24 September 2007

Trippers' Best of...Bars

Bars and social gathering places (cafe's, patios, etc). Where you meet people, whether it be locals, or fellow travelers. These were not secondarily the best bars of the world, but that bars where I had the best time. So, without further ado, the best bars of the world!

1. Musee du Vin, Porto, Portugal (pictured) - Gustav and company made this bar the best deal and best ever Lonely Planet rec ever. Each glass came with a personalized description of history, region, and personal preference. We spent over 2 hours there, learning and soaking in the history of wine, the best bar experience of my life. Be sure to check it out if you make it to Porto!

2. Village Bar (unnamed), Temple village, near Sangaa, Nepal - While traveling, you discover the best places by chance. During a hiking tour of the area around Sangaa, Nepal, our friend, Pasupathi, took us to a small temple village, where there was one little restaurant/bar. In this dirty, lamp lit shack with elderly Nepalis, we ordered some noodles and some homemade rice wine. Then we ordered some more, and more, all in all four rounds, while chatting with the locals in broken Nepali, enjoying the amazing view and chatting amongst ourselves. The total cost for over 20 glasses of rice wine, 5 bowls of noodles, and a bottle of water? 270 ruppes, or, about 4 dollars.

3. King Night Pub, near Kamlai Village, Isaan, Thailand - I saw this place while zipping back home on the back of a motorcycle. So one evening, while volunteering in a small village in the NE of Thailand me and some fellow volunteers decided that we needed a place to go hang out and get some drinks. So off we went, and walked into the deserted Karaoke bar, woke up the owners, and then spend the next two hours dancing and singing with the family (including their 6 yr old son), all whilst enjoying a good earned beer, to Thai karaoke songs with a few English words in the chorus. Then, the owners gave us all free rides home on their motorbikes. Now that's what I call service.

4. La Alberca (Pueblo Ingles) Hotel Bar, La Alberca, Spain - Drinking cheap beer and rose wine with drunk Spaniards until 2 or 3 AM. Throw in some spontaneous flamenco and you have yourself an unforgettable bar experience.

5. Bar Vietnam, Luang Prabang, Laos - This underground, illegal, tourist only bar was filled to the brim with us backpackers who couldn't stand Laos' 2AM cutoff. Strange, that's the same time the bars cutoff in Los Angeles...

6. Island Bars, Budapest, Hungary - A group of bars on a small island on the Danube. Lovely and beautiful.

7. Frog Shack, Sihanoukville, Cambodia - For the beachbums in Sihanoukeville, this was the only game in town for the late night crowd. Luckilly, it was a great game, with decent music, a DJ, a lounge, real bathrooms, and the plankton beaches of southern Cambodia.

8. Visitors Bar, Bordeaux, France - Connected to the visitors center was one of the nicest, classiest, yet affordable wine bars that I had ever been to. With modern, yet not overdone furnishings, good service and incredible wine.

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