Random – Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss' Top 3 Travel Spots

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”

  1. Hi,

    I am living for more than seven years in South America, Chile. It is the safest country in S. A.. The advantage is you can travel fast and cheap to Argentina, Buenos Aires is the capitol of Tango and design. Another place of course is Rio, a city placed in a paradise.

    Endless nature, desert and Antarctic you will find in Chile but the people are in general conservatives.

    But I like it. At the moment I am at the Pacific with sunshine and a heavy wind, in the evening we drive back to the only metropol, all is centralized in Santiago de Chile.

  2. For paradise in the South Pacific you can’t go past the Vava’u Island Group in the Kingdom of Tonga. 170 mainly uninhabited islands, all with beautiful snorkelling in ‘Bombay Sapphire’ blue water. Self-sail yacht charter is the best way to see these islands (and you’ll have hot water and if you can cook – decent food – can’t guarantee that here on land!), so you need some sailing experience but you can hire a skipper if you need to.

    -Swim with hump back whales that migrate through here and marvel at the beautiful mystical whale song that you can hear underwater that travels hundreds of metres.

    – Swim into Mariners Cave – a cave with the entrance underwater – an amazing experience.

    -Go big game fishing for yellow fin tuna (you will need to for food unless you can survive on rice and pawpaw!) or to tag and release a marlin.

    – If you are into Kite-boarding there are awesome trade winds here.

    We visit here every 2 years and two weeks on the yacht is never long enough – we are planning to make it months at a time in the future. An untouched wilderness that is kept this way by it’s remoteness and the lack of infrastructure in this country still ruled by a king. Ssshhh – don’t tell everyone…!

  3. haha! Thanks Lynda. You said the place where I’m from 😉

    1. Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga ~ South Pacific

    Vava’u is one of the hidden secrets of this world & one of the few places where you can swim with HUMPBACK whales 😉

    2. Buzios (Brazil)

    Just love this little town north of Rio. Cobbled streets, friendly people, amazing vibe.

    3. Goa (India) from Nov to Feb

    Love India and Goa is a great place to visit.

  4. My heart sank when that one person mentioned New Zealand. I was hoping no one would. It has its disadvantages in that it is miles away from anywhere else, very expensive, and quite dull. I think the other countries are much more action-packed and worthwhile for tourists…

  5. Hi All!

    Thanks so much for the great comments and discussion. Just an important FYI:

    The live QA for y’all who get the new edition will not be on the 17th — it will be on the 12/22, as I’ve realized some people won’t receive books by 12/17.

    Here is the new and expanded edition — much, much improved with more than 50 tips and case studies from readers: http://bit.ly/jEAUT

    More call details to come soon.

    If you want to join the call with the older edition, that’s also totally cool, but we’ll be focusing on content in the new book and things that have happened since 2007.

    Looking forward to it!

    Thanks so much and all the best,


  6. Tim,

    Delighted to hear the Jameson Factory story from Ireland! I work next door and have been tempted in myself. Love the 4HWW, will be getting it for my Dad and brother for Christmas. If you come to Ireland again drop me an email and I’ll show you a few city highlights that you can’t find in the guides on or offline.

    John, 27 , Dublin – Ireland

  7. Blimey, well that one’s prompted a lot of discussion…!

    Tim, am digging the beard, I don’t think you should get rid of it. I’m going to try to find the answer to this somewhere on the site, but how many languages are you now able to get by decently in? I can tell you’ve got a good spanish and chinese accents, so I’m wondering how many more you’ve broken down and successfully learnt. It’s making me think about trying your methods for Japanese!

    Thanks for inspiring me to quit my job last year, and run for the hills – I covered Japan (prefer Kyoto to Tokyo), Seoul, Hong Kong, Vietnam, California, Mexico, Guatemala (not a fan but was a necessary evil to get to) Belize, and New York/Connecticut/surrounding states. Was a great trip which reminded me of how much I loved travelling.

    And since I’ve been back, although enduring a few months of pretty darn hard unemployment, I’ve still managed to pack in 3-4 trips to Italy (North and Tuscany), 2 trips to Amsterdam (agree with everything you two say, I could happily live there biking my days away and filling baskets with tulips), Bali, Istanbul (careful of the turkish delight in the markets, you might get more than you bargained for)…oh, and I write from Philadelphia. But I don’t think that counts, seeing as though I’m struck down with flu, and haven’t left this hotel room for over 60 hours. The plus side: I get to watch you guys, and I start to understand what life might be like living entirely on room service…..surreal…

    Here’s my vote for you to keep the beard Tim!

  8. When I move to Brazil next year I’ll be sure to update the community with any relative safety concerns. I look rather similar to Tim in terms of skin color, hair color, and build. Hopefully everything will be ok and I won’t have any near death experiences!

  9. Tim & Kevin

    You guys need to get your asses over to Africa & more importantly South Africa!

    It will blow you away. Guaranteed you will revise your list!!!

  10. Brazil has some good times with beautiful lands and beautiful people. BUZIOS in Rio De Janiero state is a great spot. Lots of small beaches (23 if I remember correctly) and the people are very mellow. Make sure you hit up a local “fisherman” for a fishing trip – trust me… the US Coast Guard would never let some of these boats carry people. The boat ride is an adventure in and of itself, when you catch a fish or two take it back to a small waterside outdoor “restaurant” and have them cook it up for you.

    You can get an ocean view two bedroom two bath posada with a hot tub for $80 a night US.

    The small downtown area has good nite life and with a 15 minute walk to the next cove you get the local feel.

    My wife tells me NATAL is great (six hour flight non-stop from Miami) – get ready for the olympics and world cup!

    May all your adventures be memorable ones…..

  11. I really want to go to Cape town South Africa. I have heard so many fantastic things. For now, Cinque terre will have to do (this weekend) and Amsterdam in a few weeks. Happy travel.

  12. I live in NZ now, and moved here from un-affordable Vancouver BC. I went from a 1.5 hr commute to a 15 minute one. Great place to live.

    To visit, I have been many places including some of the areas mentioned in Mexico. I love the Yucatan. That said, it was 15 or more years ago.

    Fly to Cancun and rent a car or get on a bus, but the get the hell out of there. It should be treated like an airport in your mind. Go south or east for a few hours. East takes you to


    and Cenote X’keken http://images.google.co.nz/images?q=Cenote+X'keken

    Near there is an awesome tour of an ancient worship site in a cave. It is so old the stalagmites have formed around bowls for offerings.

    South takes you to the “Riviera” already mentioned. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_Ojos is a snorkel tour of caves, fantastic. The foreign tour guides in this area were working with the locals because that is sustainable. ( This was damn near 15 years ago now, so it may be very different now…) The guides did that cave diving exploration stuff in their spare time and were “bent” by some accounts. It was rough but fun. Adventure tourism on rickety lashed steps down into a cenote; and this after a ride in an old toyota ute held together by lashed poles and driven by the eight year old. Fun times.

    Anyways, I had a great time in Playa Del Carmen as a base and did day trips to visit the sites.

  13. Antigua Guatemala is a must, as earlier mentioned, great colonial city surrounded by Volcanoes.

    Maastricht in the Netherlands, the Dutch’s favourite city, beautiful old but well looked after city right in the south near Belgium and Germany, great mixture of foods, dialect and party atmosphere. They have a huge Carnaval every year, and literally hundreds of bars full of great beers.

    Edinburgh, my country’s capital, stunning layout, huge castle lots to do and great nightlife, go during the festival if you can find a room.

    Oaxaca city in Mexico, great place to brush up on your spanish and enjoy Salsa dancing and Mescal, with beautiful old streets.

    Best beaches I have been to: Gili Islands of Lombok Indonesia, Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, Koh Samui Thailand.

  14. I love Chile and Argentina for the skiing and snowboarding in July and August.

    Brazil too is amazing for the culture, surf and food.

    Would love to get to Russia one day but a tough trip with a young family.

    Great blog!

  15. I felt like I was sitting across from 2 friends at a hostel…reminds me of a few personal experiences where I get to giggle along, yet listening to a few uncharted destinations – inspires me to keep going. From the pristine Scandinavian streets to the broken steps on the inka trail…the best way to explore any city is to get lost in the streets. Agree however one may want to be careful while doing this in Rio…always have a posse in Rio!

  16. Just came back from London, and I gotta say, when you are from a euro-country it is not that expensive! Currently the pound almost equals the euro, so half a litre beer for 3 pounds is only 3 euros, try to do that in Amsterdam! And the pub food is lovely and not expensive, you can get a meal for 5 till 10 pounds. Try O’Neills, an Irish pub, close to Regent Street and you will get the best Guiness Pie you ever had!

  17. Bit late to the party on this – but great entry Tim and Kevin.

    My vote is for Estonia – close to the perfect location for 4 hour work weekers. Cheap, safe, free wireless everywhere, great bars and clubs, breathtakingly beautiful women and the best ice cream I’ve ever had (seriously). Only letdown is the cold climate, but I guess you can’t have everything.

    For those that like backpacking and the hostel scene (I realise this is not for everyone) I also recommend the Cairns to Sydney trail on the east coast of Australia. Great beaches, and if you stay in hostels (some of which describe themselves as ‘flashpackers’ and are very upmarket) you can’t help but meet a lot of very interesting people from all over the world.

    My tie for third place would be either London or Paris, in spite of the expense. You could spend months in either city and barely scratch the surface – there really is so much to do.

  18. I will agree with Tim on his opinion with Brazil. I myself go there quite frequently as my mom is from there. It is beautiful and a great place to train but the level of safety can make one uneasy.

    Many of my family have been held gunpoint, knifepoint, and threatened in the most public of places. Brazil is beautiful, but not a great place for first time tourists.

    Berlin is the bomb straight up.

    -Alex W

  19. Argentina and Thailand are easy ones (especially since my wife is from Buenos Aires), but I would’ve never imagined before coming here, but visiting Indonesia has definitely put the country in my top three.

    From the hardcore Islamic areas and jungles on Borneo/Kalimantan, to the expansive Torajan Funerals of the Torajans in Sulawesi, to the rich and unique Hindu culture of Bali, the country has been amazing.

  20. I just got back from two weeks traveling around in Indonesia (my second time there). Bali is a magical place but this time we hit Lombok (slated to be the next Bali but ssssshhhhh don’t tell anyone!) and the Gili Islands. Unbelievably beautiful and still relatively devoid of other tourists. Great food, great sights, nice people, and unbelievable beaches.

    Italy is always a great destination, particularly the Umbria area which still feels midieval.

    Thailand and Brazil are also both on my shortlist but primarily because I train MMA and will be attenting Muay Thai and BJJ camps while at each location.

    I’ve heard amazing things about Japan but haven’t made it there yet… something I hope to remedy in the very near future.

  21. Having read most of the comments and having traveled to a reasonable number of diverse places, I’m convinced there’s no such a thing as *the best place* to live or visit.

    Most of us haven’t explored the places/people we currently live at or are from — I’m talking 100-400 mile radius — yet we’ve waisted enormous amounts of time and money just getting to some of those remote places; and then wishfully hope we’ve got the gist of the place while we just merely scratched the surface by walking just a little off the tourist sidewalk.

    Stay home — visit a gold-rush town while it’s still there; talk to your grandparent while they are still alive — then go.

    (couldn’t watch your video — currently in china — though I’m sure it’s fun, as always)

  22. Lovin these short videos. Very entertaining. Currently I’m learning to speak Japanese and am also planning a trip to Japan. I’m very excited. Trying to get my business on track so that I can take a hands off approach. Should be an interesting adventure!

  23. I love Random! Just keep it real and say what you want. I feel like I get to know your personalities that way.

    For now I am just exploring the Washington DC area cause I am too broke to travel overseas but I am so addicted.

    Munich and Berlin are both a lot of fun but Munich is better.

    I love Augustiner.

    Surfing at different spots while traveling up the east coast of Australia is great. Sydney – Byron Bay.

    You have inspired me to take my next trip to China but I am really lucky that I made friends with a Chinese girl while living in Munich so she will show me around when she goes home to visit family next spring.

    Looking forward to 4HWW living in 2010!

  24. Thanks for this video I loved it. Please keep these “random” episodes coming. They are very insightful and educational. Thanks Tim and Kevin.

  25. From the perspective of an active married male in his early 30s, here’s my two cents:

    Favorites so far…


    1) Praiano, Italy…nestled into the Amalfi Coast

    2) Tzfat, Israel…home of Kabbalah

    3) Big Sur, California…nearby surfing, camping among redwoods, coastline views

    Looking forward to visiting soon…


    1) Bhutan…home of Gross National Happiness [GNH]

    2) Ibiza, Spain…authentic Summer clubbing

    3) Marrakesh, Morocco…just plain cool

  26. It’s hard to choose. There are so many places:


    From the ones I have visited:

    1. Timisoara, Romania. Romanian women rule. Czech women come in a close second. Romanian food is really good as well. Especially desserts.

    2. Sydney, Australia. Beaches. Laid-back culture. Clean. Safe.

    3. You want off the beaten path? Try North Stadbroke Island near Brisbane, Australia.

    Oh, and if you want to go for a drive: GREAT OCEAN ROAD near Melbourne or Transfagarasan in Romania (see one of the latest episodes in Top Gear to understand why).

  27. Tim,

    I had the *exact* same experience at the Jamison factory. I got that little tray with like..6 shots on it. I was sitting next to some Irish 58 year old woman that just started *knocking* them back, and that was close to the end of my day keeping up with her. I *stumbled* out of that place. Totally agree on Ireland, Munich, and Amsterdam.

    BTW…4HWW was *instrumental* in my trip. So thanks for that. 🙂

  28. My votes… having been to 20 countries & 47 US states:

    in no particular order…

    Gimmelwald, Switzerland. Tiny village high in the swiss alps. Sleep in a barn, and help shear some sheep to get some great advice on the ice caves inside a glacier.

    Amalfi coast in Italy…

    Instanbul, Turkey – one of my favorite cities in the world and a nice blend of east and west.

    great post… I think foreign travel invites one to more awareness in lifestyle design. The USA is wealthy only by the standards which it has defined as important; there’s a tribe in africa that most values free time and therefore by its own standards is the wealthiest society in the world (~3 hr work week for essential survival). France has more than double the action (bedroom action that is) of the USA, higher per-capita GDP, shorter workweek, double the time spent eating with friends on average.

    Sounds nice to me. Thanks for awakening millions with your book.

  29. Hi Tim,

    I would love to watch Random via ITunes-feeds. Vimeo is nice, but I am used to watch podcasts and stuff via Apple TV and I am lazy 😉

    Greetings from Vienna (Austria),

    Hannes (Haensel)

  30. How on earth can you mention Amsterdam without mentioning the Red Lights District?

    Also, Kevin like seriously needs to like, stop using the word like, like so much.

  31. Great show you guys wish it where longer, I would also like to know glen, kevin and tim’s top 5 beaches in the world from each, could be popular resorsts included but more interested in hidden gems like verana in yalapa mexico.

    If possible would like to include that info on my web page, which is up already but is a work in progress thanks guys.

  32. Tim or Other 4HWW fellows,

    Anyone found a good health insurance options for self-employed?

    Would anyone be willing to share how much they are paying per year?

    Like many of you, I have recently left corporate world and finding insurance is a whole new ballgame for me. Continuing my health insurance from my previous employer through COBRA costs almost $10,000 per year which seems expensive!

    Many thanks,


  33. Hi

    I think you guys are the coolest. Good stuff.

    You guys need to come to Iceland. That´s for sure. Food, Landscape, weather and super nightlife.

    Be in touch if you want a guided tour !!

  34. Well. We’ve seen the world quite a bit. At the moment we’re in Cape Town for our lifestyledesign adventure. And must say: that’s a total hit compared to many other places we’ve visited: relaxed, open(minded), sunny, and cheerful. Love the people.

    Next stopovers are Thailand and Argentina.

    But as a real travel destination I’d gladly recommend Petra in Jordan. Don’t Google it. Just go. Take a cheap plane to Egypt, cross the border to Jordan taking a boat. Hire a 4*4 tour guide and have him drive you through the desert, where once Lawrence of Arabia passed on a camel. Sleep in the desert. Enjoy the silence. Heaven is close. 🙂

  35. Great initiative Tim. I noticed you said you train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? HOw long have you been training. What would you say is your biggest hurdle in training?

  36. Hola Tim,

    I read your book in 2007 and had just started my business. Getting to the end of your book, I took a trip to one of your recommendations for travel – Buenos Aires. 6mos later, I moved here and have implemented almost every applicable item from your book to my business. Nothing could have been better for it and my life which has more time and freedom than I know what to do with.

    One question – do you have any solutions to having a book edited besides a) doing it yourself, and b) paying someone betweek 5-10k to edit the book? Its a slightly technical book on financial markets so would be interested to hear if you have any suggestions on alternative methods as you seem to have a knack for these things.

    Thanks again for all your advice in this book which took me from an overworked small business startup to a successful 4hr a day (I know – not a week) business owner.

    Saludos Cordiales,


  37. Hi Tim!

    I don’t know if you’re going to see this comment since this post has been here for such a long time, but if you do, can you share with us what are the other 2 hardest languages you’ve learnt (or tried to) besides Gaelic?

    Thanks in advance!


  38. For me, my top 3 travel spots include…

    Banos Ecuador…great place, rent a bike for $5 and ride all day downhill and see where the Andes hits the Amazon.

    Bohol Philippines…amazing place, rent a moped and cruise the island all day, picturesque beaches

    Samana Peninsula Dominican Republic… Dropdead gorgeous beaches, literally post card material…wow…

    thats my 2 cents…Dom

  39. I love thailand – I visited there for about three weeks. We visited phuket and the beach was amazing – beautiful white sand beaches. The food was amazing the lobster was baked instead of boiled(amazing spices) – so yummy. We also road on elephants through the jungle and rivers. I would say one of my favorite places to visit is Utah. There are so many beautiful/breathtaking national parks. Zion National Park – the scenery is soo beautiful/outstanding. Some other national parks in the state are Arches National park, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, and just south of utah is the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t visited the National Parks in Utah – then you are missing out!

  40. Interesting that Berlin is – almost – on your list. Can’t blame you though, BA is awesome! Did you do Tango in Berlin and if so where did you like it the best?

  41. Great show guys!

    Talking about expensive cities – you shold visit Moscow.

    If you ever going to – hit me up, I’ll give you couple of advices and can show you around.


  42. Great places you named, I’ve been to all and I’m currently staying in BA for six months. I’m from southern Sweden, but moved to Stockholm a couple of years ago. Travelled all the world but I have to say, trying not to be to much bias, that Stockholm is probably my number one spot to live. So many great things; safe, beautiful with the water and landscaping, great food and nightlife, most beautiful women in the world and so on. Downside is the dark and cold winter, and it’s a bit pricy.

    Have you guys been?

  43. Tim,

    what’s your favorite island in Thailand? Thanks for the inspiration! My muse finally took off after 2 years and I just moved to Chanthaburi, Thailand near Koh Chang