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NotThePars

Where's the Strangest Place You Want to Visit or Have Visited?

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As it says on the tin, if you had the opportunity to go to somewhere off the beaten track or a holiday destination not typically sighted in the windows of Thomas Cook, where would it be? Or if you've been somewhere unusual or interesting please sound off in the comments below.

I'll go first,

Mongolia - I've always found it an interesting place and especially so after reading Palmer's The Bloody White Baron which spends a lot of time creating an evocative impression of the steppes and the shift in Mongolia from a nomadic society to one that began to 'modernise'. I've read a fair whack of stuff about how entire cities have essentially sprung up in the last century and would love to see it for myself. Also apparently Mongolians are famous for their hospitality.

North Korea - in a parody of myself I would love to see the Hermit Kingdom for myself. A lot is written about it and a lot of that is untrue and while I know any visitors are going to see a heavily scripted and sanitised impression I would like to see a genuinely unique society for myself. Also the metro looks wild.

 

Edited by NotThePars

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The Philippines was pretty interesting despite having probably the worst poverty that I've seen. It has a really unique vibe, having been a Spanish colony before falling into the American sphere of influence. It felt more like Latin America than Asia. The public transport consisted of clapped out old WW2 Jeeps that were covered in pictures of Jesus and there were people driving around in old hot rods. It didn't feel quite safe though. There were a lot of guns on display. Shops, hotels and restaurants had armed guards. There were army checkpoints. I enjoyed my visit but I'm in no hurry to go back.

Mongolia sounds interesting. I've always fancied Central Asia, ie Uzbekistan, or deep into Siberia.

 

Edited by tongue_tied_danny

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Love the thread.

I’ve volunteered in Zimbabwe before which was different class and off the beaten track. Ended up travelling at the end of it visiting Botswana and South Africa.
As a touristy thing to do I’d highly recommend Victoria Falls to anyone visiting SA as a 2 day side trip. 

Mongolia is a fantastic shout; would be interesting if someone on here has visited to share the experience.

Colombia in general is high on my list but it’s fast becoming very popular so probably won’t come under ‘strange’.

 

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Places that are currently off limits and unlikely to be accessible again. Remote areas of Pakistan or Afghanistan look like they are from a different planet or time and would be worth a visit.

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3 hours ago, NotThePars said:

As it says on the tin, if you had the opportunity to go to somewhere off the beaten track or a holiday destination not typically sighted in the windows of Thomas Cook, where would it be? Or if you've been somewhere unusual or interesting please sound off in the comments below.

I'll go first,

Mongolia - I've always found it an interesting place and especially so after reading Palmer's The Bloody White Baron which spends a lot of time creating an evocative impression of the steppes and the shift in Mongolia from a nomadic society to one that began to 'modernise'. I've read a fair whack of stuff about how entire cities have essentially sprung up in the last century and would love to see it for myself. Also apparently Mongolians are famous for their hospitality.

North Korea - in a parody of myself I would love to see the Hermit Kingdom for myself. A lot is written about it and a lot of that is untrue and while I know any visitors are going to see a heavily scripted and sanitised impression I would like to see a genuinely unique society for myself. Also the metro looks wild.

 

My friend's husband went to Mongolia 10 or so years ago. He came back smelling of goat. He said the paper money all smells of goat because it's passed through the hands of goat herders a few times, and eventually the smell spreads to your clothes. 

If you go, please confirm when you get back whether this is a credible story or if he was hiding the real reason for why he smelled of goat. 

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This was in Turin so the location isnt that unusual but I've been on the racetrack used in the original Italian Job. Still doesnt sound that unusual until I tell you that its on top of the Fiat headquarters building.

At the time it was the test tract for the local Fiat factory and was put up on top of the building so people couldnt spy on new models being tested.

Its also right next to the office and helipad of the big boss of Fiat, so access is pretty restricted. Although google street view has been up there since I was!

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On 01/12/2020 at 02:13, tongue_tied_danny said:

The Philippines was pretty interesting despite having probably the worst poverty that I've seen. It has a really unique vibe, having been a Spanish colony before falling into the American sphere of influence. It felt more like Latin America than Asia. The public transport consisted of clapped out old WW2 Jeeps that were covered in pictures of Jesus and there were people driving around in old hot rods. It didn't feel quite safe though. There were a lot of guns on display. Shops, hotels and restaurants had armed guards. There were army checkpoints. I enjoyed my visit but I'm in no hurry to go back.

Mongolia sounds interesting. I've always fancied Central Asia, ie Uzbekistan, or deep into Siberia.

 

The jeepneys, although modelled on WW2 jeeps are manufactured by local companies. They look clapped out as they are made from crap materials. A number of the manufacturers have gone bust and the government are looking to replace them.

The irony of the armed guards (outside of the banks), their guns are unlikely to work and usual contain one bullet.

Its a pretty chaotic and frustrating place, where, if you stay long enough your pretty much guaranteed to see a murder.

I have a very much love/hate relationship with the place having stayed there for several years and travel regular with work (pre-covid). Despite having more than enough to hate the place it is, without doubt, pretty unique.

 

Strange/interesting places for myself:

Going down an illegal goldmine in the Compostela valley on Mindanao (Philippines) was pretty strange. Love going to Lampung on Sumatra in Indonesia.  A lot of very bizarre places in China and India (another love/hate) place.

Would like to explore a few places in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bangladesh and Latin America.

ETA: Found some of the pictures from the Goldmine.

 

 

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7AF48032-BC5E-402E-B41F-D45F0203F482.jpeg

376946E1-FE72-4585-88DB-BA8F05744C33.jpeg

733CD182-7F70-4E2D-8D6C-0362EF989F3B.jpeg

7E93EF18-59F5-49E2-AF40-8F2F8D4C4E46.jpeg

Edited by Tight minge

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2 hours ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Places that are currently off limits and unlikely to be accessible again. Remote areas of Pakistan or Afghanistan look like they are from a different planet or time and would be worth a visit.

My aunt and uncle went to Afghanistan in the 1960s, it was a pretty normal backpacking destination then.  They probably went through Pakistan as well and travelled to South Vietnam, during the Vietnam war.   A friend of mine did the Oz Bus tour around 2007, that's a bus joyrney from London to Australia, they went through Pakistan and Iran, among other places.  She didn't think much of Pakistan (they got harrassed and grabbed there) but Iran was very nice.

I concur with the person who said Syria, I'd love to visit the historical sites, Crusader casltes and the like.

I'd also like to go to some unrecognised countries - I've visited the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus a few times and I'd  have liked to visit Arstakh / Ngorno Karabakh but the recent war put paid to that.  Abkhazia, breakaway region of Georgia, would be interesting

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Been out in the Amazon rain forest in Venezuela is probably the most unusual but was part of a tourist trip so not exactly out on my own in the wilds.

Would love to do the whole silk road, a lot of the places in Uzbekistan, Krygistan and western China look fascinating as they are so remote

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16 hours ago, wee_bairn said:

Colombia in general is high on my list but it’s fast becoming very popular so probably won’t come under ‘strange’.

 

I lived there for a year and it's a pretty cool place. Not everywhere was super touristy then but Medellin and the Caribbean coast certainly are. Caño cristales has opened up in recent years and is meant to be worth a trip, as are parts of the west coast rainforest. Bogota, Medellin and Cali are all pretty cool cities for different reasons and the coffee region is cool. 

Edited by Genuine Hibs Fan

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The ossuary at Sedlec near Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. Everything is made from the bones of plague victims.
https://sedlecossuary.com/
 

Ignoring literally everything about the how’s and why’s of why Benes didn’t take the Czech Republic into the war it has paid off in terms of making Prague fairly unique in preserving large swathes of its medieval architecture. Need to visit sometime.



Mongolia sounds interesting. I've always fancied Central Asia, ie Uzbekistan, or deep into Siberia.
 


A friend of mine was apparently born near Lake Baikal (which he claims is the deepest lake on the planet). I’d love to visit there. The Silk Road and the Trans Siberian Railway would be great routes to travel across.

Places that are currently off limits and unlikely to be accessible again. Remote areas of Pakistan or Afghanistan look like they are from a different planet or time and would be worth a visit.


Yea, it’s the opposite of my justification for visiting Mongolia but equally as interesting to see
societies which fundamentally haven’t changed from hundreds of years ago.



I'd also like to go to some unrecognised countries - I've visited the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus a few times and I'd  have liked to visit Arstakh / Ngorno Karabakh but the recent war put paid to that.  Abkhazia, breakaway region of Georgia, would be interesting


I think there’s a city between the two zones in Cyprus which has been essentially untouched since the wars. Would love to visit there although I think it’s also heavily mined.

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already mentioned it somewhere else on the site, Tenderloin district of San Francisco, high end stores like Prada, Armani, D & G, then in a blink of an eye, homeless and junkies lying in the street, openly smoking crack like it was a wee regal, zero fucks given, taking a piss or shit inbetween parked cars, would like to go to one of those very northern places with 24hrs a day daylight

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