A tourist's day in 5 cities: Expensive, exhausting


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Lunch, an eel bowl with rice plus tea, was $8,

Tell me where, so I can get it! Unagi has vanished from restaurant menus this year. And I agree with the comment about the French being friendly. Wish I'd worked harder at studying their language. At least I could read most of the signs.

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Yes, $85 dollars for a taxi from Haneda or you could have got on a nice clean train to take you close to the city center for less than $5.00. Likewise from Narita, $300 for a taxi (does anyone not on an expense account actually do this?) or about Y3300 on the Narita Express which is quicker, more comfortable and drops you of in the heart of Tokyo.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

N'Ex is a total rip-off. It actually slows down half-way. If you take a normal train, you get to Tokyo not much later but at half the price. Even cheaper on Keisei.

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$300 for a 20 minute cab ride?? Or was that the $85 ride? Either way, I'd 'slum it' a little bit and take either a limousine bus or 'rough it' on the train. Ridiculous. They ARE all efficient, though, I'll give them that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JFK has got a great monorail to Queens; Subway to NYC; Port Authority, or Grand Central.

Expensive cab from Haneda? Late night, may be necessary, but during running hours. the trains work! Takubin luggage ahead, and you're there...

Subways and trains can replace expensive taxis from airports, with a little research!

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Lunch, an eel bowl with rice plus tea, was $8,

How much does anyone want to bet that the unagi was imported from China and not domestic.

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The person who did the "Tokyo experience" should have read up about the city ahead of time. He/she would have found out that taxis to and from the airport are expensive. And there are cheap but tasty places to eat at in the areas visited in Tokyo. This person should have done his/her homework first ... and he/she would have had much better experiences here.

When I travel, I always "study" the place in depth before leaving my home here.

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I agree with the other posters about these ridiculous cab fares. Why are people even thinking about taking taxis? In Tokyo, you can take the express for about ¥3000, or you can just take the regular Keisei line from Narita to Ueno for ¥1000 and then spend all that money you saved on some nice food.

Similarly, in New York, ditch the cab and take the train into the city. Both Kennedy and Newark have trains into Manhattan. While they could be cheaper, they're a lot better than a cab ride, where your tip alone will be more than a subway ticket.

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Many people are not used to public transit and reading maps. They are confused easily. Getting on the wrong train or bus can waste precious hours in-country. We've all done it - it was part of the adventure to us.

When you are on vacation, dealing with mass transit can ruin a vacation. Just getting on mass transit is asking for trouble. Not all buses and subways are as safe as in Tokyo - a subway ride in Barcelona and in many other cities, including Buenos Aires, risks having items stolen. A few months ago, an extremely well-traveled friend lost both a smartphone and wallet in 2 subway rides there.

Using a taxi to optimize intra-city travel is often much faster too. Obviously, this depends on the city, traffic, time of day and other local considerations. Plus a taxi driver might not know every location you are trying to get, but the major tourist attractions will be known to all taxi drivers. Being dropped just outside the entrance for an attraction is nice. No need to wonder around looking for it from a subway stop 3 blocks away.

Crooked taxi drivers probably exist everywhere, but I've only had questionable service in Prague/Praha - by the taxi-mafia outside the Hlavni Nadrazi train station. They attempted to charge 3x the real rate - even pulling out a laminated "rate card" to prove they weren't trying to rip us off. Sometimes taking your luggage on 3 different trams and 1 bus to the hotel is not an option - a taxi is needed.

I can't help anyone find Eva Perón's grave - there was an elderly man who dragged me about 5 minutes to the front of the grave (for a few pesos) in Recoleta cemetery. I would never have found it on my own. It was an average family mausoleum compared to the thousands of others there, but some attractions are "must see", right? Sadly, when I was in BsAs a nice view of the Obelisco wasn't possible. Smog from regional farmers burning all their crops simultaneously in protest over some Argentine government policy got in the way. The airports were closed for most of 4 days. The smog was THAT bad. OTOH, getting a perfect cup of coffee or THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD (Pizzeria El Cuartito) was pretty easy and cheap.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

there's actually a Tim's in Dubai?? I'm gonna be on the first Emirates flight out there!

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I'm going to give the Tokyo tourist the benefit of the doubt and assume they arrived before the Sky Tree opened. THAT would have been the place to go for the skyline view, and I imagine they wouldn't have been as generous with the rating.

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I can't speak for the other cities, but in New York and Tokyo it's extremely easy to navigate by train. Even if you don't know how to get to your hotel from the train station, you can save so much money by going to any major train station in town directly from the airport and then getting a taxi from the station.

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and the cashier at Tim Hortons in Dubai is giving out donut holes instead of change because she’s run out of dirham coins.

Jealous. I would kill for a double double and a Boston Cream right now.

So, no comments how hard/easy it was to get around with regards to language? Anyone fresh in Japan with zero Japanese would have a heck of a time telling the taxi driver where to go.

I also laugh at these comments. Obviously this section is set up for those on travel expenses from the company. Much, much cheaper ways of doing and seeing the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Samantha Ueno,

...and Tokyo it's extremely easy to navigate by train.

I suppose you've been here, what? A few years? It gets EASIER with some experience but it sure as hell isn't easy for a first time visitor. Ginza is a good example with some 11 exits and many connecting lines and a lot of conflicting info.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ditto what Tairitsuiken said. Family and friends who are well traveled have ZERO love for the transportation system here. No visitor friendly in the least.

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