It’s been nearly a year now since I returned from my epic Asian journey, having completed my first multi-month solo female travel adventure.
Do I miss life on the perpetual road? Every damn day. It’s been nice having a comfy bed, a cat, a routine, and a home base for the past year in one of the best cities in the world, but there is a gradually-loudening voice inside reminding me that this is not the life for me. I’m itching to make some moves, and I think 2015 is going to a big year. Stay tuned, kiddos!
In the meantime, I’m entertaining my wanderlust by reminiscing over adventures I’ve had on the other side of the world, replacing my daily skyscraper views with flashbacks to the glorious scenery I chased last year in Asia. I still can’t decide which of the most beautiful places in Asia was my favorite: the mountains of Nepal and Laos; the beaches of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia; or the Indian desert. But here are the final contenders, i.e. the most beautiful place I experienced in each of the 6 Asian countries I explored last year:
The Himalayas, Nepal
Remember that time I hiked for 3 straight weeks to Everest Base Camp and back? It was worth all the blisters and frigid nights for the mind-numbingly stunning mountainous scenes that rocked my world on a daily basis.
- Everest Base Camp Trek: Phaplu to Lukla
- Everest Base Camp Trek: Lukla to EBC
- A Perfect Day In Junbesi
The Limestone Karsts of Thailand
I hit up my share of islands during the 6+ weeks I spent in Thailand, but in the end I couldn’t fight my love for those with the dramatic limestone karsts. They sure don’t make most of ‘em like that elsewhere in the world!
From the oasis of Maya Bay to the climbing mecca of Railay, I spent no less than 95% of my waking hours gaping at the rock-meets-beach scene before me. Can you blame me?
Thar Desert, India
Fact: I had a rough time in India. I don’t associate the 3+ weeks I spent there with fuzzy happy memories and beautiful natural scenery, namely because I spent most of my time in the cities of Rajasthan. But I did have a moment while chillaxin’ in the Thar Desert outside of Jaisalmer with a pack of camels.
Koh Rong, Cambodia
Behold, the happy little accident that ended up being a highlight of my entire 5 months in Asia. Koh Rong is a non-hyped island off the coast of Cambodia, and I selfishly sort of wish it stays underdeveloped and pristine the way it was when I visited. White sand, blue water, a puffy cloud-studded sky – what more could a beach lovin’ girl want? Fish amok and mojitos in the sand, and bioluminescent plankton at night? Well ok!
Nong Khiaw, Laos
I’ve still got images of the milk chocolate-colored river and ubiquitous lush green mountains of Nong Khiaw imprinted in my mind. I definitely didn’t hate waking up to that view or spending lazy afternoons writing from my balcony after an epic bike ride around/outside of town. If I’d had more than a week there, I’m certain I’d have fallen hopelessly in love with Laos; instead, he’s the one that got away. Just look at this stunner!
Jungle Beach, Vietnam
While I may not have thoroughly LOVED my days at Jungle Beach, I did appreciate the magnificent landscape there. Cooling off from the sweltering heat in the warm water, looking back at the palm trees and mountains behind the resort was just the best.