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Our Changing World

Travel Forums General Talk Our Changing World

1. Posted by GlobeRover (Full Member, 57 posts) 16 Feb '07 18:09

I have been traveling all my life and I have been to many countries. What I find so disturbing (and which motivates me to travel and see the world as fast as possible) is the fact that our world is changing at such as fast pace. My question here is: Please tell me in your opinion, which places have you visited in the past and then visit the same place again, lets say 5 or 10 years later, and then found the place has gone "down the drain". For me the following two first comes to mind:

1. Saigon (Vietnam): First visited in 1997, a few years after it opened for western tourists. What a gem. Few tourist. Just visited again in 2006, and it became so touristy and westernized.

2. Several Thai Islands, i.e. Ko Chang, Ko Samet, Ko Samui...if not most...when I visited first...about 12-13 years ago...so few tourists. Nowaways, flooded with tourists with big suitcases!

I'm very keen to see which destinations you think have changed significantly over a period of 5 to 10 years (dont come out with examples of like..."Back in 1962...":))) We all know that was a longggg time ago when the world was still virgin territoy for travelers everywhere! thx

2. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru, 4567 posts) 17 Feb '07 04:25

Hello Webcrawler.

The place that has changed most, since I first visited is Romania.
I first visited, in Summer 1989, just before the revolution.

I have mixed feelings about places changing. I do like to see things, before they have been influenced by Westernisation, but arent many of those places poor, and in need or our money. Things are bound to become more Westernised, in those countries, when a lot of us visit. On the other hand, why are we able to produce so much money, and they have to change, to being like us, to gain more wealth. Why isnt what they have to offer worth more? As I said, I dont know what to feel about it.

Mel

3. Posted by GlobeRover (Full Member, 57 posts) 17 Feb '07 18:08

Mel, very interesting comments, which opens another can of worms :) Yeah, thats a whole debate in itself which was not my intent here. Anyhow, I totally agree with you...but then...I sure believe people everywhere deserve better and better lives...but I dont believe that means an influx in Western tourists to Westernize them!! For example, keep the Kingdom of Bhutan free from Westernization (MCDonalds, bus loads of tourists) but we sure hope that their government, even with the help of the World Bank and the likes, can develop the country in its own right, yet still preserve age old cultures and traditions and values!

What I am interested to know are about those places that became so fast westernized and flooded with tourists that the local cultures are starting to dwindle and local people are starting to scam tourists as all they have on their mind is the tourist dollar.

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru, 4567 posts) 17 Feb '07 23:39

Quoting webcrawler

Mel, very interesting comments, which opens another can of worms :) Yeah, thats a whole debate in itself which was not my intent here. Anyhow, I totally agree with you...but then...I sure believe people everywhere deserve better and better lives...but I dont believe that means an influx in Western tourists to Westernize them!! For example, keep the Kingdom of Bhutan free from Westernization (MCDonalds, bus loads of tourists) but we sure hope that their government, even with the help of the World Bank and the likes, can develop the country in its own right, yet still preserve age old cultures and traditions and values!

What I am interested to know are about those places that became so fast westernized and flooded with tourists that the local cultures are starting to dwindle and local people are starting to scam tourists as all they have on their mind is the tourist dollar.

The first paragraph, is what I refer to, when i say why is what those countires produce not worth as much as what Western countries produce? Because of how the political systems and economies are set up in the world, it is very difficult for those countries, to produce more wealth.
As it is, the Western countries, are the most influential and wealthy in the world. That is why our culture is flowing too rapidly into other places.
In order to make things fair, a lot more needs to be done, than a bunch of high interest loans, from the world bank.

Mel

5. Posted by james (Travel Guru, 4123 posts) 18 Feb '07 00:46

If places didn't change, people would then describe them as stangant and boring where "nothing ever happens".

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 18 Feb '07 06:14

Much of Eastern Europe has changed dramatically, and in some cases extremely quickly and down to essentially a single event. Riga, for example, always had a sprinkle of backpackers, Russians, Poles, Scandinavians etc. Then Ryanair started flying there, and most weekends now it's depressingly full of British stag do's.

I lived in Slovenia for a bit back in the late 90's, and have been going back regularly ever since (and before). It was evolving fairly agreeably and getting gradually more discovered and touristy as is natural, and then Easyjet arrived. I was there in Feb 2005, and again in May 05, and in that time it had started to get overrun by loud drunken football short wearing Brits.

Slightly differently, but the Croatian coast has also rapidly become overrun: However i first went there in the war days and just after when there wasn't anybody going there, and now it's simply recovered to early late 80's numbers.

A combination of cheap flights, number of flights and visa restrictions, as well as the information age have made lots of places more known/accessible/easy, and people are thus taking advantage.