Unexpected Charm

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1. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2391 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Have you ever been to a place that was not on your list of places that you wanted to go - where you were "Oh well I guess we have to stop here" and found the place unexpectedly charming or nice or interesting?

I have been unable to think of something like that happening to me, but I mostly find something interesting everywhere. So has that ever happened to anyone else?

2. Posted by DAOonVT (Full Member 3749 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

I ended up in a small place called Outjo in Namibia. Just a place to stop the car for the night. I found accommodation with a swimming pool and good food served in an outdoor area. The town had lots of nice trees. I found a most wonderful bakery with savory items for breakfast before I set off the next day.


3. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2391 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

That's a great story. Thank you

4. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 680 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I arttended the Leipzig book fair some years ago and since accommodation, let alone affordable, in central Leipzig was impossible to find (no surprise), I booked a hotel in the nearby small town of Delitzsch. It turned out to be, first, unexpectedly convenient with a direct train ride of 11 minutes straight to the fairgrounds, but also unexpectedly interesting with a little palace that used to be the residence of widowed duchesses in a Saxon duchy, and an old centre with remnants of the city walls and towers. It was early March and the weather was not in my favour, sorry for the not so pretty photos...


5. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2391 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

That's also a nice story. I have been trying to think of one of my own - so far the only one I've been able think of is this one for the first time we went down the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway) on our boat. We had been visiting our son's family who live in Summerville SC and were anchored in a creek south of Charleston SC. After Bob was asleep I tried to plan our route for the next day, I discovered we didn't have any computer charts for GA or FL, which I will need in a couple of days.

Wednesday 29 November 2000. When Bob started the engine about 6:30 the throttle cable broke. He worked on it and finally got it back together about 9:30. In the meantime I called Rob and told him where we were and what the problem was. After 9 I also called the computer chart people, and asked them to send Rob the missing charts. We decided to go to Dataw Island Marina about 20 miles away because they have all the facilities and also engine repair people. We were fortunate that such a facility was nearby.

We ordered a new cable, and transmission seals, did laundry, downloaded email on the courtesy phone, and had dinner. We get free cable TV here. Got a guy to align the transmission and Bob watched while he did it.

Rob and our granddaughter came with the charts (although we had taken a day and a half to get here from Charleston, it was only about an hour drive away from our son's house) and I installed them on the computer. They had lunch with us, and then he went back so he'd be there when our grandson got back from school. We got the seals (and the bill for all that).

Sunset over the marina - Datha Island

Sunset over the marina - Datha Island

Half Moon - Datha Island

Half Moon - Datha Island

1 December 2000

We left about 7:30 to 8. The moon and Venus were in the same position as on the SC state flag last night - just needed a palmetto tree. It was a beautiful day.

[ Edit: Edited on 5 Oct 2021, 14:11 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

6. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 1138 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Intriguing question and I have been trying to remember for the last couple of days if I never been in a "place like that" but can't recall..
Many of those that I wish that I could have stayed longer, like in Sozopol where I did a day trip in Bulgaria and Ko Lanta were we stayed couple of nights while on our Thailand trip.
Both have one thing in common though, I should remember that I should avoid those clearly touristy places in the future like Sunny Beach and Ao Nang

7. Posted by Psamathe (Budding Member 323 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

In many respects it has sort of happened to me quite a lot in that my travels have virtually no plan. When I've finished one place I look on a map find somewhere sort of sensible direction, check whats there (so I know of something I'll go see) and once there talk to people and invariably loads of other amazing stuff to also go see.

Happened a lot in Northern Peru e.g. Chachapoyas (Mausoleums of Revash, Sarcófagos de Karajía ) e.g. Huancayo (Iglesia Chongos Bajo, Nevado Huaytapallana). Loads more. And whilst the places are amazing, often the trek to get to them is equally amazing (meeting locals, amazing kindness, fabulous deserted countryside, etc.)


8. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 680 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

A place where I expected charm but found pure magic: We were on a roadtrip in the far southwest of Australia, and spent a night in a campground at a place named Denmark, right by the river mouth where the river widens into a lake-like inlet. In the evening we already watched many birds and waterfowl, but it was the morning that unfolded the place's beauty. Sunrise, light mist over the water. Pelicans and herons and black swans fishing... unforgettable. The photos hardly do it justice.


9. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 4637 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

"Unexpected Charm..."

In 1998 I still had a part time job that took me to Thailand and the Philippines on business. In particular Bangkok and Manila. During these trips I would grab five to seven days in other nearby countries. Singapore, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam for example. I had previously worked on a couple Earthwatch projects in Thailand and Indonesia. Also, during the VN war I lived in Vietnam for around 2 years

One place I chose to visit on a lark was Myanmar, flying out of Bangkok. (For Myanmar I had to get a visa ahead of time from the Myanmar Embassy in Washington DC.) I wouldn't call this place charming but I was sort of pleasantly surprised. (Compared to some of the crazy stuff in the PI and Thailand. Like hey "hansum man, looking for a date" or "dancing girls upstairs, etc.)

At that time while wandering around Yangon I was amused at being sort of an object of curiosity. It seemed like the local people were surprised to see a Westerner walking around. I was not on a an organized tour, just me wandering around. A couple times when I looked behind me I had curious kids following me. But no one pestered me for handouts like in some other places.

If I remember right, I used the Guest Care Hotel, Yangon. Evidently they had not served too many Western breakfasts. Eggs and bacon or ham was on the menu so I went for it. The items came out one at a time, after a little time passed another item etc. Eggs, time passes, ham, toast, etc. Kind of funny. I later told them to serve everything at one time, eggs, meat, toast, coffee, etc. They would watch me and see if everything was okay. Other morning meals I asked for my Asian country breakfast standby - good old fried rice vs a Western meal.

I flew to Bagan Nyaung-U Airport for a visit to Bagan and Mt. Popa. At Bagan there are quite a few temples worth visiting. Mt. Popa was an interesting visit. Long walk, part of the way to the top you walk barefoot with monkey poop on the walk.

Back then I was still using film cameras vs digital. Below are 2 links chosen at random with a Google search.



  • At arrival, Bagan airport, I looked around for a ride and found a line of old cars looking for passengers. Took a chance that worked out okay. Decent hotel in Bagan - cheap at that time - was the Yar Kinn Tha Hotel. I used the same driver for Mt. Popa - Bagan trips.

So, not necessarily "charming" but a decent break from big city nightlife and malls that Manila and Bangkok offered.

Myanmar was worth a visit 22 - 23 years ago. This Covid thing botched things up for tourism for everyone. Politics might affect a tourist visit to Myanmar.


[ Edit: Edited on 9 Oct 2021, 12:22 GMT by karazyal ]

10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2391 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

YOu were so lucky to visit when it was possible.