Thursday, December 2, 2010


So, I know I said the last post was going to be my last blog entry, but I decided to do one more with all the commonly asked questions I get since I have returned.

Favourite place? 
I have been saying Japan because it's the longest I spent in any one country (2 months) and because of all the awesome people I met there. Obviously it's way difficult to choose one favourite place, and it's usually not the place itself but the experiences you have there that make it your favourite.

Favourite city? 
Amsterdam... not because it's legal to smoke marijuana there, but it was my first European city and I fell in love with the canals and the tall colourful buildings... it just had a cool vibe.

Favourite hostel? 
7 Hostel, Sorrento, Italy. This was more like a 5 star hotel than a hostel with huge bathrooms, a view from the rooftop terrace to die for and a bar with cheap cocktails. What more could a girl ask for?

Best stretch of coastline? 
The Amalfi coast in Italy. And scootering down it just made it all the more thrilling.

Best beach? 
The one apparently called "Monkey Beach" (despite there not being a monkey in sight) that we stumbled across after a harrowing jungle trek in bare feet in Tioman Island, Malaysia

Most beautiful language?
French. Yes, the French are arrogant, especially about their language, but I could listen to it all day.

Friendliest people?
Croatians. They are always so eager to help, and every hostel we stayed at in Croatia was run by some motherly old hen who would make you want to stay forever.

Rudest people?
The Spanish. I'm pretty sure they were the rudest people I ever had to deal with, even when I was a paying customer.

Best book I read while travelling? 
It's a toss up between Shantaram and Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything"

Best public transport? 
Japan wins by a mile

Best airline? 
British Airways or Qantas... yes I know they've been getting a lot of bad press lately but frankly they have the friendliest staff, best inflight entertainment and I have never had a delayed flight.

Best shopping? 
Bangkok - cheap and varied

Best festival? 
Oktoberfest with the Dorties, what could top that?

Best National Park? 
Plitvice National Park in Croatia... the best National Park you've never heard of

Best tour? 
The Inca Trail, or the river cruise we took in Borneo

Best night out?
The night out in Positano, Italy where we rode down the Amalfi coast at midnight on scooters with Italian guys we'd just met and then ended up in a nightclub in a cave and gatecrashed a wedding reception, then got back to Sorrento in time to watch the sun come up while eating fresh croissants from the bakery.

Best beer? 
Cliche, but it's got to be Belgium. Holland is a close second.

Best live show? 
Comedy of Errors at the Globe theatre in London

Best food? 
Really difficult but it's a toss up between Thai or Japanese... or Greek.

Best cultural experience? 
The tea ceremony in Japan

Favourite souvenir? 
My kimono

Hottest boys? 
Scandinavians. I didn't actually go to Scandinavia, but I met quite a few while travelling and not only are they nice to look at, but they're not overconfident and cocky like many European boys.

Best art museum? 
Louvre or Rijks museum in Amsterdam

Best religious structure?
Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Best museum? 
Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City

Friendliest travellers? 
Swedes or Kiwis

Most handy travel accessory? 
Pocket knife, USB stick or sarong

Most worn clothing? 
My poor little jeans, which were riddled with holes in embarrassing places by the end of my trip.

Best nightclub?
Babylon, Florence. I hear it's closed down now, but I will never forget stumbling upon this place to find guys dancing on stage in their underwear, being sprayed with champagne at ten minute intervals and being served by bar tenders who were clearly more intoxicated than any of the people they were serving.

Best bar? 
Tracks bar, Hakuba (Japan). This place harbours so many fond memories for me, it was pretty much my home for two months. Introduced me to Southern Comfort and ginger ale, sho-chu and even let me play a few songs on the stage.

Best market? 
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul. Despite getting hassled all the time, the scarf sellers were so funny and friendly and you even get served Turkish tea as you're shopping!

Best ruin? 
I know Machu Picchu should be the obvious answer, but honestly, the ruins in Palenque, Mexico do give it a run for its money, and have way less tourists.

Safest country? 
Japan. I am convinced there is no crime in this country... well apart from the Yakuza maybe. There's not even any graffiti!

Most dangerous?
Vietnam or Bolivia... I will never forget how Ash and I were nearly kidnapped and sold into the sex trade by an unregistered taxi at Hanoi airport. Ok, maybe I'm slightly exaggerating, but it was not a nice feeling.

Cheapest country?
Vietnam or Bolivia... it just so happens that the most dangerous countries also happen to be the cheapest.

Best painting?
Girl with the pearl earring by Vermeer; and there were no barriers and crowds of Asian tourists around it! (take note, Mona Lisa)

Best building?
Ginkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto

Coldest place? 
At the snow in Japan or Halong Bay in Vietnam

Seville, Spain

Coolest looking money? 
Czech republic, but over all, Australia wins for me. We have the most colourful and most durable money in the world. One Brit even told me that when they came to Australia they kept spending too much money, because they felt like it was Monopoly money.

Dirtiest place? 
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Tokyo or Singapore

Most fashionable? 
Tokyo. People here are always impeccably dressed... I'm pretty sure they have never heard of tracksuit pants.

Where I felt most homesick? 
Kyoto or Mykonos

Worst bathrooms? 
Vietnam or Malaysia. Toilet paper is optional and often there is no flush. Nothing beats the toilets on the sleeper train in Vietnam that were basically a stainless steel floor with a hole and two footprints to put your feet.

Best bathrooms? 
Japan. So high tech, you can warm your seat, play music to cover the sound of you peeing and super clean to boot.

Longest time without a shower? 
Four days on the Inca Trail

Longest plane ride? 
Santiago to Sydney, 18 hours

Longest bus ride? 
Mexico City to Palenque, 22 hours

Best meal? 
The huge 50 course Korean meal in Malaysia when Beth spilled a bowl of red soup on her beige dress.

Most interesting history? 
South America... so much is still a mystery

Main things I missed about Australia (as a country I mean; things like family, friends, my guitar, etc. are a given)?
The friendly people, less crowds, the fresh air, being able to communicate to everyone and BBQ Shapes!

First thing I did when I got home?
Shopping at Chadstone! Well, it was my birthday, I had to milk it.

Thanks for reading, hope you've enjoyed my adventures as much as I've enjoyed writing about them.

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger;
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.
CS Lewis