Best and Worst of My RTW Travels
Aug 20, 2007
|MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 2007. NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA, USA.
Below is a list of my best and worst travel experiences based on almost two years of travel around the world. During close to two years of travel around the world, I fortunately did not have any travel horror stories or extremely bad experiences. I could not have scripted a better trip.
Best Coffee: Ethiopia--the best and cheapest coffee in the worl
Best Tea (Chai): Turkey--tea served in tulip glasses everywhere
Best African Moment: One Hour With the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda
Most Beggers: Ethiopia
Best Safari: Masai Mara, Kenya--lions, cheetahs, elephants, wildebeasts, giraffes, hippos, zebras, red bucks, impalas, and many more animals
Best Backpackers' Hangout: Dahab, Egypt--Cheap food, beer, accommodations; Great weather, restaurants, diving, bars.
Most Interesting Middle East City: Jerusalem, Israel--Muslims, Christians, Jews--all in one old city.
Best Party Place: Mykonos, Greece--Spring Break year round
Worst Nightlife: Nairobi, Kenya--Too dangerous to go out at night
Best Sailing Hangout: Tugutreis, Turkey--good enough for US Supreme Ct. Justice Scalia
Best Food: Bangkok, Thailand--Hands down this city has the best world-class cuisine at very reasonable, if not downright cheap prices. There is almost too much choice of food in Bangkok. Plus, there is little or no tipping.
Worst Roads: Kenya (outside of Nairobi)
Best Sightseeing Experience: Viewing Victoria Falls From a Microlight (Ultralight)
Worst Hassle: India
Worst Pollution: India
Worst Litter: India
Worst Drivers: India
Worst Stray Dog Population: India -- dogs everywhere; get your rabies shots!
Best Sweets: India
Best Ruins: Baalbak, Lebanon--Very few tourists, small but impressive ruins
Best Train Ride: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to Kapiri Mposh, Zambia
Best Desert Experience: Camel Trekking In Wadi Rum, Jordan--following in the camel steps of Lawrence of Arabia
Best Museum: Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt--Straight out of an Indiana Jones movie; the King Tut exhibit is extraordinary
Best Historically Moving Experience: Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Best Overall Shopping: Rome, Italy--The Italians simply know how to make quality products
Best Cheap Shopping: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Best Theatre: Opera Palais Garnier, Paris, France--Elegant old world theatre. Marc Chagall's ceiling is a masterpiece. On par with the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
Best Hostel: The Backpack, Cape Town, South Africa--If only every hostel were like this one--Clean, reasonable, efficient, friendly, secure, excellent food, beer, widescreen plasma TV, tour desk, great view of Table Mountain
Best One Day Tour: Spice Tour, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Worst Scammers (Best in their mind): Egypt--these guys are smooth
Best Spiritual Experience: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj), India, to visit with the Dalai Lama.
Best Mountains: Indian Himalayas
Most Beautiful Countryside: Uganda--Winston Churchill was right: Uganda is the Pearl of Africa
Worst Smokers: Tie--The Middle East and Southeast Asia
Best and Most Beautiful Building: Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Best Vegetarian Food: India
Best Non-English Word: Mzungu (Swahili for White Person or Foreigner)
Best Place to Buy Pirated DVD Movies: Kuta, Bali, Indonesia (~$1 per DVD, better quality than Amman, Jordan)
Worst Misconception: People constantly saying "Kunichiwa" to me, and when I tell them that I am from the U.S., they respond with "But where are you really from? You look Japanese."
Best Scuba diving: Ras Mohammed, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
Worst Power Outages: Myanmar--government power was rarely on more than a few hours per day.
Best Cultural Performances: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Worst (Scariest) Moment: Waking up to a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Best Getaway From Civilization: Mongolia (outside U.B.)
Best Horseback Riding: Mongolia
Best Food: Tie--China and Thailand
Cheapest Beer: China
Worst Spitting: China
Best Countryside Cycling: Yangshuo, Guilin, China
Best Jungle Experience: Luang Nam Tha, Laos
Best Relaxing Afternoon: Inner tube riding, Vang Vieng, Laos
Most Boring City: Singapore
Best Modern City: Sydney, Australia
Best Waterfall: Iguazu, Argentina
Best Group Tour: Expedition to Antarctica Aboard the Explorer
Best Trek: Tie--The W Trek, Patagonia, Chile, and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
Best One Day Mountain Summit: Volcan Villarrica, Pucon, Chile
Best Archaeological Site: Tie--Easter Island, Chile, and Ephesus, Turkey
Best Mountain Bike Ride: The World's Most Dangerous Road, Bolivia
Best Indigenous People: Bolivia
Worst Claustrophobia: Potosi Mines, Bolivia
Best Street Party: Carnaval, Salvador, Brazil
Best Beach Town: Canoe Quebrada, Brazil
Best Ecolodge and Tour: Mamiraua Ecological Reserve, Amazon, Brazil
Best Bird and Sea Life Viewing: The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador