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Old 16th January 2015, 15:47   #46
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Default re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
There are a few issues that I avoid when on holiday and sightseeing, and wherever these are perennially present, I tend either not to go back, or visit again if and when the situation is better. Here's a list:
  • Extreme crowding / tourist traffic
  • Touts and other locals trying to charge unjustified money
  • Extremely hot and humid regions / seasons
  • Serious safety & environmental issues
  • Serious moral issues
  • Prohibitive costs
I would think most of the places listed by members here as avoidable have one or more of the above reasons to explain why.
While this may be true for most of the places (as you have said), worth pointing out that it is not necessarily the case. Example - Venice. At least 4 of the six conditions could easily apply, possibly all six. I would argue that (irrespective of whether you like Venice and whether you go back or not), it should not be on the list of avoidable places. It really is a one-off experience. Another example - Sentosa in Singapore.

I would say a place is avoidable if the:
Thrill/ uniqueness of the experience < (the inconvenience/ risk involved + the cost)

But this tends to be a personal view. So we are back to it being relatively subjective. I still like the thread though.
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Old 16th January 2015, 16:13   #47
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Default re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
I suppose all beaches(?) here in Mumbai are filth and drainage.
What about Gorai Beach? I used to take my relatives visiting from North India to Gorai instead of Juhu. I find this place quite good. Not crowded and decent cottages. I did organize a lot of family get together here. Involves a nice drive through the mountains as well.

Some nice memories attached to this beach (Eating Fish curry, playing cricket, bonfire etc).

The only worry was, in case of emergency at night the only entry/exit road to the beach was not accessible from the cottages, due to high tide.

But, this was 5 years back. How is it now?
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Old 16th January 2015, 16:31   #48
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Gorai Beach has now become a nuisance. Recently a couple of my friends visited and termed it as shady in evening hours with Drunkards and Pros grouping up there.

Lately I have noticed Drunkard crowd increasing at all places and creating nuisance.
Be it Lion/Tiger point Lonava, Kashid, Alibaug, Matheran !
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Old 16th January 2015, 16:53   #49
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Default List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

My thoughts. Agree that visiting the centre of most tourist towns, esp hill stations is terrible. But if you stay in a nice resort slightly out of town, it can be great. Eg in Lonavala, stay at Aamby or Shillim or Pawna, and it is fantastic. Stay in the centre of town and its a mess. Similarly, we stayed at Wildflower Hall in Simla (before our kid was born) and it was amazing. Mall Road au contraire was Kalbadevi in the hills. In the South, stay at the Taj Gateway in Coonoor and it's very nice. Similarly, in Alibaug, Nagaon beach is still very nice.

But if there is one place that is irredeemably bad, it is Daman. It's a place only for young guys to get drunk and offers nothing else.
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Old 16th January 2015, 17:04   #50
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by shobhit.shri View Post

You shouldn't visit a fort to watch sunset! One of my best moment of travel occurred when the guide at Gwalior fort explained me the reason for putting pipe-hose to horses. They used to do it to confuse elephants of opposing army to believe that these are "baby elephants"!!! Our historical sites can very reasonably complain of avoidable tourists .
I don't know the context here but horse disguised as baby elephant part is true. It was a standard tactic used in old times to avoid war elephants.

There are many Rajput style miniature paintings which show Marwari horse fighting against elephants.

Check this out

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Old 16th January 2015, 17:33   #51
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

I had once made this rough excel document to show to a friend to avoid some destinations when he plans his next holiday. This thread is on similar lines, so thought of posting it here.
Attached Images

Last edited by //M : 16th January 2015 at 17:34.
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Old 16th January 2015, 17:57   #52
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I liked Kumbhalgarh, others don't. So what?

I think living in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala is an avoidable experience. So what?
Doc, completely agree that its entirely subjective. But in a way, that's the whole point. I hear 10 different perspectives and in the end I am overall better informed as compared to just going through the retouched beautiful pics and the goody goody stuff about the place in 95% of the resources available online.
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:03   #53
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Few people mention about not visiting: Jaisalmer & Sam Sand dunes.
I beg your pardon, it's a beautiful golden city .. which I visited a week back. Jaisalmer has cobbled streets & houses (as in Europe). Not to mention about magnificent view of the city from the fort-palace and the beautiful Gadisar lake.
When you go at the peak season (year-end) , you will be flanked by the tourists & camel-riders at sam sand dunes. It is the one of the biggest sand dunes. Apart from smaller n pristine sand dunes like sudharsri & others. Probably I need to write a Photologue of my desert-trekking trip with Yhai

Last edited by veerubhai : 16th January 2015 at 18:09.
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Old 16th January 2015, 18:47   #54
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

It looks like most of the attractions in India will find place in this thread!

As I read through the thread, main complaint most the place is the crowd and mismanagement. In the past few decades, more and more people in India have started taking vacation. This has increased the crowd, but unfortunately facilities have not improved for the increased traffic.

When I visit some places after 20 years or so, whatever I thoroughly enjoyed at that time, now appear quite mundane. The difference in outlook, possibly due to traveling to more places, could be the reason, in my opinion.

I guess you have to create a list for yourself based on a number of things. For some one from Mumbai, it may not worth traveling to Pondicherry. But for someone from Chennai or Bangalore, it can make a decent extended weekend trip.

Go with an open mind and be realistic in your expectations.
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Old 16th January 2015, 19:18   #55
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Remembering a song which has a line 'even heaven is overrated'. We think we have become sophisticated that we have stopped enjoying the simple pleasures in life and our tolerance levels have gone down. Last week I went shopping in T.Nagar, Chennai and since it was the Pongal weekend it was crowded like crazy. While I was getting frustrated with the crowd my mother was actually enjoying it! To each his/her own. Its the difference between traveling in crowded public transport as opposed to traveling in an air-conditioned vehicle. For all we know, the crowded travel could be a more memorable experience if we choose to accept it. As Gregory David Roberts wrote in 'Shantaram', "the key to surviving in India is to not question everything but to accept it for what it is" or words to that effect. Of course, India is just an example, it could mean any place in the world. ak916 must now be wondering why he started this thread, it went from listing of places to reasoning and then on to philosophy! But good fun!
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Old 16th January 2015, 20:28   #56
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

This thread will help people be informed and that's pretty much it.

One can have excellent experiences in the most crowded of cities and might not like the most pristine beaches/dunes or the most magnificient mountains, depends on a lot of other variables and then there's the traveller's own preferences (most important).

I personally avoid all religious places unless the monument itself is something to see because these places are, unfortunately, the most crowded, littered and swarming with conmen of all sorts, not to mention I'm an atheist.
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Old 16th January 2015, 22:03   #57
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Like many other opinions in life I’d say ones impressions about something can be pretty subjective and in travel too I have realized one can experience opposite feelings about the some place or trip depending on several factors most significantly the company you are with and the time of travel in broader sense, I guess these influence our opinions the most.
Now I have traveled a lot lot lesser than many out here but I love travelling and hence the experience whether good or bad is absorbed with equal gusto, if not for the bad bits I cannot greatly appreciate the good bits when I experience it, again that could be because I had some liberty or flexibility at that point and maybe if I face some constraints I may not feel the same.

For instance I totally enjoyed my trip to Coorg and on coming back I strongly recommended it to my close friend and he planned a trip with his family but came back highly disappointed, I was surprised but later realized that his taste in travel is different from mine, he didn't even bother getting to the Buddhist colony in Bylkuppe or walking around Madikeri early morning soaking in the sunrise as he expected Coorg to be on similar lines with Lonavala or Mahabaleshwar (I love Mahabs).
I used the wisdom then gained to advise him on his recent trip to Kochi and instead of boat rides, Chinese nets, massages and synagogues I recommended him Lulu’s mall and Wonderla, he came back with tons of pictures and totally loved it. For me I can’t spend 2 days shopping at a mall, unless I run out of options or unless it is an over sized Decathlon, but my friends don’t find enough in Decathlon to spend a day, so each have their individual tastes.

Few years back I pitched to my friends a mega plan to cover few forts in Maharashtra because I love the history behind them, not surprisingly no one wanted to join, I did 8 forts by myself on bike, came back with beautiful moments etched in my memory.
Another instance being enjoying a simple meal talking to Kasturi Akka in the Malgudi days house in Agumbe, so I guess it depends on how we choose to look at it.

On our recent drive to Kerala, I took a wrong turn on my way to Taj Kochi for dinner and drinks, amazingly enough I passed a stretch besides the back waters in a place called Mulavukad, we parked the car and spend more than an hour on the road side watching the sun set, it was beautiful.

I have noted your excitement about the new place multiplies if you accept that a lot of things can go wrong and hence not be critical about it, so when you enjoy a tasty meal or a beautiful hillside it nullifies or over compensates for all other feelings.

We need a sincere tourism centric administration/government in place for a lot of things to favorably fall in place, all the plastic and filth around will be found eventually in every place humans visit.
Related analogy: Pune Kolhapur Expressway, I feel its not worth the money they charge for all those diversions and under construction lanes but a nice stretch of clear road nullifies all unhappy feelings.
How many times have we walked into a restaurant expecting great food we experienced the last time, only to be disappointed as the cook changed.

So for me, I try to see humor into everything around and be cheerful and sometimes just watching the sunrise or sunset makes me love the place even if it did throw in any other charm, there is always something you find interesting if you look for it.

I find this thread extremely useful not for the list of places to avoid but for the reasons given in support because it will help me in deciding and evaluating when I get to these places, but I’ll still get there to experience the good and bad as it will give me a clear picture of how bad or good it can get, broadens my perspective since I experienced and went through it. The best part about TBHP is, there are so many honest and beautifully documented threads which triggers the travelers spirit in you, helps you travel armed with helpful information.

To quote Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Last edited by s_pphilip : 16th January 2015 at 22:20.
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Old 16th January 2015, 22:43   #58
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Wow , superb thread .
Any popular tourist destination is better avoided . Tourist is one who wants to reach the destination to start his holiday , but for a traveller on this forum his holiday starts the time he starts the engine of his car and ends after switching off his engine back at home .

Glued to this thread fevicol se .
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Old 16th January 2015, 23:24   #59
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post

Firstly, everyone has different expectations from travel. Some do it to get away from the madding crowd, some do it because they are history buffs and enjoy seeing what they read about (regardless of crowd). Some just because the place makes good photography.

Secondly, what you'll find also depends on the time and season you visit the place.
You ever thought about taking a guide there? Or, read up about the history of the fort before going, so you knew what (more importantly, what not) to expect when you're there? As always, you can consult my travelogue (or SS-Traveller's travelogue) on the place for historical reference.
I share your views on both those points. I think this thread will be useful to anyone planning a holiday. They can read about the "other" point of view and then decide to go or not.

I take guides to amuse myself. At Kumbhalgarh, the guide told me that the fort never fell to any enemy. He also had no idea about Maharana Pratap's brothers joining the Mughals. And I don't subscribe to fairytales about how a headless body climbed a hill.

And yes, I am very much interested in history. I don't go to a place to take pictures. What I dislike about the way history is presented, is in its cooked up stories. For instance, they say that Chetak died at that exact spot. And Jhansi Rani jumped off the cliff from this spot etc. And yeah, Maharana Pratap was born in that room! What I am more interested in is ancient art and history of dynasties, religion during those times, engineering etc. Kumbhalgarh is on my list because there was nothing interesting on top of the fort, particularly if you were accompanied with the elderly. Ofcourse, the view was breathtaking. I dint say the fort itself was not to be visited.

I am learning a lot from this thread already. It will surely help me plan my next big vacation.
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Old 16th January 2015, 23:37   #60
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Default Re: List of avoidable holiday spots & sightseeing places!

I would first like to separate vacation travel and tourism.

When you want a vacation, you are looking for a break, tranquility and just want to unwind. Obviously, crowds, noise, filth, will not give the tranquility. Popular places are just not right for vacation. I prefer wrong seasons for vacations to beat this - I went to Mussoorie in December. No crowds, everything was inexpensive and the cold actually added to the romance! March is a good month for vacation (if your kids are not students) because it is exam time and crowds are thin.

On the other hand if one is on tourism and is travelling to a place with subject of his interest, then he tends to be more forgiving to crowds, etc.
Example: Even though I am put off by crowds, I barely noticed the huge crowds when I visited Angkor Wat. The goosebumpy anticipation was so overwhelming, I barely noticed the crowds (queues of buses, literally).

However, as a bird watcher, when I visited the Bharathpur Bird Sanctuary, I was quite annoyed with the groups of youngsters who were noisily frolicking and scaring away the birds who flew hundreds of kms to Bharatpur. My annoyance is because my objective of watching these rare birds was being disturbed by those insensitive guys.

My general avoidable place list:
- Boat rides in lakes. The water is always stinky and the rides are very commercial. However in flowing rivers, boat rides could be good. Example: Paapikondalu.
- Popular religious places - discussed ad-nauseum above. However there are some less popular places, where I found absolute solace.
- Modern marvels - I am a history/heritage and nature buff, and I find things like "burj khalifa" extremely boring.
- City beaches, parks, picnik spots, etc - too obvious
- Pleasure seekers paradises - example : Kuta beach road in Bali. No need to elaborate.
- Shows with animals - cannot take in the plight of poor animals.
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