The New Travel Thread: Now with write ups in the OP

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Come on guys..

    @BamaNug @Gin Buckets @47straight... what the hell was his old name? @ohhaithur @ANTWONE

    BayouMafia Champ

    Adding Gin Buckets post from his first trip..

    Hvar Town, Hvar Island Croatia was amazing, I can't wait to go back, that was by far the highlight of the trip and an absolute blast. I strongly recommend anyone going to Europe to hit this place up. Great for partying, or chilling, or touring, or beaching, it's just all around a fan-fucking-tastic place.

    Here's my rankings I compiled, give every place a fair shot.

    Best Overall: Gotta go with Hvar Town for all of the reasons listed above. There were tons of girls, because chicks love the beach, and they were all looking for a good time. Met fewer Croatian women here than I'd have liked - because they are gorgeous - but there were South Americans, Brits, Canadians, Aussies, Americans, Irish, Swedish etc, and all looking to have a good time.

    Best Hostel: I had the most fun at the Wombats hostel in Berlin, because they've got a rooftop bar that gets pretty rowdy and it's very conducive to meeting new folks fairly quickly. The best host was Srdjan (Madness Hostel) in Belgrade. Dude cooked us dinner every night for free, but there were only like 6 of us staying there. Luka's Lodge in Hvar was also super cool, because there is a guy hired there to make sure everyone knows each other and everyone has a good time, can't beat that.

    Worst Hostel: Has to be City Backpackers in Sweden unfortunately. This hostel has it all going on - it's super nice, not expensive, they have activities, two main social areas but at the end of the day, people in general were pretty lame in my experience. The next worst one was probably "The One" in Wroclaw, Poland. It had 2 things going for it though - best hostel location I experienced as it's right on the city square, and they had tubes to sleep in which is some sick privacy for a 12 bedroom mixed. I even invited a lady dorm mate into my tube for a late night party one night with success. However, after that, the hostel had very little atmosphere, shitty showers, and it was super quiet.

    Coolest European City: Krakow, Poland tops this list for me. Europe's biggest city square, really scenic, great nightlife, and relatively cheap prices edges Krakow out over Copenhagen and Amsterdam.... Hvar Town is not considered a city, and I'd still probably pick these over Split, Croatia

    Most fun: Not sure why I wrote this down as an award because every city kicked ass fun wise. The one most conducive to having fun is Hvar Town followed by Amsterdam. No need to speak about Amsterdam because everyone has been there, and I've already elaborated on Hvar Town. I was also pleasantly surprised with Denmark, and how fun that place was. People can get after it in Copenhagen.

    Best Nightlife: Belgrade Serbia - there's a reason Lonely Planet voted this city #1 in the world ahead of Ibiza, Rio, Amsterdam, Vegas, and anywhere else. This place rocks, and you have to see it to believe it. It's cheap (6 of us got 2 bottles, a private VIP host, and in the best location of the most popular Saturday night bar for $40/person), the ratio rocked, and the women were all gorgeous. Strongly recommend, and if you're going hostel, strongly recommend Hostel Madness.

    Hottest Babes: Serbia followed by Denmark (didn't see enough Croatian women). Watch it though, the Serbian women were tall, our first night out it felt like 33% of the women in the bar cleared 6 feet easy.

    Worst Stop: Easily Brussels, but everyone knows that. Wasn't super impressed with Berlin either. A German guy I know that met up with us told me that there was actually a law the Germans tried to pass banning tourists in certain parts of the city. Silly Germans.

    Coolest Looking: Paris and London both look awesome, but everyone knows that, same with Amsterdam. I have to throw those out there, because I feel like it's unfair only talking about the Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. Krakow would probably beat out Copenhagen and Split for this award though.

    Least Awesome Looking: Belgrade looks like they just got out of a war within the last 15 years. If you go to Belgrade, go to party, not for the sights or aesthetic value of the place.

    Coolest People: Serbians were amazing, more people helped us and they have a jovial personality. The Danes (in my experience) were all over friendly, we'd ask for advice on places to go and get invited to tag along. We also managed to end up in a house party at this huge street festival called Distortion. Finally, the French people were super nice, I'm convinced that there is an ad campaign going on there talking about being nice to tourists, because every time I opened my map someone offered to help with directions.

    Worst People: Polish were probably the meanest I met, followed by the Swedes potentially, although I met super cool locals from both places.

    Most expensive: Stockholm, London, Denmark in that order - at least that's what it seemed like to me.

    Best Food: Can't go wrong with French food, but I really loved the Polish food the best. Their milk kitchens were absolutely delicious.

    Best Street Food: Everyone loves Doner Kebobs, and the best Doner I had was in Krakow Poland. Germany, however, has some sick Doners themselves.

    Most Livable: Krakow due to the size, prices, and still have hot women. The weather sucks - especially since I'm from the south, but I think that's where I'd choose to live.

    Place I’ll Visit Soonest: Hvar Town no question, followed by Belgrade.

    Great overall trip, pissed to be back, but it's necessary.

    San Francisco Lyrtch
    Landed last Tuesday mid day in Oakland (cheaper to fly into and more convenient for what we wanted)

    Immediately went to Drakes Brewing in the East Bay during our initial driving loop into the city to kill time and see some sites before airbnb check in

    Manhattan Project and Barrel Aged Drakonic were highlights

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    then across the bay South of SF to New England Lobster Co for some eats



    then to Funston Park SW of SF, awesome beach front cliff/hiking area just to hang out


    ate at Foreign Cinema this night, got too drunk and forgot to take pics, calamari dish and salt cod brandade were absurdly good

    courtyard of our airbnb below, our single bedroom + BR place was on the left, amazing location in the mission that let us walk everywhere very easily



    woke up the next morning and due to massive time change from east coast rolled to Tartine Bakery, one of the most well thought of bakeries in the country, super early and had no line, lemon tart and coconut cream tart were had

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    went a few other places, Dandelion Chocolatier/Craftsman and Wolves/wandered the ritzier part of the Mission in the early AM

    chilled in Dolores Park to finish coffee and enjoy the view (although 75% of park was under construction)


    rolled South to hit the two most well thought of Mexican joints (El Farolito then La Taqueria)

    El Farolito we got a carne asade burrito, lengua taco, and el pastor taco, the burrito was the single best burrito I've probably ever had


    realizing La Taqueria was like a block South we staggered down there while being absurdly full but wanted to try the super hyped one, got a carnitas super taco and Mango Agua Fresca


    walked to Rosamunde up the block to have a beer and try to digest some, wish we could have ate because it's considered a killer lunch spot for fancy sausages

    went to Flour + Water for dinner to have a Margherita pizza and maybe my favorite dish of the whole trip, telemme scarpocco or some shit, their menu changed and it's not on there anymore, but it was tiny cheese filled homemade pasta drizzled with fancy balsamic vinegar + olive oil + brown butter + parm


    left for Napa the following morning, did Golden Gate, stopped at Russian River, home of Pliny, did their full tap tasting (20 2 oz pours for $16), Consecration was best

    then to Bear Republic for Hop Rod Rye and Big Bear Black Stout


    then to Michelin starred Solbar for some snacks, didn't get a pic of the killer gyoza or my wifes cocktail, but seriously, this was to our left



    rolled into Airbnb 2 prior to dinner reservations, cottage tucked behind an Airbnb about a mile from dt Napa


    went to Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc for dinner, was outrageous, citrus salad, pork shank with tomato/onion jam over anson mill grits and pea/fava bean ragout, and added the shrimp addition


    rolled into Alexis Baking Company the next morning since again, still not used to time change so we wake up stupid early, killer Eggs Benedict and Mexican scramble, Eggs Benedict used Model Bakeries homemade english muffins that were super light and delicate


    spent all day hitting wineries, but pictures of wine are boring, ended the night drunkenly hitting this awesome little Italian joint in the back of a liquor store, a nearly 80 year old Italian makes nuts ravioli and what they dub "malfatti", basically they take just the ravioli filling and roll it lightly in flour before boiling then cover everything in the house meat sauce, oh, and West Coast beer is super cheap

    next day ate lunch at Addendum before bouncing, Thomas Keller's casual take out place, fried chicken (unbelievable) and ribs (above average but nothing special, the ham + pees with pickled onion were maybe the best thing)


    strolled through Berkely on way back to town hitting Eureka so I could watch some NBA + drink some Grapefruit Sculpin, wife got Parabola, with mini corn dogs + onion rings

    stopped at Rare Barrel to taste some sours, as good as local favorite Wicked Weed


    rolled into North Beach, ate at Park Tavern, was amazing, had a shrimp + cucumber dish that made me like cucumbers that I historically hate, but again, got hammered at Rogue + Church Key (awesome awesome little beer bar, go here if in SF) waiting for table so didn't take pics

    following day was going ultra tourist, Ferry Building + Fishermans Wharf, started day with oysters at Hog Island in Ferry Building


    then Humphrey Slocum ice cream, Bourbon + cornflake was best, others are Vietnamese Blue Bottle Coffee + Fluffer Nutter

    wandered everywhere, late in day ate Codmother Fish and Chips + Carmel Pizza Company Diavola


    last Airbnb in North Beach, love some Airbnb

    India Big Apple Duck
    Mumbai: South Bombay would be a great area to stay. JW Marriott is also really awesome and not too spendy. We did a driving tour and it was awesome - I'm not a tour type of person but I can't imagine being able to "do" Mumbai without it. You'll understand when you see it. Eat at Peshawri at the ITC Hotel near the airport - it was recommended to me by an India-phile and I couldn't recommend it more. It was by far the best meal I had in India, and one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. The black lentil dal and the Peshawri Kabab were fucking bomb. We were there over new years and did the AER Lounge on the rooftop of the 4 seasons for NYE - it was sweet, but I'd recommend getting there before it's dark
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    Kerala: it was so awesome.
    Munnar: tough to get to - 5 hour drive from the airport and it's a pretty harrowing experience. I had to give my GF a xanax on the way down bc she was freaking out. BUT, it was so worth it.
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    We stayed at the Spice Tree Resort. They were great - you order your food a few hours in advance and they go to the store and make it fresh for you. amazing massages and spa treatments are around $15 for 75 minutes. We had a standard room but I told them that I wasn't pleased with the view so they put us in a private pool villa - in India in general, if they know that you are active on trip adviser, they will grant your every desire.
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    Backwaters: exceptionally beautiful but we somehow got a shitty boat which really tarnished the experience. Every other boat we saw looked awesome, and those we spoke to said they had great boats, but ours kinda sucked. It was still unbelievably beautiful and i would do it again. One option, which I might opt for next time, is to stay at a hotel on the land and just do day trips through the backwaters. It's sorta just one loop so not like you need several days out there.

    If you're going to do Munnar + backwaters, I'd spend 3 nights in munnar and one night in the backwaters - the boat trip ends in the morning so you can still fly out that day.

    Jaipur: so great. The religious thing wasn't really a big deal or even that noticeable. We stayed at a heritage hotel called Sharpura house that was made to look like an old rajasthani palace. I highly recommend it. There's a single day ticket that you can buy that'll get you into every attraction. Amer fort and Narhargar fort are really cool. Go to Amer first thing in the morning: charm a cobra (don't pay the guy more than a few bucks for a tip - he'll ask for a lot), ride an elephant up the hill and into the fort (the elephants stop going around 11-12 bc it gets too hot, so get there early. also, fewer people and...it's not too hot). Spend a few hours wandering through the fort - unlike castles and such in Europe, the whole thing is wide open and you can explore every nook and cranny. You could also take a book, find a cool spot, and just chill out reading for a while.
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    After that, head to city palace and the stuff in town and check it out. Hit up Nahargarh Fort late afternoon/sunset - get a beer and watch the city. It has a very Arabian nights feel.
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    The next day we went to Elephantastic, where we spent half of the day feeding, painting, bathing, and riding an elephant. They take really good care of them and you feel that you really connect with the beast. Afterwards, the owner's mom has you to her home where she makes you a home cooked Rajasthani meal, which was one of the highlights of the trip for me. That night, we went to Chokhi Dhani which is a Rajasthani village thing. There were elephants and camels running around, plus tons of food and sword swallowers, fire breathers, and other entertainment. Highly recommend.

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    I think with your existing itinerary, you might want to do Goa and then go to Jaipur. Jaipur is close to Delhi so you could go there right before you meet your buddy.

    General India tips:
    - use bottled water for everything, even brushing your teeth. The German couple we were with got super sick and the only difference in routine was that we brushed our teeth with bottled water and they didn't.
    - don't eat anything that would have been washed in water - lettuce, fruit without a peel, etc.
    - i didn't get sick but I only really ate at hotels and fine dining establishments, which have western standards - even the fine dining is cheap so just do that. you can get "street food" at a fancy place - it's the same thing, just cleaner.
    - Get gin gins (the ginger candy) - when your tummy starts to rumble, suck on one; the ginger really helps settle it. also, pop an immodium as soon as you start feeling weird. Neither of us got sick the whole time, but we were really careful
    - get a driver - it's like $20-40 for the full day and they'll take you wherever you want to go and wait for you. they're usually a good enough tour guide too. BUT...don't believe a word they say. Those fuckers will tell you that they're going to take you to the best place to get souvenirs that are "haggle free" because they get a kickback. buy whatever you want whereever you want and tell them to fuck off. ours took us to a textile mill that was supposed to have really nice stuff - we bought cashmere scarves and had them drycleaned when we got home like we do with other cashmere products. it pilled up and now looks like shit, so it clearly wasnt pure cashmere, even though it was super soft.
    - try to set things up before you go: consider getting a local travel agent. it makes things easier and it's a small fee. I think I paid a guy $60 to book all of our hotels and transportation.
    - I've heard nothing but horrible things about Delhi. I don't think you need much time there.

    Room 15 Iceland
    Day 1 – drove north west to the Snæfellsnes peninsula and stopped in three places

    - Town of Hellnar, which had a nice lookout over some of the rocky coasts. I think this is also where you can schedule tours of the national park, we didn’t do this as we didn’t really look into it beforehand.

    - Öndverðarnes – really cool little spot where no other tourists dared to go. You drive for a few miles over this ancient lava field to get out to this lighthouse with some really great photo ops and life-threatening cliffs. A real sense of accomplishment if you make it without blowing a tire.

    - Kirkjufell – supposedly one of the most photographed places in Iceland. A mountain that you can set up a climb, we didn’t, mainly because it was really overcast that day.


    Day 1b – drove south west to the Blue Lagoon for a solid 3 hour soak. This is highly recommended.


    Day 2 – golden circle tour – pretty standard 3 stops (gullfoss, geyser, and pingvellier national park. The national park probably would’ve benefitted from having a guide of some sort, just to give us more history/background outside of what the signs told you. Other two places are pretty open to self-exploration.


    Day 3 – Drove Southeast, hitting Seljalandsfoss, Sólheimajökull glacier, and black sand beaches around Vik.

    - We didn’t do the glacier climb unfortunately, but several people said that was really cool to do. Really enjoyed Reynisfjara Beach…could’ve stayed there for hours if it was just about 5 degrees warmer and I had a cooler.


    Other than that, we stayed around Reykjavik. Comments about there:

    - Tried the fermented shark…pretty bad. Tried sheephead jelly….really terrible. But the whale was a fine delicacy so not all Icelandic food was terrible. Definitely recommend this restaurant Seaboard down by the harbor. Real hole in the wall but it was awesome, we went twice. Lobster soup and whale steak get 2 thumbs up.

    - Also a place on the main shopping street lagavegur (that’s not spelled right) that does these fresh soup in bread bowls…delectable.

    - Climb to the top of the cathedral for great views but try to do so when the sun’s out.

    - If you’re looking to get a little cray cray, The English pub was a good time bar-wise…Lebowskibar was very disappointing for us.


    - We also went on a fishing excursion, not sure if that’s your jam or not but it was a good time, slaughtered the fish and cooked it for us on the boat


    That was kind of a brain dump….let me know if you have any questions.



    ******

    Room pretty much nailed it. There are tons of restaurants and bars all along the main street Laugavegur. Cafe Loki is where we did the rotten shark. You should try it. It's not too terrible. Some bar recs The English Pub is fun, felt like a mix of locals and tourists. The have a wheel you can spin for like $10 and win free booze. I hit the jackpot and won 10 beers. Kaffibarrin is more of a hipster dive. Good music though and hot girls. If you like clubs then B5 might be up your alley. Bottle service type shit. I didn't really like it, the people seemed all stuck up. But definitely some hot women in there. These all on the Laugavegur. Also the name of the restaurant in the harbor is Sea Baron not Seaboard. Definitely hit that spot up. delicious.

    They rage pretty hard in Reykjavik from Thursday night on. So my rec is wake up early and get your nature stuff out of the way earlier in the week and then prep for raging come Thursday-Saturday night. Also, don't go out too early. Things don't really get poppin until 1 am and dont' stop untili 5 am. I would just pregame at your hostel/hotel until around midnight then head out.

    941Gator Machu Picchu

    If you have cash to burn, and time to spare, than you won't need this. In this plan I spread out the payments and only require you to miss 4 days of work (7 day trip). I picked Labor Day 2017 (9-2-17 to 9-8-17) because I know the timing and weather worked for me in 16'. I'm sure any 4 day work-week would be fine. I also didn't do the hike (which requires time and more money). I'm not advocating against the hike, but after all the stuff I did (in only 7 days), I'm glad I didn't hike. You can "hike" (walk up a simple trail from base camp) up to Machu Picchu in the morning before the bus leaves if you would like.

    The basis of the trip is Home to Lima to Cusco to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) and then in reverse. You can't fly directly to Cusco, although you could try and have a quick layover in Lima airport and quickly go to Cusco. You can only get to Aguas by train. The purchases below may seem like an overkill to get to a mountain, but there aren't many other options....

    Steps:

    • November 2016: Purchase 1 way flight from Home to Lima, Peru (LIM) for September 2nd, 2017. I personally used https://www.skyscanner.com/ and then after seeing which airlines went (JetBlue) I opened a new browser and then went to their website. +/- $400
    • December 2016: X
    • January 2017: Purchase 1 way flight from Lima (LIM) to Home for September 8, 2017. I personally used https://www.skyscanner.com/ and then after seeing which airlines went (JetBlue) I opened a new browser and then went to their website. +/- $400
    • February 2017: Purchase 1 way flight from Lima (LIM) to Cusco (CUZ) for September 3rd, 2017. I would make it mid-day which would give you the morning in Lima, but the evening in Cusco (quick 1 hour flight). I used Avianca http://www.avianca.com/en-do/+/- $100
    • March 2017: Purchase your gate tickets (yes like Disney) online to Machu Picchu for September 6, 2017. Purchase here (they'll email to print) http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ +/- $50
    • April 2017: Purchase 1 way flight from Cusco (CUZ) to Lima (LIM) for September 7, 2017. I would make it mid-day which would give you the morning in Cusco, but the evening in Lima (quick 1 hour flight). I used Avianca http://www.avianca.com/en-do/ +/- $100
    • May 2017: Purchase 1 way train ride from Cusco (Poroy Station) to Aguas Calientes (base camp for Machu Picchu) for September 5, 2017. Buy here http://www.perurail.com/ but you get your tickets at an office in Cusco. +/- $100
    • June 2017: Purchase 1 way train ride from Aguas Calientes (base camp for Machu Picchu) to Cusco (Poroy Station) for September 6, 2017. Make sure these tickets are for 4 pm'ish. You will be doing Machu Picchu all morning (I did 6 am to 1 pm) and then riding train back to Cusco later. Buy here http://www.perurail.com/ but you get your tickets at an office in Cusco. +/- $100
    • July 2017: Book all of your lodging. Most of these bookings will require a nominal down payment of $5-10. I stayed in Hostel's (http://www.hostelworld.com/) with private room/bathrooms. There are plenty of hotel options as well. Lima: Ibis Hotel in Miraflores or something very close to it. Cusco: Hostel El Grial or Kokopelli Hostel. Aguas Calientes: New Day Machu Picchu. 6 nights at $70 a night. +/- $500
    Now you're all paid and booked (except bus tickets up to Machu Picchu).

    Transportation + Food + Lodging + Bullshit for me was = $1,800 give or take.

    Couple side notes:

    Lima:

    When you are checking in for a 1 way flight, you also need to have proof of a return flight. I printed off confirmations for everything and kept them in a folder. It came in very handy. Hold on to your immigration card. Peru, in general, checks your card and passport often. I've never been a "back-packer" but this is a good trip to do it on (as oppose to the normal luggage we carry).

    IMO Lima is about 90% shit. The area known as Miraflores near Ibis Hotel (near the Ocean) is awesome. The downtown Plaza/Cathederal area is cool to visit. Leaving the airport is sketchy and taxi drivers are dicks. Just use common sense. Uber is available. Great meal at Edo Sushi. Try Peruvian trout.

    Cusco:

    Incredible town (cooler than lima imo) but altitude sickness is real. It sent my ass to bed. It's like being hungover. You can get a prescription drug called Diamox or do what I did: I used dramamine, ibuprofen, water, and coca leaves (they'll have) constantly. I moved very slowly. In the main plaza there is a Peru Rail office that you can print your train tickets at. Make sure you have the exact credit card with you. You will have to take a taxi from Hostel to Poroy Train Station when it comes time for that.

    You can also reserve a 9 am (3 hours) zip-line deal for the morning of September 4, 2017 here http://www.cuscozipline.com/en. Dinner: Fallen Angel and Uchu. Try Alpaca meat.

    *You will see that some people decide to take a taxi from Cusco to a much further train station (Ollantaytambo). This saves time I guess because the taxi is quicker. I just kept it simple and took a quick taxi to the closest train station. The train ride is 3.5 hours. Great views though.

    Aguas Calientes:

    This odd town (really just one street) is essentially an out of control train station. There are no taxi's. You have to walk to your hostel. You have to sleep here because you want to jump on the Machu Picchu bus at about 5 am to go to the Mountain. Do not sleep in. The morning crew is great. You get to almost discover the mountain with about 100 others, oppose to 1,000. The bus tickets need to get purchased at the little bus office the day before you want to get on the bus.

    Machu Picchu:

    As it turns out, MP is lower altitude than Cusco (but you'll still get easily tired walking around). The bus from Aguas will take you up to the MP gate. You will get off bus and then wait in line. The park opens and you walk a short trail to the ruins. They pop up out of no where. It's very euphoric. Best views ever. I suggest having a digital camera for this trip (and a watch) and not using cell phone. While on MP you can wear a backpack. All you will really need is some water. The tour guides on MP seemed unnecessary. Do a bunch of reading prior to the trip.


    BamaNug Rio

    Got in early on the first day, got to the hostel and just walked around Leblon and Ipanema. It was much nicer than I expected, pretty damn upscale. Much more than I was expecting for Brazil, nice surprise. Stayed at Lemon Spirit hostel, 2 blocks from the beach in Leblon. Great freakin location, but not a great atmosphere at the hostel. Met some cool folks, but it's really small and not too wild at all.

    When I was in Peru last year, I met a guy from Sao Paulo and a brother & sister from Rio. The guy from SP flew into Rio and met me that night, and then we went to Lapa and met up with the brother and sister that live there. I was really glad to have some people that speak Portuguese with me, because Brazil is one of the hardest language barriers I've ever encountered.

    Lapa is fucking awesome, I think I enjoyed sitting out at the tables in the street just as much as the clubs (which were also awesome). Just hundreds of people in the street, great time. Hit up some clubs in Lapa and got back late.

    Next day woke up about 10, got some breakfast and went hang gliding. Fucking incredible, see video in next post.

    Met my friend from SP, who was staying at a hostel in Copacabana, and we walked around and got food and beers and watched Germany-Italy in a fun bar. Meet some folks from the hostel, all from the UK, and we go to a nearby bar in Lagoa (near the lake) called Palefeitas, which was nuts. Girls from Rio are absurdly good looking. The ones that speak English love gringoes, but not many local girls speak English. Didn't get back until about 5-6 in the morning.

    Next day woke up pretty late, but went out with the same group and my friends from Rio to Ipanema beach for just a beach day. It was awesome, mainly because of the weather, about 75-80 and perfectly clear. Chill on the beach and kick the soccer ball around, just beach it. That night we headed to Praca Sao Salvador, a local spot next to my friends' apartment where locals chill in the plaza and drink beer. Was really cool, we were the only 3-4 gringoes there. Real fun hanging out in a very non-tourist spot.



    Beach at sunset:
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    July 4 did all the tourist stuff---Christ the Redeemer, Lapa stairs, and then meet my friends from Rio at their apartment. We rent some bikes and ride from their place in Flamengo all along the boardwalk by the beach through Botafogo and to Sugarloaf Mountain, which has a cable car that leads to the top for insane views of Rio. Spend an hour or 2 at Sugarloaf, get back to the hostel.

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    View from Cristo:
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    View from Sugarloaf. Be sure to see the sunset at Sugarloaf at least one night:
    Most of the South Zone is perfectly safe during the day, but we were generally told to not go to the North Zone for any reason. But on Monday nights there is an awesome samba street party full of locals, and my friends from there said it was a great time and we should all go. The party itself is safe, but pretty much the entire surrounding area is dangerous. It was in Pedra Do Sol, which is in like the Northeast past of the city.

    So here's pretty much the only sketchy experience I had. Me and 2 folks from the hostel were getting an uber from Leblon up to Pedra Do Sol, and the driver was nice and spoke english; telling us how Pedra Do Sol's Monday night party is perfectly safe, but be careful in the surrounding areas and don't venture away from the party for any reason (we were told the same by my friends). He was talking about how in the North Zone you don't really stop at stop signs or red lights at night because people will bust your window and mug you. Anyways, we get up there and the driver gets lost. You can tell that he's getting a little worried, and starts running stop signs and lights, turning down alleys he doesn't really know that had some shady fucking characters. Do this for about 10-15 minutes, and nobody says a word. Everybody was a little freaked out, but eventually he found the party. Not cool.

    But the samba party in Pedra Do Sol was incredible. Huge street party, nearby bar, went on until about 4 AM.

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    Wake up the next morning at about 7, running on about 1 hour of sleep, and head to Iguazu

    Rio thoughts:
    -More expensive than I thought it'd be
    -Spanish hardly gets you anywhere, I speak alright espanol and thought it'd be close enough to Portuguese, but was way wrong.
    -Food was alright, just started to get tired of meat and beans. Coffee was excellent
    -Felt very safe in the South Zone, and pretty much safe the entire time except for that one instance.
    -Beaches are incredible, devote at least one full day there. Everybody in Rio is just fucking gorgeous, and it's such an 'active' city. Outdoor gyms, people running/bike/skateboarding all the time. Incredible vibe
    -Hands down the prettiest city I've ever seen. The scenery is second-to-none
    -Weather was awesome, mid-60s at night, and high 70s during the day
    -Local brazilian girls really do love America guys. Was able to get with 2 while I was there, only sealed the deal once though.

    Iguazu:

    Fly into Foz and immediately go to the helipad and do a helicopter tour over the Brazilian side. Pretty damn incredible.



    Go see Brazilian side, which I actually liked better than the Argentina side.

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    Get to Puerto Iguazu, which is a cool little town, but nothing special. Was cool too river that "Ts" with Argentina on one side, Brazil on the other, and Paraguay to the left.

    Sitting in Argentina, Brazil to the right, Paraguay to the left:
    [​IMG]

    Got a hotel in Boutique De la Fonte, which I highly suggest. It also has the #1 rated restaurant in Puerto Iguazu (
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaur...erto_Iguazu_Province_of_Misiones_Litoral.html )

    Got like a 4-course meal with some wine, passed out at about 9 o clock as I was operating on about 1 hour of sleep. Hibernate for about 12 hours and wake up and go to Argentina side. Argentina side was really freaking packed, and I think is why I didn't like it that much. But the Devil's Throat on the Arg side is really awesome.

    Puerto Igauzu was pretty damn cheap, the hotel was like $50 and the meal $35-40. But I thought too soon that Argentina was cheap, as Buenos Aires was pretty expensive.

    BamaNug Buenos Aires

    Buenos Aires
    Catch a plane to BA that evening, get in about 7-8 PM. Stayed at Eco Pampa hostel in Palermo hostel, great hostel and great location. Palermo is the shit, just awesome bars and awesome restaurants everywhere.

    Buenos Aires is much more similar to big cities in Europe than South America, in my opinion. If it wasn't for the spanish you'd think you're in Europe with the architecture and modern-ness (relative to other places I've been in South America). Not a bad thing at all, but it's really, really different from Rio. Was surprised at the contrast.

    Was still sort of recovering from Rio, so got some dinner in Palermo, had some drinks with some people at the hostel and went to sleep a little after midnight.

    Actually went to the restaurant/bar 'NOLA' that was recommended by someone in this thread (can't remember who...which ones in here have been to BA before?). It's a restaurant that an expat from New Orleans opened up, and was really damn good, and surprisingly authentic. Highly, highly recommend, is a cool experience and good vibe. Really popular too, with lots of locals. Good craft beer as well.

    Wake up and the next day and do tourist stuff--go see the cemetery in Recoleta, which is really cool. Very similar to the above-ground cemetery in New Orleans, but this one's a lot older. Definitely recommend.

    [​IMG]


    Walked from there to the weird-shaped bridge (can't remember the name), and then down to San Telmo. San Telmo is a really cool area; most of BA is just a massive city like London or NY, but San Telmo was a little colonial-type village.

    [​IMG]

    Went to San Telmo because I wanted to go to a specific parilla I'd been reading about called Nuestra Parilla, supposed to be famous for the chorizo. It's just a little open-air grill with all sorts of meat grilling. Was awesome, had 2 sandwiches and a beer, caught an uber back to the hostel around 4-5. Be sure to check out San Telmo, and specifically Nuestra Parilla and try the chorizo.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    So I think I mentioned in this thread that I had a friend from high school that lives in BA now. We had been talking and planning a bunch of stuff, but unfortunately she had to go home for a family emergency. But she was able to put me in touch with her roommate, a really cool guy from Madrid that has lived in BA for 2 years. Meet up with him, we get something to eat and go out in Palermo for the night.

    The next 3 nights in BA were probably the 3 craziest consecutive days of my life. You don't go out in BA until like 2-3 AM, and the earliest you leave the clubs is like 6. It's retarded, everything is so late and you party all night. I got back past 6 AM on Thurs, Fri, and Saturday. I was also fortunate that July 9 is Argentina's Independence day, so Friday was a work holiday and happened to be there for a long weekend for them.

    First night head to Makena's, a popular club in Palermo Hollywood (I think? I know it's in Palermo). Rage all nigh to US rap music, great time. There were definitely more tourists/non-locals everywhere in BA, but there were also a ton of chicks from all over the world. Very easy to meet and had a great amount of success at all the clubs and bars. BA's partying is the best I've ever experienced, including anywhere in Europe (at least for me). Crazy fucking nightlife in this city.

    Next day, wake up at 1-2, get lunch with the guy from Spain that lives there, and chill at his apartment hungover and chill and get high all day, recover.

    The night before, we met 3 british guys who were renting some huge party airBNB in Recoleta, it was weird. It was literally like a damn mansion, and they had rented rooms. The owners of the house hired a salsa instructor, told the guys to invite as many people as they could, and had an open bar. It was really fucking cool, they were just trying to promote their airBNB as a 'party' airBNB. Stayed there until about 3, head to Liquid in Palermo, party there until about 6. Took home an American girl, things got pretty weird.

    Next day, sleep in late, wake up hungover again, just chill and recover all day. That night went to La Cabrera, one of the most famous steakhouses in Argentina. Got a steak the size of my head, so damn good. That, with a side and splitting a bottle of wine with someone was about $30-40, but would've cost easily over $100 in the US.

    [​IMG]

    So that Church Rave---this was one of the coolest things I've ever been to. One of the guys that worked at the hostel was a promoter for some underground electronica acts and just big into that whole scene, I guess. He was getting a few folks who partied at the hostel to go, and it's really underground and hard to get into, have to be on the list to definitely get in, they only let 100 or so people in (or so we were told), and it only cost $150 pesos (about $12-13 US). I know there was a ridiculous line outside and we were able to skip the line because we were on the list, and there were some people waiting when we left at 7. Apparently it goes until about 9-10, which I just don't understand.

    Go in and the venue is incredible. Really small church in downtown with peeling paintings on the walls, just insane. Not too packed, almost perfect amount of people. Girls everywhere, party favors everywhere, pure hedonistic debauchery. I have a shitload of go pro videos that are insane, will need to put them together and make sure all the bad stuff is off.



    [​IMG]

    Party there until about 7, go home and pass out, sleep until 2-3, head to airport and fly back. Eco Pampa is a really fun hostel, would recommend. I had heard about Milhouse, and it might be crazier, but Palermo is where you want to stay. Really liked Eco Pampa.

    Didn't get laid that last night, but at the rave was hooking up with an absolute smoke show from Ireland that was staying at the hostel. Unfortunately, she got sick and started puking when we got back to the hostel (and it was almost 8 AM), so couldn't finish things. But posting her pics because she was so fine, just turned 21.


    BA thoughts:
    -this city is insane. I probably was with more of a party crowd, but if you're looking to party your face off, this place has it. If you want, it's easy to stay out all night every night.
    -It's a big, big city, and like I said above, feels more like a big Paris/London than another city in South America.
    -Liked this food a lot better than Rio, but I think I liked Rio overall better. But both are great.

    I didn't think anything could ever top Northern Thailand, but Rio did. The city is incredible, and really indescribable unless you've been. Everyone should have it near the top of their list.

    BA is an amazing time, but the city is just out of control (again, probably more the crowd I was with). I'm glad I never went when I was in college and young and dumb(er), because I probably would have died. Thurs-Fri-Saturday is such a damn blur. Great damn time.

    BamaNug Thailand, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Arrived in Bangkok Saturday about noon. Subway to the hostel, which was badass and right near downtown, Ko Sahn Road, the main strip. Go out and get lunch have a few beers, chill. Bangkok fucking sucks. Huge, so many people, smelly, shitload of pollution, just dirty. But I go back to the hostel, meet some guys from Scotland, and head downtown. Outside all the bars down there are just nitrous balloons for like one dollar, so we'd go have a few beers, go outside and take one, and got real fucked up. I don't remember much, it's pretty spotty, but it was the most fucked up I got the whole trip. Nothing really special.

    Next night I met a local Thai girl at a bar in the early afternoon (it was a Sunday, so still the weekend), and we went and got drinks and dinner. End up going back to her house, getting weird, and she had to go to work the next day so she just took me to the airport to catch my flight to Chiang Mai, it was pretty sweet. She took me to a real dank local restaurant (everyone was staring at me because I was the only white/western guy in there) and we just got real wine drunk. If it hadn't been for hooking up with her, my 2 nights in Bangkok would've sucked. I still left with a bad taste in my mouth for the first 2 nights of my trip. She's in the first pic, her name was Pumy. Pretty hot.



    Fly to Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand, land at about 2:00 PM. Meet 2 American girls and a guy from the UK and went and got some beers, but I was fucking exhausted from the night before so I went back relatively early to my hostel with no AC. Next morning I decided to drive to Pai, which is a hippie/mountain town about 100 miles North of Chiang Mai, but only accessible by this windy mountain road. A lot of people rent motorbikes/scooters and do the drive themselves, takes about 3 hours straight through, so I decided to do it too. Best decision I made the whole trip.

    It was incredible driving through the mountains. It took me like 5 hours because I stopped a shitload and ventured off onto different waterfalls/parks/scenery stuff. The next 2 pics are of just the drive up there.


    The entire drive was like that, at times better. Met a guy from Germany that was doing the same thing and rode with him for a while, but he was on like a real fucking motorbike and left me in the dust after an hour or so. About 20 kilometers (~13 miles?) from Pai, it starts raining a little bit. I've never really ridden a bike like this so I just drove regular, ended up busting my ass around a corner. Lucky as shit I wasn't hurt. I was wearing pants so maybe that helped. I was only going ~20 mph around a curve and the wheels just slipped out from under me. I was also wearing my backpack whilst riding up.

    Then, to make things worse, my my bike said it had a half a tank, but apparently it was on empty, wouldn't start. It had stopped raining, but I was freaking out a little bit. After like 2-3 minutes, these locals pulled up in a truck, helped load me up the bike in their bed and drove me to a gas station. I learned a little bit of Thai beforehand so I was able to communicate a little bit. It was actually pretty awesome.


    Pulled up to my hostel, and it was the coolest place I've ever stayed. Called Spicy Pai, and it was a bunch of wooden/thatch dorms looking over a rice field and the mountains, this was view every day:



    The dorms had no AC, and it got pretty hot inside, but outside was pretty cool at night so I slept in the hammock right there most nights. It was incredible. Pai is the coolest place I've ever been. I was only supposed to stay 2 days and then go to the beach, but ended up just canceling the islands and staying 6 nights. Weed was for all intents and purposes legal, you could get magic mushroom shakes (which weren't great, but still gave me a mild trip), and a group from the hostel was exploring and doing random shit all day. Waterfalls, hiking canyons, swimming in hot springs, visiting local tribes/villages, elephants, etc.


    Did stuff like that every day, never alone, always with a good group from the hostel or people I had met the night before. It was a small backpacking place, and just a small place in general, so you saw the same people a lot and got to know people, wasn't a bad thing at all. Everyone was doing the same thing and always getting fucked up. Every night, the small strip (maybe 3-4) of bars would close around midnight, and then there was one bar that stayed open all night that everyone went to, the only place open in the village. It was like this every night, just awesome:

    First night there I met a French-Canadian girl in law school, so I was obviously in like flynn. Next night I met a girl that had just graduated from FSU. I didn't get their names/facebook, so don't have any pictures. Hooking up in hostels is kind of tough if you're staying in a big dorm room with like 8 people, so you gotta get creative. Shower/late night in lobby area, whatever. About my 4th or 5th night I met a fucking gorgeous Dutch girl, legit 6 feet tall, skinny blond, and hung out with her for like 2-3 days. We would go get dinner and get fucked up, and slept together 2 straight nights. Lissette:


    So that was fucking awesome. Our last night in Pai I just got us a private place for like $15 (the awesome hostel was, literally, $5/night). She had to go to Chiang Mai to catch a flight home, and I was spending so much time in Pai and wanted to see other places, so we both motorbiked back to Chiang Mai, stopped a lot of places along the way again. Unfortunately she flew back home when we got back, but she will be mine.

    There was also a local Thai guy, who was also a rastafarian, with dreads down to his back, that was staying in Pai. He lived in Chiang Mai, would get us weed, would go to the market and get local food every night for cheap as shit, and go with us places and get us deals because he was Thai. It was awesome. His name was Gof.




    One of the coolest things I did the whole trip was watch USA-Belgium at the bar in Pai that stays open late. The World Cup games started at 11 PM and 3 AM local time, so people were always up watching it. The USA game was the 3 AM, so I stayed up all night and watched the game with like 30-40 Belgians, I was the only American in the whole bar. They were cool about it, didn't talk (too much) shit or anything, but were doing chants and were just like SEC football fans going apeshit. It was awesome. Went to sleep at like 6 AM that night.


    So after riding back with Lissette, the blonde from the Netherlands, I had 4 days and 3 nights in Chiang Mai, was just going to chill there. First night I actually got a legit hotel ($25/night), first night not doing the hostel thing. I walked around the market and ate some street food (there's tons of food vendors everywhere, and all the food is like $1-2, and delicious. I never spent more than $10 on a meal). I took it easy that night because I partied so hard in Pai.

    Gof came back the next night and took me to some real good places and I partied with him for my last nights in Pai. Also met another girl that will be my bride from Germany, and was like a martial artist/muy thai/jiujitsu fighter. She was ripped as shit and had like a fucking 6 pack. During days me and her friend would ride around and go to temples and explore waterfalls/forest shit. We also went to this place called Tiger Kingdom, where you can legit hang out with full grown tigers. Some people don't like it because there are rumors that they drug the tigers with sedatives to make them calm around humans, but I did not get that vibe at all. Many were jumping around and playing while we were there, and they didn't seem drugged at all.

    Lana:


    Exploring Chiang Mai:


    Chiang Mai continued:


    I had to splurge a whole $20 for a private room with Lana, but it was worth it.

    Next I flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia for 3 days/2nights before I came home. But general thoughts on Thailand:
    -Their local beer is called Chang, and for some reason their alcohol content isn't really regulated. It's called "Chang Roulette" when you drink it because although the bottle says it's 6% alcohol, the actual alcohol content can be anywhere from 4-15%. You can have three and start to be pretty fucked up. It's actually pretty funny.
    -Thailand is incredibly cheap, and at no time did I fear/feel threatened violently/physically. Everybody was incredibly nice.
    -I got a massage virtually every day, they were only $5 for a one hour Thai massage, and they were awesome. I was not offered one happy ending or anything of that nature one time, like I said, I feel the sex thing is way overblown. I think it's kind of like drugs in the US sometimes, it's definitely there, and if you look for it you'll find it, but if you don't look for it you don't even notice it. Kind of glad it was that way because I most likely would've spent money on a hooker, and there are rumors of guys paying for sex and then having the cops show up and demand like $5K or they'll throw your ass in Thai prison.
    -It's just fucking awesome. I would highly recommend it. Even though I only stayed in Northern Thailand, in the mountains, I've heard the beaches are incredibly impressive as well. Pai is the coolest place I've ever been.

    On Wednesday I flew to Siem Reap, Cambodia. I don't know if Cambodia is officially considered a third-world country, but if it's not it's damn close. It was awesome, but sooo fucking poor. Significantly cheaper than Thailand. Beers were 25-50 cents, almost every meal was $1. They also use American currency, which was weird. I imagine just because theirs is so de-valued. There are people without legs begging, and it was really sad at times. I stayed in a nice ass hostel for $10/night for a private room with AC. Very worth it. Still got to meet people with the hostel scene, but also had a private room.

    They have one strip of bars called "Pub Street," that is like 8-10 bars all on one avenue. Very similar to Bourbon street, just on a much smaller scale. Went out both nights there and had a blast. Didn't hook up, unfortunately, but still had a great time. Some of the people I met in Pai were in Siem Reap with me, so I went out with them, and also met a ton of people at the hostel that were doing the same thing.

    I don't know why I don't have more pictures of Pub Street, I thought I took more. This is a lesbian couple from Australia that was backpacking, very chill and smoked me out both nights (I was too nervous to buy weed in Cambodia. Like Thailand, there were a lot of stories of you asking for it and then cops showing up immediately, or you being offered and the guy's a cop).



    Hostel staff:

    Another one of the coolest things I did the whole trip was go to Angkor Wat, one of the oldest and most famous places in the world:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat

    It was fucking amazing. Angkor Wat is the most famous, but it's a huge area comprising like 8-10 temples. You hire a "tuktuk" driver, which are guys on mopeds with carriage-like apparatuses hitched to them, to drive you around them all day, it takes like 5 hours to view, and costs you $15-20, with a tip to the guy. You just tell him "Angkor Wat Tour" and they know what you're talking about.

    Just fucking awesome. Flew out of Siem Reap at about 11 PM on my third night and made my 40+ hour trek home.

    Final thoughts:
    -It definitely wasn't all peaches and cream all the time. I was able to handle most of the local food, but when I got to Cambodia I got a pretty bad case of the runs and the food wrecked my stomach. To make matters worse, you can't flush toilet paper down SE Asian toilets, you just have to throw it in a small trashcan next to all the toilets. Needless to say, my bathroom in Siem Reap didn't smell too good.
    -Nowhere has AC, and it's hot as shit all the time. Not nearly as humid, but really hot and nowhere to cool off. I was pretty much constantly sweating, as was most everyone. That's why I needed AC my last night in Cambodia.
    -Even though I traveled by myself, I was very rarely alone. Always met people at hostels, always ran into a group of people, it was insane. I met so many people, and a significant portion of them were traveling alone as well.
    -I can't emphasize how cheap everything was. Insane prices. Accommodation ranged from $5-15/night, food was rarely more than $5/meal. We ate at Siem Reap's #1, 5 star restaurant my last night and it was $5-6 for their best entrees.
    -While the people in Thailand I felt were generally nice and good people, Cambodians were always looking for money. I can't really blame them, as it really is hard to put into words how poor this country is and how little assets they have, so you just kind of have to take it with the territory. Didn't ruin my experience by any means, but gets old at times.
    -You have to differentiate between "Western Spicy" and "Thai Spicy" when you order, as their spicy is insane and most Westerners simply can't handle it. I was a little buzzed and ordered a "thai spicy" dish once and couldn't even finish the meal. My mouth was numb it was so hot and I was pouring sweat. Very poor decision.

    BamaNug BVI (NYE right?)

    Flights getting out of the US sucked, it was storming all day and delayed, didn't get into St. Thomas until about midnight on Dec. 30. Friend picked me up at the airport, we just went to her place and crashed.

    Next day, Dec 31, met up with her friend who lives on St. Thomas---he grew up there, his family is rich as shit and he doesn't really work, just kind of floats through life on the islands. Not a bad gig, and he has a 32 Contender with twin 300s that basically served as our shuttle. Me and about 4-5 others ride from St. Thomas--> Jost can Dyke for New Years Eve party. Holy shit at this island.

    I couldn't get over how pristine and perfect all the beaches were. I've been to some amazing beaches in Europe and in SE Asia, but the ones in the VIs were just so clean; that was the most surprising thing. No trash anywhere, not even the morning after NYE.

    Jost was also so awesome in that everyone was camping in tents right under the palm trees, right on the beach. It was better than a postcard.

    Story time: Walk down from our camping area to Foxy's/Soggy Dollar, and on the way they run into a girl from St. Thomas they know. This girl convinces us to go out to a yacht with a guy she just met, so hell yea why not. As all 6-7 of us get in a dingy and have some sketchy russian drive us out there, all I could think about was how we're all about to get raped and murdered, everybody was giving some concerned looks. It was very sketchy, but once we got there it was awesome. Huge, multi-million dollar catamaran, and we get there and it's a obese 30 year old with high-priced escorts everywhere just handing out shots and drinks. It was wild. It took everyone a minute after talking to the girls to realize every female on there was a hooker. Quite entertaining. We spend some time in the hot tub on the yacht, walking through the cabin, etc., and after an hour or so head back to the beach. There was a hooker from London on the yacht that loved me, pretty sure she's never had that connection with anyone else before. I know it.

    Get back to the beach, and it's really just a blur from here until I wake up. I know I was kind of glued to the TV for the Bama game, and there was a surprisingly large number of Bama fans watching the game.

    But Jost for NYE lived up to the hype. So many people, and the girls are nothing short of incredible. Nothing but gorgeous people everywhere. Stumbled back to my tent not long after midnight because I just got too drunk celebrating Bama dominate.

    Next day we get back in the Contender and run to Anegada, northern most BVI, about a 2 hour run from Jost:
    [​IMG]

    I know Gin Buckets touched on it, but Anegada is incredible. Hands down the most beautiful beaches and coolest island I've ever been to. Only about 300 full-time inhabitants, 2-3 restaurants, 1-2 bars, and a handful of places to stay. The entire island is like 10 miles x 3-4 miles

    Get there about 3-4 in the afternoon, dick around on the docks and play soccer with the local kids, have a pretty wild night at one of the few bars. There were no yacht weekers there, but handfuls of rich-ass families on vacations and other "yachties," as I learned they were called. We camped out on the beach that night again, it was awesome. I'm not normally an outdoorsman/camper, but it was free and it was right on the beach so fairly comfortable.

    We went snaring for lobsters (illegal to spear them, you can only use a snare), and while I was pretty inept and couldn't get any, there were plenty caught. I now know that I am an awful snorklerer/swimmer. I need to learn how to free-dive and just be a better swimmer. I can't hold my breath for shit. Ate a ton of fresh lobster that night over a fire, it was so good.

    Next day we all rent scooters and just explore. Go to 3-4 beaches, see some flamingos, day-drink and just have a blast. Fucking awesome day. I've uploaded my GoPro footage to my computer, but it's going to take a while to edit and make view-able.

    About 2-3 in the afternoon we take the Contender offshore for some fishing. In under 2 hours, we caught 4 dolphin, 2 wahoo, and a blackfin. Wore them out. 2 of the dolphin were fairly big, but all the others were kind of small. Didn't matter, still great meat and one of the most successful fishing days I've ever had in such a short amount of time. Bring the fish back to the dock, give most of it to the locals and in exchange they cooked everything for us. They were more excited than we were for the fresh fish, and it was also delicious (and free).

    Get fat and happy, chill and have some rum drinks, and then go to a nearby bar. Small shack right on the beach, there were maybe 20 people there. Met up with a group of seniors from University of Texas that were on a friend's parent's huge yacht, spit what I'm sure was some absolutely terrible game, do the limbo all night, and ended up taking one down the beach for a good time. She was an absolute fucking freak. Only got her first name, and it's really common so I haven't been able to find her on facebook. Probably for the best, keep it on the island.

    Nest day we explore for a little bit for the remaining hours we had the scooters, head back to St. Thomas around 1-2. Stop by some islands for some snorkeling and stuff, get to St. Thomas and one of their friends is having a cookout on the beach. Chill there all afternoon, watch the sunset, ate a delicious low-country boil, and get fat and happy and drunk again. Head back to my friend's house and pass out around 8-9 PM. So exhausted.

    Next day I paddle-boarded around St. Thomas and did yoga with my friend I was visiting (she's a yoga teacher and I felt bad that I hadn't taken one of her classes yet). Took 2 classes, and had an awesome time. I needed some de-tox after the previous couple of days. Had a great dinner that night, but passed out fairly early again.

    Woke up and caught an early flight, but had a 9 hour layover in Miami. Tried to get on an earlier flight, but just couldn't justify spending an extra $500, so took a $3 bus fare down to South Beach. Google'd "best cuban sandwich" and had one of the best of my life, posted above somewhere. Bar-hopped a little bit by myself, met some folks, ended up at a very cool brewery: http://abbeybrewinginc.com/

    Caught a buzz, passed out on my flight, and finally got to my house around midnight.

    Overall a fucking fantastic trip. Anegada, Anegada, Anegada. Like I said above, I couldn't get over the beaches---they are fucking perfect.

    Arkadin and southlick Thailand

    Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai was awesome. We stayed at deejai backpacker, which was awesome. They have a kitchen in the common area in the mainhouse, as well as right down the street like a block they have a pool, kitchen, bar, pool table, tree house, etc. People were great. Bought tickets to a Muay Thai fight through them on a discount and had the best seats in the house, because as the man working at the arena said "Oh, deejai. they pay good, you get good seat." That was fucking fantastic. We were sitting with a bunch of people from the hostel, getting lit, and gambling on the fights with the locals. The arena was down some sketchy ass alley in the back of some building, it was great.

    Really enjoyed the Chiang Mai night bizarre as well. Real good time walking around in there, and had a lot of fun listening to these thai dudes jam out some american tunes. They sounded a shit load better than a lot of bands I hear in bars around here, even with their asian accent. If you haven't seen how they make ice cream, watch this youtube video. It's the ultimate cold stone/marble slab.


    We also rented bikes and hit the Samoeng Loop:

    That was great, the views are fantastic and better than the ride to Pai (which I'll get to). Definitely recommend doing that. We were gone about 5 hours or so. Could've done it quicker or slower depending on personal preference.

    Would like to spend a couple more days in Chiang Mai, beautiful place.

    Pai

    The ride up to Pai wast just kind of whatever. Did enjoy stopping and swimming in one of the big national park waterfalls. Was ready to get the fuck off the bike by the time we got up there though. We stayed at Purple Monkey Backpacker. Can't recommend this place enough if you are looking for a good time and can deal with shitty beds (though I only know what ours was like, not the rest of the ones they had) for a couple of days. It's owned and run by a 26 year old Canadian chick and her friends, which at the time was a 28 year old canuck and a 25-26 year old british chick. We got there on Canada day and everyone was partying. They have a slip n slide, basketball court, the bar and kitchen is outside and they just blare music and encourage you to shotgun beers, play beer pong, etc. They have a pet eagle too which was fucking badass. There is a deck up on top of one of the dorms with a big projector and hammocks where they'll show movies for those that are interested at night. It's also right in town which was real convenient, could walk everywhere. Had a bunch of good food in Pai, including an Indian feast from a place called BeBe Spice that was fucking awesome.

    We rode up and hiked the Pai canyon, hit a couple of view points, went fishing in this stocked pond place. Again, would've liked to have had a couple more days, Pai was a lot of fun. The ride home was a lot better than the ride there, we were flying and probably made the trip in a little under 2:30 time on bikes. Pretty much every other white person we met seemed to have laid the bikes down at least once, which is hilarious. People just all fucked up everywhere. We owned those things though, 62-65 mph on a moped is awesome.

    Bangkok

    I know a lot of people recommend skipping/not spending a lot of time here, but maybe I'm still young enough for it or something, because Bangkok is fucking awesome. Khaosan Road is a non stop, balls to the wall party. The bars pretty much battle each other in the street for who can be the craziest. You can also find anything you want on this street, legal or illegal. We saw three fights in the first like hour we were there on a Sunday night and the cops just broke it up and no one got arrested or anything, kinda blew my mind at first. We went and had some beers on Soi Cowboy which was a hilarious experience, great people watching. Soi 11 in Sukhumvit was a solid place to hang out as well. We went to this place for dinner one night: http://www.cabbagesandcondoms.co.th/ it was hilarious. We didn't get to do it, but we really wanted to do this: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/bangkoks-ghost-tower-the-sathorn-unqiue

    Thailand has a real strong hustle game in general, but the Bangkok hustle is absurd. We just end up fucking with everyone and yelling at shady tuk tuk drivers

    Phuket

    We weren't here very long. Got in Sunday night, went and got a fresh grouper dinner which was delicious, then hit the strip of bars on patong beach. Ended up just listening to these couple of cover bands which were pretty great, I have some videos I'll post later. The next day we did the John Gray Seacanoe tour. The weather was kind of shitty but it was fucking awesome, feel like you're in jurrasic park the whole time. Will post some pictures/videos of this later as well, highly recommend.

    We were supposed to leave from here and go to Phi Phi, but as I noted while we were gone they had a storm so we audibled to Koh Samui.

    Koh Samui

    We didn't have anywhere to stay so we just got them to drop us off in the middle of chaweng beach and we'd figure it out from there. Walked up to the first hostel, was a little more than we wanted to spend. Turn around to walk off and some guy at the hotel right next door wanted us to come check his place out, so we do. Big room, two beds, AC, Hot water, right next to the beach. Was like 10 bucks a night per person so we were all over that.

    Really enjoyed the beach here, water was great, scenery was top notch. Drank a shit load of cocktails at a rastafarian bar on the beach called lipsmackers. They loaded them up with booze to cut the sweetness that is real prevalent. They also had mushroom shakes we took advantage of and tripped our faces off on the beach at night.

    This whole island just goes hard as fuck every night. Ark bar is right on the beach and every night its a dj, fire dancers, multiple bars, pool party, etc etc until 2 AM. Then at 2, everyone walks down the street to this bar called the Green Mango that doesnt open until 2, and the party just rages all night. We didnt do a whole lot besides get hammered and lay around on the beach, and walk around the street. We were having such a good time doing that we were cool with it. Had some great fresh lobster and mussels dinner, some other fresh fish one night. About 2 am we had one of the best things i've ever put in my mouth, which was this pork with some spicy chili sauce from this street cart. holy fuck that was good.



    Trip was awesome, enjoyed every moment of it. The airways over there are great. At one point our flights were delayed and they knew we really needed to get to Bangkok, so Bangkok Air literally held a plane full of people on the tarmac for us, ran us through some back doors to get to the front of customs and security lines. Their customer service is top notch.

    Had a ton of good food. It probably ruined like 95% of american thai food for me but whatever.

    Actual Post.. https://www.the-mainboard.com/index...ite-ups-in-the-op.120242/page-38#post-9204317
     
    #1 Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  2. gordon bombay

    gordon bombay magician's alliance enthusiast
    Georgia Tech Yellow JacketsAtlanta BravesAtlanta HawksAtlanta Falcons

    Don't worry guys I copy and pasted every relevant Hvar and Croatia post into a word doc
     
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  3. BamaNug

    BamaNug I used to be blind but I still can't see
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    I will need Seattle info once again.
     
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  4. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Who else posted in this thread?
     
  5. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    My name has never been anything but this. You just forgot the space. :cmonson:
     
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  6. wolfpck

    wolfpck haters gonna hate
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    Jesus Christ. Friday I found out I got a raise and approval for a 2 week trip to Europe with a friend. Was planning on using past posts in this thread for a lot of my planning.
     
  7. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    I'm back... Considering changing my name to Gin Buckhead permanently.
     
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  8. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    Well, now would be a good time to start letting us know what locations you had in mind then we can fill in the gaps with info.
     
  9. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    May as well. Your current name isn't even remotely elitist.
     
  10. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Mannn... This is suchhhh a bummer. We lost some really good shit. Especially in the backpacking thread.
     
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  11. wolfpck

    wolfpck haters gonna hate
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    I'm meeting with my friend tonight to discuss things. I went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Hvar, and Barcelona last summer. I'm feeling an Eastern Europe trip. Something like Krakow, Budapest, Belgrade and a 4th, but he may take some convincing on that. I'm also going to float the idea of Yacht week to him and then like 2 cities after or before, but I don't really know what his financials are looking like so that may be a stretch.
     
  12. WolfStansson

    WolfStansson Well-Known Member
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    Yeah. I definitely should have pasted stuff into Word.

    Quick question for you guys. I'm booking flights for Yacht Week in Croatia today or tomorrow. When does everything end on that Saturday? I don't see anything on the website.
     
  13. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    You're likely way too late try and do TYW in Europe for 2015. As a man, you have to be on the forefront of the booking to get in (most likely) so I kinda doubt you find a yacht, however, people who haven't filled their yachts may start getting desperate.
     
  14. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    You wake up and have to be off the boat by 9am. There are buses and taxis readily available from whichever harbor you're in. Early afternoon flight out of Split is easy to make.
     
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  15. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Belgrade = www.belgradeatnight.com highly recommended by me and Gin Buckets in fact I still stay in touch with some of their hostesses... :gfa:
     
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  16. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia triple beam lyrical dream
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  17. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Haha fuck off Farva.
     
  18. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Gave my favorite LSU poster some love in the OP.
     
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  19. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Not necessarily true my man... They have cabin bookings. You can also try to get some spots from late in the game dropouts.

    There are also still boats available for Greece if you wanted to rent your own.
     
  20. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    Well, his post mentioned that his friends finances are in question so I answered like that because cabin bookings are like 20% more expensive and I did mention the desperation from late game yachts. BRO
     
  21. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    I'm a big fan of slovenia. Not as big of a party as other parts of the balkans but easy to get to by train from budapest.
     
  22. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Here's an email I just sent to a chick going to Krakow, so I figure why not post it here as it has some good info...

    For Krakow... Use this:
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/poland/malopolska/krakow

    I think this is the Milkbar we went to, and had lunch... Good spot for that. Keep in mind I think pancakes in Poland are the potato kind.
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...w_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html

    This will tell you more about Milkbars (I've not watched yet, but it could give you a better idea of what to do and what you want)
    http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/krakow/restaurants/Milk-Bars

    The Doner Kebob... Probably the best I've had anywhere in the world is just a stand, so it's easy to miss, but I think this is it:
    [​IMG]



    Here's some info on the Market Square Museum.... (One of my favs in Eastern Europe)
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...w_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html

    This is about the area you'll be in (Old Town, where Market Square is... Only area to stay if you visit)
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...w_Lesser_Poland_Province_Southern_Poland.html
    [​IMG]
     
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  23. wolfpck

    wolfpck haters gonna hate
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    So after sitting down with my buddy his finances are actually not really in question, so were not totally penny pinching on this trip. We are both really interested in Yacht Week, but as mentioned it looks like it may be pretty difficult. I am intrigued by getting a cabin, but when I go to the site it looks like it's booked. Are there any other avenues other than using that facebook group and yacht week website? We're looking to book our trip pretty soon, but I'm going to go through the process of trying to find a yacht and see where it lands me. If we do end up doing Yacht week we still plan to do 2-3 cities before or after as well.

    In the likely event we don't go on Yacht week, we have the rest of our trip to plan. It's looking like it will be 2 weeks in late May-early June. Right now the only city we have 100% is Krakow. Probably going to do 4-5 cities total. He really wants to go to Amsterdam and Hvar and I pretty much told him I don't want to go to anymore than 1 city I have already been to (honestly I don't want to go to any I've been to, but it's his trip too and don't want to be a dick.) So if things go that way we have Krakow and Hvar (Hvar > Amsterdam) on the books. From there it is really up in the air. Some cities we have mentioned wanting to go to with no mind of geography: London, Dublin, Madrid, Budapest, Belgrade, Vienna, Istanbul, Lisbon. Would love any input on these cities or additional ones you guys have been to, especially since I no longer have the luxury of looking at past posts.

    We also need to figure out booking the flight. My trip last summer was thrown together so quickly that I really had no time or reason to divulge into hunting a cheap flight. This trip we have a little more time (still not a lot) so I am going to try my best to get the cheapest one we can. We both live in Raleigh so whatever we do will be starting there. I know people have mentioned buying a ticket from somewhere like JFK and then booking a separate ticket there and back. Is this risky at all? Also, my last trip we booked using a multi city booking so our flight there and back were booked together but leaving different cities (Raleigh>Boston>Amsterdam, Barcelona>Boston>Raleigh). Is it cheaper for me to, say, book a one way ticket to Krakow, and then have an entirely different transaction booking a flight from somewhere like Madrid back home? BamaNug I know you're the one with most info on this. And if I do take this route, I would love any input on credit cards that give you miles to use, etc.

    It's really shitty timing for me to be planning a trip right after we lost all our info from past threads. I really appreciate any help, because you guys are honestly my greatest resource with planning.
     
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  24. BamaNug

    BamaNug I used to be blind but I still can't see
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    It's almost always cheaper for me to buy separate flights like you mentioned. You can also find incredibly cheap round trip flights, but that obviously limits where you can fly in/out of. Re: any risk to buying a flight out of JFK (you're so close, I'd look at DC first---prices are usually comparable), not at all. You just have to exit the terminal and then go get your ticket/check in/go through security again once you get to your airport you're leaving from.

    I know I've seen some really good deals to Krakow posted in the old thread, that could be a good place to look. Could fly into Krakow, then move West and buy a return flight from London (it'd be less than $500 one way from there). I've only stayed in London for 3 nights but I thought it was awesome.

    I'd also sign up for a card now. Most of them give you a 25K-40K skymile bonus just for signing up. That probably won't pay for the whole international flight, but depending on the card you get could take $3-400 off the flight (or pay for your domestic flight). I always use the sky miles to get a free domestic flight to my international airport---buy an international flight out of JFK/use sky miles to get from my airport to JFK. Just google "best credit cards for sky miles 2015" and see what works best for you. I love the Delta AmEx, I think you have to spend $1K before you get your 25K miles, though. I'm sure others will have reviews of cards. I think Delta changed their sky mile plan negatively for 2015, so I don't know if I'd recommend them. There's been a lot on the internet about it but I haven't really bothered to follow up.

    One thing I'd keep in mind is that it may be a little difficult to get down to Hvar if you're on somewhat of a schedule/trying to see other places. Hvar is kind of out of the way (can you fly into Split?). My buddy caught a ferry from Dubrovnik across the Adriatic to Italy, he said it was awesome. Could be something to look into.
     
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  25. Mr TurdFerguson

    Mr TurdFerguson New Member

    If serious, can you add to the thread. Im looking to go this summer with a friend who is on the fence (Im going regardless), and need some ammunition to convince my buddy with.
     
  26. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    there are still some on the crew finder looking for dudes. Just saw one for ultra

    https://apps.facebook.com/forumforpages/77619914515/a118b0e2-f286-4f73-ac6e-df24e92a4b98/17
     
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  27. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    Well there ya go. His last post said late may/early june and ULTRA is (I'm guessing) second week of July so that would move their timeline back.

    TYW would tackle Hvar (and other awesome stuff in Croatia). If you did TYW and only had 2 weeks then I'd suggest picking only 2 additional cities.

    If it were me, I'd do Krakow-Budapest and TYW. I haven't been to either of those places but this (former) thread made those two jump up my list.
     
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  28. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    Or just join me in hvar and prague
     
  29. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    i've been to all the places you mentioned besides belgrade. Of those, I love london, budapest and lisbon. Thats pretty spread out on the amount of time youre going though. Id focus on one region, especially if youre already decided on krakow and hvar, stay in eastern europe. Anywhere you go, you'll have a good time. Obviously theres not as much "to see" in eastern europe and its more enjoying being somewhere different. Your friend has to be up for that. For flights, I'm not a huge fan of booking separate flights to get to a city that has cheaper flights. It can possibly save some money but if for any reason you're delayed getting into your departure city you're screwed. How close is charlotte to Raleigh? With US air having a hub in charlotte and merging with AA, I would think they'd have some decent deals to europe.
     
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  30. ANTWONE

    ANTWONE Hello
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    Anyone interested in a wechat group chat for travel discussion/cheap flights/fveldvmps
     
  31. ohhaithur

    ohhaithur e-Batman
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    no because if I wanted to be jealous and mad I could just read derek jeter's biography
     
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  32. Capstone 88

    Capstone 88 Going hard in the paint
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    Doing a little intra-country travel for the 4th. Heading to Austin and it's my first time. Should be fun.
     
  33. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    I've been to all but Vienna and Lisbon... Porto, in Portugal is one of my favorite cities in Europe so if you do go that way it's worth checking out.

    Of the ones I've been to, I'd probably check out Budapest, Belgrade, or Istanbul though. I think it depends on what you're looking for.

    Istanbul is a cool fucking place, but I'm not sure how the hostel game is there, and the nightlife seemed pretty cool, but I was with a chick, so my experience was different from a nightlife perspective. There is a ton to see, a ton to do, a ton of places to shop (haggling at the Grand Bizarre), great street meat, and a ton of hookah (water pipe) to smoke.

    Budapest's hostel game is the shit -- best in Europe from a party perspective. On top of that nice fact there is a lot to see and do there. Definitely one of my favorite places in Europe.

    Belgrade has the best nightlife in the world (per Lonely Planet) is cheap, and the locals are the most hospitable I've ever come across. They are insanely nice. The women are top notch, and there seem to be more of them than guys at the clubs. It's also not hard to get laid if you put in a little work. If you go this route then I'd definitely use the nightclub service that Jax Teller and I have both used on separate occasions. This is because they know the club owners, they get you in without a problem, they get everything for you (including introducing you to girls), and if necessary they will translate as well.

    I'd probably base your decision on logistics... FE: How easy/cheap is it to get to X from where you're coming from, and how easy/cheap is to go to Y after. :twocents:
     
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  34. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Serbian women... <3
     
  35. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Also, if you do Belgrade, there are only certain cabs to take. I forget which one but I can ask which are the safe ones.
     
  36. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Vienna is worthless unless you are going to see the culture. The whole place shuts down at night pretty much, and if there is any kind of religious holiday the only thing open will be McD's and museums. It also rained the two days I was there so that kept me from actually going to any of the parks or anything. I basically used it for like a 2 day break between Prague and Hvar.
     
  37. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Is that like GroupMe?
     
  38. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    And what's app and the rest I think.
     
  39. ANTWONE

    ANTWONE Hello
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    Yes. We can do it on whatever app anyone prefers. I just happen to use wechat for the fd group I'm in now
     
  40. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    I'm down for whatever... Just start a group message for anyone interested.
     
  41. fsugrad99

    fsugrad99 I'm the victim here
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    If you're into such things, Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic (aka Willie and the boys play music, everyone gets housed) is in Austin this year.
     
  42. Big Apple Duck

    Big Apple Duck Always consult the elders
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    Anyone have any suggestions for things to do in and around Innsbruck?

    And re Budapest, and probably eastern Europe as a whole: there's a lot of mafia activity there so keep your head on a swivel. If you go into a bar/club/casino/strip joint and nobody else is there, leave. A friend and I got charged $500 for two beers at one of these places and they wouldn't let us leave until we paid. They were all armed and it was scary. Stick to more mainstream places for nightlife.

    Also, make sure to hit the bath house, but don't go on "men only" days - I hear it gets weird.

    [​IMG]
     
  43. Drew

    Drew Miami, Xavier, ASMFC, Nasti Nati
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    Madrid was great, but not as awesome as Barcelona. In Madrid, my group and I stayed near the "Times Square" of Madrid and Plaza Mayor. Visited the major tourists sites like Palacio Real, Plaza Mayor, various local parks and the Bernabeu. I love history, so of course I enjoyed those sites. The day we showed up was election day, so there were a lot of people in the streets at night partying and everyone was quite friendly. In the old thread I had the exact hotel we stayed in which was quite nice and in close walking distance to everything. If you want I can try to find that info for you or any other questions about Madrid I might be able to answer.
     
  44. Capstone 88

    Capstone 88 Going hard in the paint
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    That's actually why I'm going haha.
     
  45. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    Why would you ever stay at a bar or something with only two people in it? I don't even do that in the states, seems boring/dangerous.
     
  46. BamaNug

    BamaNug I used to be blind but I still can't see
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    I'm getting the itch again like crazy. Haven't gone on a real trip since January. Not going anywhere significant until Memorial Day.

    But May-August is going to be fucking awesome. 1 1/2 months until Seattle, 2 1/2 months until Vegas, 4 months until Peru
     
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  47. 47 straight

    47 straight In Russ We Trust
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    are you coming to hangout?
     
  48. BamaNug

    BamaNug I used to be blind but I still can't see
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    It's still up in the air. I have a ticket, but all of my friends still haven't decided. I will probably end up going with a buddy or two, just not staying for late Sunday. Really want to get weird as fuck at Skrillex on Sat night.

    I have a place down there, but will definitely be checking out Casa de TMB when I get down there. Did you get it filled up? 40+ ppl?
     
  49. BamaNug

    BamaNug I used to be blind but I still can't see
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    Also, to throw a huge wrench into things---on the Saturday of Hangout, a childhood friend (who I have not spoken to since we were about 10 years old) is getting married at my parents' house on the bay. Because it's at my parents' house, for some reason she felt obligated to invite me/my parents are guilt tripping me into going. I haven't spoken to this girl in almost 2 decades. Now I'm obligated to buy a wedding present, ruin one of my favorite beach days of the year, and can't eat goodies until after it's over. I'm very upset about this.
     
  50. Jax Teller

    Jax Teller Well-Known Member
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    what did i miss?