Last visited: 2000
My perspective: It was the ending port of our cruise from Hong Kong to Bali. The weather was very hot and the humidity seemed near 100%, which we were told is normal for November. Our hotel was very luxurious. We left our patio door open about an inch while we went to dinner and came back to bugs everywhere. In daytime, mosquitoes ate us up. The hotel grounds were beautiful but couldn't be enjoyed because of the temperatures and bugs. Outside of the hotel's grounds, there was poverty everywhere and beggars. It was not the paradise we expected. Never again. We've been all over the world, and this was the worst spot we've ever been in.
Suggested alternative: Hawaii
Place: Austin, Texas
Last visited: September 2007
My perspective: Judging by the hype surrounding Austin, I thought I was embarking on a visit to the eighth wonder of the world. As Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, "There is no there there." The same could be said of Austin. Once you've seen the state Capitol and a tiny strip of phony honky-tonk music dives called 6th Street, there is nothing to do. About the only thing Austin has going for it is a plethora of Tex-Mex restaurants; most are cheap, and the food is splendid. But that's about it.
Suggested alternative: Honolulu or St. Augustine, Fla.
Christopher di Spirito Penfield, N.Y.
Last visited: October
My perspective: The place is just awful. Gray, one-dimensional and boring. The surrounding geography is spectacular, but the city is nothing more than an overcaffeinated shopping mall filled with upper-middle-class white people wearing backpacks. How many Starbucks and Gaps does one need? Take an hour to visit the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the Experience Music Project -- and that's all it takes -- and you are left wondering why you bothered.
Suggested alternative: Anywhere else