Top 5 places you’d want to go to after visiting the L.A. Travel & Adventure Show

Like most trade shows, there are exhibitors who sit there because their bosses make them, and there are those that actually make the experience fun. Sure, this doesn’t automatically make what they’re selling gold, but in this case, I am more open to visiting these 5 countries.

5. Convict Lake, CA

Maybe it’s the outlaw in me that’s drawn to a place called Convict Lake. Or the no nonsense approach of the guy pitching me a bachelor party suggestion. It’s probably the sign that says Convict Lake being just 2 miles away.

4. Cancun, Mexico

I was under the impression that Cancun was about Spring Break and Mexico was overrun by drug wars, but the guys at proved me wrong. There’s an underwater museum, a drive through a cave, whale-shark diving and more that can be seen in their promo video.

3. Turkey

Lots of history to be seen in Turkey, particularly from the Aegean heritage, where the Iliad and Odyssey came from. There’s a big, hokey Trojan horse that you can climb into, Homer’s Troy is explorable as well as the site of Priam’s treasure, and the ancient city of Ephesus still has the Temple of Artemis available for visitors.

2. Fiji

Fijian‘s dressed up in traditional garb singing around a bowl of Kava is cool by any standard. But it’s even cooler when they invite you to participate in a Kava ceremony. Honestly, I try my best not to drink cloudy beverages out of random people’s bowls, but that’s what happens when you lose at Eenie Meenie Miney Mo.

1. Taiwan

An MC, multiple games, and a bunch of free trips makes Taiwan the best of show. Bringing people on stage to try their hand at bottle fishing had a line forming well past other exhibitors for their chance at a free T-shirt and other swag. A repeatable ring toss scored many a free pen, tea cup, travel bag, and some other grand prize that I never saw. Taiwan went big in a way that still showcased cultural aspects with an emphasis on fun while pointing out that they make a decent hub for the rest of Asia.

Photo: the view from Taipei 101, world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010