My Bottom 5: Least Favorite Places To Visit – These Were Underwhelming
After Zoe shared her experiences, I want to share my least favorite places to visit. For me, these places were underwhelming for various reasons. I’ve previously shared some travel horror stories, yet none of those places are actually on this list. Why are these my least favorite places to visit? Each has a specific reason, so here we go.
Let’s start strong and get this out of the way. Las Vegas just isn’t for me.
Now that you’ve awoken after passing out and you’ve resumed reading the article, here’s my explanation.
First, I don’t drink alcohol. Neither does my wife. Most of our close friends don’t drink at all or ultra-rarely. So the party stuff has no attraction for me.
Second, I’m vegan, and so is my wife. Those fancy buffets that you can get with status match from the casinos don’t do a lot for me. If you eat meat, the surf & turf is probably exciting. Not for us.
Third, we don’t gamble.
Thus, I just eliminated the reasons why people go to Las Vegas. I get that there’s nature nearby, and I’ve hiked in Red Rock Canyon. I even went when friends were living in Vegas and thought “I’ll give it one more try.” It still didn’t do anything for me. There was nothing I liked that I couldn’t also find somewhere else (likely cheaper). Vegas just didn’t do anything for me.
To this day, Puno remains the only place I’ve been to where I changed my ticket and left early. Puno sits at the edge of Lake Titicaca in Peru. Maybe I grew up watching too much Beavis & Butt-Head, so I thought Lake Titicaca would be cooler.
Instead, the edge of the lake is full of trash. The level of trash where the water smells awful. And just broken/abandoned stuff all around.
The city wasn’t any better in our experience. Imagine a city where no buildings are finished. The 1st floor is totally complete. The 2nd floor is nearly done. The 3rd floor is missing fixtures and windows. Nothing above that is close to finished. That’s our experience with the vast majority of buildings in Puno, and it’s not that they’re “in progress”. It seems like all buildings we passed were in this state, and it blew my mind. There’s no construction being done, and we stayed in the first floor while nothing above us was finished.
The roads were also very dusty, and we needed to cover our faces any time a car passed when we were walking somewhere. Otherwise, you’d get a bunch of dirt & dust in your nose, mouth & eyes. We just didn’t like Puno.
We loved other parts of Peru, though, and were happy to return to Cusco for extra time.
Have you ever been somewhere and thought, “I’ve seen everything interesting, which wasn’t much, and it’s only lunch time on day 1”? And you start to wonder what you’ll do on the remaining days? That was my experience in Douala, Cameroon.
Funny enough, a friend who went there later asked for my input while planning his trip. I told him it’s not worth multiple days. Ignoring my advice, he scheduled 3 days in Douala. Day 1, he messaged me saying he now understood and agreed. He changed his ticket to leave early.
The people were fine. I liked them. There’s just…nothing interesting to do. That was my experience. After half a day into the city, I felt like I was already bored. It had nothing unique to set itself apart from anywhere else in the world. I was excited for Cameroon and found this visit very underwhelming.
Yup, the tourist hotspot of Bali. I hated it. You know that saying “Maybe hate is too strong of a word”? Not here. This is exactly the type of place I try to avoid when traveling.
First, it was overrun with drunk Spring Breakers from Australia while I was there. From asking around at a few businesses, the “holiday to Bali to get wasted every night” is most times of the year in the Seminyak/Denpasar area of southern Bali. In fact, apparently the reputation for them puking and having sex everywhere is so bad that it’s now listed in some rules I had to sign at the hostel I stayed at. Other hostels had similar warnings & rules. If you’ve got to have people sign rules because of excessive puking and sex in the common areas that keeps other guests from sleeping at night, that’s not awesome.
The other type of person I encountered was the pretentious art tourist. You know those people who go on a trip for the purpose of looking at art galleries and buying art? They could be anywhere, but it doesn’t matter where they are. Why? They aren’t “there”, they’re just at the galleries. They’re ignoring everything around them that makes this place different from home. Oh, and they’re rude to you because you’re clearly poorer than them.
These were the 2 types of people I kept running into in Southern Bali. Luckily, going further away to Ubud in the middle of the island made me really enjoy the island overall. The touristy part in the South, though? No thanks.
I told my wife I was making a bottom 5 list, and she immediately asked if this would be on it. We both hated it that much.
First, Georgetown had trash everywhere we went. That in itself doesn’t bother me. I’ve been to dirty places. Kinshasa, Congo is pretty dirty, but I loved it there. However, all of the streets in Georgetown have little canals/run-off ditches at the side of the street. When you mix standing water in a ditch + tons of trash, you get a horrible smell. That smell was everywhere we went.
Second, my wife felt super uncomfortable at all times. Despite the fact we were clearly together, even holding hands, it didn’t matter. Guys would lean out the car window and whistle at my wife. Holler at her (they speak English in Guyana, FYI) saying disgusting things about her body. Disgusting “undress you with my eyes” types of glances while we were waiting to cross the street. Etc. At no point did my wife ever feel comfortable outside in Georgetown.
I’ll admit that if we’d gone to the rainforest in the interior, we might like Guyana. We only saw the capital, and we didn’t like it. The only part we liked was standing on the Demerara Bridge and seeing the flocks of Scarlet Ibis. Things weren’t helped by the fact that we stayed in an Airbnb and the people in the house next door were beating their dog every day. We were glad to leave.
Final Thoughts On Least Favorite Places To Visit
I’ve been to almost 150 countries at this point. Unfortunately, they can’t all be winners. These are my least favorite places to visit, and I think the reasons make sense. Travel is really subjective. Lots of people love Bali & Vegas, but these just don’t do anything for me.
I’m sure people will disagree with some of my list, and that’s fine. Let me know your least favorite places to visit. Maybe your bottom 5 is my top 5 or vice versa.