Your favourite places to "chill out"
My wife and I are hoping to leave on our RTW mid-May 2011. The one rule of thumb that seems to be pretty common in order to get the most out of your time and money, is to travel slow. I seem to recall someone had posted on their blog, that they plan on staying in one spot for 3 weeks, every 6 weeks or so...I love this philosophy! So, what were some of YOUR most memorable chill out points, where you simply rented a place for a month and existed.
If it is helpful, we are likely heading west from Canada, starting in Oz for a brief period of time, before hanging in SEA for a decent period of time July 2011-TFN.....and that is just the beginning!!!
Thanks for all your insight!
This was about 5 years ago.... so not sure how much the prices have increased.
Stopping for some breaks is a fantastic idea... it gives you some time to regroup, relax and save some $. Also, depending on where you stop, it is a great time to take some classes (e.g. language, yoga etc) or volunteer.
I totally see the need for down time and I haven't been to South America, New Zealand, or SE Asia (or any of Asia for that matter other than Xinjiang China) but I wanted to share the places I loved in Africa. First of all would have to be Chefchaouen Morocco, it is so easy to just get sucked into this tiny blue-painted haven in northern Morocco. It is on the side of a cliff looking over a valley in the Rif Mountains. There is only one main road leading to town and loads of small hammams, authentic restaurants, and a maze of medina to wander without worrying about getting lost or your safety. There are several camping and hike-to auberge options nearby and even rock climbing. It is a nice place to take a break, read a book and secretly have a beer.
My second place would have to be Lake Bunyoni, Uganda. Uganda in general is super easy to just stay in forever!! It's magnificently beautiful and there are tons of very small backpacker-friendly towns. But Lake BUnyoni seemed pretty special, it is a high mountain lake, above the fog in Southern Uganda. It has hundreds of tiny islands and basically you have to canoe to get anywhere. I canoed to Itambira Island and the Byoona Amagara Project which is an incredible hostel taking up most of the entire small island. It has a maze of paths leading to a crazy variety of accomodation including small dormitories and even geo-domes. They have a soccer field, library for the local people and they do volunteer projects on adjacent islands with school children and digging out canoes. The bar is a huge covered outdoor space looking out over the lake and the otter habitat. Its' so beautiful, I always dream of going back.
My third would have to be La Fortuna, Costa Rica.. ok on the other side of the world. But it is a tiny town with the Arenal Volcano in the distance which is constantly slowly spewing lava - making for amazing photography. They have tons of zip-lining places, gondolas, and a string of world-class hot springs. I also think it is possible to arrange short term Spanish lessons.
Those are my top three places and I am looking at the rain clouds rolling in so I will have to stop at that for now, enjoy your time!!
Provence, France (this is kinda our big splurge on the trip)
Mediterranean Turkey (not quite sure what town...maybe Kas)
Chiang Mai, Thailand
also probably going to try and WWOOF in Italy for a couple weeks.
we're not going to SA, but i've read great things about renting an apartment for a month or so in Buenos Aires.
White Beach on Boracay Island was nice but a lot busier.
Hsipaw in Myanmar was also pretty quiet & relaxing, although only spent a couple days there.
Mai Chau in Vietnam is also a great place to hang out during low-season. We were there while the rice was being harvested - watching it from our hammocks with a cold beer.
If you're interested at all in NZ btw I'd think of hitting up Wellington or Queenstown for a little bit- I lived in Auckland for four months and really liked that too but most travelers don't seem to like it much, as it's one of those cities best for living in.
skottandshawna wrote:These are great...I am taking notes!
Any other possible suggestions for Central America?
Hostel El Roble near Playa Diego just outside La Libertad El Salvador
The Monkey Hut, owned by the Bearded Monkey Hostel in Granada Nicaragua
Caye Caulker Belize
Most anywhere in Guatemala, even just sitting in Parque Central in Antigua people watching
One good hint if you still want to do things cheaply is if it's during the summer check out if the local university has rooms in their student housing they're letting out. Usually cheap for your own spot and often in an amazing area to boot!
K2 wrote:busman7 wrote:For 2-4 weeks usually do a home stay, longer I rent an apartment.
What's a home stay?
A homestay is when you essentially find a local family to take you in for x number of days/weeks, even months. Usually you get meals from them and it's a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture of wherever you are- some great memories, but can sometimes be hard to arrange depending on where you are.
I did one in Africa through a hostel that organized them at a local X'hosa village and a few that were essentially homestays in Eastern Europe by accepting offers from those little old ladies at the bus station holding "soba room zimmer" signs. Meals usually weren't included in the latter but those old ladies kept insisting on feeding me anyway!
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