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Old Sep 19, 12, 10:51 pm   #1
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Lonely Planet: Top Tourist Hot Spots Worth The Crowds

Back in April Lonely Planet had an interesting article online that I wanted to share.
The article is about top tourist hot spots worth the crowds. The list is made up of an interesting and amazing group of sites/ places. Odds are, if a site is overly crowded it must be worth visiting for one reason or another...

Here is the list:

Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Prague's Old Town, Czech Republic
Eiffel Tower, France
Florence, Italy
Grand Canyon, USA
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
Pyramids, Egypt
Taj Mahal, India
Machu Picchu, Peru
Uluru, Australia

From the list above, I've been to 8 of 10 sites. I found all of them to be well worth visiting and some weren't even so busy or crowded! The sites I have not visited are Victoria Falls and the Taj Mahal. Both are high on my list of places to visit in the future. I almost went to Vic Falls on each of my trips to Africa but it just did not fit into our itineraries. When I visited the Grand Canyon, I went to the area known as Grand Canyon West, home of the Skywalk. I would also love to visit the sections of the Grand Canyon that make up the National Park someday.

Find out more about the tourist hot spots listed above in the full Lonely Planet article
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/egypt/tr...articles/65199
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Old Sep 22, 12, 11:53 am   #2
 
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I'm trying to think of famous tourist destinations so crowded that I wouldn't want to go visit it. The only things I can think of are places not worth visiting in their own right. Washington DC with its lines for the Monument, Capitol, and seeing the Constitution come to mind, but easily avoided by coming in the fall when no school kids are kicking around

I've been to 8 of the ten here and don't recall the crowd being an issue.

Then again, when did the Lonely Planet ever get anything right?
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Old Sep 22, 12, 9:21 pm   #3
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I have been to 6. I haven't been to Prague, the Pyramids, Macchu Picchu nor Uluru. I thought all of the ones I have been to were well worth it. Some of my favorite places in fact. I was surprised at the crowds at Ankgor Wat, but it was stunning. We spent a few days there and loved it. And what can you say about Florence and Paris, both are just wonderful.
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Old Sep 25, 12, 3:31 pm   #4
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Originally Posted by ryandelmundo View Post
I'm trying to think of famous tourist destinations so crowded that I wouldn't want to go visit it. The only things I can think of are places not worth visiting in their own right. Washington DC with its lines for the Monument, Capitol, and seeing the Constitution come to mind, but easily avoided by coming in the fall when no school kids are kicking around

I've been to 8 of the ten here and don't recall the crowd being an issue.

Then again, when did the Lonely Planet ever get anything right?
I found all of the sites worthwhile although the fuss/ lines surrounding the museums in Florence would not be worthwhile if not planned in advance.
Otherwise, I didn't find line much of an issue. Even if they were the sites listed above would be worth it regardless!

As for LP- it is not perfect nor is any guide. I happen to like LP guides but they are just that- a guide, not a book to live by. I think a LP guide is a good guide to use as part of trip planning etc.
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
I have been to 6. I haven't been to Prague, the Pyramids, Macchu Picchu nor Uluru. I thought all of the ones I have been to were well worth it. Some of my favorite places in fact. I was surprised at the crowds at Ankgor Wat, but it was stunning. We spent a few days there and loved it. And what can you say about Florence and Paris, both are just wonderful.
Angkor Wat was pretty busy, amazing regardless. I was more bothered by the crowds in the surrounding Angkor Thom area.

The sites you are missing are all well worth visiting. The only one I found to be annoying was the pyramids. But that was not due to crowds. It was due to annoying touts all throughout Egypt. The sites are all amazing in Egypt but the touts can be quite a bit obnoxious and ruin some of the experience.
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Old Sep 25, 12, 3:51 pm   #5
 
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I have been to 5 of 10:
Prague's Old Town, Czech Republic
Eiffel Tower, France
Grand Canyon, USA
Pyramids, Egypt
Machu Picchu, Peru

and really only Prague was what I would consider crowded. But I prefer to travel in the spring and fall, so perhaps that helps. The Pyramids were next to empty when I visited (and this was several years ago, before the recent political turmoil). Have to agree with the touts in the Cairo area - by far the worst I have experienced anywhere in my limited travels.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 9:03 pm   #6
 
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I've been to 8 of the 10 and am planning to visit the 9th vic falls next month

The only one I haven't been to is Uluru. I've been to Australia many times and the price and captive touristy nature of visiting Uluru have put off my visiting. The last time we left Australia we had a beautiful view of the rock from the plane windows and it worked for me.

That said. I saw macchu picchu in the 70's when there was nothing else there and you couldn't stay overnight so i probably wouldn't recognize it today and I treasure that experience

Angkor Wat we saw just before the new airport and hotel building boom and it was awesome.

The pyramids 30 years ago. Filthy then and not kept up well. I can't imagine how much worse the city is today Not withstanding political trouble

I don't think you can compare city monuments to the three mentioned here in terms of crowds. Yes the Eiffel tower is crowded but even the most seasoned traveler has to enjoy the light show at night and pinch themselves and say here I am


Agra. Crowded need anymore be said.


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Old Oct 9, 12, 11:51 pm   #7
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Victoria Falls overcrowded? On the Livingstone side? What time of year, rather? My time there in January 2011, on the Zimbabwe side, was just about the opposite-not many people around (though the few hotels seemed busy) at all. And Great Zimbabwe? I saw three others. But that's a different story.
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Old Oct 14, 12, 4:33 pm   #8
 
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Crowds can ruin a place though. I finally made it to the Vatican Museum after avoiding it on many previous trips to Rome. Shocking, and the crush in the Sistine Chapel reminded me of a WWII Hell Ship.
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Old Oct 14, 12, 9:14 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by China Clipper View Post
Crowds can ruin a place though. I finally made it to the Vatican Museum after avoiding it on many previous trips to Rome. Shocking, and the crush in the Sistine Chapel reminded me of a WWII Hell Ship.
Wouldn't you just be another cog in the crowd machine though? Crowds aren't always predictable (or even the density of one), but I do have a short-term solution in case you (or anyone) finds him/herself in China-take the stairs. Although I mentioned it in the China forum somewhere, as long as escalators are up and running, stairs will be your pal.

Another note about scrums; as much as I would prioritize eating when I travel, a queue at a restaurant is never worth it for me. Unless someone else (someone with me at the time) is footing the bill.
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Old Oct 14, 12, 10:52 pm   #10
 
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Totally agree--the only thing I queue up for is immigration control, and then only where and when I have to. I lived in NYC long enough to become amazed at what people will wait for. Then again, near my place in London is a cupcake shop where until recently the line was around the block all day long.

Not sure I understand your first question.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 3:01 am   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Clipper View Post
Crowds can ruin a place though. I finally made it to the Vatican Museum after avoiding it on many previous trips to Rome. Shocking, and the crush in the Sistine Chapel reminded me of a WWII Hell Ship.
There's been an interesting *debate* recently over whether access to the Sistine Chapel should be regulated to keep the crowds manageable and the sacred space and art work safe. Here's one article, published in the Guardian:

Vatican in row over 'drunken tourist herds' destroying Sistine Chapel's majesty
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Old Oct 16, 12, 2:20 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Clipper View Post
Totally agree--the only thing I queue up for is immigration control, and then only where and when I have to. I lived in NYC long enough to become amazed at what people will wait for. Then again, near my place in London is a cupcake shop where until recently the line was around the block all day long.

Not sure I understand your first question.
OMG. Your cupcake line story reminds me of trip I took to DC in July. We walked from the capital complex to Georgetown. We start walking down the main strip in Georgetown and we get to Georgetown Cupcakes. Mind you, there is a reality show on TLC that is filmed at this place. The line went on for blocks and blocks. DC police were posted out there for crowd and traffic control. We talked to the cop and he said that there is a line everyday.

I've on to one place on the list and that is Eiffel Tower. We purchased our tixs online from the tower website but we still had to stand in line. It was also raining that day in and it was July, at the peak of the tourist season.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 3:59 pm   #13
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I've been to 4. I'm guessing that flying over the Grand Canyon doesn't count

The others are all on my to-do list but probably not for several years
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Old Oct 17, 12, 8:17 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by sk3 View Post
There's been an interesting *debate* recently over whether access to the Sistine Chapel should be regulated to keep the crowds manageable and the sacred space and art work safe. Here's one article, published in the Guardian:

Vatican in row over 'drunken tourist herds' destroying Sistine Chapel's majesty
Wow thanks. Good information!
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Old Oct 17, 12, 8:22 pm   #15
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I've been to 9 of these (except Grand Canyon - I can do that when I m old).

Apart from Eiffel Tower - I agree, they are worth crowds - and sweating like a mad man (Taj Mahal in August)

Prague's old town? There are equally nice "old towns" elsewhere in Europe.

I didnt see any crowds on either side of Vic Falls (especially Zim side in 2009)
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