Daily Archives: August 19, 2011

My Top 10 Places

So every year the NYTimes puts out a list (41 this year, to be exact) of exciting spots to travel to around the world.  After having a conversation with a friend this morning (over skype mind you, because we are on two different continents!) about our collective wanderlust (yes, I know I live in China, but I’ve been oohing and ahhing over her photos of her recent trip to Europe, while she thought my jaunt to Southeast Asia looked quite enticing), I decided to embrace my own world travel dreams and make my own list.  Check marks this year go to Hong Kong (of course, I’d been there before but it’s great every time!), the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos.  These locations, in no particular order, soon(er) (or later, who really knows?) to follow!

  1. Bali, Indonesia:  Some friends of mine recently made the trip (Beth and Vic, you need to get your photos up if I’m going to link to your blog!) and declared it as glorious as everyone (including Eat Pray Love) makes it out to be.  Getting here, unfortunately, looked rather expensive the last time my husband and I googled flights from China, but we will try again!
  2. Italy:  My husband and I honeymooned in Southern Spain, and would love to go back (see number 8), but lately I’ve been thinking Italian- food, wine, and countryside that is.  The friend who’s as much responsible for this list as I am recently made it to Positano, and found it her favorite city, of the 9 European cities she and her boyfriend visited in 28 days.  May just have to check it out myself.
  3. Cuba:  Okay, this may be a bit far-fetched at the moment (have to find a legal way in and all), but the Anthony Bourdain episode was too good to pass up.  The architecture, colors, and flavors in Cuba remind me of my beloved Puerto Rico, that, and their Spanish may be the next hardest to understand!  Do I smell a challenge?  I’m in!
  4. Singapore:  This one will have to wait until my husband and I are not on such a strict budget, as I hear Singapore is a comparable pricey, cosmopolitan, Asian city to Hong Kong.  And yet, the meshing of Asian culture there lures, as well as its beautiful views.
  5. Thailand & Cambodia:  Now these are more our speed, and our budget, for the moment.  Friends of ours went onto Thailand and Cambodia after Vietnam and Laos, and you can check out some of their photos on Ben’s photo blog.  Their recommendation: spend your time in Siem Reap- unspoiled, scenic, and haunting.
  6. Romania:  Speaking of recommendations from friends, these same world travelers recommend Eastern Europe (but it wouldn’t really be fair or practical to list an entire region, would it?), particularly Romania.  As a gymnastics lover, I’ve been curious about the Cold War, comback-kid, castles-laden land for decades.
  7. Argentina:  I hear the architecture of Argentina (Buenos Aires) is partly European, and wonderfully South American, the men are gorgeous (just looking!), the accent lovely, and the climate, fantastically diverse.  My brother-in-law touts it as a great location for back-country skiing, but I’ll probably stick to sampling the fabulous wine (tried this Catena Malbec recently and loved it), thank you very much.
  8. Spain:  We can’t wait to go back!  My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon in Andalucia (Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, and Sevilla), the only regrets being not enough time, and we didn’t make it north to cities like Madrid and Barcelona.  Oh, to have a month in Spain, now that we know what to eat (tapas tapas tapas) and what not to (um, too much mayonnaise), as well as where we’d want to spend our time (Granada!).
  9. Turkey & Greece:  I recently asked a well-traveled older friend of mine, where some of his favorite trips had been to, and he picked Turkey for its religious pluralism, and fascinating mix of historic and modern.  We had a similar appreciation for the history of Spain, and I’ve tacked on Greece here, because the islands, the blue of the sea, and the white of the cities, just looks too beautiful to miss!
  10. Australia:  Within range of China, Australia looks like it has so much to offer in terms of climate, nature, and people (we love our Aussie friends here in China!).
Well…what’s on your list??