Ben and Em’s Top 10 Destinations 

Well… because everyone is going to ask, and everyone loves a top 10.

After 6 months on the road, we made a top 10 of the places we liked the most. As we knew we wouldn’t agree, we decided to make separate lists… although in the end, many places appear on both, and we picked the same place for the top spot.

This is the final blog; we hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures! Thanks for all the kind comments, Facebook likes and shares, we really did appreciate people taking the time to follow our travels, and hope we may have inspired others to follow in our footsteps.

Ben’s Top 10

10) Banff National Park (Canada)

The most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen or are likely to see in my life, and I never thought anything would beat Yosemite. And we saw a bear!

9) Georgetown (Malaysia)

Of the 3 UNESCO listed places we visited (the others being Hoi An and Luang Prabang) this was my favourite. A true melting pot of different cultures, with great food and a fantastic atmosphere both day and night.

8) Bagan (Myanmar)

I was convinced that watching the sunrise over the temples of Bagan would be a clichéd anti-climax, but it wasn’t at all. It really was a standout moment of the trip.

7) Yasawa Islands (Fiji)

A true tropical paradise, where we met some wonderful people. Em didn’t like the creepy crawlies, but I’ll never forget swimming with sharks with John, Nico and Sarah.

6) Singapore (Singapore)

Probably the most liveable city we visited, certainly in Asia. A fascinating history, lots of brilliant things to do, and the best mass transport system in the world. 

5) Chiang Mai (Thailand)

Far more relaxed than the crazy and sometimes sleazy Bangkok, we loved Chiang Mai. It was the best food we ate all trip, all for ridiculously cheap prices.

4) Melbourne (Australia)

The first stop, and the city that set the bar for all the others to follow. Relaxed, friendly, sports mad, big coffee culture, with cool neighbourhoods each with their own identity. Sydney? It didn’t even come close.

3) Hanoi (Vietnam)

I loved all of Vietnam. The history, the food, the people. If I had to pick one place, it would be Hanoi, capital of the old communist north, even if the motorbikes were f*cking mental.

2) Tokyo (Japan)

Japan was probably the place I was looking forward to the most, and it didn’t disappoint. Tokyo was a fun, bewildering, crazy place that never ceased to surprise us.

Em’s Top 10
10) Hanoi (Vietnam)

Once I got over my fear of crossing the road (the traffic is C-R-A-Z-Y!!), I grew to love the city. The history is fascinating, the people are so friendly and the food so tasty.
9) Byron Bay (Australia)

Just how you imagine Australia to be, beautiful beaches with beautiful people. A true surfers’ paradise.

8) Great Ocean Road (Australia)

Once I got to grips with the scarily basic, post-apoplectic looking campsites we stayed in during our GOR road trip, I fell in love with the incredible scenery. Looking out over the 12 Apostles was my first ‘pinch-me’ moment of the trip.

7) Melbourne (Australia)

It definitely helped that it was our first stop, that we went from a wintry Birmingham to a scorching 38 degrees and that our bargain hotel turned out to be one of the nicest hotels we stayed in during our trip but we both loved Melbourne. I cant really put a finger on why, it was just cool!

6) Banff National Park (Canada)

We saw a bear. Enough said!

5) Tofino (Canada)

Another surfers’ paradise, totally chilled (not just the temperature of the water – brr!) and the scenery breathtaking.

4) Singapore (Singapore)

A tale of two cities. Glossy and modern on one hand, traditional on the other. You can still grab yourself a cheap meal in a Hawker Centre, just this time surrounded by high- tech sky scrapers. I loved the efficiency and cleaniness. My daily commute to work would be a whole lot easier if our transport city was as reliable as it is in Singapore.

3) Osaka (Japan)

It was our first stop in Japan and although I spent a large portion of time being completely bewildered, it was just how I imagined. Where else can you get beer and order your dinner out of a vending machine, go to a cafe and stroke and owl and sit on a heated toilet seat that plays music.

2) Chiang Mai (Thailand)

The best Pad Thai I have ever tasted, for £1.50! In my book that’s a good enough reason to give it 2nd place.

Ben and Em’s No.1 Place…

1) Chicago (USA)

So, we pretty much saved the best until last. We spent 3 days in Chicago, and it simply wasn’t enough. Fantastic architecture, museums, food… more relaxed than New York, it really is a wonderful city that we can’t say enough good things about.

And finally… the place we will never go back to…

Interestingly, since we returned to the UK, quite a few people have asked us the worst place we went, so we decided to add this.

Ben – Mandalay (Myanmar)

I’m can’t really disagree with Em’s choice, Vang Vieng was an absolute dump. It was like some terrible Laos version of Magaluf. However, I’ll probably go for Mandalay, as it was so underwhelming. The name contours up exotic images of South East Asia, but it was just a massive city with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And it was as hot as hell.

Em – Vang Vieng (Laos)

It didn’t help that I spent most of the time I was there feeling poorly and I also broke my phone, but I just found the place a bit depressing. Once a happening party town, its now a sad has-been.

(Posted by Ben and Em)

p.s. We didn’t bother putting a link to our blog on Montreal/Toronto on Facebook. If you are interested then the link is below:

2 thoughts on “Ben and Em’s Top 10 Destinations 

  1. Loved reading your blog. I’ve had the pleasure of Chicago and agree with you both. Great place.

    Welcome home!


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