Dear 100 Hour Board,
If you had to recommend one country everyone should travel to in their lifetime, what country would it be and why? What should they see. do, eat, and experience while there?
-My Name Here
At first I was going to say Taiwan because <3, but I'm going to go a little broader and, against my better judgement cast Taiwan under the China net. I say China because it's nothing like you think! I remember growing up and having this fear of China because you can be arrested for proselyting and also Communism. I once swore to never go to China because I thought it was too dangerous. How far did that stupid promise get me? I have now been to mainland China twice, and it's seriously nothing like I expected. China is "communist," but it's a modified version of communism. Also, surprisingly, China does have freedom of religion (kind of), you just can't go around actively trying to convert people. (My husband spent the whole of last summer telling his friends and family all about the Church and eternal families.) Also, the hospitality of the Chinese is out of this world! Not to mention that China is a country steeped in centuries worth of history and culture that has been passed down through the ages. You really can't go wrong!
P.S. If anyone is interested in going on a guided tour to China for around $3-4,000, shoot me an email. I know a guy. (It's totally legit. My university has a not-for-profit tour to China that is amazing and anyone 18 and older can go!)
Cambodia! I was only there for a few days last summer and I loved touring around Angkor Wat. It was deathly hot but the temples looked vastly different than all the others I had seen and the Cambodian people were the kindest Asians I've ever met.
Plus, roundtrips from Bangkok, Thailand to Angkor Wat are like $100 so if you're ever in Thailand, don't skip out on Cambodia!
Italia! Some of the greatest cultural contributions to the world are from Italy. It's the heart of one of the largest faiths in the world. It's the seat of one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. It gave the world some of the greatest art, architecture, music, invention, philosophy, exploration, and cuisine humanity has ever produced. And apart from the history, you have world-class beaches, the Alps, shopping, and dining, all under a tranquil Mediterranean sky and with a beautiful language. Italy is paradise.
They should breathe the sweet air of freedom, say "y'all," eat Tex-Mex/Cajun (in east Texas)/Texas BBQ, remember the Alamo, visit the San Jacinto Monument (think the Washington monument, only bigger and celebrating something cooler i.e. Texas' Independence), open carry, check out the capital building (think the U. S. one, only bigger and pink granite), hit an armadillo with their car, hunt wild boar from a helicopter, canoe around a swamp until they run into an alligator, hook an alligator, experience Big Bend National Park, and generally learn of the good life before returning to their oppressed, impoverished existence wherever they came from.
I feel like the only country I'm qualified to recommend here is Poland WHICH IS PERFECT 'CAUSE POLAND IS PERFECT TO VISIT.
It has cheap clothing, cheap food, cheap lodging, a fun track record with wars, old Polish women who will look at you suspiciously no matter what you are doing, a really cool museum about the Warsaw uprising, very good kebab, Auschwitz (which isn't fun, but is an important experience, I think), mechanical goats that butt heads, communism restaurants, beautiful buildings, beautiful buildings, and CHRISTMAS.
But seriously, visit Kraków, visit Warsaw, visit the castles, visit the historical landmarks, visit the mountains in Zakopane, and don't go to Łódź because it's not worth it. It's a cool country with a unique history, and it really is cheap. I can't honestly say it's the one country everyone should go to, but I think it's a very underappreciated country.