A Travellerspoint blog

The Loby Awards

By Lis and Toby


View World Tour 2010-2012 on Lis.L's travel map.

The most popular question we get about our travels is, "So, what was your favourite place?" In order to give the most thorough answer ever, we have compiled the following best of the best, worst of the worst, and everything else in between!

Countries that Exceeded our Expectations
China, Myanmar, Turkey, India, Mexico

Cities that Changed our Perspectives
Lhasa (Tibet-China), Jerusalem (Israel), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Kigali (Rwanda), Phonsavan (Laos)

Cities to Linger in
Hong Kong, Shanghai (China), Luang Prabang (Laos), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Kathmandu (Nepal), Udaipur (India), Rishikesh (India), Istanbul (Turkey), San Cristobal (Mexico), Oaxaca (Mexico), Guanajuato (Mexico)

Jaw-Dropping Architecture
Hong Kong Skyline, Forbidden City (China), Ankor Wat (Cambodia), Bagan (Myanmar), Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar), Ellora (India), Petra (Jordan)

Awe-inspiring Natural Wonders
Zhangjiajie (China), Jiuzhaigou (China), Yangshuo (China), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Koh Phi Phi (Thailand), Annapurna Mountains (Nepal), Mt Everest (Tibet-China), Tibetan Plateau (Tibet-China), Cappadocia (Turkey), Turquoise Waters off Turkey's Coast, Santorini's Caldera (Greece), Wadi Rum (Jordan), Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), Serengetti National Park (Tanzania), Cenotes (Mexico)

Best of the Best

  • Best place to see wild animals - Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Best breakfast - Agora Hostel in Istanbul (Turkey)
  • Best country for food - Malaysia
  • Best country for vegetarians - India
  • Best snorkeling - Aqaba in the Red Sea (Jordan)
  • Best buses - 1) Turkey, 2) Mexico

Worst of the Worst

  • Worst hotel room - Hotel Central in Macau, Kommagene Hotel in Khata (Turkey), "Hotel Alley" in Patna (India)
  • Worst food - Shanti Restaurant in Agra (India), Lumbini Village Guesthouse (Nepal)
  • Worst creatures in the room - giant spider in Dehang (China), cockroaches in Hania (Greece), frog in Yangshou (China), millipede in Zhangjiaije (China), multiplying bugs in Riley Beach (Thailand), termites in Lumbini (Nepal), mice in Bodhgaya (India), mystery animal behind the door in Kathmandu (Nepal), bats in Chiang Rai (Thailand), bedbugs in Playa del Carmen (Mexico)
  • Worst /most memorable buses - India, China, Myanmar
  • Worst/most memorable toilets - China
  • Worst tour - Nothing but some rocks and your imagination at the Troy ruins (Turkey)

Most of the Most

  • Most army presence - Lhasa (Tibet-China), Jerusalem (Israel)
  • Most attempted scam - "It's closed today, maybe you should go here instead?" Bangkok (Thailand)
  • Most attempted tout - "Rickshaw, taxi, tuk-tuk?" Everywhere!
  • Most aggressive touts - Getting off the bus in Jaisalmer (India)
  • Most steps - 3200 steps to the Jain temples on top of Palitana (India)
  • Most needed second language - Mandarin (China), Spanish (Mexico and Cuba)
  • Most misunderstood global norm - Different washrooms; showers without curtains or doors, squat toilets, bucket flushes, bring your own toilet paper
  • Country where the majority of tourists are nationals - China, India, Mexico

Longest of the Long

  • Longest layover - 15 hours in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) airport en route from Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) to Istanbul (Turkey)
  • Longest flight - 14 hours from Newark (USA) to Beijing (China)
  • Longest travel day - 14.5 hours on 4 modes of transport from Fenghuang to Guilin (China), 30 hours (including a stop for sightseeing!) on 7 modes of transportation from Bhopal to Aurangabad (India)
  • Longest border crossing - Jordan to Israel - 4 hours, Immigration processing time only, there was no queue!
  • Longest time spent in one country - 115 days in China
  • Longest stay in one city - 20 days in Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • Longest trek - 13 days Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
  • Longest day of trekking - 11 hours to cross the pass from Thorang Phedi to Muktinath (Nepal) - 100m up, then 1600m down
  • Longest time without showering - 4 days during Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
  • Longest time spent in a tent - 22 days in Eastern Africa

Other Superlatives

  • Highest - Throng-la pass 5416 metres above sea level (Nepal)
  • Lowest - 440 m below sea level at the Dead Sea (Jordan)
  • Smallest aircraft - 25 seats - Jomsom to Pokhara (Nepal)
  • Strangest food tried by Toby - Buffalo brain (Laos), crickets (Thailand)
  • Cheapest room - Don Det $3 (Laos), $2.50-$4 Annapurna Circuit (Nepal)
  • Cheapest meal - $1.60 in Palitana (India) for both of us
  • Cheapest country - India at $40 per day for both of us
  • Biggest splurge - $500 per person for a 5 hour trek to/from and one hour with wild gorillas in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
  • Spiciest food - tofu in Zhangzhaije (China), noodles in Koh Samui (Thailand)
  • Coldest - -1o C in February in Dharamsala (India)
  • Hottest - 40o C in August in Aqaba (Jordan), even after sundown!
  • Fastest train - 350 km/h from Guangzhou to Wuhan (China)
  • Oldest structure - 9000 BCE Gobekli tepe outside of Urfa (Turkey)
  • Farthest East - Shanghai (China)
  • Farthest North - Beijing (China)
  • Farthest South - Zanzibar (Tanzania)
  • Farthest West - Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • Least authentic - lack of Thai norms in Southern Thailand, two-tier economy in Cuba
  • Actual chickens on the chicken bus - Cambodia
  • Don't talk about the government - Myanmar, China; especially Tibet
  • Near death experience - Toby; falling off the path at Tiger Leaping Gorge (China), Lis; dehydration in Jordan, AMS in Tibet
  • Once every trip... when you have to throw out a pair of underwear - Urfa (Turkey)
  • Funniest English signs - "No walking and watching" on Hua Shan (China), "Don't forget your bits and bops" in a shared shower, Qing Dao (China)
  • Total days - 709
  • Total kms - 94,133km

So... are we missing anything you'd like to know?

Posted by Lis.L Fri 5 Oct 2012 17:12 Tagged highlights round_the_world world_tour best_of favourite_place

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Comments

Just fabulous!

Sat 6 Oct 2012 by Sarah Abbott

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