Asia Editor's Blog Europe News Uncategorized World

Great destinations or bad trips around the world

Written by Daniel Otero

As a person becomes older with the experiences of life and travel, people may ask, “What’s a great destination?”

The answer is simple, one that gives you wonderful memories.  It wasn’t a tourist trap or gave a bad vibe.

It’s easy to substitute one country or city for another, depending on a positive or negative experience.  Here’re the following:

  • Let’s start with my hometown of New York City. Considered by some, “The Capital of the World” and yes, NYC is impressive and not for the world I would be caught there, unless it’s to visit family.

One city to alternate with is the capital of the U.S., Washington, D.C.  What’s cool about this town is the mixture of beauty in its architectures.  D.C. showcases architectural styles: like those in Athens, Rome and Paris.  Best place to chill out, the Lincoln Memorial.

  • Jumping right into Paris, “City of Lights”. Sorry, but it’s easy to give Paris a pass. It’s magnificent and can be for some a wasted holiday on rudeness.  Honestly, better to change for Bordeaux (the wine region) or the south of France holds greater promise than the nation’s capital.
  • Here’s one to live for, the naughty capital of Amsterdam. Netherlands’ national treasure has pleasures in food, architecture, culture and of course, who can forget the “Red Light District”.
  • Next is Rome and excuses to those who love this place and I love it too! But one problem which emerged for me over and over, the attitudes and behaviors.  And the Italian capital holds gorgeous views and greatness; however, it wasn’t my scene.


Sweeter cities are Florence, near the sunny foothills of Tuscany or the romanticism of Venice.


  • Athens, Greece, current economic problems and controversy aside. Athens is a city I found the people to be nice and charming, great food and unparalleled beauty in its ancient ruins, like those of the Parthenon.
  • London is considered a fashion capital, but it’s Edinburgh, Scotland that’s closer to my heart. It’s one of the greatest medieval cities in the whole of Europe.  And this holds true when enjoying the top of its castle or sipping on a Scottish whiskey.
  • Madrid is the capital of Spain and it is Barcelona which holds the epitome of cool! From its funky [in a good way] architecture, to being hippy and hip in culture. Fantastic for food and Casa Batlo is an extraordinary chocolate maker, one of the best in the world.


If you’re on the side of the Americas and want to scrap Spain altogether, fine!  There’s also Buenos Aires.  Sexy, classy, with its Milonga bars, people doing the tango along Las Bocas, the shows at the Colon Theatre are just magnificent and who can forget 9th of July Avenue with its obelisk.  Argentina is super cool and a grand place to further enjoy its culinary arts and underrated-gorgeous wines.  Buenos Aires, its capital is just one city with European class in the heart of South America to enjoy in hedonistic pleasures.


  • Then there’s Berlin and not my thing. My best memories were in Cologne and especially as I travelled into the ‘true Germany’, the region of Bavaria.


People are absolutely adorable, there’s Ludwig’s Castle, the food, beer and memorable Munich during its Oktoberfest.

  • Prague, Czech Republic was great and another underrated capital which should be considered and experienced is Budapest, Hungary. Not only for the food, its people and sites.  Visitors are missing out when they don’t give this magnificent city a first chance!


  • Last but not least, we come to Hong Kong. With all its fashion, beauty and glamour. I love HK, but the hustle and bustle can sometimes get on my nerves.  The Island can be replaceable in travels for other parts of China, like Macau.  Even more, to start my journey into China, I would start it from Beijing or an ancient capital like Xi’an.


The capital has its pollution and it’s still majestic!  It took my breath away when I first saw the Great Wall and had my first true taste of Beijing duck.


You can do as you fancy and it is experience which has taught me what’s good at first glance and what’s not.  Do enjoy!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.