It’s been already 6 months since we returned from traveling. Today is my last day of “early retirement” and the last cycle of this trip is ending. To finalize the trip, we put out some ideas for you who want to travel one day to really nice places. This came about after almost everyone who knows about the trip asks us the same question: “So, what was the place you like the most?” Well we traveled 60,343 miles for 1,015 hours in planes, trains buses, trucks, cars, boats and motorbikes and it’s a hard choice to make. A total of 11 months and 3 weeks.
Yes, I think we have a favorite place, but we also believe that some of the cities, towns and beaches were so different from one another that it was a little silly to make that choice. To be fair we decided to go into categories, because it makes more sense to us and because it was not about the country, the city, but rather about the whole experience around us.
So here is our superlative list. You may agree or disagree with our list if you have been in one of these places. If you have never been I hope it inspires people to visit in the near future.
1. Best Beach – It was a difficult choice, but Baía dos Porcos in Fernando de Noronha Island – Brazil won the prize
2. Best long hike – Nothing compares to the 76 miles cultural-landscape trekking at Annapurna circuit in Nepal
3. Best short day hike – El Chalten – Argentina. But we had to say that to see Buracão Waterfall at Chapada da Diamatina in Brazil was a close second.
4. Best country for food – Thailand. Mexico and Vietnam could fight it out for second and third places.
5. Best fruit selection – Vietnam and the delicious fruit shakes in Saigon
6. Best eye-candy city – I think it is in São Paulo. Jason thinks it was in Salvador during Carnaval. Unfortunately we have no pictures, just memories…
7. Most memorable bus ride – From Jomson to Pokhara in Nepal. Unforgettable for the scenary and for being the scariest drive we have ever been.
8. The most amazing man-made construction site – It is hard to beat the ruins of Angkor in Camboja.
9. Furthest point from our high-tech Western lives – The small village of Muang Sing in Nothern Laos.
10. Best place to get sick – Kathmandu in Nepal or doing a 36 hour cruise in the Amazon river.
11. Best place to dream of an AC unit – We could not decide between these two places: Presidente Figueiredo in Amazonas (Brazil) and Chitwan in Nepal. In Figueiredo at least we could go to some rivers and waterfalls. But in Chitwan we felt like we were going to melt at any point.
12. Best dessert – Ice cream in Belém – Brazil. And the delicious cream of Cupuaçu in Fernando de Noronha.
13. Nicest people – Mexicans. But we wish we were able to speak with the people in Asia. Because they seemed really nice as well, especially in Laos.
14. Biggest cultural clash – Visiting Nepal. Fascinating, scary, different, noisy and busy Kathmandu and even small towns in Nepal work in a very different way from us in the West.
15. Worst experience – my dislocated shoulder while rafting in the middle of nowhere in Nepal and Jason’s little paranoia dive in the middle of Laos
16. Best Market – This one was very easy. Nothing beats Chatuchak Market in Bangkok
17. Best country for sports and adventures – We have three winners here Costa Rica, Nepal and Vietnam
18. Best party – This one was easy as well. Carnaval in Salvador – Brazil. It is hard to stay quiet and not dance.
19. Best place to feed the spirit – Nepal, the Nepalese and their love of spirituality envelops you
20. The most beautiful place we visited – After much talk there was a place that was the most awe-inspiring: The French Valley in Torres del Paine National Park – Chile. You don’t know where to look in this magnificent place that has ice, snow, vegetation, rocks, lakes and mountains with very unusual shapes and colors. The place is just stunning! If you haven’t been there, please put on your list.