31 July 2007

Windows on the World Slideshow

A collection of photos from various windows around the world. An idea stolen from Lonely Planet Experimental Travel, I tried to take a photo from the view of every place that I stayed. Click on the photo, or here, to see my slideshow of the windows on the world, from Rome, Italy to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Pictured - Kathmandu, Nepal from Happy Home.

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30 July 2007

Laos: From Slow Boats to Tigers

Click on the photo to the right to see my photo-journal from Laos, the land of a thousand elephants. enjoy!

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28 July 2007

Trippers' Best of...Lodging

From guesthouses, to hostel, to hostels, to camping, to staying at people's houses, to sleeping on trains and buses, I did it all. These are the ranking of the best paid places. For sake, anyone who offered me a free place to stay (and there were many of you), consider yourself the true #1!

1. Prince Mekong Villa, Siem Reap, Cambodia - I don't think I ever more at home, or even felt so sad to leave, than during my five days at the wonderful Prince Mekong Villa. A gem in the dirty sea of guesthouses that is Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat. Free welcome drink, free one time laundry, free unlimited bottled drinking water, free bikes, free hot breakfast, and self serve beer. not to mention the only kitchen in SE Asia. Paradise...did i mention it cost $4 a night for my own fanned room?

2. Indigo Youth Hostel, Valencia, Spain - I had just had one of the worst days of my traveling before I came to Indigo. There, the friendly staff, beautiful spacious common areas, and small, intimate atmosphere melted all my worries away. What a fantastic place, I wish I could have stayed longer. You really helped me remember why I love traveling.

3. Nathan's Villa, Sighisoara, Romania (pictured) - Free breakfast...all day long. No check out time, just leave when you have to. A downstairs bar, plenty of booze, great tours, and the most amazing open air market just a few blocks away. That 5pm breakfast was delicious!

Hiker's Hostel, Plovdiv, Bulgaria - Hiker's had it all, a great staff, a lovely garden and a perfect location right inside the Plovdiv old town. Free internet, free breakfast, and a full kitchen along with a friendly backpacker atmosphere made it a perfect traveler's stop.

Mut Mee Guesthouse. Nong Khai, Thailand - A pleasant surprise in a the pleasant border town of Nong Khai, Thailand. Beautiful rivenside garden lounge, cheap bikes, and a short walk to the central market. Not to mention it cost $2.5 for a comfortable 3 bed dorm room!

Traveller's House, Lisbon, Portugal. - a two week old gem (when we were there).

Treehouse Hostel, Gruneu, Austria - Gertrude, the owner, sure knows how to have a good time!

Mostel Hostel, Sofia, Bulgaria - With three entries in the top 10, Romania and Bulgaria were paid accommodation heaven.

Daniel's Lodge, Cameron Highland, Malaysia - Don't mention the Lonely Planet writer who wrote a bad review over the nightly bonfire.

Goodbye Lenin Hostel, Krakow, Poland - Free BBQ, two free shots, free internet, and it was named after one of my favorite movies. Woo-hoo!

Dishonorable Mention: Flying Pig Hostel, Amsterdam. Besides being expensice (26 euros a night), no airconditioning amist a heatwave, and horribly overcrowded. Then they charged us a 10% conversion fee on my credit card to make it even worse. HORRIBLE.

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Sunrises and Sunsets of the World

Click the photo to see my slideshow compilation of sunrises and sunsets of the world.

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27 July 2007

Trippers Best of...Countries!

A very rough list...as a matter of fact, its in alphabetical order, not order of greatest. If you ask me this question in person, I will, depending on how I feel at any given time, answer any of the following 5 countries.

1. Bulgaria (pictured) - From the moment I crossed the friendship bridge into Bulgaria, I discovered a country that had a true identity and wasn't scared of the past, but instead looking straight into the future. This is Bulgaria, one of the funnest countries with some of the most delicious food in the world.

2. Nepal - Such wonderful people, and amazing sunsets. Living in the Dhulikel valley. What an experience.

3. Thailand - The land of a thousand smiles, and some of the most warm, open, joyful people I'd ever met in the entire world. Shout out to Isaan and the remote, amazing NE!

4. Portugal - I was only there for a week, but from Gustav at the Porto Vinotheque to the beautiful beaches of Lagos, it felt that I only got a small taste and not the huge feast that I wanted.

5. Turkey - The first country where I felt like I really got to know the locals. I was invited to dinner multiple times, got to experience ramadan, including the amazing Ramadan sunset from Cappadochia's mountains, and went into the remote black sea coast. But I still need to go back!

Dishonorable Mention: The UAE, though I had a great time there, because of this.

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18 July 2007

Trippers' Best of...Cities

Cities are the center of the human jungle. Chaos, to beauty, cities are where things happen, but not neccesarily where the world lives. But all transportation goes through cities at some point, and these were my favorite. Only cities are included, villages and small towns will be ranked later!

1. Veliko Tornovo, Bulgaria (pictured
- Maybe it was my 8 euro apartment with a view of the entire valley. Or the delicious Italian/Bulgarian restaurant we went to twice. Or all the amazing people I met, or the fact that Bulgaria would come to be one of my funnest countries.

2. Berlin, Germany - Best food, friendly people, amazing nightlife, and best of all, cheap (for european capitols). I want to live here.

Luang Prabang, Laos - The former capitol of the land of the thousand elephants has just begun to get hit with mass tourism, but it was the most laid back, easygoing place i went. I would ride my bike down the main highway, and be going as fast as the cars. I never heard anyone honk, and always saw smiles all around me.

4. Kathmandu, Nepal - The capitol of Nepal but with a population of less than a million, delicious food, amazing architecture and some of the most beautiful temples that I have ever seen in my life.

5. Nong Khai, Thailand - Who says border towns suck? Amazing restaurants, people, and the most beautiful guesthouse patio in SE Asia, Mut Mee's, not to mention the towering statues at Sculpture

6. Marrakesh, Morocco (pictured)

7. Sighisoara, Romania

8. Istanbul, Turkey

9. Osaka, Japan

10. Kuala Terrenganu, Malaysia

Istanbul, Seville, Porto, Lisbon, Luang Prabang, Osaka, Plovdiv, Sighisoara, Venice, Salzburg,, Marrakesh, Kuala Terrenganu, Khon Kaen, Nong Khai

Dishonorable Mention - Bangkok. They took the Los Angeles blueprint of how not to build a city, and took it a whole new level. You can tell, though, that it was once a beautiful city, the Venice of the East but not anymore.

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