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Thread: Which city surprised you?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Which city surprised you?

    This is not Asia specific
    Just any city

    For me it is/was Washington DC

    It just isn't how it seems it should be...
    Because it's our capital it seems it should he this buzzing big city

    But actually has a small city vibe but then you can feel the power of the city too

    It's also a bit more grimy in an artsy/alternative way, I figured it would be very buttoned-up type of place(that's my biggest surprise)

    And finally it's much more green than I figured it would.
    It has to be one of the more leafy, tree lined cities I've been to

    And I think of all that as positives
    I really like DC

    So what about you guys?
    Can be anywhere
    Can be negative or positive

  2. #2
    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Athens, Greece.

    Centuries of history in a beautiful and vibrant low-rise city. It has more of a village feel to it and one can wander from modern glass and steel to ancient stone in just a city block or 2. In season, November'ish, orange trees laden with ripe fruit line most residential streets.

    Compared with other European cities with similar histories, ie Rome, Lisbon, Paris ... Athens was surprisingly different and nowhere as touristy as say Venice.
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    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    Cairo... an even bigger shithole than I imagined.

    Kiev... the themed restaurant scene is something to behold. The detail put into them and the quality of food amazing.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    Barcelona...

    As a place where I did a lot of businesss I expected a big eurocentric busy city with lots of suits and business minded, head down folk...the truth couldn't be further from this...

    sure it does have the biz aspects but you see very few suits unless for a formal occasion...business is done in a more laid back shirtsleeves (but stylish shirtsleeves) manner and the business people are relaxed and friendly...always friendly...Biz is mostly done in the city's fantastic cafes and restaurants...its rarely done in boardrooms

    The city itself is a magnificent mix of the Old: Gothic...the Mid: Modernista Style (think Gaudi here)...and the New: with the usual minimalist euro styled tower blocks...There is a lovely harbour with a beautiful coastline right at the front door and at the back are some stunning mountains with specaular views all over the city..art is everywhere, from the architecture, sculptures, galleries, shops and street landscapes..right down to the urban furniture (bus stops, park benches etc)

    The people who live here are called Los Gatos (the cats) by other Spaniards...this has a lot to do with the hours they keep...dinner is not usually eaten until around 10-11pm...the nightclubs don't open their doors until after midnight and usually keep going into the daylight ours...and businesses don't usually kick off until after 10am...some may take a siesta in the afternoon after lunch (2pm-ish) but this is a trend that is giving way the EuroBiz model...

    I love this joint and would happily live and work there...in fact I gave it plenty of consideration before deciding to come here, as I had a very good offer on the table...it's so stylish but warm and friendly at the same time...the people are proud and smart..but they don't take themselves seriously like they do in Paris or Rome...they love to have fun and party
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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moo Uaon View Post
    Cairo... an even bigger shithole than I imagined.

    Kiev... the themed restaurant scene is something to behold. The detail put into them and the quality of food amazing.
    Correction, Cairo a BIGGER shithole than anyone could imagine ... put me off all ME arab countries for good. Never been to Kiev though I did enjoy fabulous food and wines in Budapest and Prague.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moo Uaon View Post
    Cairo... an even bigger shithole than I imagined.

    Kiev... the themed restaurant scene is something to behold. The detail put into them and the quality of food amazing.
    I don't think I've ever heard anyone say a good thing about Cairo

  7. #7
    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    ^ I arrived there with a friend the day after the Prime Minsiter Anwar Sadat was assassinated...within an hour an old guy had thrown a punch at me (which I blocked) a car just missed me as it jumped the curb onto the sidewalk I was standing on and then some lady in full moslem garb hissed at me...555

    But once we settled into out hotel, had a shower, met up with a professor who was a friend of a friend, who took us on a wander through the Egyptian Museum of Antiqities, a nice dinner, followed by a sidewalk seat to smoke a shared hookah...everything started to slow down and make sense...

    i wouldn't say its my favourite place in the world but it ain't the biggest shithole either....just outside the city the whole of the ancient world opens up to you...

    Calcutta was way worse for me...the stench of that place makes me wretch..
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Oh Mumbai by far surprised me

    There is less homeless in Mumbai(well where I was) than in Vancouver by a wide margin!

    I really was a bit apprehensive and was pleasantly surprised, to be honest

    Not a place I'm yearning to get back to but would have no issue going again

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    Probably Bangkok. Although I always research everywhere I go before I travel, I just wasn't prepared for the combination of everything: size, noise, traffic, smells and a complete change from what I was used to. 20 years ago there was not the instant internet knowledge that you can find today anywhere.

    Manila was somewhat similar, but I didn't spend enough time there to get the same feeling that I got in Bangkok. I haven't been to the Middle East or the Mediterranean, so I can't compare them to anything I know.

    However, you can look at things on the internet or listen to your friends reports on those places, but it's not the same as experiencing them yourself. That is why I was so happy my son came to visit me in Thailand in February 2016. He got to experience all the things I had talked about, and why I kept going back. He got to meet all my current friends, my ex girl friends who are still friends, and Pui when she was still healthy enough to respond positively. Riding motorbikes through the mountains of Thailand was just a bonus.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน RakThai's Avatar
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    The one thing that keeps surprising me with cities, is that they have so many faces, yet really all cities are so similar.

    There is the downtown area which usually that is all of a city you see when you visit the first time.. The shopping district and the monuments will be there, with a good bunch of the hotels, restaurants and bars..
    After a weekend you think you have seen it all and know the city..

    Yet as you go back and venture out a bit more, there is the university district, the business district, the area around the railway station or the harbor (in response to another thread, that's usually where you find the hookers), all with a completely different vibe..

    And due to time, politics and influx of different cultures, these area's seem to move, to change and to return over and over again...
    So I wouldn't be surprised if the Khlong Toei area of Bangkok will be the next tourist area in say 10 years from now...555
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  11. #11
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RakThai View Post
    The one thing that keeps surprising me with cities, is that they have so many faces, yet really all cities are so similar.

    There is the downtown area which usually that is all of a city you see when you visit the first time.. The shopping district and the monuments will be there, with a good bunch of the hotels, restaurants and bars..
    After a weekend you think you have seen it all and know the city..

    Yet as you go back and venture out a bit more, there is the university district, the business district, the area around the railway station or the harbor (in response to another thread, that's usually where you find the hookers), all with a completely different vibe..

    And due to time, politics and influx of different cultures, these area's seem to move, to change and to return over and over again...
    So I wouldn't be surprised if the Khlong Toei area of Bangkok will be the next tourist area in say 10 years from now...555
    In one aspect I very much agree with you that a lot of cities are the same but i also don't

    That's why I love the States so much
    So many big cities or capital cities of each state can be so different

    Hell in Texas all their cities are so different from each other
    Austin is really artsy and funky
    Dallas is sort of dead downtown but has really ritzy suburbs
    San Antonio has a decidedly latin feel

    That's why I want to limit my International travel to one trip a year and venture to a lot of places in US(and Canada) I haven't been to yet

    A lot of cities down south, Montana and Wyoming

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Dupree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    In one aspect I very much agree with you that a lot of cities are the same but i also don't

    That's why I love the States so much
    So many big cities or capital cities of each state can be so different

    Hell in Texas all their cities are so different from each other
    Austin is really artsy and funky
    Dallas is sort of dead downtown but has really ritzy suburbs
    San Antonio has a decidedly latin feel

    That's why I want to limit my International travel to one trip a year and venture to a lot of places in US(and Canada) I haven't been to yet

    A lot of cities down south, Montana and Wyoming
    I'd like to go to Austin.
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    I just girl in bar. Buy me one dink?....

  13. #13
    Lamai Beach Bum Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน bacwaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    I'd like to go to Austin.
    good indie music scene going on there I have heard...

  14. #14
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    I'd like to go to Austin.
    might be a BM or 2 living there.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Bacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacwaan View Post
    good indie music scene going on there I have heard...
    Someone once described Austin as an island of cool people in the middle of Texas.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Tingtong's Avatar
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    Auckland Surprised me by how much It seemed like a smaller version of Sydney . The City , the Harbour and Chinese and Indians absolutely everywhere, and this was 7 yrs ago . Hate to see what its like now .
    We stayed in the 'Kiwi Motel' Owned by Indians and staffed by Young Indian men ...No women . When I booked it the Web site showed pictures of Smiling Kiwi's , white and Black running the place.... What a con .
    The Harbour was nice But that was about it....just like Sydney 55
    Last edited by Tingtong; 2nd September 2018 at 17:19.
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  17. #17
    Nechtan
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    Erbil, the central citadel. Nothing like I was expecting and a bit awe inspiring.

    Tokyo would have to be my favourite city to visit and most surprising, as it has so many different aspects, it’s the most other worldly place I have been, but I don’t think I could live there.

    Also like the markets of Marrakech, surprised me due my childhood love of Indiana Jones and how much it was actually like it.
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  18. #18
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Minder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tingtong View Post
    Auckland Surprised me by how much It seemed like a smaller version of Sydney . The City , the Harbour and Chinese and Indians absolutely everywhere, and this was 7 yrs ago . Hate to see what its like now .
    We stayed in the 'Kiwi Motel' Owned by Indians and staffed by Young Indian men ...No women . When I booked it the Web site showed pictures of Smiling Kiwi's , white and Black running the place.... What a con .
    The Harbour was nice But that was about it....just like Sydney 55
    Had the same reaction to Auckland in 1996/97 ... only difference in some of the CBD was the vehicle number plates ... 555
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    Life is the unexpected ...

  19. #19
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    I'd like to go to Austin.
    You'd be in heaven
    Every bar basically has live music

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    How many of you have been in down town Nanaimo on Vancouver Island? It would surprise you. You would be wondering when when you were going to get there up until you had already left. 555

    if you like crack houses you can find them quickly enough. Just ask the nearest policeman. The cops can be found at Tim Hortons drinking coffee and eating doughnuts. 555

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