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May 1, 2011

THE BEST OF ASIA - THEVICARIOUSADVENTURE.COM'S: "15 TOP 5 LIST"

TheVicariousAdventure.com's "15 TOP 15 LIST"
After 7 months, 10 countries, 9 capital cities and an incomprehensible amount of spectacular experiences strung together by means of plane, train, automobile, motor bike, taxi, ferry, and feet; Marie and I had the wonderful opportunity of seeking out some of the world's most exotic islands, white sand beaches, UNESCO World Heritage sites, unique cultures, interesting people, exquisite cuisines and so much more while roaming all throughout the land of Southeast Asia.
As part of beginning to process our 7 month-long experience, I've compiled a list for TheVicariousAdventure.com's, "15 TOP 5 LIST".  While limiting the overall list to just 15 categories was challenging for purposes of maintaining the catchy slogan, "15 TOP 5 LIST", the truth is, I could have made it 48, 137, or 272!  However, something that is not of any numerical significance is the order in which the actual category themselves were compiled. That sort of detail is still way too difficult to determine and something only more time will come to tell.
In the meantime, please enjoy our "15 TOP 5 LIST" as much as we had in creating it ;-).
TheVicariousAdventure.com's - "15 TOP 5 LIST":

#3 -Vietnam (Schwary)
#1 - TOP 5 COUNTRIES:
1 - Indonesia
2 - Cambodia
3 - Vietnam
4 - Hong Kong (S.A.R.)
5 - Philippines

#2 -Singapore (Schwary)
#2 - Top 5 CAPITAL CITIES:
1 - Hong Kong, China
2 - Singapore, Singapore
3 - Hanoi, Vietnam
4 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 - Manilla, Philippines


#2 - Hoi An (Schwary)
#3 - TOP 5 SMALL CITIES:
1 - Siem Reap, Northeast Cambodia
2 - Hoi An, Central Vietnam
3 - Luang Prabang, Central Laos
4 - Ubud, Central Bali, Indonesia
5 - Nha Trang, South-central, Vietnam

#1 - Cambodia (Schwary)
#4 - TOP 5 PEOPLE:
1 - Cambodia
2 - Indonesia
3 - Laos
4 - Malaysia
5 - Philippines

#2 -Prambanan/Boroburdur (Schwary)
#5 - TOP 5 CULTURAL SITES:
1 - Angkor Wat - Northwest, Cambodia
2 - Prambanan/Boroburdur - Java, Indonesia
3 - Ha Long Bay - North Vietnam
4 - S-21 Detention Facility - Phenom Penh, Cambodia
5 - Mekong Delta River Cruise - South Vietnam

#3 -Mt. Bromo (Schwary)
#6 - TOP 5 TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:
1 - Island Hopping - Bacuit Islands, Philippines
2 - Macao Island - S.A.R., China
3 - Mt. Bromo - Central Java, Indonesia
4 - Singapore Zoo - Singapore
5 - River Tubbing - Vang Vien, Laos

#2 - Ko Phi Phi Island  (Schwary)
#7 - TOP 5 ISLANDS:
1 - Palawan Island, Philippines
2 - Ko Phi Phi Island, Thailand
3 - Mabul, Borneo
4 - Bali, Indonesia
5 - Perhentian Island, Malaysia

#4 - Bako Nat'l Park Beach (Schwary)
#8 - TOP 5 BEACHES:
1 - Black Stone Beach - Amed, Bali
2 - Coconut Palm Beach - Palawan, Philippines 
3 - Maya Bay - Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
4 - State Beach - Bako National Park, Borneo 
5 - Long Beach  - Phu Quok, Vietnam


#1 - Battambang River (Schwary)
#9 - TOP 5 CULTURAL EXPERIENCES:
1 - River Cruise to Battambang/Little Captain
2 - Babi Guling (Pig) B-B-Q
3 - Tuk-tuk driver at Ankor Wat
4 - American War Museum - Saigon, Vietnam
5 - Ride through the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

#1 -Mabul Island (Schwary)
#10 - TOP 5 NATURE DESTINATIONS:
1 - Underwater - Mabul Island, Borneo
2 - Volcano - Mt. Bromo, Indonesia
3 - Rice Terraces - Bali/Ubud, Indonesia
4 - Mountains/Rice Terraces - Mai Chau, Vietnam
5.) Bay Cruise - Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

#1 - Ankor Wat (Schwary)
#11 - TOP 5 TEMPLES:
1 - Ankor Wat - Cambodia
2 - King's Palace - Bangkok, Thailand
3 - Puri Goa - Bali, Indonesia
4 - Parambanam/Boroburdur - Java, Indonesia
5 - Emperor's Palace - Phenom Penh, Cambodia

#1 - Surfing (Schwary)
#12 - TOP 5 SPORTING ACTIVITIES:
1 - Surfing - Kuta, Bali
2 - Snorkeling - Amed, Bali
3 - Jet Skiing - Nha Trang, Vietnam
4 - Scuba diving - Mabul Island, Borneo
5 - River Rafting - Central Bali

#4 -Bali (Schwary)
#13 - TOP 5 CULINARY SPOTS:
1 - Hoi An, Vietnam
2 - Siem Reap, Cambodia
3 - Singapore, Singapore
4 - Bali, Indonesia
5 - Bangkok, Thailand


#4 - Kim Hoa Resort (Schwary)
#14 - TOP 5 HOTELING ACCOMMODATIONS:
1 - Ubud Terrane Bungalow Inn - Ubud, Bali
2 - Santai - Kuta, Lombok
3 - Blue Star Inn - Amed, Bali
4 - Kim Hoa Resort- Phu Quok, Vietnam
5 - Four Seasons Resort - Palawan Island, Philippines


#1 - Palawan Island (Schwary)
#15 - TOP 5 SUNSETS:
1 - Palawan Island, Philippines
2 - Phu Quok Island, Vietnam
3 - Mabul Island, Borneo - Malaysia
4 - Mangsit, Lombok - Indonesia
5 - Malacca, Malaysia


Photo Gallery - "15 TOP 5 LIST":


The cross cultural feast of Malaysia's Capital - Kuala Lumpur (Schwary)

The famous "Red Bridge" of Vietnam's capital - Hanoi (Schwary)

One of my favorite skyscrapers in the world, "The Petronas Towers" - Kuala Lumpur (Schwary)


Mesmerizing sunset over one of Malaysia's oldest cities - Malakka (Schwary)

The options are literally endless in Singapore (Schwary)

5 fantastic days on a cast-away island of Malaysia's, Perhentian Islands (Schwary)

Dusk on the Perhentian Islands (Schwary)

The colors of Malaysia (Schwary)

One of the best zoos in the world can be found in the heart of Southeast Asia - Singapore (Schwary)
Skyline of Singapore (Schwary)

Futuristic structure of the Sands Hotel & Casino - Singapore (Schwary)

Marie enduring yet another 10 hour + bus ride. Location...unknown? (Schwary)


Mabul Island at dusk (Schwary)

Underwater paradise...Mabul Island (Schwary)

Most amazing sunsets to be found on Mabul Island (Schwary)

Tuk-tuk driver - Yogakarta, Indonesia (Schwary)

Tuk-tuk driver in the capital of Indonesia - Jakarta (Schwary)

The "hard to reach" beaches of Bako National Park - Borneo (Schwary)

In the midst of the worst bus ride of our lives...Malaysia-Brunei (Scwhary)

One of my classic moments of group entertainment - Java, Indonesia (Schwary)

Our home in Ubud (Schwary)


Yet another reason why we're going to miss Bali...the people. (Schwary)

The most ridiculously dangerous bus ride of my life - Java to Bali (Schwary)

This is what it looks like to be happy in Bali without an iPad (Schwary)

And all throughout the land there were places of magical essence - Bali (Schwary)

Today's agenda - River rafting one of Bali's pristine rivers (Schwary)

Nature/Man/Man/Nature - Rice terraces of Bali (Schwary)

Parambanam - after dark (Schwary)

One of my favorite spots on Planet Earth - Amed, Bali (Schwary)

Motor bike...over 1,000 miles on the small island of Bali (Schwary)

Here's to the 15 hours I spent photographing fish in Amed, Bali (Schwary)

The Blue Star Hotel....were $20 feels like $200 (Schwary)

A great resort to wait out the most debilitating virus I've ever had - Chikungunya Virus (Schwary)

The daily sunsets of Mangsit - Lombok, Indonesia (Schwary)

Cross cultural experience of Babi Guling - Amed, Bali (Schwary)

The beaches of Thailand - Ko Phi Phi (Schwary)

Who's happy to be in Thailand? (Schwary)

Iconic image of Thailand's most infamous island - Ko Phi Phi (Schwary) 

My mom and the 25 days of her presence helped made it the trip of a lifetime (Schwary) 

1 of a 1,000 temples we visited...every one with their own unique twist (Schwary)

Fine dining on top of Bangkok's famous Banyon Tree Hotel (Schwary)

One of Cambodia's million smiling faces - Siem Reap, Cambodia (Schwary)

BBQ after a long day of searching behind every crack of the most magnificent archeological sight I've ever witnessed - Angkor Wat, Cambodia (Schwary)

Another day, another chance to learn - Cambodia (Schwary)

Just another day walking around Cambodia's capital city, Phenom Phen (Schwary)

The horror of S-21 and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge - Phenom Penh, Cambodia (Schwary)

The view from our hut - Phu Cock Island, Vietnam (Schwary)

Destination Vietnam (Schwary)

The pride of Cambodia & Angkor Wat (Schwary)

Life in the slow lane - Phu Cock Island, Vietnam (Schwary)

Sunsets in and around Southeast Asia - Phu Cock Island, Vietnam (Schwary)

The American War Museum - Saigon, Vietnam (Schwary)

Rowing down the river - Mekong Delta, Vietnam (Schwary)

Mom on a tuk-tuk - Can Tho, Vietnam (Schwary)

The backside of Phu Cock Island, Vietnam (Schwary)

Here's to some of the best food in Asia, and perhaps the world! - Hoi An, Vietnam (Schwary)

The people of Laos are this peaceful - Vang Vien, Laos (Schwary)

One of the reasons why Vietnam is a Top 5 Country Of  The World - My Chau, Vietnam (Schwary)

Night Market in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi (Schwary)

There she is again! Enjoying yet another 10 hour + bus ride :) (Schwary)

Amongst good company - Some small town, Laos (Schwary)

Down that water slide? Piece of cake! - Tubbing the Mekong, Vang Vien, Laos (Schwary)

On the wild side - Tubbing the Mekong, Vang Vien, Laos (Schwary)

I loved Hong Kong. (Schwary)

Jeepney in Manilla, Philippines (Schwary)

Bizarre confluence to be found in the ex-Portugese settlement of China's Macao (Schwary) 

The Lippo Building - Hong Kong, China (Schwary)

For one moment...I was... - El Nido, Philippines (Schwary) 

Island hopping in the Philippines - Bacuit Islands, Palawan - Philippines (Schwary)

Daily life in the cast-a-way islands of the Philippines (Schwary)

The Four Seasons Resort & and our front porch - El Nido, Philippines (Schwary)

To the unique character of the Filipinos, some of my favorite Asians - Palawan Island (Schwary)

Coconut Palm Beach - Paradise of Paradise, El Nido, Philippines (Schwary)

Jason & Marie...Another day of island hopping - Bacuit Islands, Philippines (Schwary)

Dusty Jeepney - Palawan, Philippines (Schwary)

Landing over the capital of the Philippines - Manila (Schwary)

Smiles of Kuala Lumpur, one of the kindest cities in the world - Malaysia (Schwary)