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Southeast Asia on $20/day

I just had a friend email me on a daily budget for traveling. It depends a lot on the area you’re headed to, but in my travel experiences Central America and Southeast Asia ranked the cheapest. Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, among other destinations can all be done on $20/day if you’re really willing to push the budget (don’t expect AC or your own room). Some places like Cambodia could be pulled off for even cheaper. I stayed for a night in Phnom Pehn for $8 for a clean private room with AC and bathroom, dorm room at the place were $2/night!!! Central America was cheap but not this cheap.

I generally budgeted about $30/day in Central America and Southeast Asia and would occasionally splurge for a private room and/or AC. Most places this worked pretty well, but I’d sometimes end up with some dingy options and then just upgrade to a hotel nearby. Some of the cheapest places I traveled to were Cambodia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. It goes without saying that the more touristy and more well established a destination (Costa Rica, Thailand, etc) the more expensive they’ll be.

Mint has a good blog post on some of the areas in Southeast Asia that are the cheapest.

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Brits Join the U.S. as Most Frat-Like Tourists

Turns out that the U.S. has some competition for loud, obnoxious partiers and binge drinking abroad… The English. I always knew the Brits could keep up. The New York Times writes on some of the backlash abroad in Europe to young Brits traveling the world and getting blind drunk doing it along with some interesting speculation as to why the Brits are prone to getting wild abroad.

“They scream, they sing, they fall down, they take their clothes off, they cross-dress, they vomit,” Malia’s mayor, Konstantinos Lagoudakis, said in an interview.

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Photos: Hong Kong Panorama and Venice Aerial View

Two stunning photos. Click the links to view the full size images. Hong Kong Skyline Panorama (link).

Hong Kong Skyline Panorama

Venice, Italy aerial view (link).

Venice, Italy

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The World’s Most Obnoxious Tourists – Is Anyone Surprised?

Aren\'t they all obnoxious?

OK, so I’m sick of the rap that American tourists get around the world. Just because we invade a sovereign nation, say, once every 3-4 years or so, doesn’t mean that our tourists should take the brunt of the heat. And we catch a lot of flack traveling, although in berating US tourists other travelers would always express the caveat that I of course was different from stereotypical Americans. Well, it turns out we’re not so bad. The French are the worst (shocking). According to a recent international survey and a Time magazine article, the French placed second to last behind last placed Chinese and third last placed Indians as the worst ranked tourist in the world. First off, I didn’t know that the Chinese and Indians made up a significant part of tourism. The Japanese were most liked, followed by Germans, British, and Canadians. The U.S. finished 11th overall, but received high marks for trying to speak local languages (huh?) and tipping well.

The survey was taken by employees in 4,000 hotels in Germany, the U.K., Italy, France, Canada and the U.S. for the French travel website Expedia.fr. The study asked respondents to rank clients by nationality on criteria of general attitude, politeness, tendency to complain, willingness to speak local languages, interest in sampling local cuisine, readiness to spend money, generosity, cleanliness, discretion and elegance. The US state department generously provided the funding for the study, thanks again GW!

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The World’s Happiest Country – Denmark

I always imagined the happiest country in the world to be Bhutan or some other small Buddhist country in Asia. But according the to first ever published map of world happiness, it’s Denmark. Not hard to believe, as every Dane I’ve met traveling has been easy going and fun. Now there’s at least one more reason to visit Denmark. Tim Ferriss of the 4 Hour Workweek gives us six more reasons to visit Denmark.

No, not global warming...

If you were wondering, here are the next happiest countries by rank (oh yeah, the U.S. was 23rd, U.K. was 41st) by “Subjective Well Being”:

  1. Denmark
  2. Switzerland
  3. Austria
  4. Iceland
  5. Bahamas
  6. Finland
  7. Sweden
  8. Bhutan (I wasn’t too far off)
  9. Brunei
  10. Canada

Check out this slideshow for a more comprehensive list. To do for 2008, try to get to as many on the top 10 list as possible. Here’s an alternative list of the world’s happiest countries by Happy Planet Index.

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Where The Hell Is Matt???

This video has been out for a while, but it one of my all time favorite videos and captures so well what travel is about. Makes me want to buy a ticket now for anywhere. What are your favorite travel videos?