Have you been somewhere that didn’t live up to expectations? That you didn’t like? Do you know why you didn’t like it? Did someone paint a picture of high expectations that the place didn’t live up to? Did something scary happen to you? No matter what the reasons there will always be a place that you didn’t love. In saying that what is off the travel list for you and do you agree with any of the destinations below?
12. Negombo, Sri Lanka – Luxury Travel Hacks By #ljojlo
Negombo, our first stop in Sri Lanka! Our first impression! We didn’t love it! Why might you ask? Well, I can’t honestly put my finger on it. This beachside town seemed touristy yet quiet, there wasn’t much going on, and maybe we didn’t explore enough, but we got a little bored. The Dutch canals were a good outing (seen above) and the fish market is worth a look, however, other than that I would head south to the southern beaches or east into the mountains. The pearl of the Indian Ocean is a stunning country with amazing places to explore, however, I wouldn’t waste your time travelling 40 mins north of Colombo to the town of Negombo.
Have you visited Negombo? Did we miss something? Did you love it? Please let us know!
Derek hiking in the middle of a volcano in Kenya instead of hanging out at Halong Bay
‘You can’t go to Vietnam without seeing Halong Bay. It wasn’t my first time to Vietnam but it would have been my first to Halong Bay. Every photograph of this seascape on Facebook or Instagram is immaculate, perfect, flawless and the cause of severe wanderlust. It was high on my list, possibly even at the top and it was sure to be a once in a lifetime experience. Except for every time I met a fellow traveler in Vietnam they would show me these pictures and then follow it up with a “yeah but”: yeah but it was ridiculously crowded, yeah but it was quite dirty if you could see what was behind the camera, yeah it was beautiful but it wasn’t cheap. As I stand here in the middle of a volcano in Kenya, with no crowds, no litter and at no cost, I think about how people say that you can’t visit Vietnam and not see Halong Bay – I think about it because it’s not true, you can – I just did it.’ – Derek: Not Hanging Around
I am also yet to experience Halong Bay and have also heard these same rumours. Has anyone been there? Can you confirm? Do you agree?
‘Cusco was our last stop of our South American trip earlier this year. While we may be going back to South America, Cusco will be OFF the list this year and future years to come. Beyond being touristy and expensive, Cusco was the only town we visited in South America where the locals regarded tourists like walking ATM’s. We saw enough of that in Thailand, thank you very much. It was the only town in South America that had admission fees for churches, and walking around the plaza / main square all but guaranteed you got approached by someone selling tours or overpriced food. If you’re heading to Cusco for Machu Picchu, know there are plenty of alternatives to the overpriced, incredibly touristy site. I dare say you could visit 8-10 lesser travelled, older, and more authentic sites for the same price as a single journey to Machu Picchu. Get off the beaten path =)’ – Chris: One Weird Globe
Again, I am yet to experience the charm that is Cusco but I will, in fact, be there in January next year before tackling the Inca Trail. I am interested to see my take on Cusco. What was yours?
‘Known for its quirky architecture, vibrant youth culture and exceptional nightlife, there is no surprise Barcelona lures in countless tourists from all around the world. I too visited the Catalan city and very much enjoyed the seafood, the weather and the art scene. In contrast, there were many things which deterred me from wanting to revisit Barcelona, including the poor customer service, the dirty streets and the unjustifiably high prices. Being crowded, dusty and having a notorious reputation for petty crime, Barcelona will unlikely make it to the list of my next destinations in the near future, unless work takes me there. However, having said that, I do think Barcelona is a city which must be visited at least once. Hence I urge you to go and experience it for yourself and create your own opinion.’ –Cory: You Could Travel
Third strike for me! Haven’t seen Barcelona either but I will take Cory’s advice and leave it on my list to form my own opinion. Do you like Barcelona or is it also off your travel list?
‘After having been to Bali in October 2015 I can safely say that I have no intention of going back in 2016 or anytime in the near future. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited, but I surely was not pleased to find an island that is incredibly crowded (over 4 million people live in such a small island), terribly congested with never stopping traffic, increasingly polluted, undeniably commercial and sadly too dirty. Walking on the beach was an obstacle race to avoid the bottled, plastic bags, and generally the garbage that was all over. There hardly was any way to get away from the traffic, noise and people. The only thing I got out of Bali is a few nice sunset pictures. I am sure there are interesting places in the island where it is possible to get closer to nature, but for the time being, I have no wish to venture to find them.’ –Claudia: My Adventures Across The World
Now, this little island I have visited and visited a lot due to being Australian. I do in fact agree with everything Claudia has said, however, I have found the beauty of Bali through its people and getting away from tourist hubs such as Kuta. So would you visit? If you are planning on it but are not sure what to do in Bali, check out Everything Balicious or A Beginner’s Guide To Beautiful Bali for some ideas!
Hannah enjoying Koh Lipe instead of Koh Pha Ngan and why wouldn’t you?
‘I had always wanted to visit Ko Pha Ngan during the full moon and participate in the full moon party. That was however until I realised how insane this party really gets, and the amount of garbage that is left on the beach. I have seen countless videos of partygoers passed out on the beach with trash just washing up on them, and I now have no interest at all in going. It really makes me sick seeing the amount of trash that is swept to sea every full moon. I now realise I much prefer peaceful islands like Koh Lipe where they actually care about the beach and it’s not all about the party. Sorry Koh Pha Ngan I won’t be visiting you are officially OFF my travel list!’ – Hannah & Adam: Getting Stamped
Full Moon Parties have never and will never interest me but have you been? Is it as bad as it sounds?
‘This year we won’t make it to Amsterdam. It’s not for lack of Amsterdam love, though. We’ve been going there every year since 2010. Sometimes more than once or twice a year. We had a pattern to our visits. We repeated things we’ve done in the past and explored something new. We loved the canal cruises, even when it was cold and rainy, but especially on the sunny days. We always ate fresh stroopwaffeln from the stand outside of the Van Gogh museum but would try a new pancake house depending on where our day took us. We shopped a lot. We played a game of “try to pronounce this street”. We usually included a visit to one of the museums. My kids always had fun in them whether it was the Rijksmuseum filled with art or the NEMO Science Center filled with hands-on activities. Amsterdam is just a good fit for our family. But, last year we moved back to the U.S. and a trip to one of our favourite cities isn’t as easy. Plus, we’ve been there many times already. It’s time to see something new. Don’t worry, Amsterdam, we’ll see you in 2017.’ – Ann: Kids Travel Books
So a hiatus from Amsterdam is needed for the family at Kids Travel Books but it is obvious they love the city, as do I. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways and I can’t wait to get back there. I have only visited once so I can get back there and plan to. But do you have a place you have been that many times because it is comfortable and maybe it needs to be off your travel list for a while?
‘Paris is not always “a good idea”! I’ve been twice, and I’ve seen all the main tourist draws. I’m finished with the big city scene. I’m sick of the color grey. I would much rather take a road trip on country roads with quaint medieval villages or chateaux in river valleys to explore.’ – Tamara: Postcards & Passports
I have also been twice and have to tend to agree. I had huge hopes on Paris before arriving and was left disappointed. The only reason I returned was for EuroDisney. Maybe, if I got to experience a love story while in Paris it may be different but no cigar on that one for me, unfortunately. Do you love the city of love or could you give it a miss?
‘Being a perpetual road-tripper, one of my travel goals was to visit all of the 58 National Parks in the U.S. However, after visiting seven of them within the last two months, I have removed that goal from my list. I’m a nature-lover, and the National Parks I have visited have been utterly disappointing and sometimes even at times disgusting to me. Nature is best enjoyed in its rawest form, so adding the sidewalks, handrails, signage, and trashcans all over National Parks makes the experience feel more that of a zoo than an experience with nature. I understand the need for these things, as not everyone is capable of respecting nature in its pure form. People are incapable of leaving the wildlife alone, not feeding the birds or squirrels, and constantly feel the need to carve their names into everything. But that saddens me, and I’d rather not continue to put myself through that disappointment. I will continue to visit some National Parks, but visiting all of them is no longer a priority for me. I hope that the ones that I do visit in the future change my mind, but I won’t get my hopes up for that!’ – Stephanie: Adventure In A Backpack
Disappointing to say the least considering I am heading to the US of A in 2017 on a road trip. National Parks were on my list, should they be or will I be disappointed?
‘Bangkok (and most of Thailand for that matter) is the one city that I hate travelling in. It used to be good as a hub, especially as the airport makes a handy stopover between Europe and Oceania. However, after about 5 visits to the city, I got totally fed up with reading about other tourists visiting Bangkok. Bangkok became the “cool place to be” and I hated that. I couldn’t work out why people loved it. I don’t like the traffic, the dirty streets, the people, the food or the vibe about the city. It’s over hyped and over visited. In the travel blogging sphere, it’s also completely over blogged and over-run by ex-Pat tourists and Digital Nomads who have never backpacked anywhere challenging in their lives. They found an easy flight to Bangkok and it was visa free so they stayed here. If you ever get a chance to have a hub in Asia, pick somewhere like Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Seoul, Bishkek or Dhaka as Bangkok is completely over-hyped. I have not written about Bangkok on my blog as it didn’t feel right to add to the 2 million blog articles on it, however, I have some cool articles on Bishkek, my favourite current city in Asia!’ – Jonny: Don’t Stop Living
Oh, Bangkok. I have a love-hate relationship with this city? Do you love it or do you hate it?
‘There is one place on earth I can say is off my travel list not only for 2016 but will never make it on my travel list ever again. It is loud, dirty, smelly, chaotic, poor and rich all at the same time and the city I am talking about is the hierarchical capital of India – Delhi. I spent my first three days there starting a long journey through Asia and these three days were the most challenging of my whole trip. Although I was warned that Delhi would be a great cultural shock, I was still swept away by it. The worst experience happened to me at the main train station where I was stopped to continue my way to the ticket office by scammers. They told me a thousand lies and when I doubted them, they pursued me and screamed at me loudly. I got very scared. Looking back, I can say as scary as this experience was, meeting other scammers while I was travelling left me quite unimpressed.’ –Theresa: Travel Woman
Dehli, hmm, I must admit it isn’t high on my bucket list! Does anyone love it?
‘I have been long dreaming of visiting Kyrgyzstan. The country in central Asia hardly sees any tourist, food & accommodations are super cheap and the landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. I usually never contact tour companies. I am not that kind of guy, and rather prefer to see everything at my own pace. But due to the utter lack of touristic infrastructure, I felt like giving it a try. Sadly they f*&$^d it up completely. The car they provided was not fit for the road and we had to change it at our own expenses. Then the guesthouses and yurts we ended up did not match our itinerary. When we complained they wanted to cancel to tour. You know that kind of sitting-high-upon-a-remote-mountain-pass-at-4,000-meters-of-altitude-drop-your-baggages-and-let- you-sort-things-out-yourself kind of cancel. Last, but not least, my stomach didn’t agree with the food at all and I ended up with diarrhoea for 3 weeks nonstop. So Kyrgyzstan, you have been beautiful beyond believe, but I doubt I will be back.’ – Norman: Années de Pèlerinage
Never having stepped foot in Kyrgyzstan I now know the following: 1) Don’t book a tour 2) The scenery is breathtaking and I must go there 3) Take Imodium
So, is there somewhere that is off your travel list? Are one, two or three of the above destinations some of your favourites? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts? If you are a travel blogger and have a destination you would like to add to this list again comment below because I would love to share more thoughts.