The question that I probably get more than any other is this: “What are your favorite places?” Here are my answers.
Istanbul, Turkey – My favorite city that I’ve passed through for a relatively short period of time. It’s chaotic and bustling, and it feels ancient. My Istanbul pics are here.
Southern Utah – The most beautiful place in the world. The whole southern half of the state could be one giant national park. My posts about this part of Utah are here under the “Southern Utah Adventures” section (do a search on the page to find it).
Bangkok, Thailand – Most people I talk to that have been to Thailand dislike Bangkok. It’s dirty. It’s crowded. It is infamously seedy. The traffic is terrible. But I love this city. I lived there for four months, and I can see myself making Bangkok my permanent home at some point in the future. It’s an amazing base from which to explore the rest of Asia due to the budget airlines that are based there. To give you an idea, I flew from Bangkok to Myanmar for $37 each way. Bangkok is also the cheapest mega-city I’ve been to. I’ve got some Bangkok photos here.
Nepal – My favorite country. It has the biggest mountains in the world and the nicest people in the world. More than any other place on this list, Nepal still feels very much like a foreign country to me, and I love that. I’ve got lots of pics from two of my treks here and here.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – The most beautiful small town I’ve been to. Pics are here (including a photo of me with what I think is the longest my hair has ever been).
Georgia and Armenia – I group these two countries together because of how similar they are, though Georgia is much more developed than Armenia (it still feels like the Soviet Union in many parts of Armenia). Overall, these are the most beautiful countries I’ve been to. Every hilltop seems to be home to the ruins of a 6th-century church or castle. Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is a place that I would happily return to and live in for an extended period of time. Along with Thailand, I think that these places have the best food of anywhere I’ve been. My blog posts about Armenia are here, and my Georgia blog posts are here.
Favorite sights – The Blue Mosque (my vote for the single most beautiful building in the world), The Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, and the temples of Angkor are all worth every bit of hype they get. Chernobyl is amazing. The temples of Teotihuacan are amazing. Kiev’s churches are amazing. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is amazing. St. Peter’s Basilica is amazing. The temples of Bagan (Myanmar) are amazing. (Can you tell that I have a thing for religious architecture?)
My new book Himalayan Pilgrim: A Chronicle of Independent Trekking Through Nepal’s Less-Traveled Regions is free for the rest of the week. Be sure to download it (and leave a review!) if you haven’t already.