Saturday, October 4, 2008

Best of the Trip

Without further ado...

Most Favored Nations
New Zealand

Favorite Big Cities
Buenos Aires

Favorite Small Cities
Dunedin, NZ
Zanzibar Stone Town, TZ
Wellington, NZ
Chiang Mai, TH
Seville, SP
Phitsanulok, TH

Favorite Small Towns
Goreme, TR
Luang Nam Tha, LA
Lushoto, TZ
Hang Roa, CL

Favorite Natural Places
Victoria Falls
Iguazu Falls
Serengeti/ Ngorogoro/ Lake Manyara (Tanzania safari)
Easter Island
Grand Canyon NP
Milford Sound
Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers
Tam Coc
Sequoia NP

Best Meals
Monigo's home cooked dinner in Tokyo
Any/ all udon in Tokyo
Any/ all Thai food (except 1 plate of terrible pad thai)
Mexican food in Chiang Mai (yes, really)
Pho in Saigon and HaNoi
Anna's mother's homemade Spanish tortilla
Menemen and Turkish breakfast (a tie)
Lunch at Japanese 7-11s
Ugali in Dar es Salaam
Fruit shakes in Cambodia
Sol y Luna "naturista" restaurant in Cordoba, Argentina
Omlettes at White Rose in Battambang, Cambodia
Touy and his wife's baguette sandwiches in Luang Nam Tha, Laos
Jungle cooking in Nam Tha NF (rattan soup, wild mushroom and banana flower stir-fry)
South Indian snack shops in Tanzania
Maoz falafel in Spain (yes it's a chain, no we were not traveling in falafel-rich countries)
Wine in Spain and Argentina (even the $2 bottles and boxes)
TVP in Zambia (tastes just like chicken, I swear)

Favorite Historical Sites
Angkor Wat
Rapa Nui
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Goreme/ Cappadocia
El Alhambra
Wats in Bangkok
Aya Sofia
Wats in Chiang Mai
Luang Prabang

Favorite Museums
Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg, South Africa
Choeung Ek Killing Fields, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tuol Sleng Prison Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tate Modern, London, England
Prado, Madrid, Spain
Crazy House, Dalat, Vietnam
Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain
Picasso Museum, Barcelona, Spain
War Remnants Museum, HCMC, Vietnam

Favorite Markets
Nihn Bihn
Chiang Mai night market and local's market
Istanbul spice market
San Telmo antiques market in Buenos Aires
*Favorite Mall: MBK in Bangkok

Favorite Bargaining Moments

  • HaNoi bread lady (Why did she hate me and love Dennis?! Why did her prices change minute to minute?)
  • First cabbie in Bangkok (Dennis puts his foot down)
  • Arusha safari/Kili operator (Mostly because we got a way better deal than the Danish lady)
  • Nihn Bihn market (Lots of teenage girls pointing and giggling at Dennis. Just because I low-ball you on a pair of mittens, doesn't mean you should call over other vendors to laugh. Also learned a valuable lesson about myself: If I'm force-fed dozens of candies, I will end up buying way too much candy.)
  • Hoi An guesthouse (Dennis throws old school hissy fit)

Favorite Places Stayed
Anna and Juan, Seville
Jonathan, Lusaaka
Daniel, Wellington
Axel and Merwa, Granada
Hotel Mayorazgo, Madrid (fanciest place, hands down)
Darasavath Guesthouse, Luang Nam Tha
Camping in the Serengeti
Hotel Maipu, Buenos Aires
The 'Party Van', New Zealand (except gravel pile/ 4 am rooster night, and mosquito swarm down by the river night)
Akha Lodge, Nam Tha NF
Shoestring Cavern, Goreme
*and for a sense of balance, our least favorite: Legend Has It West End hostel in Sydney

Favorite Phrases Learned
New Zealand
- sweet as...(cool)
- stubbies (manly short-shorts)

- lady boy (where to begin?)
- farang (foreigner)
- laa kha (goodbye), khaaw hai chohk dee (good luck)

- sabadee (hi)
- sabadee (hi)
- sabadee bo (how are you?)
- sabadee (I'm fine, thanks)
- sabadee bo (how are you?)
- sabadee (I'm fine, thanks)
- Koi bo kin siin (I don't eat meat), koi kin de tuk-tuk (I only eat tuk-tuks)

- te ah kuhn (no thank you)

- chuc mung nam moi! (happy new year)
- tai sao khong! (why not)
- dat qua! (that's too expensive)

- konnichiwa bitches (hello bitches)
- j-chud, j-bono, j-pop, j-anything (japanese-)

- mambo (hi, how's it going?)
- poa co chiz com ndizi (I'm cool crazy like a banana)

- tesekkur ederim (thank you)
- sow (the easier way to say thank you)

- vale vale (OK OK, said in nearly every sentence)

- hola/ciao chicos (hi/bye guys)

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