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Great PaulVDV 2021-04-15 13:01

Hello Kasia,
I also once spent an afternoon in Paraguay and two afternoons in Argentina. Twice from a border town in Brazil. However, I do not count these countries among the ones I have ever visited.
You have of course gained experiences there, but you cannot say that you have learned a lot about the country.
I like the photo taken through the airplane window very much. The mountain range looks indeed very enticing.
Were the croissants tasty?
I remember that in Laos and Cambodia they also have French baguettes but I think you should stick with the Asian food :)
So your main photo was taken at the international airport. Do you also have a picture of a cafe in Almaty itself?
Best regards, Paul

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Old 04-15-2021, 08:28 PM
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I agree...

Unless your stopover is on purpose as you do want to visit the city and spend the time sightseeing etc. That way, I think, I have been to Dubai, Beijing, Delhi, Bangkok... I chose my connecting flights, trains or buses in such a way that I sacrificed some time at the main destination in order to make the most of the stopover one.

But not to Almaty. The only reason why I left the airport was I needed a bed to sleep in. If I were 10 years younger I wouldn't even have bothered. And no, I didn't go to a "real" cafe...

Thank you for your kind comments! :-)
Kasia
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:56 PM
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Hi Paul and Kasia,
There can be various definitions.
the Guinness Book of Records define it as follows;

“Visiting a country is defined as setting foot within its border. It is not necessary to remain in any country for any length of time. Video/photo evidence, at a recognisable landmark/border sign within each country must be provided”.

So to complete a Guinness record relating to countries you just have to set foot there regardless of the time you spend, for as long as you get a photo by a landmark or border.

The Travelers' Century Club, or TCC, is a club for people who have visited 100 or more of the world's countries and territories. The TCC maintains a list of countries and territories The list includes not only sovereign states but also certain territories, exclaves and island groups. As of December 2019, the list contains 329 such countries and territories. The club is also flexible in that it allows members to count a layover or stop at a port of call as an official visit.

A better idea is in Nomadmania, where there are regions as it is quite a different thing to visit one place in San Marino and in India.
See
https://nomadmania.com/.
I have met the number one, Harry Mitsidis, who visited all 193 countries recognized by the UN and also many other not recognized territories, as for instance Kosovo.
I am 534th on the list, hahaha.
But anyway, it is just the play, should not be regarded seriously.

Best regards Malgo
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:09 PM
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Thank you for this comprehensive explanation Malgo! :-)
I like TCC definition, as it would allow me to add countries like Egypt or Singapore to my list. Not sure I would qualify for membership yet. According to my criteria and records I have visited 75 countries but I may have stumbled upon island groups or territories that form part of their 329-strong list. I also need to count all my stopovers but I don't think there were that many that I didn't use as an opportunity to really immerse in the country, if only for half a day.
Nice to see you contributing to TE again after a break.
Have a nice weekend
Kasia
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:01 PM
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I would theoretically qualify to TCC with 109 "countries" but, first, some were a long time ago and I have no photos, and second, all new members must pay the initiation fee of $100 per person plus the first annual dues payment $ 85. HAha
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:45 PM
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Nice way to earn money. Maybe we should start a club like this??? ;-)
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:17 PM
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According to the rather crazy TCC list, which I didn't see before, I would qualify for 110, since I can count Turkey twice, India four times, Greece three times, Italy twice, France twice etc etc.
Cheers,
Gert
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:54 PM
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I've just had a look at the first few and reckon I can count Greece 3 times, Bosnia & Herzegovina twice (naturally), add Aland Islands as a country and I haven't even started figuring out Turkey. So it may turn out that I qualify too... when I have nothing better to spend money on. :-D
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:01 PM
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No, Bosnia & Herzegovina THREE times. Sarajevo is one.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:16 PM
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Hi Kasia, Malgo and Gert,

What do you do with a country that no longer exists like Yugoslavia?
If you visited this country before it fell apart, do you count the then-visited republics as visited countries?

I've never been in a country named Bosnia and Herzegovina or Montenegro.
But I have visited several places that today are located in those countries.
So I think I can say that I've seen some places of Bosnia and Herzegovina but I've never been in an existing country bearing that name ...

The same goes for anyone who ever visited the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, etc. ( I'm not sure if there is an etc Perhaps Korea for those old enough)

Kind regards,
Paul
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:47 PM
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PS for Gert:

I did not have a stamp of Paraguay in my passport.
I was there illegally during one afternoon

I stayed in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and took the bus from there to Ciudad del Este (formerly called Puerto Stroessner).
Ciudad del Este was a shopping paradise for Brazilians who lived in Foz or nearby and all day long busloads of Brazilians went to Paraguay to do all kinds of shopping.
I took such a bus full of shopping enthusiasts and noticed that it did not stop at the customs office but drove straight to the center of the city.

Once in Ciudad del Este I learned that Brazilians (and only Brazilians) were allowed to go to Ciudad del Este without showing their papers to the customs. However, they were not allowed to continue travelling in Paraguay (without a stamp).

So there I was in a new country without a stamp in my passport.
I was not worried because I thought I would go back to Brazil in the same way.
My bus back however stopped at the border post and everyone got out.
It was very hectic with the hundreds (thousands?) Of Brazilians eager to buy in Paraguay and I managed to cross the border posts without checking.

I admit I was young and neglectful and will never do anything like that again

BTW, Ciudad del Este (a city with no monuments but full of Taiwanese migrants or their descendants) was one of the most curious places I have ever been in Latin America.

PS1: I did go legally from Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil to Puerto Iguazú, Argentina.
You make some mistakes only once in your life.

PS2: I was also once in Guatemala without a stamp. For about twenty seconds. Then a group of protesters who had occupied the Guatemalan border checkpoint pushed me back into Mexico.
Guatemala is a vert beautiful and interesting country that unfortunately I will not have visited in my life
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