Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

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What is your favorite city and why?

Posted by exacto on 1/10/2015 at 16:04

Ever since I moved to this small, rural, southern Utah town where I live now, I've craved big city adventures during my holidays. One of my favorite cities I've visited is Prague. I like it because although it is a famous international city, it is still relatively small and easy to get to know. It is easy to get around too, with an excellent (and inexpensive) public transportation system that I used exclusively during both visits, including getting from the airport to town and back.

Prague has style. From the Karlov Most (famous bridge used in that early scene from the first Mission Impossible movie) to some serious older buildings and architecture in the downtown area. The people aren't overly friendly, but they are not even close to rude either, and it is a very nice gene pool. Food was interesting, if not something to write home about, and I liked buying pastry and other foods from street vendors. The beer was about as good as it gets, and really cheap too compared to everywhere else I've ever been, including Laos.

I'd visit Prague again in a heart beat.

What is your favorite city, and more importantly, what is it that makes it special to you? Cheers.

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Posted by Gogomobile on 1/10/2015 at 19:16

Roma, Sydney and Bangkok. Roma has incredible history, Sydney has good beaches, pubs and harbour while Bangkok has great food, great vibe and is still relatively cheap.

Never been to Prague.

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Posted by gecktrek on 1/10/2015 at 22:29

hey, that's a tough one to answer, as there is always something likable in most cities. my top-5 fav's would be bangkok (although haven't been there in a while), seoul, berlin, budapest and tokyo... things that attract me to a place are the vibe and food...

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Posted by chinarocks on 2/10/2015 at 04:12

Probably Rome or Seville.

Honourable mentions for Buenos Aires, Rio, Hanoi, Verona and Cadiz.

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Posted by chinarocks on 2/10/2015 at 06:36

Forgot to say why :-)

Rome - history, food, architecture, that feeling that you are in a very special place.

Seville - basically as Spanish a place as you could wish to be in. Sights, senses, flamenco, tapas, mid-size city so everywhere is walkable. People very nice and I also get to speak Spanish, my favourite language.

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 3/10/2015 at 03:48

Oh, gosh, that's a hard one. There's no way I could narrow it down to one (a top three would be challenging, too).

Chiang Mai - because it was my first experience of Asia, so everything was amazing and new and generally blew my tiny mind;
Georgetown - for food, food and food (although Georgetown is too small to really be called a city);
Singapore - because it's a great (in my mind) blend of East and West;
Yangon - for the street vibe;
Tours (and that whole region of France) - for the food;
Florence - for the art and ludicrously pretty city (although far too touristy);
Stockholm (when it's sunny) - because it's such a liveable and attractive place.

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Posted by MADMAC on 3/10/2015 at 11:48

Mogadischu, Augsburg, Khon Kaen, Bangkok.

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Posted by chinarocks on 3/10/2015 at 14:53

Bangkok, MADMAC?

Not too mainstream for you?

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Posted by Gogomobile on 3/10/2015 at 22:36

Bangkok is untouched outside the top 3 or 4 hotel areas.

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Posted by MADMAC on 4/10/2015 at 01:44

I have a lot of friends in these places and that's a big driver for me.

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Posted by daawgon on 4/10/2015 at 12:10

#1 for me is Hanoi, and then it would be Istanbul, Tbilisi, Bangkok and San Francisco (Sydney is very nice too).

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Posted by MADMAC on 5/10/2015 at 10:13

San Francisco? Really?

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Posted by daawgon on 5/10/2015 at 12:09

Well, SF used to be a fantastic place - I lived there for over 20 years. It remains America's most beautiful city in my eyes.

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Posted by MADMAC on 5/10/2015 at 14:32

In my view, too expensive, too freaky, too expensive, too cold in winter - did I mention to expensive?

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Posted by exacto on 5/10/2015 at 15:11

Says the man who listed Mogadischu .... :-)

Personally, I love San Francisco too. I don't think I would want to live there, because, as someone may have mentioned above, it can run a bit spendy, particularly for housing. But in terms of great public spaces and stuff to do, San Francisco really stands out as a winner in my travels. Chinatown and the Financial District, North Beach, and the Embarcadero are great areas to wander. I like walking or jogging through the Presidio, and there is a wonderful Maritime National Historic Park near Ghiradelli Square that shouldn't be missed. The city has stacks of fun, touristy stuff to do, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and riding the cable cars, and public transport is so excellent that we never need to drive when we are there. San Francisco feels more like a european city than any other city I've visited in the states. In fact, it reminds me of Istanbul in a lot of ways. It has as good a mix of ethnic restaurants as anywhere I've been save Bangkok, and while it can get chilly even in summer, I'll bet it is nowhere near as cold as Augsburg in winter. We took my 19-year-old son to San Francisco earlier this year for his spring break, and he fell in love with the city for all the reasons I mentioned above. If you go, visit the Anchor Steam brewery. Free tours and free samples. It is what you want. Cheers.

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Posted by Gogomobile on 5/10/2015 at 18:25

Being pricey doesnt mean a city is bad. If a restaurant has great food and is pricey you wouldnt say it was a bad restaurant.

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Posted by exacto on 7/10/2015 at 21:02

Bangkok is an obvious favorite choice for this list, particularly with the people on Travelfish.

In his novel "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates," Tom Robbins describes Bangkok better than anyone I've ever read. He talks about the excitement, the joy, the opportunity, and the freedom. It is one of my favorite books, and he is one of my favorite writes. If you haven't read "Fierce Invalids" yet, it is worth a read for folks who enjoy life in Southeast Asia - as is the sequel "Villa Incognito," which takes place in Thailand and Laos. Cheers.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/10/2015 at 02:00

"Being pricey doesnt mean a city is bad. If a restaurant has great food and is pricey you wouldnt say it was a bad restaurant."

That depends on how you define "bad". What your criteria are. If I can have two meals at one location for the price of one for another, and the quality is roughly equal, then yes, pricey means bad. At least to me.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 8/10/2015 at 03:03 admin

I absolutely loved Yangon and if we didn't have kids would have pushed hard to leave Bali for there a year or so ago. It feels to me to be the last great Southeast Asian city and is yet to really become as globalised as some of its peers have.

Other favourites include Wellington - gorgeous and great bars (if they could just warm up the joint 15 degrees) and Montreal - the people (but with the same proviso as Wellington).

Bangkok I love to visit, but I'm glad we left when we did.

I would love Hanoi with Saigon's weather - is that allowed?

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Posted by chinarocks on 8/10/2015 at 04:27

Wellington is indeed lovely. Although the NZ countryside (Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound etc) swamps anything the cities have to offer IMO :-)

Price is definitely a consideration for assessing a city. When I am considering a holiday in Europe I never look north to Scandanavia or Germany. That is for two main reasons - price and people. Spain, Italy and France are much cheaper and I find (maybe not everyone does) the people and the Mediterranean way of life so much more appealing. Not to mention the beautiful scenery (which northern Europe has too I'm sure).

In Andalucia you pay €1.50 for a beer in 30 degrees of heat while overlooking an old Moorish monument (e.g. the Alhambra). I personally don't know how anything else could come close to that.

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Posted by MADMAC on 8/10/2015 at 06:17

"In Andalucia you pay €1.50 for a beer in 30 degrees of heat while overlooking an old Moorish monument (e.g. the Alhambra). I personally don't know how anything else could come close to that."

Chillin' on the Mekong with a Euro fifty bottle of 16 ounce beer overlooking the mighty Mekong... Course you have a long trip to get there. I don't.

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Posted by chinarocks on 8/10/2015 at 07:57

Done that too and, yes, you're right, that is a real pleasure.

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Posted by Gogomobile on 10/10/2015 at 22:00

Living and just visiting can be totally different. I agree Bangkok is great to visit but living there not so much. The traffic and pollution is just too much.

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