In 2011 I visited eleven new cities with a population of 100 000 people plus. This brought the number of cities I have been to with that size population to 167. The new cities were (in order of how highly I rated them)
- Seoul, S Korea…I was blown away by this amazing vibrant capital city. I ve decided it is the best city in Asia and my 11th favourite in the world! Here I am pictured in down town Seoul
- Exeter, UK….a cute small English city with amazing Roman ruins and a very old and grand Cathedral
- Dubai, UAE…as fun, spectacular and mind boggling as I had been led to believe
- Brasilia, Brazil…Despite the many detractors, I really enjoyed this city- so much so that I dedicated five blog posts to it!
- Beirut, Lebanon…vibrant, fun with so so so much potential. If the hounds of war can be kept at bay, this will be a city to watch
- Pattaya, Thailand…. a city which is easy to get around -with amazing food but I found there is a very disturbing undercurrent
- Changwon, S Korea…another planned city but not one that feels oppressively planned
- Houston, USA…I must admit, I was dreading going to Houston but was very pleasantly surprised
- Fujariah, UAE…fascinating place with a great castle and one of the oldest mosques in the world
- Amman, Jordan….chaotic, friendly with great food and drink and very friendly people. Better infrastructure and public transport would make it a great city
- Dammam, Kingdom Saudi Arabia…. a city that is overshadowed by neighbouring Bahrain…frankly I felt, a lot of work is needed here to bring this city up to world standards….unplanned infrastructure, poor public transportation and a lack of things to do -great food though!
Last year, I identified my top ten cities in the world. That listing has not changed in the year:
- Paris remains my Number One in the world.
- San Francisco - see my 2011 Review
- Melbourne, Australia
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Portland, Oregon, USA
- Toronto, Canada
What are your favourite cities?