If last week was focused on the great relationships I formed during my backpacking trip around the world, then this week's posts are going to be centered around superlatives. The best food, adventure activities, and to kick things off, accommodations!
Himalaya View Guest House – Chomrong, Nepal – The guest house may have been very basic, but the warmth and hospitality of the Nepalese staff, my porter Nima Sherpa, and of other trekkers passing through Chomrong made my nights here memorable. I frequently stood in awe at the Himalayan panorama outside my doorstep (including 8,000m Annapurna South, and Mt. Machhapuchhre), ate pizza, and hoped Gela was warm and safe up at Annapurna Base Camp. Why wasn´t I with her? Read my 12-part series on the Annapurna Sanctuary trek.
PRK Guest House – Boudha, Nepal – I was driven out of the uber-popular Kathmandu Guest House in the touristy Thamel distrct after one too many nights of hearing the same cover band belt out songs from a nearby bar. I checked into a monastery-run guest house in Boudha, a minute's walk from the important Buddhist pilgrimage site of Boudhnath Stupa just outside the capital city. From my room, I had a perfect view of a garden, and school yard which would fill with children at play every afternoon. In the mornings, I awoke at 6am to the banging of drums, and chants of monks. And my close proximity to the stupa meant I could visit, observe, and photograph it from sunrise to sunset. Check out a few of my posts from this time: Blissful Boudhnath Stupa, Daily Life in Boudha, and More Images From Boudhnath Stupa.
Tibetan Monastery – Bodhgaya, India – The room was a bed, a desk, and a fan, but I knew my patronage helped support the monastery, and it certainly was amongst the most tranquil places I stayed. I was too lazy to get up in the mornings for the early prayers, though I was more than welcome to attend. Here´s a post about my visit to the Bodhi tree where Buddha attained enlightenment!
Mountain bungalow – Haad Rin (beach) on Koh Phangan (island), Thailand – One week in a private bungalow overlooking Thailand's most infamous beach, and world party destination, Haad Rin. Read about my experience at the July 2008 Full Moon Party.
The Intercity Hotel – Vientiane, Laos – At $40 per night, this Lonely Planet Editor's Pick was a splurge but well worth it in advance of my birthday. I believe it was the costliest accommodation of my trip, offering views of the Mekong River and an adjacent monastery. I wrote a little more about it here.
The Backpack – Cape Town, South Africa – Warren said The Backpack was rated the best hostel in South Africa, if not the whole continent, and dropped me off there upon my arrival in Cape Town. The views of Table Mountain were great, and the staff and Tuesday braai (BBQ) wonderful. The first activity I booked at The Backpack was a wine tour of course!