. When there's international rugby on there it's an absolute ball. Drunken chaos, I admit, but great fun. Someone else said that they though Stockholm was crap and the girls weren't that good looking. Where the hell did you hang out? Go to soem of the clubs around the Stureplan and you'll see heaps of those girls that Stockholm is famous for.

And dress to the nines or the bouncers won't let you in. Can't agree with the Greyhound buses, Ben. Granted they're not luxury, but I'm of the opinion that a memorable trip is made by experiences good and bad. In fact anywhere in Switzerland. I think the Swiss have let the beautiful tag go to their heads a little and it seems as though permission is not granted for anything that looks like fun!

Can't believe all the Aussies whinging about Heathrow. Have you flown into your own place recently? Tangiers-I would rather gouge out my eyes with rusty plyers than ever set foot in that hellhole again. It's like when your a little kid, and see that bright big box under the x-mas tree just waiting for you to open it. As soon as you do - there's nothing in it. Sunset stip is also quite boring, and VERY overhyped Rude staff, tight seats, hot, uncomfortable airlines, staff that might as well dress up in a striped black and white uniform and have name tags such as "zombie 1", "zombie 2" etc Sorry -- any average American could have told you to avoid the bus for the reasons you described.

Total chaos at immigration and baggage claim. A hell to which I will never subject myself again. All I could think of was "this place must be teeming with rats. Did nothing for me. I was far more occupied with less when in Broome -- a lovely place. Patricks Day in Dublin: Just a bunch of drunk Americans -- even the parade is dominated by American high school and fire department marching bands!!

I can stay home for that. Why do foreigners want to go here? It's a disgusting ash tray of sprawl. Please visit Nashville or Chicago or our national parks instead. Before I sounds too negative, please let me recommend Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Sweden for a visit; and everyone should get to Shanghai at least once. White Sands Beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand - The beach is anything but white more like grey , water shines iridescently courtesy of an oil slick and a qick dip often involves surfacing with various parts of water bottles clinging to you and the odd bit of thong as in flip-flops ;.

There used to be the largest American military base outside of the USA from memory there and by god could you tell. The only place I saw where you could go into any shop and pay with American dollars not a positive sign for me I'm afraid and the servicemen were complete idiots.

Was an ok place after about 9 or 10pm as curfew came in and they all left. Stockholm I live in Sweden now. Like any stereotype it seldom stands up in the clear light of day Stansted - never get a late flight in. The train stops at You then get the joys of the bus trip to central London. It is not the only airport guilty of that - try most airports served by Ryanair.

Frankfurt Hahn may actually be somewhere in France. Stockholm Vasteras, if you were in Belgium it would be in The Netherlands. To top the lot Magalouf in Mallorca. A little place where the English have recreated their version of England in Spain. A friend of mine - known as the Princess - asked for the wine list. The response was "we have white or red". Of course it came out of a tap and the rose was even worse.

Don't go there people. What are you doing? Next you'll be telling people to go to the Registan although I think that secret might be out. I like going to NRW and being the only Aussie. Don't change it now.

But seriously, for me, the great wall of china was pretty forgettable. I lost the digital photos I took there and wasn't even that bothered. LA Airport during first gulf war breaking out. So what does the chirpy Australian girl do when she realises she left her Mexican sombrero in the X-ray machine I was about to board the plane and was entering it when I realised.

I turn around, tell my partner I forgot it and start running back to security. I did not see all the commotion behind me. Yep, they thought I was a terrorist and about to blow up my sombrero.

I think my partner now husband wishes they shot it to pieces as it hangs pride of place in the study. I laugh when I remember that. The famous Jet d'eau fountain is hardly ever on.

Sure the lake is nice and the city is Just very rich looking people parading up and down shopping streets, occasionally popping into a Louis Vuitton here and a Cartier there. I think all the diplomats and international organisations made this a numb city.

The old town is very charming though, but that can be done in 1 hour. A half day for the city if it can be called that is more than enough. After travelling the world for 4 years this was the worst. The bus stopped at every tin pot town and city on the way,disgorging every passenger at every greasy spoon,rundown diner they could find. Oh my god my fellow travellers! We cashed our return ticket in and caught a plane but that's another story.

I have my own Scandinavian Saga to tell on my month-long experience in these 18 little islands, but here are the highlights: There's a reason only 40, people live on these grass covered, rain-smattered rocks. Leave them be, and let them die there. Maybe you needed to look around a bit more. Nightlife is just as good if not better than Sydney.

I went for a month and stayed there four years! Don't bother with the touristy Mozart concerts. There are much better places for all sorts of music. Just landed this morning from Dubai, and visiting the Grand Mosque at Jumeira is one of the best travel experiences that I have had. Two twenty-something Muslim guides invited any questions, no bars held, and responded to the terrorism-based questions of the predominantly western group with patience, tolerance and good humour.

I was horrified to realise how little I knew about the Muslim religion and culture. I wish our media and government would focus on some of the positive aspects of this religion. It depends on where you are catching it from and where you are going to in the bus! Yes, avoid catching the Greyhound bus from LA if you can, you may have to wait for hours until you can actually get on.

Other routes are however perfectly fine and a dirt-cheap way to get around. Sometimes it's the only way unless you are driving. LA is however excellent for shopping. Be careful in the USA though- if you end up in the wrong area in can be very, very dangerous.

Lots and lots of people have guns over there - ask the locals where the bad areas are and avoid them like the plague. Bad areas in the USA make every "bad" area in Australia look like a holiday camp.

Walking along a highway even in a densely populated and suburban area can be equally dangerous if you are woman That is because some highways in the USA are known as hooker highways and some men will pull up their cars next to you even if you do not look even remotely like a hooker At that point remember that any American may carry a gun on them at any point and therefore, do not walk alone on a highway even during the day.

My best advice for travelling in the USA: I had no trouble flying into heathrow I was off the plane and out of the airport in no time at all that being said, my flight landed at 6am so that may be a factor Leaving london was a different story Our friends, Seattle natives informed us in all seriousness that we should get some mace for the journey.

But it actually wasn't that bad, apart from a close encounter with a deer in snow covered mountains, the deer survived the journey was uneventful.

I think people should take this advice with a grain of salt. I did the BA to Colonia trip and stayed a night in Colonia at a hostel and had an awesome time! It's good advice for the most part but if you're thinking of cancelling parts of your trip because of it - don't you think it's better to experience things for yourself?

It's part of the adventure! If you try to bring food into the US from Australia, you may well get pinged especially if they know about it. As for people complaining about people 'whinging', wow, I guess you get these types in every group. Don't complain about anything!

Hello trees, hello sky. Oh, why has everyone fallen asleep? I've found the tales here very entertaining, interesting and some are very, very funny.

Bad experiences are part of travelling, and people are talking about them here. I think I've done more things on this list than on any list of things to do before I die! I particularly relate to the squat toilet on a train - try doing that when you have the worst food poisoning you have ever had in your life whist zipping through the Vietnamese country side. It's a little disconcerting seeing the railway tracks through the floor as you lose your breakfast!

I have to say I'm one of the people who finds Vienna a beautiful city but the people are so rude and waiters in cafes treat you like the scum on the bottom of their shoe, so I'd have to agree with you on that one. Avoid American Airlines in particular is my advice - I never knew a commercial airline had 10 seater planes with no toilets on board where you can see right through to the pilot and out the front windscreen! And finally my personal favourite, the greyhound in America. I caught head lice, sat next to some of the scariest and smelliest individuals I have ever met and had insane erratic drivers on a death wish.

Amazingly, just across the border, Canadian greyhound is fabulous - clean, efficient, cheap and cheerful! Not sure why people knock phnom penh. It is a charming little city with lovely colonial architecture and great food if one knows where to go. Manila - it's a bit like Bangkok but without the attractions. It's also more polluted and more dangerous guns and armed guards everywhere. Get out of the city and see the rice terraces - about the only thing worth seeing in Luzon.

Hyped-up as being a major tourist attraction, fun, cradle of civilisation etc but in fact it's a dump. See the Acropolis and get out. Maybe visit some of the other awful Greek cities. The islands are quite nice though. Clean and tidy, magnificent scenery and well ordered. Beyond that, no history of note, no interesting food fondue anyone?

Possibly a great place to live but not really worth a visit. Closer to home of course, we have Brisbane. I can't actually think of any reason to visit. Nothing there that you can't see or do in any other major or minor Australian city.

Go to Northern NSW where the weather is just as good, the scenery is infinitely better - and they actually have beaches. I presume it was Cow's. The body is still recovering. Just because you are in Egypt, don't expect the barman to understand what you mean when they ask you if you want another drink and your response is "I'm not a camel, mate" They just don't get it Even Dave Hughes would struggle to get a laugh over there!

Also, when visiting the Pyramids which are absolutely amazing be careful of people who come up to you offering a small present of beads or offer you a ride on a camel so your friends can take a picture I have to object about Heathrow and Gatwick - yes, they are busy and queuing isn't fun, but face it, these two airports alone handle between them million passengers a year and those figures don't include the three other airports serving London.

Compare this to Sydney's 30 million passengers, they're not even in the same ballpark. And all of these passengers have to be screened in the current security climate - it's no wonder you might have had to queue for a little bit. I agree with a previous post, has to be a place to avoid. The combination of the constant wind, bleak weather and non-existent accommodation makes it in my mind one of the saddest towns in the world though Porvener in Chile comes a close second.

Also worst Airline in the history of flight has to be Aerolinas Argentinas. Surly, frost-bitten staff, vegemite and cheese sandwiches and a cabin full of other travellers that have also realised that they have made a mistake. Luckily it is an experience I avoided but having seen the poor wretches sitting there on a long flight from BA to Ushuia, it has stuck in my mind.

Dhaka - and in fact most of Bangladesh beat Dehli and Agra in the never go there stakes! Oh and never fly Biman Bangladesh airlines. My my gf and I were stuck with a loud and fat african french lady with her 4 kids in a 4 seater cabin, they were eating pizza, singing, and giving them coke at 2am!!

Tourist pathways tend to become tired, worn and ugly and attract rip-off merchants; off the beaten path people tend to be genuine, natural and friendly.

Although I can't forget was it a Chevy Chase movie where he got on a Greyhound bus to find a couple making love sprawled on the seat across the aisle, then when he can't help but look, they returned chewing gum sullen 'whaddyou lookin' at!? Things to try when traveling? How about a week in the old city of Fez in the middle of summer? When we got to Marrakesh we stayed at a place with air conditioning and I don't know if the city was nicer or not Patong beach in phuket!

Im not political and I dont agree with everything Israel does but Could I just rebut the Israel comment. Imagine if you will for a moment Australia's neighbours for the most believed wholeheartedly that we had no right to exist and basically wanted to push all of us in the Pacific Ocean.

We are subject to constant terrorist bombings, rocket attacks and our young people were conscripted into the army for a minimum of two years at the age of One of the few up stadning democracies in the Middle East. And for th most part a wonderful country to visit - they live life for now. So shut up about things you dont understand on a deeper level. They have to carry guns - how on earth can you say jews are racist - some of them ar decendant like me from Holocaust survivors.

Restaurants if you see heaps of amercians eating there, don't go. Dinner starts around 8pm in summer there so have a big lunch. Public toliets in Europe!? In euro you'll have to walk like 6 billion blocks to find one, and if you're lucky to find one you'll have to pay too. I loved Phnom Penh.

Agra's shysters are just ballsy, as they see so many FOPs coming to ooh and aah at the Taj. Horrid airline with terrible service. I wish I had read this three months ago. I had to trade in amazing Berlin for so so so mediocre Vienna. Yeah, yeah, it's pretty. Who cares everything in Europe is pretty. If I didn't have a friend who lived in Vienna I would have gone back to Berlin in a heartbeat. I could see why all the tourists in Vienna were middle aged If you want 11 hours in hell, try catching an overnight train in the middle of winter from Munich to Amsterdam.

Even as a train buff, I felt positively inhuman upon disembarkation. I had the vision of one of those sleek ICE trains whisking us across the continent but was instead greeted by a wheezing old diesel that looked as if it had only just survived a life of dragging Russian nuclear warheads through Siberia.

The train carraiges were old and cramped, the seats no sleepers felt like cold concrete slabs covered by a thin layer of cloth. The compartment also had the ingenious design where if you switched off the glaring fluro lights, it also turned off the heater, so your choice was to either freeze in darkness or be slightly warmed in a light that would make the inhabitants of Mercury squint.

To top it off, my brother and my compartment was invaded half way through by a person with the worst body and foot odour that you could ever imagine, almost vomit inducing infact. Yes everything is open for 24 hours with street concerts etc..

The main roads are closed so there are literally millions of people out for the festivities. One word of advice: Don not try to walk against the stampede of Romans. It's like the running of the bulls, yet there are no bulls and the pace is in slow motion. I know I'm going to get crucified for this I spent hours wandering around the place but so little signage I never knew quite what I was looking at.

I know you're going to say "Well you just have no imagination" but For a complete contrast if you visit Bath you will see all sorts of reconstructions, explanations, etc. Although crowded I thought Bath was great. I don't neccesarily agree with Regan on the call about Seoul. Yes, the polluted concrete jungle aspect is there but i would recommend Seoul to be one of the most interesting, and culturally diverse, capital cities in Asia.

Just a few things that would be of interest to the foreign visitor are the "Secret Gardens", the Insadong art district and the Dongdaemun markets open 24 hours over the weekend. Anyone that would travel to the other side of the globe to visit Penrith is a bloody idiot! What were you thinking man! Is this a joke? Of all the places to see in the world and in Australia The bus trip from La paz to Rurrenabaque was ok, but not as much fun as hitching a ride on top of a log truck for the trip back.

But Don't go to a samba club to learn samba in Rio- the girls aren't quite what you think. Spent 3 months on the old US greyhounds - started out feeling cheap, ended up feeling cheap and frightened and exhausted!

But in between met some of the nicest albeit poorest folk imaginable. I think Florence can be given a miss I've enjoyed reading this blog more than anything on the web in some time, and I'm a fairly eclectic surfer. Made me so happy to be home. But must add I'm still in love with the chummy Italian gal who climbed into the seat beside me for a long night on Greyhound years ago.

Sorry to hear of all the groping the gals experienced on the bus; let's say my experience was similar but different. Often wish I'd bagged my plans and followed her anywhere. I live in Shenzhen, hated Thailand, think Hong Kong is the pits, enjoyed New Caledonia, had a great time in New Orleans and loved the greyhound bus trip from there to Houston.

I met a fabulous crack dealing pimp and possibly the stupidest man alive And I actually made money travelling on American Airlines when I got bumped and they cashed me up and sent me to Vegas for the night. And I have to defend Macau as well. If anything, I might as well plan a trip based on the what-not-to-sees judging by my backwards interpretation of this blog.

Something not to try? She's not necessarily a bad cook, but watching her prepare food in the Bangkok sun, with the same knife and chopping board she's probably never washed, is enough for my sotmach to turn. I can see where my wife's devil-may-care attitude to food hygene comes from. Problem is, that i'm the one who gets sick It is a government run museum and while I dont remember the name of it, its the only one I heard of while I was there. Very run down and uninteresting exhibits with no useful commentary on the artifacts.

We all know that food poisoning is unpleasant. I picked up a bug in Morroco and took it with me to Turkey. The silver lining being that the hospital in Canukale, Turkey were fantastic and very efficient and cheap, didnt even bother claiming on travel insurance for it. I live there and its soulless, boring, cultural wasteland, I could not imagine anyone saying to themselves, 'you know what, I want to go on Holidays to Penrith', and the Panthers are not doing good at this moment either.

I guess you could have done worse and went to visit Rooty Hill. I think you could fill a blog full of Greyhound stories! The LA-Vegas route seems to pop up more than most as well. On my return trip from Vegas to LA, my travel buddy and I were surprised when our bus was literally 'pulled over' by a large van, of which I could just make out the words "Correctional Facility" emblazoned on the side.

Imagine the surprise of us, and our fellow passengers, when out of the van were led a dozen or so recently released inmates of said "facility" in full prison 'orange overall' garb. It made the remaining journey to Barstow all the more interesting, esp. We later found out from a local in Sacramento that the facility in question primariliy housed sex offenders. The main drag can be a scary place at the best of times but while affected you are an obvious target for desperadoes.

Great blog this one. I'm heading to Europe for the first time next year. Should be some adventure.. I'm enjoying reading other people's experiences. Wimbledon,SW19,not the tennis;why ,because I want to keep it the lovely charming place it is without boring petit bourgois whingers like you lot taking it over! Pleae avoid at all costs the trip to the extinct volcanoe off of Santorini in the Greek Islands.

It is the dullest tourist trip known to man! When in Albania, in a campervan, ensure that you take the road to Greece than runs down the middle of the country. Do not under any circumstances accidently take the one that runs down the coast - it is terrifying!

Actually, on second thoughts, don't go to Albania! We took Ryanair in from Stansted first mistake and then wondered why the bus to Frankfurt took an hour and cost 25 euros! It's usually the last stop after a trip through the Rockies, but it is depressing, grim, unfriendly and about the worst city in Canada for walking.

They have all these flyovers and covered walkways to move you from place to place, but it's like navigating the maze of the Minotaur. I was surprised after being treated well in Vancouver and Edmonton at how bad Calgary was. Spent three months traveling through the States, and the majority of trips were done on the Greyhound and a fair few crappy local airlines too, def lower standards than here.

I didn't mind the Greyhound although I was the "third" wheel with my friend and her boyfriend, so I got most of the loonies next to me! We traveled through Amish land and there were actually quite a few Amish people on the bus which was really interesting though. Worst trip was one of the first ones though, from Niagra Canada to Chicago - I did the backpacking "stay up drinking all night, expecting to sleep on the bus" - didn't realise we'd keep stopping every hour at dodgy burger chains, then got to Cleveland at 3am, found out the bus we were meant to change onto was overbooked and we had to sleep on the dirty bus station floor till 6am, all with a raging dirty hangover.

Although looking back now, I love telling these stories for the laughs I get - all an experience: I totally agree with avoiding bus travel in the USA. I made the mistake of booking a 23 day Greyhound pass across the States.

After the first night of watching a man pee into a water bottle on the moving coach and a six year old child called Kayak breastfeeding I thought it couldnt get any worse After 4 hours the cat wanted out and it was then i decided to forfeit my ticket and fly - which was not much better!. Id rather live in my own sh t that live there its that polluted and filthy Man, I don't know why people are dumping on Athens. I thought it was great. If you want to blast some place then let fly at Preston UK , armpit of the earth.

Jakarta comes a close second - got to airport nine hours early to make sure I got on the plane. Had the runs for four weeks afterwards, apparently because I let some shower water splash in my mouth.

Re the Greyhound buses, now that I think about it, I guess the cheapest transport is usually the dodgiest but my head was full of old movies and Simon Garfunkel songs which made it seem pretty interesting.

This goes double in promise for a free holiday in return for teaching children. Culturally, they wont tell you the truth if they think the answer will dissapoint you, They say a five hour drive, they mean Take the risk with the buses and regional toilets.

I spent a week in vienna one december. Vienna might not be the most exciting place on earth but it does have an art museum, the Kusthistorische Museum, which is great. Each European artist seems to represented by their best work. A friend of mine was travelling by train some years ago and wanted to go to Vienna.

His train arrived very early in the morning at a station and when he looked out of the window he saw the station sign read "Wien". So he stayed on the train as it pulled out, thinking he was in another city. Wien is Austrian for Vienna. Agree Florence can be given a miss.

Some of the original art and sculptures have been replaced with replicas, it's teaming with tourists and if your venture just an hour north to Lucca you will find a remarkable walled town that is truly a gem to visit. Take a Chinese sleeper bus if your over 5'5" and have asthma. I think everybody should take atrip to Darwin at least once in their lifetime, so that they can know how lucky they are to be living somewhere - anywhere - else.

I've flown dozens of times in the US and never had any real problem. I honestly don't know what you people are going on about! I've never taken Greyhound, but the Chinatown buses that shuttle in between Chinatowns are cramped but cheap and convenient. I understand the narratives by those Australians who have nothing but complaints about their offshore travel experiences.

Why not just stay put in your suburban homes, enjoy your VB down at the local pub or on the porch during the weekends and look forward to holidaying on the Gold Coast once a year. After all, this is probably all you need to make yourselves happy right? There will be bad times. But, the good times will make it all worth it. I just found your blog via gridskipper, and wanted to thank you for this list.

I completely agree with everything here. Spent a week in Vienna which was mostly spent at the movies. But most of all, I'm completely on board about Colonia - a friend recommended it to me, and it was intriguing for about a half-hour Soho London if you're a drunk hetro male feeling frisky. The worst experience goes to Sydney airport, where Australian Customs and Quarantine are a national disgrace.

I guess living in the US has desensitized me to airline problems. I've had no problems and have travelled with a dozen or so different carriers of all durations short, medium, and long haul for over 20 years. Maybe I'm too easy-going.

If you don't have a car and the stories here scare you off domestic flight, then Greyhound may be your last hope for long-distance travel. I understand that a bad experience sours you off forever and won't stop you from discouraging others from making the same trip, but remember that not everyone will have the same bad experience.

It sounds like the only things that are universally true are "don't take Greyhound in the US" and "avoid public toilets in China. I had the most boring time of my life in Tahiti and Moorea, insanely expensive places that are only fun if you go with a partner or are a beach lover I had no girlfriend and dislike beach lounging. I reckon Aussie Immigration, customs and AQIS staff are pretty good, especially when you've just had a huge overdose of under-educated American versions who should still be pushing mops and would be, if the Terr'rism thing hadn't happened.

When I came in from yankland this time around, the girl who looked at my passport erupted in indignant outrage at how green my photo was I declared some yank spices and Mexican hot sauce I was bringing in, and the Customs bloke commiserated about the mess the Yank TSA make when they blunder through your bag, and helped me to re-assemble some silk flowers they'd pulled to bits.

It felt SO good to be home. Real people, treating others as equals, not with one hand drifting to where they wish their gun was. And I agree about Calgary! What a disgraceful town. I was there in midwinter, but apparently it's even worse in summer. But the HI hostel at Kananiskis is a must-stay, magical. Jacquie on July 13, 3: The blog isn't about places we loved - it is about places we didn't. Nevertheless many contributors still have elected to point out the places they love as well.

The few bad places encountered haven't deterred me from wanting to travel as much as possible and I'm sure most posters are the same. Should I tell you to stop eating altogether if you haven't? Hey Man stop knocking Penrith as an International destination. I recoomend it to all my international friends Canada just a superb country with superb people On the other hand San Francisco immigration the rudest we faced no wonder, that city the most overrated i have ever been to [ugly harbour, panhandlers everywhere, overpriced Yosemite NP was awesome but incredibly crowded LA as other people have said is basically one big Parramatta Ah yes american airlines Hey Jessie, care to name names on the tour group?

Just booked a trip through vietnam and cambodia and am concerned about ending up with the same tour group. I also have had the gryhound experience, we got a 30 day pass for this wonderful mode of transport, after being told the rail system was even more unreliable and useless. But all in all, a great experience, but needless to say, we kinda stuck close to the front of the bus. As for places to avoid, I've always wondered what the fascination with Sydney is? Don't say the harbour.

Plenty of more beautiful unspoilt harbours to see elsewhere in the world. If you ever visit that poor excuse for a holiday destination I bet you'll find it more rewarding to talk to the penguins rather than converse with the inbred inhabitants. Only the locals know how to take some of the finest natural produce available cheese, beef, crayfish, abalone and wild pheasant and turn it into a disaster. How anyone could say to give Florence a miss is beyond me Beautiful and inspiring on the outside, dull and boring on the inside.

I got stuck here for 24 hrs, when all the buses, hire cars and all other transport was booked out for Franz Joseph and other cool stuff. This place is awful. Get drunk and hope you wake up elsewhere.

Ben, I have no respect for your posting. To suggest a list of places that people should NOT visit is a poor excuse for open-mindedness and the antithesis of what I'd expect to see in a backpacker. I've visited most of those places you've mentioned and saw or learned something great from each one. As for your posting a picture of a street in Agra and suggesting that as a reason not to visit: If your visit to India didn't open your eyes to another way of life and one which is clearly not as fortunate as your own, I feel truly sorry for you.

But how dare you mock it. Agree about Benidorm, us poms and the local tourist board have destroyed it and most of southern Spain. Makes surfers paradise look truly heavenly by comparison. If in Spain, visit the Costa Brava and Barcelona. If you have any interest in art particularly surrealism , great sea food, coastal walks with beautiful coves to cool off at, go! Never had a really bad experience at Heathrow or Gatwick , but think I am lucky in this regard.

Must agree about US airports. When I was asked suspiciously at JFK my reason for visiting, and I replied to 'see your country' customs staff looked at me like I was mad. It was like being at a boot camp. A truly horrible way to start a visit to the US, the rest of my trip was great and met tonnes of lovely people.

Have taken the comments about Greyhound buses on board, I will be sure to follow all advice. Rome is great, do not be put off, but watch for pick pocketing.

Accept that Romans are a bit up themselves and that you may get charged more than locals for gelato. Annoying yes, but not worth allowing your visit to be ruined. Darwin's not that bad! In one day, I witnessed a fight in the local pub where the two men engaged in the tussle shat on the floor the publican was kind enough to hose it down after , got told by a local guide that all Aboriginal dreamtime stories were 'crap' and not worth discussing, and informed that his assistant had shot himself that morning.

I don't blame him. Romania is the biggest hole I have ever been to in my life. Bucharest makes Agra look like Paradise. Agree totally with Jeff's experience. If anyone takes me there they will be killed!

Athens - don't ever join any tours of the city - do it yourself. For a city with so much history -disappointing. Delhi - got out as soon as possible - I don't care about the Taj Mahal - sell the dam thing and feed the people. Concentration Camps left by Nazi - why!

To hell with those places. Some pieces of history are not worth keeping. I think you will find Ben was suggesting you don't spend too much time in Agra because it was full of shysters "someone who conducts business in a tricky manner" and the photo seemed to suggest you wouldn't want to hang out in a place that had a refuse disposal problem.

Seems like a perfect reason not to visit and the reason I will not be heading to Naples any time soon. I think you will find Ben has been to and enjoyed immersing himself in local cultures many places where the residents are less fortunate, and would never mock them for it. And if you read some of his earlier blogs you will see he recommends many such places. And why not recommend places NOT to visit? Many people here have thanked Ben for alerting them to things they shouldn't waste valuable travel time doing seems the glass blowing is a particular favourite.

Have to disagree about Colonia Ok the pace is slow but after BA we needed it!!! The sunset from the roof of the yacht club is one of the best I've seen, listening to Gotan Project and the Rio de la Plata sizzling silver!!! Bali is a wonderfull, peacefull and beautiful tropical island, so why wouldn't Lombok, one island over be just the same?

In Bali, they take "No" for an answer then join in for some good conversation. In Lombok, they reply "You will pay or I will get my friends and you will have problems". It's like Blok M in Jakarta minus the buildings and with plenty of Muslim attitude thrown in. Oh yeah, never go to Blok M in Jakarta. Been relatively lucky on my travels compared to those experienced by some of the poor schlubs on this blog.

However I recommend avoiding the following places:. Kavos, Corfu awful,awful place 2. Temple Bar , Dublin on Saturday night 3. Greyhound buses - 35 years ago my parents took us on a trip across the US on these things.

It is still one of my worst travel memories. If this blog does no more than warn about this most unfortunate mode of transport your work here is done. When travelling through Indonesia by air, avoind flying anything but Garuda Air. It, as well as every other airline from the country have been banned from Europe, but it is the best of the worst. Lion Air is OK. If you are travelling by bus, you are really in for a unpleasant experience.

If you travel by ferry, you may actually end up throwing yourself overboard rather than remaining on the voyage. I am sure someone else can elaborate more on Indonesian ferries. Casino towns apart from Vegas 5. I popped over into Colonia del Sacramento for one day last November and do agree that one day is enough. In saying that though.. Hiring motorbikes we explored the very scentic coast. Ended up playing beach football with a bunch of hilarious 12 yr old Uruguaian future superstars.

Cruised around the surrounding areas exploring most sites promoted and had a very enjoyable day and a welcome change of pace from BA. A day is enough but worth it for the change in culture and lifestyle such a short distance from BA.

They seem to especially like to squeeze between two trucks, despite there not actually being a lane there. Shanghai itself was not too bad although I doubt I would go again.

I think more than anything - it just wasn't what I expected. The people actually seemed quite rude, but I think their contstant stares might have just been pure curiousity at our presence. We were followed around stores constantly, mostly just being stared at, and hounded on the street to come follow some guy down a lane and buy some DVDs, or help some lovely Chinese girls with their english not.

It was miserably wet and the rain itself actually looked dirty. The ridiculously large number of rusty looking apartment buildings, high up in the choking smog, was slightly depressing and definately made us appreciate just how good we have it here in Australia. We decided to spend the time driving around the South Island. Most of it was good.

Christchurch is a bit like Adelaide my home town, so I know boredom when I see it but it has some charm for a few days.

Then we drove clockwise around the island. Dunedin is nice for a couple of days, Queenstown is great, Franz Joseph glacier was cool, lots of fun in Fjordland and the Malborough wine district is exceptional Timaru - run down former grain port, nothing to do.

Kiwi mate of mine reckons its full of crooks too but we weren't there long enough to notice. Greymouth - the most depressing, sad, desolate former industrial town of little note in the world. Even getting roaring drunk there nothing else to do was boring. The sort of place that moving everyone out and demolishing it would actually add to human happiness.

On arrival I needed to use the toilet. There isn't a cash machine to be seen before immigration which itself is a nightmare of tourist visas and associated overcharging in foreign currency and although busting for the loo, the toilet attendant was hassling me for baksheesh there was no way I could possibly have!

On leaving Egypt I decided to go out a little early to airport, maybe have some lunch there, do a little duty free shopping. All things you can do at Gatwick and Heathrow. Ten minutes after checking in I was bored out of my mind! No restaurant, no decent duty free, no viewing room to watch the planes take off and land. Just a whole lot of uncomfortable seats and the same stuff you could have bought at the markets for three times the price.

When I got back to London and explained my boredom, I had three people tell me they'd done the same thing! Why didn't they tell me?? Public toilets in Port Louis, Mauritius. Easy to find - just look skywards for what appears to be an inverted semi-solid black cone of flies pointing down to same. Being able to hold your breath for 2 mins is a definite advantage. Lets see those asian drug and food smugglers, black crooks in action. They should rename border security as Stay out if your not white.

I have to disagree, it was quick and simple for me. Passport stamp, walk to other checkpoint, say gday, passport stamp, walk to bus stop.

nicholas christy

Flew in last week from Madrid. Another hour wait to register the lost bag and by then it was after midnight meaning no tube. Luckily found a bus and had an oyster card I had no cash and arrived in my hotel at 2: I've never had a problem with customs anywhere in the world, I have always found them polite and courteous, if a little deadpan.

I think people need to remember they are there to screen incoming passengers, and getting annoyed or playing games with them will not achieve anything. I simply answer their questions and my passport is stamped within 30 seconds. Casablanca, the Mosque is great the rest is very forgetable.

Especially during Ramadan no bars or restaurants to wait in for the flight out, go straight to Marrakesh or the coast. I would have to agree the US airlines comment for most airlines. I am currently working in the US, and fly to work every week. I have so far found the big established airlines are 3rd world standard AA, United, etc , always late, rude staff, etc. However the discount airlines such as Southwest, JetBlue and Frontier are great, generally on time other than weather delays, and actually cost half the price.

The service is just so much better on the discount carriers. I would say never go to Brussels. Most boring city in the world, with absolutely no nightlife. The only place I found on my one night there was an english pub that was showing NRL. May as well be in Sydney.

I would also say never do Paris, but I guess the Louvre makes it worthwhile. Just the people are so rude, and I found the food pretty average. Definitely far more worthwhile experiences elsehere. Maybe you can toss half of western Europe into the don't bother basket. It is good as a training area for travel, but by starting your trip in Berlin and heading east, you will have a lot more fun, meet friendlier people, and will still have somewhere new and safe to travel when you retire.

I lived in London for about 3 years and one summer when I was a bit low on cash but desperate to get somewhere with open space and a few beaches to take advantage of the warm weather a couple of mates and I booked a lastminute.

The departing flight from Gatwick was at some ridiculous time like 5am or so, meaning we had to get up around 2ish. I had booked a minicab the day before and when it came time for it to show up still in darkness it simply wasn't there. I rang the taxi co and there was a bit of a pause - I realised right away that they'd forgotten about me, my friends looked at me frowningly and I started to get that sinking feeling as I'd volunteered to organise everything, at that hour there is basically no public transport from where I was living to Gatwick so not only was I giong to ruin my holday but 2 other guys aswell.

Anyway the taxi co said they'd send a guy out to us, so we waited outside, as the minutes ticked by my stomach started to sink lower and lower, no-one said anything, then at about the time when it was probably too late a cab arrives. The driver was Oriental and didn't speak very good English but I think he could tell by the anxious looks on our faces that we needed to get to the airport damned quick - and boy did he get there quick!

I can assure you that driving out of the maze that is the London road system to Gatwick is not easy and I don't know how many laws he must have broken on the way but he could us there just in time. By the time we finally arrived in Ibiza around lunchtime I was tired and still a bit stressed from the ordeal.

Would I do another cheap holiday deal like that again? No, but I can't say I regret doing it just the once. Don't ever go to Kingston Jamaica. Biggest mistake i ever made, absolute hole and the guys are extremely menacing and i can handle them everywhere else, i'm not one of those"don't go anywhere alone" types.

One example, hopping off a bus in town w fellow girl S has the most crazies. First he pretended he was asleep and his hands slipped But still a horrible experience. Interestingly, their domestic airlines are now described as Greyhound Buses in the Sky. Flying in the US is a nice cultural introduction to how they do things over there.

Luckily, Greyhound in Canada is a good way to get around for a backpacker especially with skis. Anywhere the Lonely Planet over zealously suggests you must go is, 9 times out of 10, a good place to circumnavigate. And the places they tell you to avoid are, 5 times out of 10, just the thing you want to see. Have they decided to take on the role of the tour guide who keeps you firmly on the beaten path like the eds day in Venice?

Despite their recent turmoil, they are racist, rude, demanding and ugly not that being easy on the eye should matter much Have to add the tap water in Malawi to your list of things not to try.

Other substances readily available in that country might make you think drinking the tap water's a good idea but it's not. Your stomach will let you know this within 2 hours. I quite enjoyed Delhi so have to disagree with Tania on avoiding it at all costs but I walked around instead of jumping on tour.

It's not just from Dogs Also, don't bother going to Gisenyi in Rwanda unless you're having a crack at getting into the Congo.

Yes, there's a lake but it's toxic in parts so not real good for swimming and no cheap accomodation either.

You will get to spend an extra couple of hours in a Mutato overcrowded minibus each way from Ruhengeri though which is exciting in it's own special way, but you'd be better off just heading to Kigali and the Genocide Museum, then the Gorillas and on to Uganda.

Another place to avoid is the Copacabana in Rio on Public Holidays. They have a tendency for the lid to explode when you try to tap into them and shower the entirement train compartment with beer. Funny initially while your pissed from shot-gunning the keg but a bit sticky afterwards Got through Heathrow from plane to outside world in 10 minutes. Never seen anything like it. Must have been change of shift or something. Don't bother with it. If you're in Ireland, give Cork a miss - very dull place - skip it and head to a smaller more scenic town nearby.

Now I don't feel so bad after spending 12 hrs in San Francisco courtesy American Airlines canceled flights and two weeks later spending 6 hrs from midnight in LA airport with no facilities and security shutdown you can leave but you cant get back in.

This was two weeks ago. After that delay they still lost my bags. Can't think of an Australian town I visited where I haven't run into a local even in the city who knows everything about the bush, can wrestle crocs, catch snakes bearhanded, ride bulls etc The people are rude, it's damn expensive and there's not really a hill or viewing point to take in the overall cityspace. It seems to lack the large scale granduer and soul of other eastern European cities such as Budapest or Prague.

It sounds lovely, therefore it should be lovely? Everyone always assumes Vienna will be spectacular, then you go and realise you were wrong. Warsaw was another lowlight. After 3 freezing, rainy, grey days unable to find a pub with any character or patrons, for that matter we decided the weather seemed to reflect the feel of the city in general.

Made that mistake in Middlesbrough. The home fans hide and wait for the away fans to be released from the stadium and then start street fights. I have never seen so many broken bottles and punch ups in my life. It was like running a gauntlet. Arrived from Athens last month. Previously stayed there 1 or 2 days then headed for the islands. However this time, having relatives there I spent a total of 11 days.

Had one of the best holidays ever. Helps to know the locals. Your experience of a place ia far better if you know the locals and avoid the tourist traps. But i reckon suffering at a london airport is an unavoidable Aussie right of passage, just like drinking too much Bintang in Bali or bruising your arse skiing in Queenstown. At least you avoid the "boring backpacker" syndrome spoken about last week, because everyone you know has done it too.

But Agra is most definitely a shithole. Chennai is the major city I'd recommend avoiding in India - it's just plain boring! Phnom Penh - yeh, likewise. The Thai-Cambo border crossing is pretty nasty, and a Singapore actually Riau Archipelago - Jakarta ferry ride I took once was excruciating. That's gotta be the greatest shithole on the face of the planet!

I'd almost forgotten that one. Yogyakarta is hardly any better, redeemed only by the trip to Borobudur. Indonesia has them all! Most overrated experience I can think of: I have my doubts about Abu Simbel in Egypt as well, which isn't a very great return for the four hours each way that you need to do in a day trip in cramped minivans from Aswan.

Bahrain is also painfully boring, enlivened only by the Indian expats. I'm sure there are hundreds more, but I'm through with whingeing for now. Just remembered two cities worse than Jakarta: Addis Ababa - horrible, horrible, horrible. Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras - nothing to do, nothing to eat, other than fast food chains seriously! Everything closes at sunset.

Spent the whole time singing a version of the Jollyrock Lighthouse song from the Goodies: Totally agree with regional toilets in China, stopped at a servo and never quite got my sense of smell back Skip Ibiza and Mallorca full of red English and German drunken tourists eating baked beans and curry wurst whilst watching the soccer Go to north Tenerife instead its spectacular, cheap and yobo free. Dumped me in Barstow at 2. I've managed to get through Heathrow and down to the tube in about 45 minutes, with little waiting time.

One of the first times I landed at Gatwick, I was out within 30 minutes. Venice - I've taken the lagoon tour to Murano, Burano and the other one with the little church. It was in Winter, freezing, but our Tour guide was a jovial lady who was rather like Maragarita Pragatahn when she rolled the rrrrrr's in Murano and Burano. She alighted at Lido, of course. I didn't mind the glass blowing it was warm but saw it for the touristy thing it was, but then guess what.

That' s exactly what I was. I'm over these uber cool global lonely weary traveller guide things giving you the heads up on where to go if you want to eat some rare african bush widgety thing while dancing to an authentic drumming lap dance song performed by a real tribal warrior in a grass skirt made in the village, while you with face covered in real beetle dung, dyed with the finest heather valley grass liquid dance an authentic rain dance, then get introduced to a friend of a friend in Berlin who then takes you to meet the original german stand up comedian.

I like doing touristy things as much as backpackers like the beach and a good barbie when they come here. I do appreciate the guides that I've seen on telly, but think sometimes the best thing to do is just find you own way and not try to be too cool when you want to get the vibe of a city. It was bitterly cold and the trip to the very depths of the dungeons was enough to make my blood almost freeze. How prisoners managed to survive, and if, is beyond me.

It did however allow me to get a real feel for what it would have been like for those making that fateful journey over the bridge of sighs, glimsing their beloved Venice for one last time. I have travelled all over the world and my 3 day oddysey from New York to San Francisco on Greyhounds stands as one of my all-time favourite adventures. I found American 'Greyhound travellers' to be wonderful open people, always up for a chat, full of great stories and very hospitable to this wandering Aussie.

In fact, I could probably write a book about the characters I met on this trip. Also, I love Phnom Penh. If for nothing else than bearing witness to the atrocities of the S Prison; its up there with the WWII concentration camps as a place where people should pay their respects and remember the horrors of war and ideology gone mad.

However, my contribution to this 'Things not to try list.. In between the major sites and sometimes stunning scenery, there are endless small towns with very little to do and shocking accomodation -- the worst being my tiny 'cell-like' room somewhere in Colombia where there was blood smeared all over the walls and a trickling, cold communal shower where an old man stood naked and shivering when I walked in to freshen up.

With no other accomodation in town, I had no choice but to sleep in this hellish hovel. I can agree and disagree with all comments because, as one blogger noted, it depends on what happens to you and who you meet.

Athens downtown is indeed a horrible, concrete jungle, but where I stayed for four months up in the hills 14km from the city centre was wonderful, and I could take the train directly to Piraeus and onto the islands. I loved Agra and most of India and I was there is the late 70s when things were much poorer and rougher than today.

Here's a blog idea: An example would be Duessledorf in Germany, with its 16th centre Altstadt, the club and party-central of the rich industrial heartland of North Rhine Westphalen, but which remains friendly and relatively innocent and crime free the red light district is in another part of town. Any more overlooked gems? I liked Vienna - and Europe in general - but as a 40yr Aussie cycling in europe, people seemed to go out of their way to help.

My partner tried to go to Singapore with parents, fully booked 5 star accommodation, but was not allowed out of the airport - three days on couches with itinerant indians. I haven't tried Greyhound but I have to advise that one should never, under any circumstances, take a bus from Amsterdam to London. I went to a weekend party in Amsterdam, flew in from London, but was unable to get a flight back so I booked a seat on the bus for the return leg.

The bus was an hourlate departing, it visited dozens of nondescript Dutch Villages, ostensibly to pick up and drop off passengers but in reality just to slow down before empty bus shelters. It was then stopped by the French police just inside France and there was near hysteria on the bus from the handful of backpackers who thought it was great idea to carry grass and hash to the UK.

The luggage was flung out of the bus storage bay onto the grass verge and sniffer dogs went over luggage for ages. Two guys were then dragged off the bus pleading innocence in a wobbling falsetto. The dogs then came on the bus and another five or six people were dragged off including the Aussie girl next to me. And if you're reading this post I have to say that if you want to challenge the sniffer dog then you must hide it in a better place than at dog nose height in the roll of your sock.

When we got to the Chunnel more French police were there, same story again but no one dragged off. Bus driver then lost his rag because we had missed two allotted train slot and he screamed at the remaining passengers.

More delays courtesy of the French, then the furious bus driver roared off - without all our passports, which were still with French Customs. Massive diversion around through cargo areas to get back to customs and then we missed the next train slot.

Waited another two hours for next train. On the UK side, passengers and luggage were turfed out, searched, and another sniffer dog was brought out to work. A couple more hours lost. Bloke who was sitting opposite to me was then arrested terrorism suspect and I was then questioned by police. Then we have to wait hours for another dog to arrive - this one trained to sniff for explosives.

Luggage and bus searched again. Finally made it to Victoria Station. And I'm told that this is not an unusual experiecne for this particular trip. I agree with Tania, Delhi is completely worth avoiding. I'm lucky I didn't get rabies from that experience.

Also in India, avoid Jaipur like the plague. Every single person in that city will try their hardest to rip you off. My friends and I split up for the day and all came back with the unanimous agreement that it was the most awful place we'd ever been to. But with regards to squat toilets on trains, I dunno They're just feet, it's not like you eat with your toes.

If you really can't handle it, tie plastic bags to your feet or wear shoes with extra thick soles. Greyhound buses in the US are truly the bottom of the abyss. But then again, the experience gives you something to talk about for the rest of you life! Where else will you get the chance to meet the people you see on Jerry Springer? You will get robbed for sure!

The closest Italians have to a Chemist is the local Tabboconist. So if you are sick, drop in for a packet of band aids, some over priced asprin and a dirt cheap packet of smokes A few locals took me out to a great restaurant and a stack of amazing bars that would put almost anywhere in Sydney or Melbourne to shame with their mixture of vibe, style and elegance.

Loved it, spent 11 days in all and going back this year for another 2 weeks. Maybe you were just blind. Must disagree with Lynnie, Loved the Bali Volcanoe tour.

As for the greyhound The DOG I have heard stories which put these into context, one of which included an uninvited shower from a fellow passenger And I had a fabulous time on Greyhound buses in the US.

Lots of very different people, if you get my drift. Calcutta, Bombay, Macau in the monsoon season, taking your kids on holidays in another country.

Ask any American and they'll tell you don't even think about Greyhound. I would never have touched it with a foot pole, but then again I suppose one might now know that if one didn't grow up in the USA.

Nothing seems to get Australians more excited than a whinge when it comes to their overseas travel. Most of your complaints seem to stem from a frenetic desire to "do" as many places as possible a peculiarly Australian use of the verb "do" for a peculiarly AUstralian way of looking at foreign countries.

Why not just spend a bit of time in a few places, and come to understand their rhythm a bit? The world's not there for your entertainment. My point about Venice was for people on tours, who are all forced to go to those demonstrations, and who all only get one day there.

Which I thought I explained Swimming with the Dolphins at Zanzibar esp during the rainy season. The boat, which is made of wooden plank bits has no oars or lifejackets and the guides take you out so far, that when you look back you cannot see any sign of land. Oh and after all that, we did not see any dolphins! The block of rooms is situated right beside a smelly garbage dump.

You will be constantly attacked by millions of flies every time you step outside your room and when you have breakfast in the morning.

Though I did rather enjoy one when I was about 25, from the Gold Coast with my grandparents "Probus club" members and their old friends, to the Granite Belt of Queensland, which they claim is their wine growing area OK if you like horrible wine , for the sheer incongruity of my being on it.

We stayed in a motel that may have been in Stanthorpe, and I went for a walk with a retired carpet salesperson. I liked Colonia - agree its not the most exciting place but I found the people to be very hospitable and some nice foldable paintings that is now hanging on my wall. A little piece of history I bumped into also - Arthur Phillip was a captain of the Portuguese fleet stationed in Colonia before he came to Australia.

There is a little plaque in the national museum in Colonia to commemorate him. Don't even contemplate flying into Kazakhstan without your visa in your passport. I spent a night in an immigration holding cell and then had to buy a flight back to Turkey. I took a Greyhound bus from Vegas to LA--another female travelling alone. The guy behind me, a large African-American, insisted on swapping seats with the lady next to me because he wanted to hear all about Australia.

He was adamant that I stay with him at his apartment on the outskirts of LA, and even held the bus up at Compton where he got off demanding that I come with him. Claims to have been a record producer with Natalie Imbruglia on the list of credits!

Scary, but not as scary as staying at an LA hotel close to LAX , and going for a stroll just down the corner to Sizzlers have to have eyes in the back of your head. Generally find Americans to be very pleasant and friendly, but Vegas and LA are strange spots.

In Vegas, I had a guy stop me, asked me where I was from; said he was a professional caddy for Stuart Baker Finch, and said he could get me a good room deal at his hotel. After hanging out for a few hours, the penny dropped that he was likely a compulsive gambler shock, horror it's Vegas because he appeared to live off fast food vouchers, and said that he was waiting for money to be couriered in.

After spending all day to get to the Grand Canyon on a bus, and about one hour there before embarking on the return journey, and then the nightmare bus ride to LA, I departed with a bag full of interesting memories. China and the squat pits--couldn't agree more. Also in China, having to pay a tip to have your hotel room opened by floor staff, and having staff barge in unannounced to check that you are not 'entertaining' any extras!

And Xian is only worth the terracotta soldier visit, but a lot of work to get there. Still, endurance is the name of the game when travelling on a budget on the beaten track. An 8 hour train journey from Budapest to Zagreg in summer, with no water or food available for purchase en route, and no chance to get off to buy refreshments--stock up with tons of water in summer; I had a litre of water, but within an hour I was parched.

Had to change carriages three times during the journey which drove me insane. To those who had awful flights in America, I suggest you try Southwest. The flight with them was great fun, as they took the piss out of the whole thing. The usual pre-flight safety lecture included little gems like "Fix your own oxygen mask before fitting your child's I have travelled a lot on American flights, and most of my experiences have not been too bad. However one thing that astonishes me is the number of major airports where the baggage carousel is OUTSIDE the secured area, meaning anyone can just come in off the street and help themselves to an interesting-looking piece of luggage.

My top four Don't Bother Destinations: Yes, I'm sure it's lovely, but the crowds are unbelievable. Sells itself as "the Gateway to Antarctica", but actually the boats go from Ushuaia. You can get a flight to Ushuaia from Rio Gallegos, but I guess "the Gateway to the Gateway to Antarctica" didn't get the nod from the coke-sniffing marketing bods.

Meanwhile, the most interesting thing to do in Rio Gallegos is queue up behind the schoolkids at the Post Office for use of the internet computer. A city with a ferry port at one end, for tourists arriving on the ferry from Greece, and a railway station at the other end, for tourists to get a train to Rome.

In the two kilometres in between, each day as the ferry arrives, the local pickpockets, cheats, sleazes and nutters conduct The Running Of The Tourists. I agree that Heathrow is madness I haven't been through Gatwick. And hey, I really enjoyed Vienna and I am currently living in Singapore - there are plenty of nice places parks, cafes, hawker centres in Singapore to sit down and have a warm beer or cold coffee with a book.

Unfortunately I have no choice but to fly them because of routes and availability. I have had 6 bags lost in the last two weeks and only 1 has been returned thus far.

Their customer service is so busy they dont answer your call and they do not answer emails either. Having spent a few weeks travelling through Syria and Jordon having one of the most amazing experiences that your dream of as a traveller. That m feels like km carrying the backpack in 45 degree temperature. With more guns pointed at you than you can imagine. Actually, I would say avoid Israel in general, they are more racist and rude than any other nationality I have ever met.

If you want gun carrying crazy's go to the US, at least they like us there. I checked out the very expensive 'menu' for sale on the second flight on the airline website, and there is absolutely nothing my kids will eat. Looks like I'll be packing sandwiches and cheesesticks in Sydney so my kids will have something to eat the following day. At least I'm not staying in Detroit - we'll be driving across the border to stay with family in Canada. The thing I would never do again? CJ I totally agree with you.

This blog is so amusing, more whinging than a bus load of middle age English tourists. I don't know about most people, I'd rather be bored in Athens, sipping my Uzo listening to Greek musicians play in the warm air in the Plaka, tucking into an overpriced Yeros, than stuck in the burbs in my PJs looking at my entertainment guide looking for something to watch on my bloody Plasma.

As my wise now dead grandfather used to say- only boring people get bored. My last Heathrow experience,the last time I was in Heathrow I was locked up for 2 hours, it happens often to me at a few International Airports - as I am a scruffy looking Asian bloke. Rather than cry and whinge about it, I had some rather interesting conversations with some Africans that were trying to seek a better life in England but were caught and were going to be sent home to a life of shit.

It put my two hours waiting in nasty backrooms of Heathrow in perspective. Sorry Ben, whining about the boringness of place is more an indication of yourself rather than the place itself. Never the less, I do like your blogs. But I do agree with you on Ugandan tap water. What could be easier? I am telling you, squat toilets are designed for dysentry.

Amy, the whole of the Costa del Sol is full of the dregs of English society who go abroad with the sole intention of getting drunk, laid and fighting, like Ibiza is too. It's just like a hotter version of Blackpool as pretty much all of the pubs there are English run and lots of English people move out there to live. Martin C, don't agree with Oxford being overcrowded. However i was living near it before i went backpacking myself so maybe i didn't notice it as much Try Gorakhpur in North India Not one hotel in the whole town is worth staying in, so we just picked one that was close to the train station.

No sheets on the beds, just a filthy cotton rag, blood on the walls from bedbugs, green slime bubbling up from the drain, hint of vomit on the stairs, "music" blaring out of the railway station all night, in between train announcements, fighter jets flying up and down all night it's on the Nepal border , filthy frozen mud caked all over the streets, people shuffling around wrapped in brown blankets trying to keep warm coming at you out of the fog, red-eyed, red-toothed tight bird shit denim-panted con men everywhere.

The A-hole of the A-hole of the world. Don't bother going it's full of arrogant aussies who hate the poms but still decide to stay in London. I agree with Phnom Penh - dirty, rundown, charmless and ragged. However I found the mass graves and Tuol Sleng S21 a sobering, interesting visit and would definitely recommend that; you would only need to be in Phnom Penh a day to go to these two places.

I would add though avoid like the plague in the week before Christmas it is 10 times as bad. Was particularly smug last Christmas sat around the pool hearing about Heathrow being shut down due to fog, mass delays, lost baggage mountains etc. Yes the crowds suck, but I went there, go with a few ppl and go punting, have a pint, get some food. Don't go to Constanta in Romania food poisoning coupled with some dodgy mofo pretending to be a cop and some other idiot trying to pick my pocket all in one day!

Rest of Romania was cool though. Don't eat anything given to you on an Egyptian Train. It won't kill you but I guarantee it won't make you stronger either. I can't believe everyone is bagging out Gatwick and Heathrow airport and haven't mentioned Stansted airport.

It's like telling someone they're flying to Sydney and dropping them in Gosford. Your point on Venice WAS very clearly explained, and very true! Just returned from a tour and yes, I was suckered into attending a glass blowing demo in Venice.

Needless to say, I didn't buy any authentic Venetian glass, and wasted a good hour or so of my limited time there bored witless, but felt too rude to leave. A night at the pub with drunk idiots and no women because the men in Oz don't know how to act towards them. Neapolis - Southern Peloponese, it's not in the rough guide but the ferry to Gythio stops there, don't make the same mistake! It's not in the book for a reason, there's nothing there. Moruya - NSW, unless u like ghost towns - only place I ever walked down the main st at 8.

Manila Airport - on a busy evening, be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait, and watch custom officers looking at every arrival suspiciously as if anyone arriving could lower the tone of the place! Heathrow - I can only add to the complaints. Once, after the usual 24 hour trip, I stopped here, dumped my bag, went to visit a friend then came back. I thought a shower might be in order, so I went looking for one in the terminal I was in 2.

An hour later I gave up, asked someone, and discovered that in all of Heathrow airport, all four terminals, there is exactly one female shower. And that was in Terminal 4. Some more completely pointless destinations: In fact, any 'famous' scenery in the UK. It's disappointing for Australians, and must be incredibly underwhelming for Kiwis.

I also had to endure the microwave pizza catastrophe. Always fly United if flying internally in the States - the food is edible and the staff look atleast a little groomed! Got a fresh one for ya's. Pamplona, Spain for the bull run festival. If you are keen enough to hold a spot for 3hrs to see the actual bulls run, enjoy the 10 seconds that they will pass by. Bilbao on the other hand is top drawer, with the Old town bars, Guggenheim Museum and coastal areas nearby brilliant.

Just dont go to the rough area of town aptly named San Franciso , or you may get stabbed in the hand like me whilst attempting to get my wallet back from a pickpocketer. Anyone who would travel to the USA and use Greyhound as a means of transportation is either stupid or cheap. Do as I did while in OZ Avoid buses in India also. I was in a head on collision in which both the driver and co-driver were killed and the first few rows of passengers injured. Caravan parks in Australia unless you don't mind older Australians constantly telling you how wonderful OZ is, it is - but I didn't need to be told everyday for six months.

Sorry Ben, I have to disagree with your assessment of Agra I just spent a week there and found it thoroughly relaxing, full of character, and real India which your photo represents an element of Admittedly I was there in low season, and the touts maybe a trifle more assertive then some other parts of India Not surprised that no one has mentioned Pakistan.

It must be the part of the world where God dumped all the crappy bits he had left over when he finished making the world. Oh they will tell you that it has some of world's tallest mountains. Yes and it has most of the world's terrorists, extremist nutcases and dysentery that will make you wish you could find at least one or two of the former to finish you off.

And the national past-time is sitting on street corners drooling over any Western women silly enough to walk by. Apparently they take Hollywood literally - all Western women go like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct especially for smelly, malnourished terrorist wannabes. The east coast of Tasmania. At sunset, vacant-mouthed and criminally-featured townsfolk in St Helens gathered on streetcorners like they were auditioning for Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers.

We retreated to our hotel room which memorably had a mottled flock nylon carpet that ran not only across the floor but up the walls like a fungus. It meant I shifted from running around thinking "what can I see, what can I do?? How it looked in basically unchanged since the Khmer Rouge rolled in.

How wonderfully anarchic it was. Have to argue with the Heathrow comment, it's not that expensive to get from Heathrow to the city. Totally agree about Naples, but if you really want to hit rock bottom catch the graffiti covered train to Puzzouli. I'm thrilled when I go through Heathrow or Gatwick in London.

If you think they're bad then you haven't experienced Luton Airport. What shitty experience that is each and every time.

I saw someone say earlier taht cardiff is a place to avoid. What a joke of a comment. When there's international rugby on there it's an absolute ball. Drunken chaos, I admit, but great fun. Someone else said that they though Stockholm was crap and the girls weren't that good looking. Where the hell did you hang out? Go to soem of the clubs around the Stureplan and you'll see heaps of those girls that Stockholm is famous for.

And dress to the nines or the bouncers won't let you in. Can't agree with the Greyhound buses, Ben. Granted they're not luxury, but I'm of the opinion that a memorable trip is made by experiences good and bad. In fact anywhere in Switzerland.

I think the Swiss have let the beautiful tag go to their heads a little and it seems as though permission is not granted for anything that looks like fun! Can't believe all the Aussies whinging about Heathrow. Have you flown into your own place recently?

Tangiers-I would rather gouge out my eyes with rusty plyers than ever set foot in that hellhole again. It's like when your a little kid, and see that bright big box under the x-mas tree just waiting for you to open it. As soon as you do - there's nothing in it. Sunset stip is also quite boring, and VERY overhyped Rude staff, tight seats, hot, uncomfortable airlines, staff that might as well dress up in a striped black and white uniform and have name tags such as "zombie 1", "zombie 2" etc Sorry -- any average American could have told you to avoid the bus for the reasons you described.

Total chaos at immigration and baggage claim. A hell to which I will never subject myself again. All I could think of was "this place must be teeming with rats. Did nothing for me. I was far more occupied with less when in Broome -- a lovely place. Patricks Day in Dublin: Just a bunch of drunk Americans -- even the parade is dominated by American high school and fire department marching bands!! I can stay home for that.

Why do foreigners want to go here? It's a disgusting ash tray of sprawl. Please visit Nashville or Chicago or our national parks instead. Before I sounds too negative, please let me recommend Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Sweden for a visit; and everyone should get to Shanghai at least once. White Sands Beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand - The beach is anything but white more like grey , water shines iridescently courtesy of an oil slick and a qick dip often involves surfacing with various parts of water bottles clinging to you and the odd bit of thong as in flip-flops ;.

There used to be the largest American military base outside of the USA from memory there and by god could you tell. The only place I saw where you could go into any shop and pay with American dollars not a positive sign for me I'm afraid and the servicemen were complete idiots. Was an ok place after about 9 or 10pm as curfew came in and they all left. Stockholm I live in Sweden now. Like any stereotype it seldom stands up in the clear light of day Stansted - never get a late flight in.

The train stops at You then get the joys of the bus trip to central London. It is not the only airport guilty of that - try most airports served by Ryanair. Frankfurt Hahn may actually be somewhere in France. Stockholm Vasteras, if you were in Belgium it would be in The Netherlands. To top the lot Magalouf in Mallorca. A little place where the English have recreated their version of England in Spain.

A friend of mine - known as the Princess - asked for the wine list. The response was "we have white or red". Of course it came out of a tap and the rose was even worse. Don't go there people. What are you doing? Next you'll be telling people to go to the Registan although I think that secret might be out. I like going to NRW and being the only Aussie. Don't change it now. But seriously, for me, the great wall of china was pretty forgettable.

I lost the digital photos I took there and wasn't even that bothered. LA Airport during first gulf war breaking out. So what does the chirpy Australian girl do when she realises she left her Mexican sombrero in the X-ray machine I was about to board the plane and was entering it when I realised.

I turn around, tell my partner I forgot it and start running back to security. I did not see all the commotion behind me. Yep, they thought I was a terrorist and about to blow up my sombrero.

I think my partner now husband wishes they shot it to pieces as it hangs pride of place in the study. I laugh when I remember that. The famous Jet d'eau fountain is hardly ever on. Sure the lake is nice and the city is Just very rich looking people parading up and down shopping streets, occasionally popping into a Louis Vuitton here and a Cartier there.

I think all the diplomats and international organisations made this a numb city. The old town is very charming though, but that can be done in 1 hour. A half day for the city if it can be called that is more than enough.

After travelling the world for 4 years this was the worst. The bus stopped at every tin pot town and city on the way,disgorging every passenger at every greasy spoon,rundown diner they could find.

Oh my god my fellow travellers! We cashed our return ticket in and caught a plane but that's another story. I have my own Scandinavian Saga to tell on my month-long experience in these 18 little islands, but here are the highlights: There's a reason only 40, people live on these grass covered, rain-smattered rocks. Leave them be, and let them die there. Maybe you needed to look around a bit more. Nightlife is just as good if not better than Sydney.

I went for a month and stayed there four years! Don't bother with the touristy Mozart concerts. There are much better places for all sorts of music. Just landed this morning from Dubai, and visiting the Grand Mosque at Jumeira is one of the best travel experiences that I have had. Two twenty-something Muslim guides invited any questions, no bars held, and responded to the terrorism-based questions of the predominantly western group with patience, tolerance and good humour.

I was horrified to realise how little I knew about the Muslim religion and culture. I wish our media and government would focus on some of the positive aspects of this religion. It depends on where you are catching it from and where you are going to in the bus! Yes, avoid catching the Greyhound bus from LA if you can, you may have to wait for hours until you can actually get on.

Other routes are however perfectly fine and a dirt-cheap way to get around. Sometimes it's the only way unless you are driving. LA is however excellent for shopping.

Be careful in the USA though- if you end up in the wrong area in can be very, very dangerous. Lots and lots of people have guns over there - ask the locals where the bad areas are and avoid them like the plague. Bad areas in the USA make every "bad" area in Australia look like a holiday camp. Walking along a highway even in a densely populated and suburban area can be equally dangerous if you are woman That is because some highways in the USA are known as hooker highways and some men will pull up their cars next to you even if you do not look even remotely like a hooker At that point remember that any American may carry a gun on them at any point and therefore, do not walk alone on a highway even during the day.

My best advice for travelling in the USA: I had no trouble flying into heathrow I was off the plane and out of the airport in no time at all that being said, my flight landed at 6am so that may be a factor Leaving london was a different story Our friends, Seattle natives informed us in all seriousness that we should get some mace for the journey.

But it actually wasn't that bad, apart from a close encounter with a deer in snow covered mountains, the deer survived the journey was uneventful. I think people should take this advice with a grain of salt.

I did the BA to Colonia trip and stayed a night in Colonia at a hostel and had an awesome time! It's good advice for the most part but if you're thinking of cancelling parts of your trip because of it - don't you think it's better to experience things for yourself?

It's part of the adventure! If you try to bring food into the US from Australia, you may well get pinged especially if they know about it. As for people complaining about people 'whinging', wow, I guess you get these types in every group. Don't complain about anything! Hello trees, hello sky.

Oh, why has everyone fallen asleep? I've found the tales here very entertaining, interesting and some are very, very funny. Bad experiences are part of travelling, and people are talking about them here. I think I've done more things on this list than on any list of things to do before I die!

I particularly relate to the squat toilet on a train - try doing that when you have the worst food poisoning you have ever had in your life whist zipping through the Vietnamese country side. It's a little disconcerting seeing the railway tracks through the floor as you lose your breakfast! I have to say I'm one of the people who finds Vienna a beautiful city but the people are so rude and waiters in cafes treat you like the scum on the bottom of their shoe, so I'd have to agree with you on that one.

Avoid American Airlines in particular is my advice - I never knew a commercial airline had 10 seater planes with no toilets on board where you can see right through to the pilot and out the front windscreen! And finally my personal favourite, the greyhound in America. I caught head lice, sat next to some of the scariest and smelliest individuals I have ever met and had insane erratic drivers on a death wish.

Amazingly, just across the border, Canadian greyhound is fabulous - clean, efficient, cheap and cheerful! Not sure why people knock phnom penh. It is a charming little city with lovely colonial architecture and great food if one knows where to go. Manila - it's a bit like Bangkok but without the attractions. It's also more polluted and more dangerous guns and armed guards everywhere. Get out of the city and see the rice terraces - about the only thing worth seeing in Luzon.

Hyped-up as being a major tourist attraction, fun, cradle of civilisation etc but in fact it's a dump. See the Acropolis and get out. Maybe visit some of the other awful Greek cities. The islands are quite nice though. Clean and tidy, magnificent scenery and well ordered. Beyond that, no history of note, no interesting food fondue anyone?

Possibly a great place to live but not really worth a visit. Closer to home of course, we have Brisbane. I can't actually think of any reason to visit. Nothing there that you can't see or do in any other major or minor Australian city.

Go to Northern NSW where the weather is just as good, the scenery is infinitely better - and they actually have beaches. I presume it was Cow's. The body is still recovering. Just because you are in Egypt, don't expect the barman to understand what you mean when they ask you if you want another drink and your response is "I'm not a camel, mate" They just don't get it Even Dave Hughes would struggle to get a laugh over there! Also, when visiting the Pyramids which are absolutely amazing be careful of people who come up to you offering a small present of beads or offer you a ride on a camel so your friends can take a picture I have to object about Heathrow and Gatwick - yes, they are busy and queuing isn't fun, but face it, these two airports alone handle between them million passengers a year and those figures don't include the three other airports serving London.

Compare this to Sydney's 30 million passengers, they're not even in the same ballpark. And all of these passengers have to be screened in the current security climate - it's no wonder you might have had to queue for a little bit. I agree with a previous post, has to be a place to avoid. The combination of the constant wind, bleak weather and non-existent accommodation makes it in my mind one of the saddest towns in the world though Porvener in Chile comes a close second.

Also worst Airline in the history of flight has to be Aerolinas Argentinas. Surly, frost-bitten staff, vegemite and cheese sandwiches and a cabin full of other travellers that have also realised that they have made a mistake.

Luckily it is an experience I avoided but having seen the poor wretches sitting there on a long flight from BA to Ushuia, it has stuck in my mind. Dhaka - and in fact most of Bangladesh beat Dehli and Agra in the never go there stakes! Oh and never fly Biman Bangladesh airlines. My my gf and I were stuck with a loud and fat african french lady with her 4 kids in a 4 seater cabin, they were eating pizza, singing, and giving them coke at 2am!!

Tourist pathways tend to become tired, worn and ugly and attract rip-off merchants; off the beaten path people tend to be genuine, natural and friendly. Although I can't forget was it a Chevy Chase movie where he got on a Greyhound bus to find a couple making love sprawled on the seat across the aisle, then when he can't help but look, they returned chewing gum sullen 'whaddyou lookin' at!? Things to try when traveling? How about a week in the old city of Fez in the middle of summer?

When we got to Marrakesh we stayed at a place with air conditioning and I don't know if the city was nicer or not Patong beach in phuket! Im not political and I dont agree with everything Israel does but Could I just rebut the Israel comment.

Imagine if you will for a moment Australia's neighbours for the most believed wholeheartedly that we had no right to exist and basically wanted to push all of us in the Pacific Ocean. We are subject to constant terrorist bombings, rocket attacks and our young people were conscripted into the army for a minimum of two years at the age of One of the few up stadning democracies in the Middle East. And for th most part a wonderful country to visit - they live life for now.

So shut up about things you dont understand on a deeper level. They have to carry guns - how on earth can you say jews are racist - some of them ar decendant like me from Holocaust survivors.

Restaurants if you see heaps of amercians eating there, don't go. Dinner starts around 8pm in summer there so have a big lunch. Public toliets in Europe!? In euro you'll have to walk like 6 billion blocks to find one, and if you're lucky to find one you'll have to pay too.

I loved Phnom Penh. Agra's shysters are just ballsy, as they see so many FOPs coming to ooh and aah at the Taj. Horrid airline with terrible service. I wish I had read this three months ago. I had to trade in amazing Berlin for so so so mediocre Vienna.

Yeah, yeah, it's pretty. Who cares everything in Europe is pretty. If I didn't have a friend who lived in Vienna I would have gone back to Berlin in a heartbeat.

I could see why all the tourists in Vienna were middle aged If you want 11 hours in hell, try catching an overnight train in the middle of winter from Munich to Amsterdam. Even as a train buff, I felt positively inhuman upon disembarkation. I had the vision of one of those sleek ICE trains whisking us across the continent but was instead greeted by a wheezing old diesel that looked as if it had only just survived a life of dragging Russian nuclear warheads through Siberia.

The train carraiges were old and cramped, the seats no sleepers felt like cold concrete slabs covered by a thin layer of cloth. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

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