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Seen it but haven't been there

Travel Forums General Talk Seen it but haven't been there


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1. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 9y

I was wondering, have you ever seen a country but actually you haven't been there.
I don't mean flying over it or just being at the airport but actually watched across the border but didn't have the time or opportunity to actually cross that border?
And I don't mean seeing some vague mountains in the distance that could be somewhere in a neighbouring country but you might be wrong as well.

Myself, I have actually seen Israel from the ruins of Umm Qais in Jordan. I could see Lake Tiberias from there and see villages and towns.
And I was standing on the border of Myanmar in northern Thailand but was not able to cross.
Also, I saw the mountains right on the border of Georgia with Chechnya.


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4932 posts) 9y

Canada at the Niagara Falls; we only had an afternoon, and so stayed in the USA. It took me another decade before I finally made it to Canada (and then only to Vancouver).
I expect I'll have the same for Bolivia when we'll visit the Peruvian side of lake Titicaca in a couple of months.

3. Posted by Philymop (Respected Member 110 posts) 9y

At the risk of being repetitive, I too was on the Thai side of the Thai / Myanmar border, also I shall be visiting Lake Titicaca in April. I also looked over to Cambodia from Vietnam, I forget the name of the town but it was around the Mekong Delta. I did eventually make it to Cambodia and wanted to get back to be able to look into Vietnam but didn't have time. Also, looking over to Thailand from Savannahket in Laos is nice.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Cool topic, Utrecht!

When I was (much) younger, we'd head up to the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. I'm not sure why, but we always stayed on the Minnesota side and just gazed at Canada as though it were some strange new world. Though we knew differently, I think we'd secretly imagined everyone speaking French and we wouldn't be able to communicate or be allowed to come back across. (We had vivid imaginations.) Ultimately, in 2005, I got to cross the border for the Montreal meet-up so this story really doesn't count. I do wish we'd taken one more step or paddled one more stroke those many years ago - maybe we did and didn't realize we had crossed over...

In Panama, we saw the coast of Costa Rica but it was across a spit of the Pacific. No doubt about it being Costa Rica, but still not the same as standing at a border...

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3742 posts) 9y

I floated in the Dead sea in Jordan when it was dark and across the water were the lights of Israel - I think it might have been Jericho. Even though we couldn't see much I still thought it was pretty cool :)

6. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 9y

i've had an afternoon staring at Afghanistan from a viewpoint in the Khyber Pass, and drove down to the border crossing just to say i had done it. I think the place was called Torkham or something similar.

During my navy days i spent about 8 months staring at the Croatian coastline without setting foot on dry land. Also sailed through Patagonia without setting foot on dry land in Argentina. Also seen Morocco from Gibraltar but haven't been.

7. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 9y

At a visit to Iguacau Falls, I stood where the Parana and Iguaca rivers meet. Here, the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay also meet. I was standing in Argentina, looking at Brazil (which I visited) and Paraguay (which I did not).

8. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 9y

Another one I now remember.

I was on the Greek Island of Kos and from the pool of the hotel, you could make out the Turkish coastline in the distance.

9. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 9y

I went to the Golden Triangle in Thailand (a fork in a river that separates Thailand/Myanmar/Laos). It was pretty cool to see 3 countries in the one spot. I went on a boat to Laos for about 30 minutes, but not Myanmar.
It was funny that the trees and vegetation were totally different even though it was just on the other side of a river!


10. Posted by sapphyre (Respected Member 418 posts) 9y

Quoting Sander

Canada at the Niagara Falls; we only had an afternoon, and so stayed in the USA. It took me another decade before I finally made it to Canada (and then only to Vancouver).

For me it was the opposite, I was on the Canadian side of the Falls. I've never been to US except in transit.

Also my uncle recently bought an apartment on Sentosa island off the southern tip of Singapore and it's really close to Indonesia. We can see the trees opposite a strip of water all up close from the berths for parking private yachts. And my mobile phone network automatically goes on some Indonesian network there so I have to search for my local network manually.