A Road Trip is one of the most exciting ways to travel: You discover a country and its people in a unique way and you can always adjust your route as you go. Here come my favorite road trips:
Start in San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge and hippie quarter Haight Ashbury, then work your way down the stunning coast of California. Stay mostly on State Route No 1 and make sure to stop for Clam Chowder in Monterrey, the surfer vibe in Santa Cruz, celebrity watching in Los Angeles and yummy burritos in San Diego. Then head East towards Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree National Park where you should camp under the stars. Take a bath in the refreshing Colorado River and get your kicks on Route 66 before enjoying the legendary views of the Grand Canyon. Gamble till you drop in Vegas and learn how much worse a hangover feels at 46 degrees in Death Valley. Stop in Bishop for hot springs and Mono Lake for a very salty bath. Then take it easy in Yosemite for a few days before heading back to San Francisco.
Start in Berlin, the world capital of hedonism, but don’t lose yourself completely in its infamous nightlife. Head Southeast towards beautiful Prague, Czech and watch the clocktower go off. Then move on to Budapest, Hungary where you should feast on hearty food and get wrinkles in the stunning thermal baths. Cruise down the breathtaking coast of Croatia and make friends with the hospitable locals while sipping home-made wine and eating freshly caught mussels. Make sure to stop in Mostar, Bosnia and watch the divers jump off the famous Stari Most bridge. Stroll through the Old Town of Belgrade, Serbia before a long night in their floating clubs on the river. Stop in Sofia, Bulgaria for some stunning buildings, tasty food and decent partying amidst Soviet concrete towers. Then head on to the Black Sea coast where you can still find a beach just for yourself!
Rent your Royal Enfield motorbike in Delhi after exploring this dirty, yet fascinating megalopolis. Get familiar with this great bike and its roaring engine and strap all your belongings onto its rack. Then head Southwest and watch the roads become smaller and smaller. Stop in the untouristic town of Alwar for the Old Palace that appears like from another world. Listen to Indian musicians and feast on the local cuisine. Mind the bold monkeys along the way to Jaipur and stop for some tiger watching if you have the time. Always make sure to have enough pit-stops for some chai (tea) with the locals. Do not miss the incredible Amber Fort just outside of Jaipur before having a quiet night on one of Jaipur’s stunning roof terraces. Visit the many sights Jaipur has to offer before heading on to Fathepur Sikri with its UNESCO protected buildings. From there it is not far to the Taj Mahal which is, of course, a MUST and best visited in the early morning. A highway connects the adjoining Agra with Delhi so it’s easy to get back to where you started.
For this, I strongly recommend the stunning island of Palawan. Drop your stuff in a hostel in Puerto Princesa and rent a cheap moped right at the reception. Drive the short stretch to Sabang where visiting the Underground River is mandatory. Don’t miss the lonely beaches and dreamy hills Sabang has to offer! Stop at the zipline on your way to Port Barton and plan in some extra time as the roads are quite bad here. Enjoy the chilled out vibe of Port Barton and make sure to take a boat tour with some locals. Catch fish, watch turtles and take it easy on deserted islands. Then head on further North, making a food stop in the untouristic town of Tay Tay. Arriving in El Nido at sunset is the best time. Take a day-long cruise on one of the boats and get some blisters dancing at the Reggae Bar. Don’t leave the North before checking out the beaches beyond El Nido like Nacpan. If you’re looking to break up the 250 km back to Puerto Princesa, I recommend skipping San Vicente and instead stopping in Sabang once again.
Buy a Tuk Tuk in Bangkok, then drive Northeast through the poor region of Isaan which offers the best Thai food in the country and locals unspoilt by tourism. Cross over into Lao and visit the old backpacker party mekka Vang Vieng. Don’t miss the spectacular landscapes surrounding the little party town. Then head South to Lao’s chilled out capital Vientiane. A long drive takes you to the 4000 Islands in the Mekong where you can completely forget the outside world and feast on delicious food coming straight from the river. After a few days, cross over into Cambodia and make your way to the famous Angkor Wat which deserves several days of exploring. Then cross back into Thailand and head South to the hippie island of Ko Chang for some last relaxing days. From there it is a day of driving back to Bangkok. That is, if your Tuk Tuk is still working…