Random – China Episode 2 Part B from Glenn McElhose on Vimeo.
This is a continuation of the Random series. Past episodes include language learning, start-up advice, must-read books, and more.
In this episode, filmed on the roof of the Yin bar in Beijing, Kevin Rose and I (and a little bit of Glenn McElhose) discuss our top-3 favorite travel spots. Details include favorite areas, seasons, things to look for and, occasionally, things to look out for…
Let us know your favorite travel spot in the comments!
If someone were only there for one day, what are the 1-3 non-mainstream must-see or must-do picks?
Elsewhere on the web:
Tim Ferriss on Twitter – real-time mischief
Tim Ferriss on Huffington Post – Vibram shoes and other oddities
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158 Replies to “Random – Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss' Top 3 Travel Spots”
Thanks guys for the advice on great places to visit. One of my best friends has lived in Tokyo for over a year and has shared some great stories and photos from there. He is trying very hard to get me there soon.
Also, Amsterdam is another place really ‘high’ up on my list of places to go. Thinking next September, I’m going to do Amsterdam and Germany in one trip.
Thanks again fellas. Happy travels!
Great topic. Here’s my two cents.. International: (1) Cape Town – Extremely beautiful, lots of outdoor activities, great beaches, people, insanely beautiful wine country within an hours drive. An amazing place (South Africa in general is great). (2) Antigua, Guatemala – one of the best colonial towns in Latin America. Great small hotels, great restaurants. Volcanoes everywhere you look. Incredible place.
Domestic: Charleston, South Carolina. Great history and architecture, incredible food, restaurants and nightlife. A hidden gem that’s off most people’s radar. A great weekend destination.
I definitely agree with Amsterdam and Thailand. I’ve spent about 1.5 months in Thailand and would move there tomorrow if I could. Though I’d recommend getting off of Koh Samui now (it’s been built up quite a bit) and heading to Koh Phangan or the other smaller islands around there.
I’m heading to Bamboo Island in Cambodia soon and fully expect a good time there. Another place in SE Asia to check out for sure.
Also, don’t forget a day trip up to Ayutthaya to see the old capital while you’re in Bangkok.
Tokyo and Kyoto would be two of my top picks, but I’d also love to visit Peru, Austria, and Switzerland. I personally haven’t done much traveling… but it’s on the menu, if you know what I mean.
Loved the video, thanks!
Great episode! Thanks. Tim, thanks again for the Argentina recommendation last year. We loved our 4 months there. While we enjoyed BsAs, we found the rest of the country AMAZING! Particularly, Mendoza, Bariloche, Ushuaia & Puerto Madryn. We would have never gone there without your suggestion in 4HWW. Thanks again, Gary
Congrats, Gary! I”m getting the itch again, too 🙂
Totally inappropriate at the end guys, love it 🙂
1. Easter Island
2. San Francisco
3. Mataró, near Barcelona, Spain
For all-around sightseeing, history, eating, drinking, cultural immersion and so forth, Japan is my favorite. Tokyo is great, but be sure to get outside the city and see other locales like Kyoto, Takayama, Nikko, etc.
For utter beauty and pure relaxation, Taha’a is *the* place, but the resort there is ungodly expensive. Bora Bora is a touch more beautiful, but slightly more crowded and a little less expensive.
I concur with Kevin’s top spot as Amsterdam. I had zero expectations going there and was amazed with it. I’ve gone back a 2nd time and looking to move there soon.
Loved Oia on Santorini. We stayed at Aris Caves for a week, and it was spectacular. (Also loved the smaller town of Plakias on the south coast of Crete. The hostel there is often voted the best in all of Europe, and rightly so. And only 9 euros a night!) I think Savannah is a wonderful place to visit domestically, just to check out the history of the city. I love Estes Park, CO area, and also the views in and around Bozeman. We’re going to Ireland next summer–any recommendations? (I’m going to try to swing my family by Edinburgh, Scotland while we’re there because they HAVE to see it.)
One of my favorite places to visit is Tallinn, Estonia. For Europe, it’s very inexpensive and English is spoken all over. The people are very friendly and the nightlife is vibrant.
Other than the ones mentioned:
1) Zanzibar (Stone Town, Markets, Spice/Slave Tour, Kendwa Rocks Bar, Snorkeling/Boating (w/lunch)-$10)
2) Safari in Ngorongoro Crater w/either Maasai Mara or Serengeti (Plan for Migration)
*Hang out with Maasai Warrior on either
3) Any city during a major cultural festival/holy week/world cup
Visiting a Friend in Thailand very soon 😀 Glad to hear you like it. 😀
I’ve only really travelled in Europe but I really like Paris and Barcelona as cities. Barcelona has more of a tourist feel about it but is beautiful. Paris has a similar buzz to London and you can find some really cool places if you just get slightly off the beaten track.
Iceland is an amazing country, Reykjavik is a cool city with a small town feel but the countryside is just out of this world. The scenery is like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Thinking of going to the US next year, probably to SF and Vegas and the national parks in between. Really stoked about that trip as I’ve heard great things.
Amsterdam? A great walking city? It is until you come to a street.
Having to cross bike, cars, trams, trams, cars & bikes is hard work. Especially if you’re inhebriated.
Did have an awesome time in Amsterdam. Febo’s rock my world.
Tokyo I really enjoyed, and I did try to learn Japanese. Whilst I learnt a little, it was not enough, and people thought I was fluent. Bit of a mistake, as I didn’t know enough. Nevertheless, surprisingly cheap to eat in good quality restaurants, awesome culture, great vibe, and Okonomiyaki is my favourite food ever!
One of my favourite places which is a little hidden away is Caernarfon, North Wales. Steeped in history with a huge castle, it’s a town of around 3000 people, but about 30 pubs. It’s 98% fluent Welsh speakers, so there’s no English signs (though everybody does speak English). Awesome small town, it’s like nothing has come in or out in 20 years. Weather’s not that great there though.
I’m very partial to the island of Kaua’i in Hawaii. I lived there for three years in the 1990s and it’s a magical place.
You must see:
1. Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” (Mark Twain quote)
2. Ke’e Beach on the north shore
3. Hanalei town and the views of the mountains and waterfalls from the north shore
I haven’t spent enough time overseas, but after traveling full time for 5 years domestically, my best advice is to find the places locals like to go. The seafood restaurant that’s packed at 5:30 or the run down bbq shack in the ghetto usually beats anything else. Also ask where people go on particular days. The best restaurants can get away with only being open a few days a week. If you pay attention, you’ll see everyone eating the same thing for lunch on Thursdays.
I’ve also found that college towns are generally more fun because there’s more to do. Also when you ask for advice make sure to ask someone your age/demographic. Results are much better.
Great article, definitely reignited my urge to visit Amsterdam. I’ve spent a couple of months in Japan. Yes, it is expensive, but the Japan Rail Pass (need to purchase prior to your trip) is the best deal for getting around the country. If you want to spend some time in Tokyo (worthwhile), consider renting an apartment or gaijin house through a foreigner rental agency and saving some money. I used Sakura house, they were great and they speak English. Plus, if you take a right out of the headquarter building and turn right on the first side street, you will find what is quite possibly the best ramen house in all of Tokyo. As for my favorite places, besides Tokyo, Nicaragua is right up there on the list. I would venture to say that its better and much less expensive to visit then its neighbor, Costa Rica. Despite being the poorest country in Central America, it is generally regarded as the safest. Nicas are friendly, nice, and genuinely good natured people. Plus it has more active volcanoes to explore than any where else in the region. Don’t miss Isla de Ometepe in the middle of Lago de Nicaragua. Sorry, Brew, but I have to disagree with you about Antigua in Guatemala. In my experience it has a very inauthentic nature. It seems like a city built for tourists and is a poor representation of the country as a whole. However, if you find yourself there you have the money, stay at the Cloister, a converted monastery thats now a bed and breakfast. Its right under the famous archway. Consider Xela (Quetzaltenango) instead. Besides the air pollution, its a great city with great people.
Tell us about that restaurant you were filming at. It looks like a rooftop deal.
tim: “…the most gorgeous women you’ve just about ever seen in your life.”
haha, you guys are awesome!
Tim, I suppose I should feel ridiculous suggesting this low-profile gem (and gawd I will hate myself if developers discover this place and show up to cash in on the beauty) among all those international destinations, but ya gotta check out Little River Canyon near Fort Payne, Alabama. There are Costa-Rica-worthy waterfalls (I’m talking scores of them), a gorgeous canyon with rugged and semi-tame hiking, rock climbing (at least one blockbuster movie has been filmed there), kayaking, horseback riding and 4-wheelin’ swimming holes galore. If you ever go, ask the locals to direct you to (a) Yellow Creek Falls – take your canoe and hiking stick to get there, (b) High Rock swimming hole – gotta have 4-wheel drive and a bitta gumption, (c) Hippie Hole (be prepared to shimmy down into the canyon & retire any fear of heights), (d) Little River Falls – again, scoot your way down into the canyon to swim beneath the falls, (e) DeSota Falls – you can rappel off the cliff front and drop right into the swimming hole below, and much more! Practice saying “Here Jimmy, hold my beer and watch THIS!” (If you ever DO decide to go, lemme know and I’ll give you a proper guided tour!)
Someday I’ll be able to travel somewhere. Someday.
Loved this video! Listening to personal viewpoints about traveling is always a pleasure. I definitely agree with Tokyo and Thailand as a top choices. I lived in Japan for a year and agree that there are ways to do Tokyo in an inexpensive fashion (Ramen, Okonomiyaki, Konbini beers, etc)
I would second Brew’s comments on Cape Town, South Africa. It has a ridiculously gorgeous harbor, great live African drum bands, good night life, close to wonderful wineries, beaches covered with penguins, within a few hours of a safari (go with a local guide and camp rather than big tourist companies), skydiving and other extreme sports, awesome hikes (Cape of Good Hope or Table Mountain), soccer games, volunteering in the townships for a day… Sounds similar to Buenos Aires with the multitude of things to do.
My wife and I just took a trip to Europe and one of the best places we stayed was Cinque Terre, Italy. It’s a series of small towns, connected by train, trails, and a boat, that sit on the coast. The larger ones are touristy but the smaller ones are laid back, relaxing, and the people there are nice. We had a great time hiking between towns (which means hiking a few hours up the mountain and back down) and then enjoying some delicious food and wine at the end. Certainly a place we’ll want to return to in the future.
first comment here although i follow your blog since a couple of month. best thing in the whole internet since lifehacker.
if you like munich and berlin you should visit hamburg! give me an email if you are here 🙂
Great vid. Makes me want to go travelling again.
Here is my 2cents:
Chiang Mai in Thailand is great. Filled with people who are into healthy food and holistic modalities such as massage, yoga and accupunture. If your looking to eat well and train in MuayThai, yoga or Tai Chi, this is a place to check out
Kamakura in Japan is amazing. The people, the food and the temples, just great.
Si Phan Dong in Lao is laid back with beautiful surroundings. If your looking to lay in a hammock, drink tasty cheap beer, read a book by candle light all whilst the moon is spectaculy bouncing of the Mekong then you may want to check it out.
Tim, have you had a chance to visit Istanbul, Turkey?
Incredible historic significance and treasures for both Christian and Muslim faiths. Very friendly to Americans. Incredible mixing of European and the Middle Eastern cultures.
Don’t miss the bath house and getting an intense massage by a big bellied man! LOL.
I’m curious if you’ve been to South Korea. Given that you like Japan and Thailand, I think you would really like South Korea. They have amazing food, extremely friendly and intelligent people so you can get by without knowing Korean, and lots of stuff to do. I haven’t spent much time in Japan or Thailand, but I’ve been to Korea 7 times so far and I can’t wait to go back again!
Thanks for the tips! I’m definitely putting Argentina and Thailand on my list!
Love these travel posts/videos.
Amsterdam is a great city, no question about it – but it never truly captivated me. Definitely overshadowed by a few days in Munich for Oktoberfest with a day trip down into Bavaria and -Neuschwanstein Castle.
1) Scotland – specifically the north country. Everyone talks about the Isle of Skye as rugged and rural – which compared to other parts of Europe it definitely is. What you really need to do though is keep going – the North West Coast and the Orkney Islands are absolutely incredible. I normally have a guided tour phobia, but did it with a backpack oriented group (5 day trip) called Wild in Scotland which was incredible. Do it during the summer. Some of the most amazing, enchanting country I’ve ever seen. Everyone talks about Ireland, but in my experience the Scottish north blows it out of the water.
2) Crete, Greece during off season. The people are wonderful, the food is great, the natural beauty is incredible and diverse.
3) Dalmatian coast, Croatia – again this is a must in saddle/off season. The people were incredible. The old city in Split is amazing, the islands are stunning and Plitvice Lakes National Park in autumn when they’re empty, the leaves are turning, etc. is profoundly beautiful.
Enjoyed your top picks! I am a Canadian living in London. I have been living in London for the last 2.5 years. When I tell North Americans where I live, their first reaction is always how expensive it is when most of them have never visited or lived here.
I must say, that while some items are expensive (e.g. 4 pounds or approximately $6.50 for a single fare tube journey, meat at the grocery store and of course…buying a sandwich in a tourist area such as Piccadilly Circus), there are other items that are cheaper, even when converting to $USD). Example – beer, lots of brand name clothing items. Anyway, while yes London is expensive, it’s much more affordable now with the GBP having weakened over the past few years.
My top city is also Amsterdam, but if you haven’t been to Copenhagen, it’s a very cool vibe as well.
And so good page love it.
Madrid has a laid back but sophisticated vibe, easy to get around, lots to do, and easy to feel at home. Just don’t wear a light colored suit after labor day.
Great video as always. Still interested in heading over to Thailand, and this is motivating me to do so much sooner. 🙂
I simply wanted to suggest never to kiss the Blarney Stone. I’m Irish, and I have heard stories of teenagers taking a whizz on the stone.
Too late for Kevin obviously (sorry about that) but I guess this just shows the benefits of getting to know a country from the inside out.
Eastern Europe is becoming a favourable destination, I found the slavic languages were easier to manage. Beautiful women, of course.
Great video! Come back to Ireland soon!
For 6 month stays I`d choose:
1. Mexican Yucatan
2. Brighton, England
Like the beautiful girl next door, however, you see her enough and you take her for granted. But c’mon Tim, most beautiful women in the world? I match my top 3 (well, 4) against BsAs any day.
Of course, best places is a relative thing and changes depending on one’s mood. For the moment:
1) Cartagena (Old City), Columbia — Carib beat + history
2) Salvador, Bahia, Brazil — vibe + las negritas
3) Dead heat: Florence, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic — scenery (of all kinds) + art
And I grant you Argentine beef is good but I’ve had better in Bolivia at half the price, if you can imagine that.
Top 3 Countries:
– Nepal – trek, enjoy the people, eat as much Dal Bhat as you can
– Laos – chill (it is impossible not to when there), take public buses anywhere that seems cool, go to Champasak, and drink lots of BeerLao
– Peru – surf up in the warm waters of Zorritos, sandboard in Huacachina, and maybe check out Machu PIcchu 😉
Enjoyed the video! Cheers!
After realizing that their is more to the world than Canada and Caribbean resorts I started traveling.
When i was 19 I sold all my worldly possessions and I moved to Costa Rica for four months to complete an outdoor adventure program. After being exposed to an underwater ship wreck in Panana, swimming with crocodiles in Nicaragua, and almost having a heart attack guiding a raft full of gringos down a class 4 river in a remote area in Costa Rica I fully came to enjoy their country.
I would go back in a heartbeat and further explore their pacific coast.
Recommended restaurant: las Lenitas in Zapote
Recommended Activity: Surfing or learn how to guide white water rafts
I cam home but my travel bug returned so I enrolled in a Swedish university for 10 months. While there I visited some other countries such as Amsterdam’s red light district and Estonia’s Tallin, which would make for the ultimate Bachelor party weekend. I also had the chance to visit northern Norway and do some mountaineering there and then I enjoyed some warm weather in Barcelona and Ibiza.
While i was in Sweden my two of friends moved to Africa: Cape Town and Kagwe, Kenya, so I planned a 23 day trip there to visit them.
Kagwe was a culture shock for me after living in Sweden for so many months but I fell in love with Cape Town and its amazing people, red wine and scenery. I also had the chance to visit Tanzania and attempt Kilimanjaro, but got severe altitude sickness at 5500 meters up …. talk about falling short of the finish ahah
Cape Town for a few weeks: Shark diving, Sky Diving, wine tours, super friendly people, the most beautiful scenery i have ever saw and thriving night life … whats not to love
Costa Rica: Spanish recommended: Do every Scary Activity you can find. I recommend Bungee Jumping in Alajuela
Estonia: For the wildest bachelor party you will go to
Ibiza: No words can describe the feelings you get from Ibiza
Hey Tim! Loving your Random episodes, nice suggestions for places to live. I’m on a long term travel stint myself (7 years so far) to learn languages so it’s great to have suggestions like that for future travels!
Just wanted to say something you mentioned; about Irish being “so impossibly unphonetic” 😛 Have to disagree! (Don’t worry, I’m not going on a rant or anything, just thought you would like to know it’s not that bad!) English is way more unphonetic (since we are basically stuck on an un-updated orthographic system since the King James bible was printed).
Because Irish has aspiration and eclipses (consonants changing to other consonants) we have to have a special writing system that actually helps the learner. So bord = table (pronounced as spelt), but mo bhord = my table (second word pronounced ward). Seems horrible, but in Welsh (another Celtic language with aspiration/eclipses) they make it much more “phonetic”, but when you see that word (let’s imagine it was written as “ward”) for the first time, it’s really hard to associate it with bord. The extra h hints you to the original word 😉
With that in mind (to explain why we need the extra letter), Irish is a perfectly phonetic language based on letter clusters, almost always just two letters (the only 3 letter example I can think of is bhf). When you say any Irish word I can tell you how it’s spelt and vice versa. It’s like Spanish has ll and ch or German has ch – two letters that together represent a different sound than separately, but it’s still pretty phonetic as long as it’s consistent 🙂 Irish does do it more, but can you imagine how just getting used to the slightly larger set of double-letter-single-sounds isn’t actually that bad 😀
Sorry for the long response, hope you had the time to read this! I discovered your book a year or two ago and see we have the same approach to self learning languages. I’m Irish, so I had to learn it in school, but I still think that it’s really not that bad!! 🙂
Thanks again for the travel tips. I don’t share your opinion about Brazil, but I agree about Rio. South of Brazil for example is way safer and also has amazingly gorgeous places; Florianópolis is well worth the visit! Other cities I have spent several months in and highly recommend: Montreal, Valencia (Spain), Toulouse (France), Perugia (Italy) – all because these cities have huge concentrations of students, which means young beautiful populations and lots of parties! And of course San Francisco 🙂 For a cheap holiday, Goa – India is excellent!
Anywhere along the adriatic coast in Croatia like Dubrovnik or Pakastone. Cheap beer – until they join the EU – and fantastic beaches…
Tim, great pick for # 3: Buenos Aires. I am from Buenos Aires so I am partial, but I think it’s a lot of fun. Great food, very European, and like you said, all four climate types in the same country.
Have you been anywhere else in Brasil other than Rio? Or did you generalized “safety” level of the entire 5th largest country in the world to one city? Not cool.
I’ve been to Salvador, Recife, Florianopolis, and Sao Paulo. I’m sorry to say it, but Argentina is generally safer than Brasil for someone who looks like me. It doesn’t mean there aren’t safe places in Brasil, but that’s the general experience among my friends.
All the best,
Hm, finally found something we are opposite on, I get allergic reactions from wine, but love beer. Wondering why the guiness was good to you, it’s very hopsy so I doubt it’s the hops. Or maybe it’s just local & unprocessed?
Anyway, reminder to try alternates to flying when available, such as taking a train overnight or a cruise to your destination…slow travel 🙂 Thanks!
Tim, have you visited Fukuoka or Okinawa?
Really awesome video, makes me want to check out china!
Enjoy the chinese drinks ;).
Cinque Terre in Italy. I have done a lot of traveling and it is by far my favorite spot. Five fishing villages along the Italian coast that you can hike between. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I was surprised to see Amsterdam as #1- I probably have Thailand, Peru, other exotics built up… or maybe my Amsterdam experiences are just so too warped…
Munich is great fun- especially for novice travelers.
Budapest is beautiful and I love that the people there are still on a capitalist kick
America is underrated, we have tons beauty (and more culture than most will tell you) in our backyards. The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite…
While watching the video, I started thinking, when you where talking about Gaelic and how it was a hard language to learn. What steps do you take to break down a subject? Not just a language but any subject you come up against. Are there certain procedures you follow to break them down. If you have already answered it somewhere else on the site could you send me the link so I could learn the process.
I fell in love with Costa Rica when I was there to visit my cousin. I had seen Tim’s waterfall video so made sure to get to Arenal and do the La Catarata de la Fortuna.
I just love these vids, but it’s a little bit distracting the way you keep fidgeting with the drinking straws.
Love the bit at the end.
Tim – fantastic comeback to Glenn. “Being wet is what life is all about.”
Going to the Virunga Mountains in Uganda to see the mountain gorillas. Getting mock charged by a massive Silverback is certainly memorable! 🙂
Glad you included Thailand in your three, Tim. I’m married to a Thai girl and love the culture as well. But, I have to disagree with you on Koh Samui. I actually resented it by the time I was leaving. Of course, everyone’s mileage may vary, but I thought it was way too *on* the beaten path for a typical Thai vacation. Way too many farang (Westerners) and way too many shmaltzy tourist trappings for my taste. But I totally agree with everything else you said. Thai people are absolutely the most warm and friendly group of people I’ve ever met.
Having done Tokyo nine times for my own budo training, I also have to agree with that pick. The thing I love the most about Tokyo is that you can be walking down the most crowded, industrialized street, make one quick turn down a side alley and run into one of the most beautiful shrines you’ve ever seen. I’ll be going back to Tokyo and Thailand next year; can’t wait!
I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the Greek Islands yet. I spend a summer working in a bar on Ios, and island hopping and also exploring the Turkish coast. Some places are a bit touristy, but the off-the-beaten-path islands are wonderful, and the views are breathtaking. A must-see for anyone who travels.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Just moved here from Australia 2 weeks ago, love it to death. Half the price of phuket/bangkok can live here for $20 a day. Unbelievable.
My personal 3
Tokyo – love the cleanliness, the tech, the orderliness
Paris – beyond the fact that Parisians don’t pick up dog droppings, wonderful food and sights. I didnt find them to be rude.
Brazil – I spent time in Savador in the state of Bahia. Loved my time there and want Brazil to get it together before the Olympics.
Any place in Southeast Asia is great. Cheap food, warm weather, fantastic beaches.
Tim, you like Tokyo, but I think Kyoto is way better. There’s much more cultural stuff, and there are places that are older than America. Way older. For example, if you go to the shops on Shijyo (the main shopping street), there are these shops that have been there for hundreds of years!
Plus, you can hop on the train and go to Osaka in about 1 1/2 hours. If you have a Rail Pass, it’s only 30 minutes by Shinkansen! Osaka is awesome for eating, bars and clubs.
Another great thing about Kyoto is it is small and flat (at least the city part). Like Amsterdam, you can get a bike (or rent one) and go pretty much anywhere.
It’s great you mentioned learning Japanese because it is such a simple language.
Love 4HWW! Can’t wait for more!
The more I travel, the harder it gets to pick a favorite place, as so many places are absolutely wonderful. I’m assuming that this is favorite places outside the United States, because I do think the US is pretty stunning from the standpoint of natural beauty, wide-open-spaces, and tremendous variety. So just thinking of overseas destinations, I’d start with the Australia. I love it all, but feel particularly attuned to the outback, especially around the Red Center. Second would probably be Japan — Kyoto to visit, but Shizuoka if I were going to stay long term. Third choice would be southern India, and while I loved Mysore, I’d probably have to say Kerala would be my top choice, if we need to narrow it down. Houseboat on the backwaters, great food, charming people, glorious scenery, astonishing history, simply wonderful. That said, Kerala would probably be tied with Morocco and China. All destinations where one can be saturated with culture, history, and great food — and all destinations of such sensory overload that you really forget about everything else.
I love England, but haven’t listed it in the top three simply because I’ve been so often and think of it so much as my second home, it’s almost hard to consider it a destination. However, for anyone interested in history or literature, it’s a great choice.
so much weed innuendo.
Tim, I mentioned this in another comment and continue to be amazed with your pronunciation. Ive used your methods to develop conversational fluency in french and german in less than 3 months each but still have a miserable accent. What can I do other than drill pronunciation 24/7 with a local.
How does 80/20 apply here???
When I was in Lijiang I had some of the local Yunnan liquor Baijiu mentioned in the video just after lunch and I spent the whole afternoon sleeping in the hostel.
1. Thailand: Great all round holiday country, nice beaches, weather and people
2. Capetown – South Africa: Lovely city, with the rock formations of the Tavelberg overlooking the city
3. Laos: Beautiful nature and the most friendly and relaxed people I ever met.
Hong Kong is where I would like to go. Suprised you didn’t mention London England LOl.. lots of rain there
1. Florianopolis, Brazil. Nice beaches, beautiful people, great times.
2. Barcelona, Spain. Wonderful food, great nightlife, fantastic culture.
2. Punta del Este, Uruguay. Another great beach spot.
Another very nice ‘fishing town’ in Mexico is Los Barriles, BCS. It’s been a few years since I’ve been back down there (I’ve heard they’ve added a nearby golf course), but it is a nice relaxing atmosphere on a beautiful beach. Great place to watch windsurfers and/or to learn how to windsurf.
Also, if the little blue-tarped taco stand is still up the street from Playa Del Sol and Las Palmas de Cortez, you’re in for a treat (don’t be scared!).
Hey, which camera was used to film this? And what video editing software?
1 – Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay on the river
2 – St. Barts
3 – Island of Menorca off coast of Spain
Berlin and Amsterdam are up there for me
Tokyo is also awesome
I lived in london for a while and I think you’re not giving london enough credit tim. While it is quite expensive, I found Geneva considerably more expensive, and tokyo equally expensive. London is just a difficult city to find the good spots because it is one massive tourist trap and the crime rates are so high so being adventurous is a little scary. If you find the right spots booze and food can both become quite affordable. That’s why english people get drunker than the rest of the world.
As someone who quit my job earlier this year to travel, I love love love this post. Thanks to everyone for all the recommendations. Absolutely agree that Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Gallway and Munich are great, and I can only speak to the places I’ve been.
Spent four months living in Peru this year. It’s awesome! Transportation can be an annoying dilemma, but it’s worth it. Peru has beautiful beaches, Incan ruins (including the incredible Machu Picchu), wineries, sand dunes, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and the jungle. Not to mention, salsa is way better than tango (sorry Tim).
As Brew said earlier, Antigua is great. I have not personally been, but I’ve heard fabulous things about the city and Guatemala.
Iguazu is indescribable. Didn’t make it to Bolivia, Colombia, Chile or Patagonia, however, from pictures and first-hand accounts from friends, they are musts.
The country of Uganda is also amazing. Guidebooks call it the pearl of Africa, and what’s ironic is that Ugandans don’t know what a pearl is. Uganda has breathtaking savannah plains, the Nile River of course, the jungle, Lake Victoria and the Virunga Mountains to see gorillas, as Jen mentioned before. I contracted malaria the last day of my trip. Totally worth it though.
Next on the list: Seoul, South Korea. Accepted an ESL teaching position there starting the end of Feb.
Enticing place I’d like to go: Borneo! The orangutans are endangered.
Forgot to mention the Galapagos Islands. All I can say is WOW. It doesn’t even seem real it’s so beautiful, both on land and underwater.
I’ve been to Thailand, Argentina, Tokyo, Europe, but my all time fave is still southern Africa. So much to do (safari, bungee jump, sandboard, 4-wheeling). Easy to get around/communicate (English is the official language in most countries). Very active. And very affordable affordable (at the time, the rand/dollar ration is about 25% less now). Check it out.
I’m just going to name one, got to be New Zealand!
Hiring a car and drive some of the amazing routes, Blue Lake in Rotorua, and Te Anau and Milford Sound/Fiordland. Took a drive to a cruise at Milford Sound and we literally went from snowing one side of the Homer Tunnel to bright sunshine and blue skies on the other side, all within 10 minutes. Our tour guide told us it rains 2 out of 3 days at Milford Sound, so if you catch a clear day after the rain it’s incredible, natural waterfalls, rainbows, seals on the rocks, an unforgettable experience.
Yeah, Tim! Augustiner ist das beste Bier der Welt und sicher besser als Wasser. Love your fascination with languages, so if you’re ever in Munich again, next Oktoberfest maybe. Das Hofbräuhaus wartet..
1. Charlottesville, VA
2. Ruckersville, VA
3. Earlysville, VA
Don’t have to travel far to find what you need.
Glad to hear you ventured out to Galway. I too am a big music guy (a drummer as well), and while grabbing a newspaper at a local stand in Dublin way back in 1994, I chatted up the married couple that was running it. I shared my love of music, and the fact that I was looking to score an internship in the music industry while in Ireland for four months.
They immediately mentioned I should head down to Galway for the good crack! After clearing my ears out to discover they were actually saying the Irish word “craic” – which essentially means “good times” (for those not familiar…) I looked into getting my butt to Galway for the weekend. Little did I know that I would enjoy it so much, I didn’t even bother coming back to Dublin! I love Galway…it’s my second home in a way. It’s changed so much recently.
Also, re: Irish music. . .Pandora has tons of great stuff on there. . .I’ve got a station that is a continually growing mix of classic Irish stuff along with some newer punk stuff. If you can imagine a station that goes from The Dubliners to the Pogues to the Dropkick Murphy’s and back to the Clancy Brothers you’ll have a great idea as to what the station sounds like! It rocks!
When I was in college working as a bellboy at a hotel I surveyed over 200 people and asked the same question. They came up with “Florence, Italy”…so I moved there. I think its important to make the distinction between “Travel” and “Living”. For example China is amazing for travelling, but would never live there again. Tokyo, where I live now is probably
the best and or tied with Florence, Italy. Next on my list is Argentina….
Great video guys,
I definitely agree with BA! I was convinced to take a 2 week vacation there in March after reading the 4 hr Work Week and checking out your BA post on the blog. You’re right, the steak sandwiches off Florida St were the bomb! The people at BA4U were great too and the apartments were pretty sweet, so thanks for the recommendation!
That trip actually inspired bigger and better things too, as right now I’m in Antigua, Guatemala learning Spanish to kick off a year long “mini retirement” through Central and South America! I mean, who wants to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day when the whole worlds out there…right??
Thanks again Tim!
You should check out Peru. I am trying to go in Feb/March of 2010. My dad has a beach house and a house in the city. You can stay there for free!
Nice episode guys. Tim – one thing. Argentina is a great place and it isn’t nearly as cheap as it was a few years ago as you mentioned. However, it isn’t due to the country’s increased popularity as a tourist destination as you elude to. Rather, it is due to inflation that has eaten away at the favorable exchange rate.
Thanks for the tips boys. Just two quick points re Ireland (I’m an Irish/Australian dual citizen).
(1) Jameson whiskey: It’s pronounced JAM-e-s’n, not JAMES-sun. *
(You’ll get your teeth loosened in Dublin for that one.)
(2) Dublin is (officially) Europe’s MOST expensive city. Mainly because of an out of control property market which has made a handful rich, and the rest worse off than before the Celtic Tiger chewed it’s leg off.
* No matter what the TV ads in other countries might say. (This might be a good subject for an episode, how and why brand names get screwed up around the world. e.g. The VW Touareg is pronounced something like “T’warh-egg” but in the US and Australia (which has become more ‘Yankophone’ in my absence) VW’s own ads mispronounce it as “Tour-egg”.
They’re assuming that the world’s most successful multicultural nation can’t pronounce foreign words properly!
Then there’s of course, Hyundai, which has had three or more different ‘official’ pronunciations since they first arrived in English speaking nations, but almost none of them are consistent with each other.
I just came back from SE Asia…Tim you mention Thailand as one of the friendliest people, and true its an awesome place but…
…you need go to Laos, just north west of Thailand. The food is claimed to be one of the best in the world for the price, the people are friendlier than Thai’s, and the scenery is simply amazing. Plus the tubing down the canal is an experience unlike any.
I’m off to Mexico next week, thanks for the suggestion on Troncones, I’ll be sure to roll by!
Next on my list, Argentina and Spain.
Tim, I’m gonna keep this short so that…
A. I don’t waste your time
B. You’ll be compelled to help me
I’m planning my first “mini-retirement/honeymoon” rolled into one, and need some advice! I’m interested in the Yucatan pen. (Merida, Playa del Carmen, Isla Holbox) but am concerned about safety. Any specific tips to prevent theft and/or unauthorized organ transplants in Mexico and abroad?
P.S. how about the next “RANDOM” video should
talk about violent crime aversion tactics. Maybe elaborate on those Rio “near death” experiences?
Thanks in advance, Brandon
can you list the list? This video cannot be viewed from inside China.
Great episode guys!
I would have to go with Iceland for the best all round country. I went for a week and the scenery is just amazing, truly out of this world. I recommend spending a day or two in the capital (preferably during the weekends since the nightlife at Reykjavik is insane!), and the rest following the ring road around the country. Many people suggest going during the summer months from May to August, but going in November when it’s late Fall and less packed with tourists is a great time too!
For favorite city, I might have to go with Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s got a great feel to it, very French like, but better than anything I’ve ever been to in France. Of course, there’s Hong Kong, but to say it’s the best city ever would be a little unfair since I live there 😉
Happy travels all!
So, r u planing to visit INDIA??
If yes let me know please..
Thailand – great choice! I moved here a few years ago after lived in the Bay Area for school and investment banking.
The food here has probably gotten better since you were last here. Some super-malls which have opened recently – Paragon, CentralWorld, Esplanade – have got a great selection of international food.
I love these “Random” vids. Keep ’em coming. I gotta check out Amsterdam.
I have a friend who just moved to Tokyo. We grew up together and when we graduated high school he enlisted in the military and they sent him to Japan. He loved it so much that he said he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
I’m planning on visiting him next year. I’m determined to lean some Japanese before I go. Any scams I should watch out for?
Thanks Tim. Great video! here are my suggestions:
1. Liverpool, England. Many people associate Liverpool with the Beatles and they are still a big part of the culture there. You can have your photo taken on the famous Matthew Street and have a good pint in the Cavern Club. However, Liverpool has plenty more to offer. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the UK, compact, easily walkable and a melting pot of communities that is heavily influenced by the citiy’s past as a major port. It is very much unity in diversity and you can be Salsa dancing with senioritas from the Dominican Republic one night, squaring off with a Brazillian Capoera master the next and then drumming along at an African music festival the next. I understand a lot of cities have this type of culture but nowhere have I seen it more welcoming than in Liverpool. Also, It is one of the cheapest cities in the UK, Expect to pay alot less than in London for everything.
2. Lille, France. Much smaller than Paris but still a major city it has all the best of France in a compact place. Again, easily walkable (I like places i can just get lost in), full of great architecture (the main square is absolutley stunning when lit up at night) and with plenty to do. It is easy to get to on the Eurostar (90 mins from London). Very relaxed yet cosmopolitan place.
Honourable Mentions – Bruges – Belgium, Cologne – Germany
I have just returned from 3 Months living in Bangkok and have to agree that the people there are truly spectacular. Beautiful people, always smiling, very cheap and very modern.
Bangkok is probably up there with some of the most modern cities in the world.
Ko Samui and Ko Tao islands – Incredible.
S O C O T R A
A true vacation on a lost island.
What u say Tim?
I have found that it is always cool to go on trips with a local whenever possible. Such as a week long adventure through Calabria (Southern Italy) with my Italian friend. We went to the village where here grew up and stayed with relatives. Total immersion feeling! Regardless of where you are, good times are best enjoyed with good company
I am convinced that the next time I’m in Europe, I’d do an Italy only tour. It really is fantastic how much changes from north to south.
Anyway my list so far:
1. (city, 1 two days……… Prague, Lucern Switzerland & Brussels Belgium(with a local)
2. Mini retirement 3 mo +…… Taipei Taiwan, Panama City, Mexican Riviera somewhere
3. Place I have heard great things about for mini-retirements: BsAs (of course), Equador, Thailand
Thanks!,, Great post
Fun convo, Tim was getting more animated as the alcohol flowed. I like the top three choices you guys made and just to add variety, I think my top 3 places in order are: (1)Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, (2)Costa Rica, (3)Budapest. Have you ever been to Lapa on a weekend Tim? If so, what did you think?
My partner and I are travelling Europe in a motorhome indefinitely and working remotely while we do it. We’ve been going for almost 6 months now. The highlights so far have been Ireland and Sicily. One day in Ireland? Do a driving tour of the Dingle Peninsula then spend the night having a pint or two of Guinness with the locals in a Dingle pub whilst listening to the traditional live music. If you’ve only got one day in Sicily – if it’s swimming weather hike the Zingaro national park and take a swim in one of the secluded bays. Any other time of the year take a hike in the Mt Etna national park instead – especially if it’s autumn!
Shanghai definitely deserves some lip service. Wonderful fusion of Asian and Western culture in a blender on high speed setting. The contrast between the Bund and the high rises of Pudong is exceptional. A cocktail on the top floor of the 87th floor of the Jin Mao tower is a surreal experience. Go at sunset and watch the lights of the city come alive.
I googled Verana and it’s on the coast of Jalisco, on the mainland, not in Baja! Bad.
Great vid and viewpoints. Suggestions for next time –
1. Lose the empty drinks in the foreground.
2. Less swearing.
3. Kevin mentions “Baja” a few times. His recommendation is nowhere near Baja. It’s south of Puerto Vallarta.
I’m studying abroad in Luxembourg next semester so this video was really helpful! Definitely planning on checking out Amsterdam and Berlin.
I’ve found a huge side benefit from travel is getting outside of the day-to-day, learning new cultures (which pushes your comfort zone) and clearing your head so you can be more productive when you return to home base.
One thing I always think of with 4HWW is ‘ambitious leisure’ – something I’ve been much more successful in implementing thanks to Tim’s tips. Keep ’em comin’!
I can’t believe IRAQ didn’t make the list.. oh wait didn’t you want High Risk Venture traveling locations? lol
My top 3 places I’ve been:
1. Jinja, Uganda – Located at the source of the Nile River, it’s home to some of the most intense white water rafting in Africa. The locals and ex-pats really know how to party at night as well.
2. Prague, Czech Republic – Smaller and less expensive than most major European cities, which is the appeal. Lots of history, great bars/nightlife, and beautiful women.
3. Maya Riviera, Mexico – Located south of Cancun & Playa Del Carmen, you are far enough away from the larger tourist traps. Be sure to check out some of the lesser known Mayan Ruins (Tulum, Coba), go swimming in a cenote (cave), & go trekking thru the jungle.
I can’t believe you guys never mentioned Curtiba Brazil!
Home of Chuteboxe! Never been, but I’d like to visit sometime…
The best place for me was Thailand.
It was cheap, but at the same time it was modern. They have a skytrain, subway, and even a mall that sells Lamborginis! (Paragon).
Just have to watch out for locals who make a living scamming tourists out of their money.
My recommendations are from the view point of a single male in my late 20’s so keep that in mind.
Top 3 places to Live.
1. Bangkok, Thailand. – I have lived here for over a year and call this home.
2. Bali, Indonesia – Lived here for a year, amazing culture, scenery and lifestyle.
3. Buenos Aires, Argentina – I think Tim covered this one very well. I was here for 6 months.
Top 3 places to visit.
1. Bali, Indonesia – Obviously I think highly of this place, especially ubud.
2. Interlaken, Switzerland – and the surrounding area. It is like a picture book plus awesome adventure sports.
3. Cinque Terre, Italy – As others have already mentioned.