Posted by ch2001 on September 23, 2009
Both my partner and I have enough frequent flyer miles for free flights to Asia, Europe, or South America. We're debating between Tokyo and Buenos Aires. Neither of us have been to either continent before.
What are your thoughts?
Reply by koshkha on September 23, 2009
It's not a helpful comment from me, but both are great cities.
Tokyo is VERY alien though - not knowing where you've been before, I suspect that BA is the easier option from a culture shock point of view. And probably a lot cheaper too.
Reply by barbara on December 11, 2009
I haven't been to Buenos Aires, but I think it would be MY choice UNLESS you have the time and money to travel outside of Tokyo to other cities in Japan. I was in Tokyo earlier this year (see my most recent travel journal), and I loved the experience. However, while there were some "Lost in Translation" moments, I thought this major metropolis had a NYC-like soul, which was probably supported by the fact that we could still find a Starbucks at the corner of every major square. I mean, the population isn't nearly as diverse as in NY---or London for that matter---but this is a developed country. The city is all very modern and busy, thus---even with its whirring pin-ball machines and love hotels---it did not feel as "foreign" as I thought it would at first glance.... Then again, that might be good for a first trip to Asia! I personally preferred seeing Kyoto, which was only a couple hours away via bullet train as this had a more pronounced "old" section, which was lovely to visit. I don't know. Tokyo is super cool, but it's not as much of a tourist city as other destinations I've visited in the past....
And before anyone says anything, of COURSE I realize Japanese and American cultures are oceans apart. I don't think it's possible to get a real feel for THIS on a short trip unless you can actually hang out with someone from Japan.... The similarities are surface impressions.
Reply by KristenBentz on January 11, 2010
I have not been to Asia or South America, however I have done Europe several times now and continue going back. I love it there. I think to find where you would like to go is easier determined by thinking about what types of activities and experiences you would like to have. I go to Europe because I love the museums and architecture, food and people, and find great satisfaction in seeing the history of my ancestors. I also feel comfortable there because I took a tour my first time and learned the ropes to go back on my own. I would also recommend, regardless of where you decide to go, think about taking a cruise; this is the best way to see a diverse and varied bunch of locations, have the option to take a tour or the freedom not to. It is also a cheaper way to see more. I have taken 2 cruises through the mediterranean, from Istanbul to Barcelona, and LOVE being able to see so many places. Also keep in mind some areas in South America have travel advisories due to unstable areas, there are also entrance and exit fees to consider, and may even require vaccinations as well. It really comes down to a more outdoor focussed South America, with waterfalls and hiking; or city focussed Asia, with more European style sightseeing tours. Hope you found this helpful and have a great time!
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