Greatest Hits

by Johnny

Whenever we talk to people about our trip, the first question that always gets asked is, “So, what’s been your favorite place?”  I’m sure we’ll get this question a ton once we get back (which is just fine with us…we love talking about our trip).  It’s just that it’s such a hard question to answer.  Literally every single place we visited offered up something unique and special which made it worth traveling to.  That said, we tried to rank some of our favorite places in various categories (a fun little exercise to help pass the time on long travel days).  But before our rankings, here are some of our favorite, most memorable experiences from our 320-day, round-the-world adventure (these were too hard to rank, so they’re in chronological order):

Without further ado, here are our rankings…or at least as they stand on April 9, 2012 during our 5-hour layover in Seoul, South Korea:

Favorite Major City?
Johnny:
1. Istanbul, Turkey
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. Melbourne, Australia
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Anna:
1. Rome, Italy
2. Paris, France
3. Istanbul, Turkey
4. Barcelona, Spain
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Favorite Mid-Sized City?
Johnny:
1. Venice, Italy
2. San Sebastian, Spain
3. Avignon, France
4. Sevilla, Spain
5. Queenstown, New Zealand
Anna:
1. Venice, Italy
2. Avignon, France
3. San Sebastian, Spain
4. Dubrovnik, Croatia
5. Verona, Italy
Favorite Village/Small Town?
Johnny:
1. Luang Prabang, Laos
2. Göreme, Turkey
3. San Gimignano, Italy
4. Uzès, France
5. Ronda, Spain
Anna:
1. Luang Prabang, Laos
2. San Gimignano, Italy
3. Uzès, France
4. Hvar, Croatia
5. Göreme, Turkey
Favorite Beach?
Johnny:
1. Mawun Beach, Lombok, Indonesia
2. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
3. Lombarda, Korcula, Croatia
4. Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian, Spain
5. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Anna:
1. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
2. Mawun Beach, Lombok, Indonesia
3. Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
4. Sète, France
5. Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian, Spain
Favorite Accommodation? (These aren’t necessarily the nicest places we stayed, but are the places that had the most character, friendliest owners, best vibes, etc.)
Johnny:
1. CS Solar da Rede, Douro Valley, Portugal
2. Ca’ Venexiana, Venice, Italy
3. Private Apartment, Avignon, France
4. Poplar Tree Lodge, Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
5. Arch Palace Hotel, Göreme, Turkey
6. Baan Rim Nam, Koh Chang, Thailand
7. MotherHome Guesthouse, Siem Ream, Cambodia
8. 9 on Heron, Knysna, South Africa
9. Nirwa Homestay, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
10. Villa Chitdara 2 Guesthouse, Luang Prabang, Laos
Anna:
1. CS Solar da Rede, Douro Valley, Portugal
2. Ca’ Venexiana, Venice, Italy
3. Private Apartment, Avignon, France
4. Doctor’s Retreat, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
5. Baan Rim Nam, Koh Chang, Thailand
6. Villa Depolo, Korcula, Croatia
7. Dreamland Resort, Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
8. Biba Beach, Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
9. Matisse Apartment, Uzès, France
10. St. Leonards, Blenheim, New Zealand
Favorite Country for Food?
Johnny:
1. Italy
2. France
3. Thailand
4. Spain
5. Vietnam
Anna:
1. Italy
2. Thailand
3. France
4. Spain
5. Turkey
Favorite Market?
Johnny:
1. Neighbourgoods Market, Cape Town, South Africa
2. Les Halles, Avignon, France
3. Night Market, Luang Prabang, Laos
4. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
5. Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain
Anna:
1. Neighbourgoods Market, Cape Town, South Africa
2. Night Market, Luang Prabang, Laos
3. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
4. Les Halles, Avignon, France
5. Psar Chaa, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Favorite Restaurant? (Taking into consideration both food and atmosphere)
Johnny:
1. Konobo Dionis, Pakleni Islands, Croatia
2. Les Papilles, Paris, France
3. Ristoranta La Vista, Varenna, Italy
4. A Travessa, Lisbon, Portugal
5. Phakdee Bakery, Luang Prabang, Laos
6. Sapa Rooms, Sapa, Vietnam
7. La Castellana, Montefioralle, Italy
8. Cafe Safak, Göreme, Turkey
9. Eslava, Sevilla, Spain
10. Vegie Bar, Melbourne, Australia
Anna:
1. Konobo Dionis, Pakleni Islands, Croatia
2. Les Papilles, Paris, France
3. Ristoranta La Vista, Varenna, Italy
4. A Travessa, Lisbon, Portugal
5. Bar Goiz Argi, San Sebastian, Spain
6. Longtail Beach Resort, Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
7. Phakdee Bakery, Luang Prabang, Laos
8. Sari Organik, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
9. Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Queenstown, New Zealand
10. Olympia Cafe, Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Favorite Wine Region?
Johnny:
1. Douro Valley, Portugal
2. Provence, France
3. Tuscany, Italy
4. Franschhoek, South Africa
5. Central Otago, New Zealand
Anna:
1. Douro Valley, Portugal
2. Tuscany, Italy
3. Provence, France
4. Franschhoek, South Africa
5. Hvar, Croatia
Favorite Natural/Scenic Wonder?
Johnny:
1. Mawun Beach, Lombok, Indonesia
2. Milford Sound, New Zealand
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
4. Drakensberg, South Africa
5. Pakleni Islands, Croatia
6. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
7. Cape Peninsula, South Africa
8. Routeburn Track, New Zealand
9. Muang Ngoi, Laos
10. Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
Anna:
1. Cappadocia, Turkey
2. Milford Sound, New Zealand
3. Cape Peninsula, South Africa
4. Kruger National Park, South Africa
5. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
6. Drakensberg, South Africa
7. Lake Bled and Julian Alps, Slovenia
8. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Bali, Indonesia
9. Stari Grad Plain, Hvar, Croatia
10. Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Favorite Monument/Museum/Man-Made Wonder?
Johnny:
1. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
2. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
3. Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain
4. Real Alcazar, Sevilla, Spain
5. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey
6. Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal
7. Duomo di Siena, Siena, Italy
8. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
9. Ephesus, Turkey
10. Versailles, France
Anna:
1. Real Alcazar, Sevilla, Spain
2. Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
3. Pantheon, Rome, Italy
4. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
5. Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal
6. Ephesus, Turkey
7. Puente Nuevo, Ronda, Spain
8. Versailles Gardens, France
9. Duomo di Siena, Siena, Italy
10. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
Country with the Friendliest People?
Johnny:
1. Turkey
2. Croatia
3. Bali
4. New Zealand
5. Laos
Anna:
1. Turkey
2. Thailand
3. Croatia
4. Bali
5. Laos
If we could snap our fingers and be back in any one place we visited, where would it be? (This could be a good way to gauge our “favorite” place, although the list will probably be different if you ask us next week)
Johnny:
1. Korcula, Croatia
2. Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
3. Kruger National Park, South Africa
4. Venice, Italy
5. Luang Prabang, Laos
6. Istanbul, Turkey
7. San Sebastian, Spain
8. Paris, France
9. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
10. Queenstown, New Zealand
Anna:
1. Croatian Islands (Hvar and Korcula)
2. Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand
3. San Gimignano, Italy
4. Venice, Italy
5. Sète, France
6. Luang Prabang, Laos
7. Lake Bled, Slovenia
8. San Sebastian, Spain
9. Douro Valley, Portugal
10. Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia
Country we most want to visit next?
Johnny:
1. Colombia
2. Chile
3. Nepal
4. India
5. Norway
Anna:
1. Chile
2. Peru
3. Norway
4. Japan
5. India

4 Comments to “Greatest Hits”

  1. I love that you did this! So interesting… I need to print out your lists and save them in a file for our future travels! (In 18 years I guess!)

  2. I love this! Super interesting stuff to consider — so much better to have individual input from both of you! Thank you! And, welcome home! xoxo

  3. That was so fun to read through!!! Can’t wait to see you guys and now I don’t have to ask the above questions, I’m sure I’ll come up with some others though :).

  4. Holy Moley Johnny and Anna,

    What an amazing adventure. Just got your linkedin request and glanced at your last job and lo and behold I stumbled across this amazing journal. I just got back from Singapore, Bangkok, India and Hong Kong last December and am stoked to read some of your posts.

    Don’t be a stranger buddy.

    Cheers,
    Dan

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