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Dream trip...where to go?

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Hi-
My husband and I are planning a trip for our 20 year anniversary and my 50th birthday in September of 2009. I was originally set on Slovenia and Croatia (my husband has recently discovered family in Slovenia but we have been there before) but am now considering other options. Here are a couple of other destinations we are considering:
- Israel and Jordan
- South Africa (Kruger and Cape Town)
- China (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Yangtze River
- Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
I realize this list is all over the board but they are all places we want to get to eventually - whether eventually will ever come, I don't know.
Any feedback from anyone has who may have been to any of these destinations would be very much appreciated!

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    Those are all great destinations. China is cheap, exciting, colorful, friendly, and emergent. After retirement we lived in China for a year and it was wonderful. The package tours are very efficient to see the main sights and solve issues of transportation, lodging, and general logistics. Simply add whatever time you have to "free days" and side trip to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat...and the (safe) "Wild West"..like being in an Indiana Jones movie. You can also travel via Thailand which is superb. The other places you mention are nice, but will remain largely the same for the future and can be done later. jack

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    Your list sounds great! I went to Ecuador a few years ago. Its a tiny country yet has so much to do. The Andes, the Amazon, the Coast, the Galapagos... Its all great, and very easy to get around. We flew to Quito, and did the city in just one day (more time would have been nice). We stood saw the main plaza, the beautiful churches, and even were allowed to go into the President's Offices. Then we went to the equator and stood on the line marking zero degrees. If you go make sure to ask to go to the monument (which is not actually at the equator) and then the actual line at the inti nan museum. it was very cool. Then we took a train through the Andes for two days. We sat on the roof and just watched the world go by as we passed farms, volcanoes, and small towns. We stopped at ranches, villages, volcanoes, and went down a set of switchbacks called the Nariz Del Diablo (devils nose). The train was called the Chiva Express in case you are interested. That ended in Cuenca and we saw the city and went hiking in a great national park outside of the city. Then we flew into the Amazon and stayed at La Selva Jungle lodge, which you can only get to by boat. It was not luxurious by any means, but we saw so much wildlife and plants. Then we flew to the galapagos for a week long cruise with Ecoventura. That also wasnt luxurious but it was fabulous. We hit all the main islands, swam with sea lions, sharks, and penguins, and saw tons of amazing stuff. The guides were great also. If u go to the Galapagos, DEFINETLY take a cruise AT LEAST 5 days, if you can more. All in all it was a great trip. I also hear that the haciendas in the Andes in Ecuador are very nice places to stay that are inexpensive and great bases for hiking. I hope this helps!

    Matt

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