10 funny signs from around the world

Traveling around the world as an Anglophone can be pretty funny. Most people try to speak English, but they don’t all quite get it.

This worldwide phenomenon has spawned such websites as Engrish.com among many others. Here at TravelPod, we’ve got our own assortment of funny signs. Some of them more coherent than others…

1. “Don’t throw coins in crocodiles mouths”, Bangkok, Thailand

"It might cause them death"

"Please don't throw coins in crocodile's mouths. It might cause them death"

“I have a hodge-podge of various new pictures to upload, from Lauren and Halloweeen, to a festival, and most notably from when we went to the zoo! The pictures will pretty much explain themselves, and there are a lot of pictures of animals so I thought that I would give everyone a Thai language lesson with it too.” – Schipper

2. “This place danger” in Gyangze, China

"This place danger. Take devious route."

"This place danger. Take devious route."

Our final activity was a hike up the Gyantse Dzong – an old fort in the middle of town. We had the fort to ourselves not a tourist or Tibetan was there. We took it slow going up (man can we feel the altitude here – or we’re really out of shape!) but the view was worth it – we could see the entire town, the monastery, and the Himalayas in the distance. Not a bad way to see the sunset! – Carlaandmike

3. “Guests are requested…” in Broome, Australia

"Guests are requested not to leave meals unattended unless they wish to share them with the seagulls"

Rachandstu found this sign at a bar on the beach in Broome, Australia

“To celebrate being in a town, we went out for dinner at a bar on the beach where we sat with our pizza and drinks – (a glass of cold wine for Rachel – what a novelty!) and watched the sunset.” – Rachandstu

4. “Passengers Attention” – Beijing, China

Lucy_and_adele found this warning sign in Beijing, China

Lucy_and_adele found this warning sign in Beijing, China

We climbed enough steps to do us a lifetime. The older section of the wall was really cool. All rubble and broken steps. when our legs couldn’t handle much more, we went to get the cable car back to the car park. They were out of order, of course! – Lucy_and_adele

5. “Be cautionary to fall into water” – Shangri-La, China

Fredtrip found another example of Engrish in Shangri La, China

Fredtrip found another example of Engrish in Shangri-La, China

I was positively surprised by Shangri La. Few tourists here, colder weather (we are at 3200m), a lot of Tibetans and a pleasant living old city.
The city was originally called Zhongdian but some locals decided to change its name to make it more attractive to tourists. New name comes from James Hilton’s 1933 bestseller: Lost Horizon.. – Fredtrip

6. “The top of an… wha?” – Jeju City, South Korea

Jknoff22 thought this sign was amusing

Jknoff22 thought this sign was amusing in Jeju City

“If you can’t read it, it says, “The top of an election is a clean election.” Now say it as a Korean would, changing the “l’s” to “r’s” and you have an enigmatic yet very funny sign.” – Jknoff22

7. “Smoke is billowing” – Hachioji, Japan

Tothemoon found this strange sign in Japan

Tothemoon found this strange sign in Japan

I’m glad the trip ended up much better than it started, but I kinda don’t ever wanna go on vacation again. – Tothemoon

8. “Premarital sex” – Telluride, USA

78ers found this sign humorous in Telluride, USA

78ers found this sign humorous in Telluride, USA

“On our way back out to the main road, we drove on a little half gravel/half paved road through a really beautiful area. The road passes the town of Dunton- apparently it’s actually a privately owned ghost town, so I don’t think you can walk around it or anything. But the whole stretch of road was really nice, Silas and I were sort of hating the people who live there!” – 78ers

9. “The grass is smiling at you” – Beijing, China

Bizarreirishsta found this sign in Beijing's Olympic Village

Bizarreirishsta found this sign in Beijing's Olympic Village

“After our day at the Summer Palace, we made our way to the Olympic Village. We had enough time to get to it and have a snack before it started raining. It didn’t rain much, but just in spurts. The Bird’s Next is quite the architectural design, but definitely more impressive from a distance.” – Bizarreirishsta

10. “Fartshumper” – Olderfjord, Norway

Marksadventures loves Norwegian signs

Marksadventures loves Norwegian signs

“This is the only photo worthy of being shown today….another funny Norwegian sign!” – Marksadventures

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10 man-made world wonders by Howard Hillman

Howard Hillman of the site Hillmanwonders.com puts together many lists of travel-inspiring destinations. I’m going to take a few and compare them to the experiences that TravelPod bloggers have had there. Shall we begin?

1. Pyramids of Egypt

Rucamuffin got majorly ripped off at the Great Pyramids of Egypt

Rucamuffin got majorly ripped off at the Great Pyramids of Egypt

A man with not a full set of teeth greets us and brings us into his courtyard front yard area. He proceeds to write the “prices” of riding a camel into the dirt. I’ll spare you all the sad painful details of the haggle. Basically after unloading all our US money and Egyptian Pounds, we settle on the official dirt posted price of 500 Egyptian Pounds each. Feeling a little uneasy with the deal, we mount up, ready to take on the pyramids!
Now here is the best part…….We come back to our “hotel” and told the nice guys that work here how it went. When they found out we paid 500 Egyptian Pounds EACH, they laugh and say we could have bought our own camel with just a little bit more money! Great……. – Rucamuffin

2. Great Wall of China

Akbar thought the Great Wall of China was incredible

Akbar thought the Great Wall of China was incredible

Great Wall (SPECTACULAR – must see before you die) – Akbar

3. Taj Mahal

Rachellecornel also recommends a visit to the Taj Mahal

Rachellecornel also recommends a visit to the Taj Mahal

We saw the Baby Taj, the red fort and the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal was so amazing. Definitely something everyone should try and see! – Rachellecornel

4. Machu Picchu

Jwmoles at the top of the Huayna peak

Jwmoles at the top of the Huayna peak

People start lining up in the middle of the night at the gate. From the gate, it’s a two-hour hike to the Sun Gate (the first view of Machu Picchu). Many people hike fast (and even run) to the Sun Gate for a view of Machu Picchu at sunrise. We were toward the front of the line and managed to make it to the Sun Gate around sunrise for a beautiful view of Machu Picchu about a mile away and 1,000 feet down. Absolutely breathtaking.

It’s an amazing place. Ruins everywhere. Mountains everywhere. I set out for the hour hike to the top. It was very steep and required the use of fixed cables for support in some of the steeper sections. The view at the top was amazing. I spent thirty minutes on top and headed back down to the city, which by then was populated with all the lazy tourists who ride the buses into Machu Picchu. A city built for 500 was holding about 5,000. Tough. I’ve heard rumors that the government has tentative plans to place further limits on the number of peeps who can hike the trail and enter the city. – Jwmoles

5. Bali

Thebogantrekker in Bali

Thebogantrekker enjoying the facilities in Bali

We paddled down the Telaga Waja river for a good couple of hours, on what was, all in all, a pretty tame ride. For what it lacked in adrenaline it made up for twofold in scenery, the river snakes its way down between cliffs and ridges covered in jungle, with the occasional waterfall or farmers rice paddie cut into the side of the hill. We finished the course pretty much unscathed bar a killer sunburn on my legs. – Thebogantrekker

6. Angkor Wat

Harryvs traveled to Angkor Wat on his Gap Year trip

Harryvs traveled to Angkor Wat on his Gap Year trip

We ended the day climbing up to a top of a temple on a hill with thousands of other people which gave us a panoramic view of thick jungle, the sunset, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. There were so many people that we thought we’d head down before the sun actually set. – Harryvs

7. Forbidden City

Sywellfrasers inside the Forbidden City

Sywellfrasers inside the Forbidden City

We were not quite expecting what we saw at The Forbidden City as it is such a large place, the buildings are so amazing and very colourful – through one square into another and another and so on. The emperor had a building for every part of his day and life!!! There were 9,999 rooms (not surprisingly we did not visit them all!!) Hard to believe that for over 500 years the chinese people were not allowed anywhere near this city let alone enter it. – Sywellfrasers

8. Bagan Temples & Pagodas

Mannchild... in Bagan, Myanmar

Mannchild... in Bagan, Myanmar

The ancient capital of Myanmar, Bagan, is a great place to chill out. It is surrounded by green mountains, full of dusty roads, and oh yea, is the site of about 4,500 ancient temples, stupas and pagodas in a 45 square kilometer area. It is an absolutely breathtaking experience to see 11th, 12th and 13th century temples that dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. The pics do no justice to the experience of seeing this amazing place. It was one of the coolest places I’ve seen in my life. – Mannchild…

9. Karnak Temple

Sabenafrica in front of the Karnak Temple

Sabenafrica in front of the Karnak Temple

The Hypostyle Hall with its hundreds of columns was stunning and well worth seeing, but the rest was just many ruins overrun with thousands of inappropriately dressed (although some single men and women i know would disagree) tourists from Eastern Europe. – Sabenafrica

10. Teotihuacan

Meluebke on top of Teotihuacan's pyramid of the sun

Meluebke on top of Teotihuacan's pyramid of the sun

After an amazing lunch, we traveled to the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, a nearby district of Mexico City. The Pyramid of the Sun is the 3rd largest pyramid in the world. It is claimed to have been built by the Aztec Indians but, as our amazing tour guide, Armando, explained, this is false because the structure and details of this pyramid do not match with other Aztec structures. Thus many speculate that the Aztecs were trying to claim the pyramid as theirs when, in reality, no one is quite sure what tribe constructed it. – Meluebke

Featured blogs

Photo of the Week: “Mosque”, Kashgar, China

The intricate details of this mosque and the angle at which the photo was taken from caught my eye. Incredible.

7.1241438880.mosque

A haphazard-looking mass of old and new buildings made of mud brick, red brick, wood and some cement, the Old City impressed me. It had the same feeling as the souqs in Morocco and the back alleys of Egypt: Old and exotic. Heavy wooden doors blocked us from peering into most homes, but we could get a feel for the way people lived here. Every few turns we came to the thin minarets and complicated brickwork of a community mosque. A man with a donkey cart sold vegetables at the far end of the hill complex, and public-service graffiti in Arabic writing was scratched into some of the walls. China as I’ve never seen it before.Bethverde

Photo of the Week

10 worthy tourist traps

TravelPod bloggers get to every nook and cranny in the world. Including some of the most visited “tourist traps”. I sifted through the blogs and found that these so-called traps aren’t always as bad as they seem…

1. Great Wall of China

Broc_and_bailey's Canadian friends on the Great Wall

Broc_and_bailey's Canadian friends on the Great Wall

We had an early start as we were heading to the ‘Great Wall’.It took us 2hrs to get there,then we had 3hrs on the wall, lunch & 2 hrs back again! We got a cable car up, to save time (nothing to do with being lazy)! The wall was really good, it was really foggy so the views weren’t the best! We were on the way back down to the 2nd part but met up with 2 Canadian guys who twisted Brocs arm (was really hard) to have a beer, so we had a rite laugh with them for about a half hr, so our time was limited for the 2nd part! got as far as we & got this slide down, that was really slow to start with but ended up being really fun! Lunch was gorgeous, 7 different dishes & rice! got a taste of everything! were sitting with a few local, who were giving us funny looks as we tried to master the chopsticks! one of the girls even ordered us a fork, but we didn’t give up!! – Broc_and_bailey

2. A beer house in Munich, Germany

Bobstine eating wurst in Hof Brau Haus

Bobstine eating wurst in Hof Brau Haus

We had lunch at the Hofbräuhaus and watched the brass band. We met a nice young man from Hungary over lunch. He’s visiting friends of his wife and was lunching alone while she and her friends went shopping. He currently lives in Switzerland and is a bond broker; so we had a good conversation with him about offshore accounts, the economy, politics and relative costs between Europe and the USA. – Bobstine

3. Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Kayaker902's parents at Graceland

Kayaker902's parents at Graceland

As we toured the grounds I started feeling slightly transported to the 60’s. Very much 60’s decor which was how it was when he lived there, it just made things seem different. He had a very elaborate house for the time period, however, today I am sure the TV and other things that made Graceland seem so elaborate people would just say yeah everybody has those. Anyway, as we started through the house I really just didn’t get. It wasn’t until the meditation ground that this strange feeling hit me. I really can’t explain it, it just felt really weird. Now let me explain the meditation garden is where Elvis’s twin brother is buried along with his grandmother and parents and Elvis. Thus that might explain the really eerie feeling I had. – kayaker902

4. Tiki Village Theatre, Moorea, French Polynesia

Cmj enjoyed the Tiki Village dinner even though it was "contrived"

Cmj enjoyed the Tiki Village dinner even though it was "contrived"

That evening we splurged on a dinner theatre show at the Tiki Village. It was of course a contrived and stereotyped package for tourists, but a very well done one. Dinner was excellent and the show was great fun. We were a bit baffled when the traditional fire dancers cleared the sand stage to let Joseph usher Mary to the manger, but decided it was better not to ask questions while the chieftain led the carolers in silent night. – Cmj

5. Venice, Italy

Warrmb7's friends in Venice

Warrmb7's friends in Venice

once we got off the bus at the beginning of Venice we had to navigate our way through the city’s narrow streets and attempt to find out way. Venice is full of small streets that lack names and seem to go the most roundabout ways to get to places so we were pretty lost before we finally found our hostel after about an hour. The evening was spent exploring the city streets and trying to find a place that had good food, was near the canal and was not terribly expensive….nothing like that existed so we settled for an expensive meal of pizza which turned out to be worth all the money we spent. We stayed out until about 2am exploring and arrived back at our hostel, weary and ready for sleep. – Warrmb7

6. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Explorerjones' cottage in Williamsburg, Virginia

Explorerjones' cottage in Williamsburg, Virginia

We are staying in a cute little cottage right in the center of Williamsburg which as Luke said “this house is like in colonial times except if this were colonial times they wouldn’t have books and puzzles out about colonial times.” That’s a curious, engaged traveler for you! – Explorerjones

7. Sally Lunn’s, Bath, England

Addicted2travel visited Sally Lunn's House in Bath

Addicted2travel visited Sally Lunn's House in Bath

We passed Jane Austen’s house, saw the Royal Crescent which is a super huge building shaped like a crescent that faces a park, went by Pulteney Bridge which is a bridge that has shops on both sides of it, walked around the Bath Abbey which is another beautiful cathedral, and passed Sally Lunn’s house which is the oldest house in Bath. Overall, I would say Bath is one of the cutest English cities I’ve seen that is just fun to walk around. Super cute! – Addicted2travel

8. New York City Harbor Tours

Missmizon enjoyed the view of the skyline from her New York Harbour Tour

Missmizon enjoyed the view of the skyline from her New York Harbour Tour

We managed to find a 72 hour ticket which allowed unlimited use of the hop on hop off tours, a cruise on the river, the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, access to the Empire State Building and a night tour of the city. Tickets in hand we took a walk down to the ferry terminal to river cruise which was really nice as the weather was good and we got some excellent views of the city, some of New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty (hence the 101 pictures!). – Missmizon

9. Tower of London, London, England

Travellingross was deeply impressed by the Tower of London

Travellingross was deeply impressed by the Tower of London

I had seriously under-estimated what this was and very impressed in the end – i was thinking dungeon’s and a tower, but nooooo it is actually the original castle of William the Conquerer in 1066 and adapted & re-constructed many times by pretty much every monarch since. Fascinating stuff; especially the Crown Jewels (no photos allowed), torture rooms, beheading location, inscriptions/graffiti on the walls from all the prisoners, the moat which is now drained and basically a lawn. Spent a lot longer here than anticipated, but well worth it. The Jewels were fascinating, but way overly commercialised (you view them from a horizontal escalator!) and sooooo many people. tourists everywhere. I wonder what Henry 8th would think if he saw this place now. So much history, and where people were murdered/tortured/beheaded there are now ice cream licking fat tourists with cameras around their necks posing in front of the place that people had their heads chopped off or imprisoned for years. Totally bizarre in my mind when there is still a Sovereign reigning over this Kingdom and it is still a castle with full status. I don’t think u should commercialise history until it is truely history. But who am i to talk – i paid £17 to get in the gates. But i am respectful of what this place is, i mean Elizabeth I was imprisoned here to stop her being Queen because of her religion. Being able to stand in the same place that this happened is surreal.

10. Montmartre, Paris, France

The_stamms loved visiting Montmartre, even if it was crowded

The_stamms loved visiting Montmartre, even if it was crowded

We took the train to Montmartre (which seemed even more crowded than we left it), but since the weather was beautiful, we joined the masses in walking around, getting great pictures of my favorite church painted for me by my husband, Sacre Coeur, and watched the artists in the square at work. – The_stamms

Featured blogs

10 most expensive cities in the world

The Telegraph.co.uk came up with a list of the 10 most expensive cities in the world. Here’s what TravelPod bloggers thought about the price of living in each of these cities

1. Tokyo

Karana enjoying the expensive food in Tokyo

Karana enjoying the expensive food in Tokyo

Guess we must be in a business part of town, but you would never know this is a city of over 20 million people, as expected though it is dreadfully expensive. The hotel where we are staying has some shops downstairs and fancied a t shirt until I read the price tag of 238 euros. That means about $400! – Karana

2. Osaka

Globalwanderer found that Japan's transportation system is expensive

Globalwanderer found that Japan's transportation system is expensive

Public transit such as subways and local trains aren’t very expensive, however, travelling long distances in Japan can very VERY expensive! If you can believe it, a round-trip ticket from Japan to Korea is actually CHEAPER than a ticket from Osaka to Tokyo! – Globalwanderer

3. Moscow

Aubrey of Meandher in Red Square

Aubrey of Meandher in Red Square

Many of the restaurants charge for meals by weight scales are at the side of the till. In general Moscow was more expensive than St Petes by about 20% to 40%. – Meandher

4. Geneva, Switzerland

Sponger42 in front of the UN building in Geneva

Sponger42 in front of the UN building in Geneva

We arrived in Geneva late in the evening and set to work searching for the cheapest lodging in town. It wasn’t difficult to find it–the City Hostel Geneva. Unfortunately, it was still Swissly expensive, Swissly unhelpful, and–as an added bonus, Frenchly snotty. – Sponger42

5. Hong Kong

This is what Andreadd got for $1,700 a month in Hong Kong

This is what Andreadd got for $1,700 a month in Hong Kong

Now I know that real estate in Hong Kong is ridiculously expensive and VERY small — from slightly larger than a walk in closet at about 150 SqFt (15 sq m) up to the more ‘spacious’ 500 sqFt (50 sq m) options. I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I found a place for 500 sq ft smack in the middle of Central on Hong Kong Island for ‘only’ USD 1700 per month!!! – Andreadd

6. Zurich

Dfryda on the lake in Zurich

Dfryda on the lake in Zurich

Having thought that Venice was expensive I was reminded about how expensive Switzerland is, not only do they have their own currency they also have there own values!! Our hotel was expensive and didn’t include breakfast (none of them seemed to) – Dfryda

7. Copenhagen

Simru12 riding a fake sea tortoise in Tivoli Gardens

Simru12 riding a fake sea tortoise in Tivoli Gardens

One word here. EXPENSIVE. After exchange, the average entrée was around $50. We ended up at the Promenaden, which is a B-B-Q buffet. Decent steaks and chicken wings, but Jeff said the ribs weren’t great. – Simru12

8. New York City

Dandw could not find a cheap burger in New York City

Dandw could not find a cheap burger in New York City

Later we took a little trot down 5th Avenue visiting Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and browsed around the way too expensive stores (check Whitney’s new kicks). We stopped for dinner at “Burger Joint” (literally a hole-in-the-wall burger joint with wood floors and tables located behind a curtain in the tres expensive Parker Meridian hotel) which was rated as the best cheap burger in the city. Somehow, our two “cheap” burgers and shared order of fries with two drinks topped $23. – Dandw

9. Beijing

Jbaxter got bartering down to an art in Beijing to save money

Jbaxter got bartering down to an art in Beijing to save money

All the main stores in the center of the town were more expensive than Australian stores so I thought i’d give that idea away until Europe, but after vising the markets I got a sweet deal on a great camera. I found the best way to do it is to go to a stall you don’t intend on buying from to check everything out, look at what they give you and after i’d figured out it was all the standard retail stuff I went to a nother stall to see what sort of price I could get them down to. – Jbaxter

10. Singapore

Radiojohn on a night safari in Singapore

Radiojohn on a night safari in Singapore

Singapore was like the opposite of all that we had experienced in Asia. Clean, well maintained and expensive. There is a joke that you will see on many posters and magnets in Singapore which says :Singapore is a FINE city” with the emphasis on FINE. Why? Because Singapore has laws, and lots of them. Eat or drink on public transport and you are breaking the law, chew chewing gum in public and you are breaking the law, spit in public, litter or jaywalk and you will be breaking the law and slapped with a hefty fine and possible even corporally punished(rattan cane). – Radiojohn

Hot places

10 Breathtaking Drives Around the World

ABC News featured some of the most spectacular roads around the world. Here are the top 10 with experiences from TravelPod bloggers. What’s your favourite drive?

1. Karakoram Highway, China

Markwilliams84 ventured by bus on the Karakoram Highway

Markwilliams84 ventured by bus on the Karakoram Highway

The Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. The roadway across the pass was completed in 1982, and has superseded the unpaved Mintaka Pass and Kilik Pass as the primary passage across the Karakorum Range. Due to the altitude of the Pass its closed for most of the year because of the snow, its only possible to cross between May 1 and 15th October and that’s if you are lucky and the weather is good. Very reassuringly the name Khunjerab Pass is derived from Wakhi for ‘Blood Valley’ because for centuries this crossing was used by caravans plodding down the Silk road where locals took advantage of the terrain, robbed the caravans and slaughtered their merchants. – Markwilliams84

2. Western Desert, Egypt: Cairo to Kharga

Wwatling took a tour of Egypt

Wwatling took a tour of Egypt

The major form of transportation appears to be horse carriage for us tourists- there are very few cars/taxis. Many vendors though all with great offers- but selling much the same stuff. – Wwatling

3. Grand Canyon, U.S.: Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

One quarter of Hally_ollie at the Grand Canyon

One quarter of Hally_ollie at the Grand Canyon

From this point you can see the whole of the canyon and also the desert as well. Along the drive there were signs to watch out for mountain lions but thankfully we didn’t see any. – Hally_ollie

4. Alsace Wine Route, France: Strasbourg to Mulhouse

Bruno.toutain cycled in the Alsace wine region

Bruno.toutain cycled in the Alsace wine region

Cycling the “Route des Vins” takes you through the scenic, hillside vineyards and flowery little villages that dot this picturesque landscape. All in all, combining the region, the wine, and the cycling, you’ll get one of the most amazing and sensory experiences you could dream of! – Bruno.toutain

5. Dalmatian Coast, Croatia: Zadar to Dubrovnik

Randyandchrissy took the long way around the Dalmatian Coast

Randyandchrissy took the long way around the Dalmatian Coast

This place is beautiful. The Coastal road is worth it. You’re riding on this road that’s not too high off the water with a mountain on your left side. Nice. – Randyandchrissy

6. Savannah Way, Australia: Cairns to Broome

Fishtails04 drove through many creeks on the Savannah Way

Fishtails04 drove through many creeks on the Savannah Way

Despite attempts to seal all the gaps with tape, the fine powder had found its way in and coated the car’s contents, including ourselves – luckily I get a kick out of being grubby while camping! – Fishtails04

7. Causeway Coastal, Ireland: Belfast to Lame

Mlbalmeo exploring the causeway coast

Mlbalmeo exploring the causeway coast

The fickle rain gave way to glorious sun, and we got to experience the beauty that the north coast of Ireland is known for. Today we left Belfast and moved to our northernmost destination, Portstewart, where we got to see the so-called eighth wonder of the world, The Giant’s Causeway. – Mlbalmeo

8. South Africa: Cape Town to Mpumalanga

Elopfamily enjoyed the South African scenery

Elopfamily enjoyed the South African scenery

For the next day and a half, we explored the nearby, and very scenic, Blyde River Canyon area. This included such gems as God’s Window, the weird Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Pinnacle, and the Berlin and Lisbon Falls. The beautiful scenery was enhanced by the early morning mists that would drift through, often below our vantage point. – Elopfamily

9. Southern India: Cochin to Kovalam

Tomandanna-rose motorcycle along the mountains to Cochin

Tomandanna-rose motorcycle along the mountains to Cochin

We met the boys in Fort Cochin, after a mASSIVe but beautiful 12hr ride through stunning mountain scenery and lush tea plantations all the way from Madurai, (coincidentally meeting up with the Germans for lunch and noting the considerable wealth and abundance of tasteless pastel villas in Kerala). – Tomandanna-rose

10. Beach Highway, Mauritania: El Mamghar to Nouakchott

Hmax driving through the Mauritanian Desert

Hmax driving through the Mauritanian Desert

Our tarmac road disappeared and the truck bogged for the first time. This was promptly followed by another bog in which we all slowly learned the technique of “sand-matting” the truck across 150 metres of soft sand – which involved digging out the wheels, placing sand mats (steel 2m tracks) in front of the wheels, and moving the truck far enough along the track to allow placement of another sandmat….a slow and exhausting process in 39 degree heat. – Hmax

Hot places Uncategorized

10 most populated cities in the world

If you love the hustle and bustle of the city, there are all kinds of places in the world for you to experience the traffic jams, high rises and general cacophony of extreme humanity. Check out some of TravelPod’s latest blogs from some of the busiest places in the world.

1. Mumbai, India, 13,922,125 people

Owain was overwhelmed by the driving experience in India

Owain was overwhelmed by the driving experience in India

The driving style here is incredible, and certainly takes some getting used to. There are no lanes, no gentlemen of the road and seemingly no rules. You go where you want, when you want. The use of the horn is a big part of driving here – it is in constant use, and unlike back home where it is reserved for matters of urgency, I am sitting in a cyber cafe listening to the constant toots and beeps outside.Owain

2. Shanghai, China, 13,831,900 people

Trizzyb found that Shanghai was very busy

Trizzyb found that Shanghai was very busy

Shanghai is not a walkers dream, which is how we are use to getting around, so we got acquainted with the Metro system, very easy and clean. We took the metro to People’s Square, well manicured and clean and headed to the Shanghai Museum – note to self do not go during the weekend. – Trizzyb

3. Karachi, Pakistan, 12,991,000 people

Redheadgrrl was troubled by children begging in the street in Karachi

Redheadgrrl was troubled by the children begging in the street in Karachi

As we drove home around 11:30 pm, we were stopped at a light when this tiny boy, with his baby brother riding piggy-back, started washing our windows with a rag and a squeegee. He couldn’t have been more than six, and the baby looked about two. We gave him money, of course. Washing windows for a few rupees in the middle of the night. My heart broke all over again. Adnan and his friends were blasé about it, having seen the same thing for their much of their lives. They said I’d get used to it when I stay here, but I fervently hope not. Redheadgrrl

4. Delhi, India, 12,259,230 people

Robgandee got really sick in Delhi

Robgandee got really sick in Delhi

Delhi – big, noisy, dirty (there is no government trash collection, except around the govt buildings)… Auto rickshaws all over the place, taxis look like they were made in the 50s, food is awesome if you like curries, but watch out for the dodgy water (some vendors refill water bottles from the tap and reseal the cap) – it is the cause of many an intestinal event (4 for me, in my 2 week stay)…Robgandee

5. Istanbul, Turkey, 11,372,613 people

Willinturkey spent a month in Turkey thanks to the Rotary Club

Willinturkey spent a month in Turkey thanks to the Rotary Club

Istanbul is an incredible, fascinating city, and they ways in which this developing nation is influence by its history and tradition, as well as by western civilization is very intriguing.Willinturkey

6. São Paulo, Brazil, 10,990,249 people

Redwoodm at the train station in Sao Paulo

Redwoodm at the train station in Sao Paulo

We arrived in SP in about 1 hour as the pollution could be seen in the distance and favelas in sight. Then the traffic jam began! We sat in traffic for about 2 hours just to get to the Rodoviaria! I saw people on the side of the highway and at the median with their carts selling things to the drivers! I guess if you are sitting in traffic you do get hungry.Redwoodm

7. Moscow, Russia, 10,452,000 people

Richardlodge getting acquainted with Moscow

Richardlodge getting acquainted with Moscow

Moscow is amazing but very difficult for the non-Russian speaking tourists as everybody only seems to speak Russian and if you’re lucky maybe a bit of German which leads to me and the other person doing hand signals at each other which is quite funny…I wanta beero pleasea doesnt work!Richardlodge

8. Seoul, South Korea, 10,421,782 people

Yyztrvlr found a gigantic fish market in Seoul

Yyztrvlr found a gigantic fish market in Seoul

The fish market was huge. I walked down the stairs from the top level of a parking garage and my jaw dropped at the expanse of this market. On the ground floor I was able to take in the breadth of this undertaking. I walked down lengthy aisle after lengthy aisle and began to wonder if there was anything left in the oceans. Everything was for sale and most of it was alive. There were shrimps, giant king crabs battling each other in buckets, octopus managing to make daring escapes from one bucket into another bucket, flounder, halibut, rays, tuna, grouper, snails, whelks, clams, oysters, sea cucumbers and an odd assortment of mollusks and fish that I had never seen before. Most were alive and people were all ready to chop, slice and dice the marine morsels into bite sized bits.Yyztrvlr

9. Beijing, China, 10,123,000 people

Ladengast is the odd one out in Beijing

Ladengast is the odd one out in Beijing

Culture: the noisier the better, flashing advertisement, crowded underground, parks, malls, number 1 hobby of the Chinese- shopping. Girls use an umbrella in the sunshine to stay pale. Ladengast

10. Mexico City, Mexico, 8,836,045 people

Tipperoonie loved the bustling markets in Mexico City

Tipperoonie loved the bustling markets in Mexico City

There’s always something special about being in any city on a weekend. It affords a tourist the chance to mingle with the locals in markets, fairs and going about their usual business. San Jacinto is a place where artists gather on the weekend to sell their works while all crowded around a romantic plaza and fountain. There were food sellers, painters, silversmiths, potters, figurine makers and all manner of arts and crafts to peruse. The garden of the Templo de San Jacinto and its overflowing Jacaranda trees proved to be a heavenly place to relax from the hubbub of merchandising outside.Tipperoonie

Uncategorized

22 Quietest Places in the World

A little while ago, ForbesTraveler.com featured 10 of the quietest places in the world. I wanted to see what TravelPod bloggers thought about all these places. I posed the question to people in the forums and we expanded our list.

What are your favourite places to go for peace and quiet?

1. The Hoh Valley

Jwmoles found the Hoh Valley amazing

Jwmoles found the Hoh Valley fascinating

Hoh Rain Forest – A real, live rainforest, right in the middle of the U.S. (well, not in the middle). This place is unreal. There’s an area here called the Hall of Mosses that looks like a scene out of a Lord of the Rings movie. Fascinating. – Jwmoles

2. The Grand Canyon

Kristenvv enjoyed the sunrise at the Grand Canyon

Kristenvv enjoyed the sunrise at the Grand Canyon

The morning sunrise on the walls of the canyon was spectacular! The hike out was the hardest. Four miles straight up. – Kristenvv

3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Paul of Paul_and_mandy in the "super lava tube"

Paul of Paul_and_mandy in the "super lava tube"

We hiked down into a natural bowl in the earth, a forest preserve the lava hadn’t touched — full of birds and giant tree ferns. After a short walk we came across a black hole in the earth. It’s a cave, it’s a tunnel no its Super-Lava Tube. The tube, about a 1/2 mile long, is a 500-year old lava cave formed when an underground channel of molten lava drained from its cooled walls forming a massive, hollow chamber. You pop out the other side back into the tropical rainforest. Strange almost. – Paul_and_mandy

4. Cape Cod

Sschwaiger's kids fishing in a Cape Cod lake

Sschwaiger's kids fishing in a Cape Cod lake

Our tent site had a track down to the ‘kettle pond’ so we traipsed down and had one cast into the (supposedly) well stocked trout and salmon pond, before losing the lure to a root. Matt went out 50 yards fully dressed to rescue the line while Aviva, Dan & Tom found new friends and bobbed around in the lake. – Sschwaiger

5. The Gobi Desert

Nz2uk travel along an empty road in the Gobi desert

Nz2uk travel along an empty road in the Gobi desert

Soon we entered the sandy Gobi desert (it seems to change every few hours), gusty winds creating sand waves on the road and low visibility. Quite eerie. – Nz2uk

6. The Kalahari Desert

Arjenandeline cook in the Kalahari desert

Arjenandeline were isolated in the Kalahari desert

We drove on to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where we spent some of our most memorable nights. We had to bring lots of extra petrol, wood, water and food, as it is a very isolated park. There are no facilities and no fences, so you basically sleep with the animals. Key thing here is to make a fire (‘bush t.v.’), eat and get into your tent before it gets dark, because that is when the lions start hunting. There was a pride of about 8 roaming around our campsite, plus a single male. To hear the lion’s roar at night truly puts you on your place as a human being. – Arjenandeline

7. Anza-Borrego State Park, California

Happywayfarer spent a few days camping in Anza-Borrego state park

Happywayfarer spent a few days camping in Anza-Borrego state park

At nearly 700,000 acres Anza-Borrego is one of the biggest state parks. It is mostly wilderness and a remarkable desert environment. – Happywayfarer

8. Loch Lomond, Scotland

Justinrowe enjoying a few beers in Loch Lomond

Justinrowe enjoying a few beers in Loch Lomond

In the morning we were up early before the sun to climb Conic Hill. The path started next to where we stayed the night and it was about a half hour climb to the top. From there we watched the sun rise over Loch Lomond. The view over the lake and the surrounding hills was stunning. – Justinrowe

9. The Muir Woods, California

Goldenfrog88 in Muir Woods

Goldenfrog88 in Muir Woods

I biked to Muir Woods where there are Redwood Trees. At the top, I had to descend for 4 miles to get to the park….which meant more uphill on the way back. I was apparently the only idiot to bike there as I never saw another one of me. The trees were beautiful and just as I remembered them when I went with my family to a redwood national forest. – Goldenfrog88

10. Victoria Falls

Goodrichodyssey loved the view of Victoria Falls

Goodrichodyssey loved the view of Victoria Falls

We paid our $20 US dollars each and made our way to a view that has been talked about since man first set his eyes on it “Victoria Falls”. The pictures do not do it justice. – Goodrichodyssey

11. Antarctica

Roamingmonk went to Antarctica for their 15th anniversary

Roamingmonk went to Antarctica for their 15th anniversary

Our first landing on the actual Antarctic peninsula was at Nico Harbour, this impossibly beautiful bay, surrounded by 60m high glaciers that went as far as the eye could see and massive snow covered mountain peaks. Honestly, it´s indescribable. – Roamingmonk

12. The Arctic

Ditchthecube drove his car to the Arctic Circle

Ditchthecube drove his car to the Arctic Circle

The scenery is utterly beautiful as you drive up the first half of the highway. It winds through Tombstone Territorial Park, as well as a high plateau that leads up to the Eagle Plains Hotel, the halfway point service station. – Ditchthecube

13. Saba, Netherlands Antilles

Gemmathomas got all muddy climbing Mount Scenery

Gemmathomas got all muddy climbing Mount Scenery

After St Eustatius we headed over to Saba, as the island got smaller they got nicer and improved my impression of the Caribbean. – Gemmathomas

14. Harbour Island

Outbound5 visited the pink sands of Harbour Island

Outbound5 visited the pink sands of Harbour Island

A man riding a horse in the ocean, stuffed turtles, and holding the worlds largest coconut were some other highlights before leaving the island. –

15. Death Valley

Twinkfran found Death Valley sweltering

Twinkfran found Death Valley sweltering

In one drive we see barren plains, mud flats, sand dunes and mountains. I think the countryside of the US is often forgotten or underrated compared to the cities but it really is amazing. – Twinkfran

16. Rose Test Garden

Cgibbons18 smelling roses at the Rose Test Garden in Oregon

Cgibbons18 smelling roses at the Rose Test Garden in Oregon

Walked the gardens in the rain, and they were gorgeous regardless. The rose smell was wonderfully overwhelming. – Cgibbons18

17. Baker Beach

Yyztrvlr at Baker Beach in California

Yyztrvlr at Baker Beach in California

The beach was sparsely populated. A few kids seemed either brave enough or foolish enough to run and splash around in the cold waters of the Pacific. Most people were covered in jackets or wrapped in blankets and tending to fishing poles. Strangely there were 3 people who still seemed to think it was a good day to be naked on the beach. – Yyztrvlr

18. Gatineau Park, Quebec

Ariteo swimming near Gatineau Park

Ariteo swimming near Gatineau Park

We headed north for a couple of weeks to Tia, Eva and Mary’s cottage in La Peche township in Quebec, close to Gatineau Park. We had a great time, eating, drinking, swimming and loon-watching. – Ariteo

19. Jasper National Park

Dlpool enjoyed the view in Jasper National Park

Dlpool enjoyed the view in Jasper National Park

We spent the rest of the trip looking up most of the time at the spectacular mountains and glaciers, and reminiscing about our visit to the area a few years ago. – Dlpool

20. Lake Louise

Jess_stewart went horsebackriding at Lake Louise

Jess_stewart went horsebackriding at Lake Louise

The ride started through the woods of Lake Louise, and our guide walked us through a little history of the area and then it ended at the Lake. I could just make out this gorgeous blue through the trees, and then when we came into the open I could see Lake Louise. It’s now melted and the colour that has come through is spectacular. – Jess_stewart

21. Lake District, UK

Alanna.holloway in the Lakes District

Alanna.holloway in the Lakes District

It was finally semi decent weather and so I went for a few walks up and down lots of hills. This was heaps of fun and I got some really amazing views while out and about. – Alanna.holloway

22. Nagano, Japan

Mchao visited a famous temple in Nagano

Mchao visited a famous temple in Nagano

The main site is the major Zen temple Zenkoji. The walk up is pretty devoid of people, but the actual shrine grounds are totally packed, way more than I expected. Turns out that this is one of the years (every 7) that the enshrined Buddha is connected to a wooden post placed in the courtyard by a rope of multicolored strings. This creates a ‘direct’ connection between the Buddha and pilgrims who touch the wooden pillar. Of course this means that there’s a ton of people waiting for the chance to create this cosmic connection, which apparently is supposed to help you get a peaceful death. How…comforting? – Mchao

Hot places

100 things to do before you die, TravelPod style (Part 3)

This is part three of a 10 part series that will feature some of our users’ inspiring travel goals.

A while ago, whereshegoes started a forum discussion about 100 things to do before you die. Here’s part of the list that was cobbled together with help from the rest of the TravelPod community. What would you add to it?

21. Watch the sun rise from the middle of the ocean

Q09elle's photo of a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean

Q09elle's photo of a sunrise over the Pacific Ocean

There is something about water that calms people, or maybe it’s just me. Yes, I need water to survive, but there`s something more than that to me about ocean … This is a view from a town called Kozu. It is close to Odawara, if anyone is familiar with that area.Q09elle

22. See a wild tiger

It's fuzzy, but that's a real wild tiger that Indianature captured in this photograph

It's fuzzy, but that's a real wild tiger that Indianature captured in this photograph

Taking a last peek through our binoculars before we left, we heard Prema cry out that the tiger was under a tree. What sharp eyes she has. Sure enough, there it was, sprawled majestically under a tree barely a few metres away from the calf. Perhaps the tiger had been there all along while we were up. Perhaps not, or the crows would not have come near. Nor was there any tell tale animal smell. All excited, we stayed put, eyes glued to the binocs.Indianature

23. Smell the sweetest flower

Richardbarrow88 had a chance to smell sweet flowers in Bangkok

Richardbarrow88 had a chance to smell sweet flowers in Bangkok

Even if you cannot get here for the flower festival, the park is a refreshing break from the city and a chance for you to refresh your lungs and smell something beautiful for a change.Richardbarrow88

24. Help/volunteer at an elephant sancutary

Beka feeding elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand

Beka feeding elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand

Basically I had a great time and I loved working with the elephants. It may sound like an obvious things to say but they really are big! Majestic, intelligent and very funny to watch and I can understand why people go back year after year.Beka

25. Learn to surf

Romero on their honeymoon in Australia learning to surf

Romero on their honeymoon in Australia learning to surf

I got up on the board and I was actually riding the wave! It was so cool! I was the first one of the day to get up and actually ride the wave. I fell off close to shore and it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. The hardest part was getting back out to the deeper water where everyone was. I kept getting POUNDED by the waves as they would crash on me, and they would send me back underwater.Romero

26. Grow a tree

Eddakath planted trees on the barren hills of China

Eddakath planted trees on the barren hills of China

I seriously can not remember once in my entire life ever being asked to plant a tree on Arbor Day nor do I actually ever remember hearing about Arbor Day until I moved to China.Eddakath

27. Fly in a bi-plane

Jenandjeffmilum in the pilot's seat in New Zealand

Jenandjeffmilum in the pilot's seat in New Zealand

It’s amazing that in NZ you can get into a two seat open cockpit high-performance stunt plane and in a few minutes you are not just flying the plane, but are actually doing rolls and loops. The thrill of flying his own stunt maneuvers made this a highlight of the trip for Jeff. The flight was capped off by the stunt pilot taking back the controls and taking the plane through his repertoire of crazy stalls, rolls, upside down flying, and five-g loops. Too much fun.Jenandjeffmilum

28. Visit a nude beach

Chattermouth visited a nudist colony in Australia

Chattermouth visited a nudist colony in Australia

The next day we took a day trip to a local commune, complete with a nude beach, meditation centre and vegetarian café. I happily participated in all three, but I’ll spare you the details. About 200 people reside in this totally self-contained community-dreadlocks and unleashed hounds seemed to be a requisite for membership. But the food was excellent, I had homemade pumpkin and almond pie. Yum. Later on, we lazily floated down a river in inner tubes. Relaxation at its finest.Chattermouth

29. Go on a round the world adventure

Krissy before she embarks on her round the world trip

Krissy before she embarks on her round the world trip

Well the time I was anxiously waiting for had come, my backpack was packed (now that was a challenge!) and I was ready to go, at least that’s what I was telling myself! Krissy

30. Be in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

Maw922 on St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

Maw922 on St. Patrick's Day in Dublin

St. Patrick’s Day activities were very interesting in Dublin. It is true that bigger celebrations are held overseas in America. The parade was not as big as I thought it would be and there were a lot of American bands that played in it and I did not see any Irish dancing or hear any Irish music. – Maw922

TravelPod Buzz

100 things to do before you die, TravelPod style (Part one)

This is part one of a ten part series that will feature some of our users’ inspring travel goals.

A while ago, whereshegoes started a forum discussion about 100 things to do before you die. Here’s part of the list that was cobbled together with help from the rest of the TravelPod community. It’s not complete, so what would you add to it?

1. Swim with dolphins

Lindsaym getting ready to go swimming with dolphins

Lindsaym getting ready to go swimming with dolphins

It was so amazing! It was just like a normal dive with coral around the sides and lots of fish, but 2 of the dolphins were free in the area and would come and swim along with us, leave, come back, swim in between us. AWESOME!!! At the end we knelt in the sand and they both came down and were swimming in and out of us, all around, diving down over our heads, everything! It was such a cool experience to be kneeling on the sand at 60ft and petting dolphins as they swam by!!Lindsaym

2. Climb a mountain one evening, stay there all night and watch the sun rise in the morning.

Brendonjohnson at the top of Hua Shan Mountain

Brendonjohnson at the top of Hua Shan Mountain

Several hours ago, death loomed on this peak; now, brilliance is its gift. I sit; marvel at the sunrise. Bright, fiery red-orange; crayon yellow; brilliant tangerine; all enclosed in a small streak in the sky. Small, like a wound starting to heal. Slowly the colors merge with the cotton-ball clouds, a light, subtle pink ascending, the sun’s rays inflating the sky. The mountain’s reward. Relief.Brendonjohnson

3. Fall in love

Mette falls in love with... a koala

Mette falls in love with... a koala

So last week I met someone really special.. His name is David. (What is it about men called David??) As soon as I saw him my heart skipped a beat and I knew this was special. We were introduced and as soon as I held him in my arms and he dug his claws into my shoulders I knew my heart would always belong to him.Mette

4. Visit a South American prison

Inoursuitcase visiting a former prison in Valparaiso, Chile

Inoursuitcase visiting a former prison in Valparaiso, Chile

There is a cultural centre called Ex-Carcel that is a public creative space in an old prison high up on the hill. This space has loads of potential. There was graffiti/artwork murals covering all the walls, an experimental circus school, a trapeze and some props around. A giant adult playground. When we visited there was a game of football (soccer) in motion and a trio of performance artists had laid out Turkish style rugs and were practicing their art within the prison walls. You could glance in at the old prison cells and imagine what it would have been like to be in a South American prison cell.Inoursuitcase

5. Climb Machu Picchu

Nixb at the top of Machu Picchu

Nixb at the top of Machu Picchu

We had to climb a mountain for about an hour, I had forgotten what it was like walking in jungle humidity but made it up to the first stop only about 5 mins after most of the others had got there, both Siggie ( the Belgian girl) and I took it at our own pace. Fortunately at this point there was a really refreshing cool breeze blowing which made the whole climbing thing so much easier! We had a break at a great view spot where Leo told us a bit about the history of the Incas and the Spanish Conquest. After that we continued on stopping everynow and then at a little village to buy more water or eat some fruit from the trees. It was a beautiful walk through banana plantations, villages, coca plantations, across lots of little streams and waterfalls and along the side of the mountain.Nixb

6. Live in another country for at least a couple of years

Chimmie13 volunteered with the Peace Corps in Paraguay

Chimmie13 volunteered with the Peace Corps in Paraguay

So I’ve survived my first week in South America…outhouse…bucketbaths and all. I think I’m actually getting better at it if that is at all possible. The food is not bad… I just have to be careful how much well water and terere I drink because they don´t always sit well if you know what I mean!Chimmie13

7. Meet the Dalai Lama

Djchurch saw the Dalai Lama in Tibet

Djchurch saw the Dalai Lama in Tibet

The first thing I noticed about the Dalai Lama was his voice. He had a strong, gentle, and intelligent voice. It was an impressive voice, like that of a president, pope, freedom fighter and diplomat all at once (which I suppose he is depending on your opinion).Djchurch

8. Have children

Patgower's daughter in Shanghai

Patgower's daughter in Shanghai

We went to CIW after lunch and found Travis-finally! I got to hug my big, handsome son. He was going to the train station back in Guangzhou to pick up Melissa!! YAY! She came down from Shanghai on the train-neat experience, blahblahblah. 18 hours on a train is not an experience, it’s a lifetime. She was supposed to be in about 3:30. Really. We waited over an hour-many phone calls back and forth between Travis and Melissa. He couldn’t understand why his sister would want to ride a train and we were getting nervous because the dinner was at 6 p.m. Finally we see her and I am so glad to see my daughter after 8 months! We really attract attention now-three blonde foreigners all together!Patgower

9. Live in Asia

Tranquillize left Canada for Thailand

Tranquillize left Canada for Thailand

Well, after years of contemplating where in the world I should move to, I have finally decided to move to Thailand . I spent 6 weeks touring around southeast Asia in April/May and I loved it! Part of my reasoning for that trip was to scout out possible places to live; I loved everywhere I went but Thailand was the place I ultimately chose.Tranquillize

10. Overcome my fears.

Katrina overcame her fear of the Laos zipline

Katrina overcame her fear of the Laos zipline

I lasted two seconds after I jumped off!! I couldn’t grip the handle properly and I back flopped (yes I did say back flopped) into the water with the crowd going oooooohhhhhhhhhhhh. After a coughing up a lung full of water I attempted to doggy paddle to the side but the wind had definitely been taken out of me. – Philandkatrina

TravelPod Buzz

5 Best Places to Live Overseas

Matador’s Travelers Notebook came out with this short list of the best places to live outside of America.

What do you think?

Best Small City: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Elagid loves the architecture in Ljubljana

Elagid loves the architecture in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is a nice city with a variety of architectural styles. – Elaqid

Best Surf and Sand: Dahab, Egypt

Elizacass relaxing in Dahab

Elizacass relaxing in Dahab

Years ago this used to be a big hippie town, and still is by most standards. But as times change and always seem to go more upscale, so goes out the more casual way of things, and in comes the more modern style to attract more of a diverse crowd. It is still very laid back here, no high rises, and still very poor villages just around the corner from where all the tourists stay and hang out. – Elizacass

Best Hot New City: Shanghai, China

Missyjoymel enjoying Shanghai

Missyjoymel enjoying Shanghai

If I didn’t know I was in China, I’d have thought I was in a nice suburb of Paris. Really! – Missyjoymel

Best Adrenaline High: San Gil, Colombia

Juddy79 caving in San Gil

Juddy79 caving in San Gil

San Gil is working its way to becoming an adventure capital of South America. You name it, you can do it here. – Juddy79

Best Big City: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Karsenault getting ready for the bar in Buenos Aires

Karsenault getting ready for the bar in Buenos Aires

There is so much going on and I’m already exhausted from walking around for seven hours today! – Karsenault

Hot places

10 most dangerous cities in the world

RealClearWorld.com recently released their list of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Let’s see how our travelers fared in these circumstances

10. London, U.K.

Julie1227 in front of Big Ben

Julie1227 in front of Big Ben

9. Saskatoon, Canada

J_and_j pass grain elevators in Saskatoon

J_and_j pass grain elevators in Saskatoon

8. Norilsk, Russia (in Siberia)

No blogs: Foreigners banned since 2001

No blogs: Foreigners banned since 2001

7. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg Skyline by Ianvictoria

Johannesburg Skyline by Ianvictoria

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hippler in Rio de Janeiro

Hippler in Rio de Janeiro

5. Detroit, U.S.A.

Foreman on Detroit's streets

Foreman on Detroit's streets

4. Caracas, Venezuela

Jamesandjulie at a rally in Caracas

Jamesandjulie at a rally in Caracas

3. Linfen, China

Ruudbatta at a wedding in Linfen

Ruudbatta at a wedding in Linfen

2. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Billiegreenwood in Ciudad Juarez

Billiegreenwood saw big guns in Ciudad Juarez

1. Mogadishu, Somalia

Usmcsniper finding water in Mogadishu

Usmcsniper finding water in Mogadishu

TravelPod in the news

Tibet travel now closed for business

I know I’m a little late on this one, but I had to let you all know that Tibet is closed for business. No foreigners are allowed in the autonomous province in China right now. The government is expected to ease up on the ban after the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising is over.

Some TravelPod bloggers luckily made it in before the ban went into effect. Check out some of their blogs:

Our TravelPod Local Expert from China, Scottshangguan went on an inspection tour to Lhasa last year.

Tibetan pilgrim in Lhasa

Tibetan pilgrim in Lhasa

“How to describe Tibet? I have heard it called “Shangri La”, and I have heard it called “The Rooftop of the World”, but there is really no accurate way to describe this amazing and mysterious place in a few simple words or even paragraphs. It is an absolutely amazing place that time seems to have forgotten. It features some of the most breathtaking man-made, and natural sites in the world. Its culture is amazing and Tibet has the friendliest people I have ever met. They seem to smile and laugh more than any other people in the world. The sky in Tibet is so blue, and seems so low, that if I stood on a chair, I felt like I could have touched it. The inspection tour that I took to Tibet was with China Odyssey Tours last year, simply put, was a life changing experience. I know it seems a bit melodramatic, but this place really lives up to all the hype.”

-from “Indescribable Tibet” – Lhasa, China

The Wenzels spent quite a bit of time in Tibet, but still didn’t get quite get used to the local cuisine

Lhasa reflected in Peter Wenzel's sunglasses

Lhasa reflected in Peter Wenzel's sunglasses

“Yak butter tea is an aquired taste that I failed to aquire. It is a salty creamy broth that to the uninitiated leeds to facial contortions and abdominal convulsions (much to the amusement of observing locals) and is best viewed from a distance rather than imbibed.”

-from “Tibet – Kindness, oppression and natural splendour” – Lhasa, Tibet, China

Sue aka Watchoutworld visited Everest base camp last year:

Watchoutworld at Everest base camp

Watchoutworld at Everest base camp

What an amazing day. We left early so that we could get to a good spot to see Everest at sunrise. We timed it just right and the weather was perfect. We were all freezing but it was worth it. From here we drove onto base camp. It was deserted but it was nice to have the view to ourselves. We walked up a small hill to the best viewpoint and battled with the wind and cold to soak in the view – I can’t describe it but will always remember it. Piercing sun, beautiful clear blue sky and prayer flags flapping in the wind. Everest, or Mt Qomolangma in Tibetan, was beautiful.

-from “The roof of the world” – Lhasa, China

TravelPod in the news

Christmas around the world

What’s it like celebrating Christmas in Hong Kong? How about spending the holidays in Jerusalem? Or a weekend at the Christmas markets in France?

I sorted through the blogs to find inspiring holiday stories from some of your fellow travelers.

Thebigh writes about Christmastime in China:

Thebigh hiking in China

Thebigh hiking in China

It has been pretty fun leading an almost normal life of late. Aside the usual massive bombardment of Christmas build up it’s starting to feel a bit like home. Somewhat strange I thought a country without Christianity but perhaps more importantly a Communist government and it’s celebrating the biggest Christian festival/Capitalist free for all of the year. The restaurants are playing Christmas songs a bit and the kids are even singing carols now and again. I’ll admit the rubbish trucks blaring out Christmas songs was pretty strange in March but it now feels somewhat appropriate to walk down the street accompanied by a stinking pile of rubbish and a ice cream van with Jingle Bells wailing along side you. It fits in well with the 24 degree days. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. In one week well be free again to set off on our adventures.

-from “Three fun blogs in one“, Hong Kong, China

Bunnyluv1969 aka Teresa at the Dead Sea mudbaths

Bunnyluv1969 aka Teresa at the Dead Sea mudbaths

After my dip in the Dead Sea, I went to the site where Jesus was baptized. THE Jesus…Christ…the Lord our GOD! While I was there I also decided to get baptised in the Jordan River. So I got a woman on our tour from Belgium to put some Jordan River water on my head and just in case that was not enough, I baptized my foot in the water. I feel like I am born again and holier than when I washed my hands in a fountain at the Vatican.
Today I rented a car and I am off to visit the tomb of Moses…yes THE Moses – guy who led Israelites to the Holy Land and I will also visit the castle where that chick did a belly dance for the king then in return demanded the head of John the Baptist. Visiting the Holy Land – what a way to spend the Christmas holidays!

-from “Baptised in the Jordan River“, Madaba, Jordan

11229509140enjoying-some-treats

Enjoying some treats at the Christmas market

Kyle-and-lisa are busy getting ready for Christmas in their temporary home of Rouen, France.

Now that it’s December, France has warmly welcomed Christmas. Festive lights and glowing decorations have been strung along our street and all throughout town. Store fronts are made even more fancy with bows and wreaths and tiny Christmas trees. In the heart of old town, in front of the Cathedral de Notre Dame, is an ongoing holiday market. Lining the square are vendors selling handmade crafts and traditional foods. We enjoyed mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and some croustillon (French doughnut holes.) The mulled wine was delicious, and I encourage everyone back home to try it, it’s easy.

-from “Thanksgiving recap“, Rouen, France

Featured blogs

Homeless people and poverty are everywhere

I am having mixed feelings towards homeless people this morning. As I was walking to work today, I was splashed with coffee by a man standing outside of a shelter in downtown Ottawa. Whether it was on purpose or accidental is not the issue.

The issue is much bigger than that. In a perfect world, we’d all be well provided for by fairness and justice for all. In a perfect world, the man who splashed coffee on me would not be sucking on a cigarette and gulping down coffee on the sidewalk outside the Ottawa Mission on a slushy November morning.

Poverty and desperation is all around us. You can’t get away from it no matter how far you roam. TravelPod bloggers have found the same horrible conditions around the world. Here are some intriguing photos I have found while perusing the blogs today.

Homeless Man's Hand, New Orleans

Homeless Man's Hand, New Orleans

Photo by Dane

A homeless man, like many in Xinjiang, Hotan China

A homeless man, like many in Xinjiang, Hotan China

Photo by Koaclarck

Homeless in Budapest

Homeless in Budapest

Photo by Lesliemac451

Homeless man, Amman, Jordan

Homeless man, Amman, Jordan

Photo by Mullet1l

Photography