Less than one month before the fifth anniversary of ContemporaryNomad.com, we mark our 1000th post. Personally, I think more than 200 posts a year is not bad for two guys who have been on the move for nearly half a decade. To celebrate the milestone, we put together another list of some of our favorite travel achievements during the last 59 months.
Trekking 600 Kilometers in Nepal
We trekked the Annapurna Circuit, the Annapurna Sanctuary, the Everest region (including Gokyo, Kala Patthar, Everest Base Camp, Chukhung, Cho Oyu Base Camp, and Ama Dablam Base Camp), and four days across Chitwan just to add a little jungle to the mix. Total days trekking: 53!!!
Seeing Five Tigers in the Wild
One of our major goals in India was to spot tigers in the wild. We spotted our first in Bandhavgarh, our second in Corbett, and our third, forth and fifth on a return trip to Bandhavgarh a year later. We even saw one tiger on two different occasions for a grand total of six sightings!!!
Encountering the Last of the Traditional Akha
We searched high and low across Laos for the last of the traditional Akha, a group which I had first encountered in Thailand in 1990. As of 2010, there were still a few villages in the far north near Phongsali clinging to traditional ways. From what we understand, the villages shown in these photos were forcibly relocated by the government in 2011.
Eating our Way Across Vietnam
Our Vietnam experience was defined by food. We ate our way from Saigon to Sapa – and loved every single bite of it.
Biking Bagan Before Myanmar Opened Up
Our Facebook fans might have noticed a short post pointing out that Myanmar (Burma) just introduced visas on arrival last week. This combined with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi means that Myanmar has become the new tourist hot spot. Political reforms are a welcome change for Myanmar, but that change means mass tourism is on its way. Biking Bagan might be a little busier from now on.
Seeing Whale Sharks, Mantas, Thresher Sharks and Sunfish in the Wild
It’s been a series of scuba diving highlights from the bath tub waters of India’s Andaman Islands to the wild currents of Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara. Not only did we rejoice in pelagic overload (whale sharks, mantas, thresher sharks and sunfish), we developed a serious love for macro diving in superior muck locations such as Dauin, Mabul, Bali and Maumere.
Finding the Last Few Isolated Beaches in Thailand
We made it our goal to find (and in some cases even clean up) the last of Thailand’s undeveloped beaches. There are still a few finds out there for those looking for the perfect beach.
Doing the Mt. Kailash Circuit in Western Tibet Without a Han Chinese Guide
This was perhaps the most important accomplishment for me personally. Traveling across Tibet to Mt. Kailash has always been one of my major dreams. And Thomas and I just made it through before massive changes to Tibetan tourism swept through the region starting in early 2008. Tibet will never quite be the same again.
Making a Difference with our Posts
We’ve been praised, critiqued, and reviled for many of our posts – which is just the way we want it. But certain posts have made more of an impact than others. Sometimes our posts enrage people and sometimes they draw attention to dangers. They challenge people to think about changing cultures as well as endangered environments. Sometimes, the posts even make a difference.