What to see on a RTW trip........suggestions?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by XC Rider, May 1, 2012.

  1. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Alright, so I'm seriously considering a RTW trip and starting to lay the ground work. I'm trying to put together a rough route to follow, but unsure of where to start. So I was thinking that I would do like I have done on previous trips, and instead of creating a specific route, I'd instead create destination points and then the route would lay itself out. So here is where I need your help. What would you recommend that I go see in the process of a Round The World trip. The continents I'm planning on hitting (leaving from east coast USA) are (in no particular order) : Central & South America, Australia, Asia, and Western & Eastern Europe. I'm still unsure about Africa, primarily because of the carnet thing, and security reasons (possibly unfounded).

    Thanks in advance, and I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions/recommendations.


    To help out in the suggestions, I've decided to periodically edit this post with an up-to-date listing of points of interest already on the list. Here they are in no particular order:

    North America:

    Cawker City, KS- biggest ball of twine :lol3
    Cental Idaho area- Stanley, Challis, Salmon, Sun Valley, Fairfield, McCall, Pomerelle

    Central America:

    Mexico - Xilitla
    - Palenque
    - Copper Canyon
    Panama- Panama Canal

    South America:

    Ecuador - Galapagos Islands
    Venezuela - Angel Falls
    Peru - Machu Pichu
    - Kuelap
    Bolivia - Salar de Uyuni
    Chile - Mano del Desierto
    - Carratera Austral
    - Torres del paine
    Brazil - Rio de Jainero
    - Manaus
    - Iguacu Falls
    Argentina - Ushuaia
    - Glacier Perito Moreno

    Europe:

    UK - John 'o Groats, London, Gibraltar
    France - Verdon gorge
    Italy - Rome
    Greece - Athens

    Asia:

    Russia - Moscow, Road of Bones
    Turkey - Istanbul
    Israel - Jerusalem
    Turkmenistan - Gates of Hell
    Mongolia - the country in general
    Japan - Mt. Fuji
    Thailand - Phi Phi islands
    Indonesia - Lake Toba (on the island of Sumatra)

    Africa:

    Egypt - Giza (pyramids), Alexandria
    Namibia - Namib desert
    Zimbabwe - Victoria Falls
    South Africa - Kruger NP, Transkei coast, Sani pass
    Tanzania - Mt. Kilimanjaro

    Australia:

    - Uluru, Great barrier reef, Sydney
    #1
  2. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Get a world atlas. Its a big neighborhood out there. You could spend the rest of your life and never see it all.
    We don't know your interests and ours will vary. Not trying to be vague but your question is vague. Its kind of like: "what should I do with my life" ?.
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  3. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    I hear you; I sorta made it vague on purpose because I didn't want to rule anything out at this point. It's much easier to cut back then it is to add on. I've got a world map, and I'm in the process of dropping pins at points of interest. My main reason for doing this is to find those cool roads, sights, foods, things of historical significance, etc...that may not be common knowledge to outsiders/foreigners. As far as my interests are concerned, well now that is a long list; but if I had to narrow it down, I'd say that I enjoy the outdoors/nature stuff a lot, items & places of historical significance, good food & beer, etc...
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  4. H14

    H14 I Gotta Go!

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    [​IMG]
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  5. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Jax Off again.

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    GO XC GO!!! I have no experience abroad so..... got nothing but well wishes and good karma to send. :clap You go man! great meeting you the other day.

    OH... and dig up Striking Viking's thread.... That dude has done it again and again.

    Oh and that ball of twine is frukkin AMAZING:rofl:rofl:rofl MUST SEE
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  6. His Pistolship

    His Pistolship Kp calm, shoot alfas

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    Do Stanley, Idaho (Really all of Central Idaho, including Challis, Salmon, Sun Valley, Fairfield, McCall, Pomerelle). <-- My most favorite spot on the planet.
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  7. twohawks

    twohawks Not Afraid

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    ....Pantagonia...:deal
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  8. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    :lol3 Thanks Kev; on the map.

    Heya Jack; likewise, it was good finally meeting you. You're spot on with Striking Viking; been following that guy since seeing his South America trip where he endured the hospitality of Columbian rebels for several weeks. Also have bought his books; great reads if you haven't read them.


    Thank you sir, I'll put that on list. I've been through Idaho before; route 12 through the Clearwater national forest, up and over Lolo pass. Beautiful part of the country and the first place I saw a bald eagle in the wild relatively close up. Will have to check out central and southern Idaho next time I'm in the area.

    Oh you know it brother!
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  9. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    To give y'all an idea of what I'm looking for, here's a sneak peak into my early planning:

    Step 1: Get a big map of the world.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Bullet points of interest.(eg. Machu Pichu in Peru)

    [​IMG]

    Result = Route will create itself! :D


    Now, let's hear your suggestions/recommendations. :ear
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  10. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    First off, I'm envious. I wish I could be planning the same. I'm not.

    If it was me, the nature of a RTW trip is that there shouldn't be too much of a plan. I mean, somehow you've got finances taken care of to a certain extent. You can afford to be unemployed for XXX amount of time. Maybe, you don't need to be back? You'll figure that part out when you run out of money? You'll work along the way?

    So, with that in mind, I'd pack like a normal 2 week trip away, point my bike in a general direction and come home when I'm done. You've got a list of tourist attractions that are going to seem really boring after you meet joe blow on the road that turns you on to the local "biggest ball of twine".

    Hey, but that's just me. My youngest graduates high school in 2026. I leave the day after:rofl
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  11. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    First of all Jim, thanks for sharing your point of view. I agree with what you're saying to some degree, but not entirely. We all are multiple faceted individuals, and a part of me is rather cheezy you could say, and enjoys the sometimes hookey tourist stuff. While those chance encounters with Joe Blow are great (and I've been lucky to have my fair share on past adventures), I reallize that those don't happen every day, and I need to have a rough plan on what to do in between. I'm not ruling out those encounters with Joe Blow with this planning, just trying to fill in the time in between. :deal As on my past trips, all my planning is to give me a starting point from which I can then deviate at will as the mood strikes me while on the road. I think that we can all agree that for safety reasons, and for loved ones back home, having some kind of itinerary/route is a good thing.

    With regards to the money thing, my plan is like before: work hard and put an estimated sum of $$$ aside, quit my job, put all my things in storage, take off, have fun, figure it all out once you return.
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  12. NCK

    NCK Been here awhile

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    First of all: bollocks to all those who say don't plan! I'm not in their camp. Why plan? Because if not, you can drive 10 miles right by something incredible and never know it was there and maybe never be back in that part of the world!

    I've been planning my RTW for 2+ years, with as much breadth and hope as you have.

    First thing to consider is $ and time. Are you really going to have the $ and time to go everywhere you're describing? Just something to consider and keep honest with yourself (I had hoped for RTW twice, but realized that I'll only have enough $ for RTW once).

    Second, is I bought 3 books to start me off. Let me go find them on Amazon...

    okay i couldn't find them, but they are basically different variants of "1000 places to see before you die"

    http://www.amazon.com/000-Places-Se...6860/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1336048909&sr=8-3

    read them. from that you'll figure out what kind of things make you really tick.

    Then, build a spreadsheet with country by country the places you want to see, include links to their wikis, lat/long, etc.

    then when you get to a country as you're wandering the earth, you can hop on your spreadsheet and look at all the places that interest you and make up plans on the fly

    :clap
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  13. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    Grandma's Park in Hay Washington and the Arc of the Covenant in Ethiopia.

    Watch some of Lonely Planet episodes. They are probably online. They visit a lot of interesting places off the main tourist route.
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  14. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Money is the key thing here. I can get all the time I want, it's making sure I have enough $$$ to keep going. You are correct though; there is no way I can see it all in one trip. But like I said before, it's easier to start painting with broad strokes and then cut back as you go.

    Thanks for the book link. For $12.46, how can you go wrong! :D I also like the spreadsheet idea, thanks; I'll get started on that.
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  15. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

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    You should not worry too much about Carnet in Africa. Most of it is not just doable - but easily doable without a Carnet.

    In terms of safety, most people follow a very easy Eastern route that is pretty stress free. There are a few countries to avoid, but most of it is quite easy IMO. Africa as a continent gets a bad rep. As a whole, South America is much, much worse. (though again, it depends on the country.) So if you plan to swing through such gems as Brasil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, you might as well take a peek at Africa. Africa is about natural beauty, wildlife, poverty and great wealth, and resource development. It should be seen if you can swing it...

    Perhaps a better approach would would be to list Top 3 things to visit and Bottom 3 tourist traps to avoid for countries you will pass.

    South Africa:
    -Kruger NP - take the multi day safari

    Zimbabwe:
    -Victoria Falls - all the activities are amazing, but I really loved the ultralight flight over the falls, and the kayaking on the Zambeze

    -do not go to Rhode's grave. Kinda a waste unless you're in the neighborhood.

    Namibia:
    -need to see the sand dunes/desert right by the ocean

    India:
    -All of Leh region is spectacular. Take a trek up Stok Kangri if you are in shape. Visit Turtuk

    -forget about Dal Lake.

    Thailand:
    -Phi Phi islands and other beaches

    -forget about most everything else as it's all a tourist trap. (long neck people zoo, 'working' elephants, etc.)


    I'll add things as I think of them...
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  16. Dan Man

    Dan Man ex-adventurer

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    You may find a lot of what you are looking for 'in between' the places youve listed.

    I would add the ruins of Kuelap in Peru. I was very impressed with this site, and i am not too big on ruins.

    I enjoyed visiting.....I guess you could call them 'created ruins' in Xilitla, Mexico.

    I am not sure if you listed the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, but riding around there is a blast.

    I regret not riding more mountain dirt than I did in Peru. Dont miss the way to Kuelap!

    Have a great time !
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  17. SeanF

    SeanF -

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    On your list, I would replace "Ulaan Baatar" with "Mongolia, generally". :D I was generally underwhelmed by the city itself, and pretty much everything outside of the city blew my mind.

    Highlights from my trip that I would recommend seeing would be Mongolia, the Russian Altai (in the cleavage betwixt Mongolia and Kazakhstan), Georgia, Turkey, and the Middle East if you can.
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  18. XC Rider

    XC Rider Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Thanks to Witold, Dan Man, and SeanF for the additional suggestions.

    Post one has been updated and a bit reorganized for easier referencing.
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  19. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I´m not an expert on Africa, and only travelled in the southern part of the continent. But it is my understanding, that you will need the carnet to complete the eastern route. Otherwise you will have big problems getting your vehicle into Egypt and North Sudan, for example.

    Southern Africa´s highlights for me were the Namib desert, Victoria Falls, Cape Town, Transkei coast near Durban, Sani Pass between South Africa & Lesotho, and the paradise beaches in Mozambique.

    And in southeast Asia, northern Thailand is a heaven for bikers, so beaches are not the only thing there ... other highlights for me have included more or less all of Cambodia, mountains in northern Laos, and Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. To be fair, all of Indonesia was more or less of a highlight!

    (.....But naturally there are SO MANY others in every country, here were just a few, that quickly came to mind! And I would not plan the whole trip around others recommendations, every now and then I´d go and see if I can find some new nice places myself!)
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  20. NCK

    NCK Been here awhile

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    I'm probably a couple weeks away from the first draft of my spreadsheet. Probably will have a couple hundred "must see" desginations on it. I'll upload it for all!
    #20