Well, we’re home. It was a wonderful trip, but we’re happy to be back in the comfort of the United States. But before we get back to the reality of work (or seeking it), I wanted to give you a sampling of our top experiences overall. I’ve broken this into two posts. Below are our second-tier experiences, those that were great but just short of incredible. The next post will have our top nine, the experiences we’ll definitely never forget.
11. Getting converted to Islam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – I really enjoyed hearing about why people believed what they believed. And though few people would put “being preached to” as a favorite experience, it was just an unorthodox way to interact with local people, and offered great insights into both Islam and Malaysia.
10. Wine tasting in Marlborough, New Zealand – Great wines, fabulous views, and Kiwi sensibilities make this a must-go region on the South island.
9. Hangi in Rotorua, New Zealand – The food’s great, and the look into the ancient Maori culture is definitely worth it.
8. Shippy’s, Bay of Islands, New Zealand – Amazing restaurant on a ship, with the freshest fish we’ve ever had.
7. Renee and Trish, our bed and breakfast hosts in Motueka, New Zealand – A great older couple that made us feel at home, and the best breakfast of the entire trip.
6. Kayaking in Vang Vieng, Laos – Beautiful karsts + a great guide + fun companions = one seriously fun afternoon of kayaking.
5. Zorbing in Rotorua, New Zealand – If you’ve never put yourself in a giant inflatable hamster ball with a splash of water and thrown yourself down a hill, you should.
4. Hiking in Luang Nam Tha National Protected Area, Laos – A great group of fellow travelers and amazing food cooked with pots made from bamboo trunks.
3. Elephant Riding in Luang Prabang, Laos – It’s weird to ride an elephant, but it is a once in a lifetime thing too strange to pass up if you’re ever in that neck of the woods.
2. Diving in Tioman Island, Malaysia – Fantastic visibility, a great guide and tons of sharks made for our second best diving experience of the trip.
1. Angkor Wat with Mr. Sarath, Siem Reap, Cambodia – Angkor Wat is absolutely a must see for anyone going to Southeast Asia. It’s indescribable, except to say that it’s endlessly impressive to think that the entire complex was built without the use of machines and over the course of only about 200 years. It didn’t make our top tier because it was more of a sight and less of an experience, but we had a good guide and enjoyed climbing through the ruins.