Facts & Figures

Vietnam

  • Size: 331.210 km²
  • Language: Vietnamese
  • Currency: 26 Vietnamese Dong = 1 Euro
  • Ho Chi Minh City – the city of motorbikes. When I first got here I just could not believe the sheer amount of bikes on the streets. Ad then there is rush hour. It is insane.
  • I have never in my life befor experienced such a pollution.  I never thought before how pollution can actually affect you. But after two months in the city and after two months of constantly being sick and coughing your lungs out,  well, we thought it was time on invest in some good quality masks. And now I won´t ride bike my bike anymore without wearing it.
  • more to come…

Thailand

  • Size: 513.120 km²
  • Language: Thai
  • Currency: 38 Baht = 1 Euro
  • Having been to Thailand before we only came back to meet up with my parents. But hey, we came back for the right time: Thailand New Year aka. the Waterfestival! Waterfights for three solid days. And not just between the kids, oh no, everyone gets involved.  Loading your waterguns up while having a casual Singha dripping wet from a previous waterfight. It´s like being a kid again. So much fun!!
  • Beautiful beaches, beautiful islands and beautiful food. It´s a shame that the tourism is driving the prices up while the level of friendliness of the locals slowly goes down.

Philippines

  • Size: 300.000 km²
  • Language: Filipino, English
  • Currency: 53 Philippine Pesos = 1 Euro
  • Underrated food. Before coming here we got told so often how bland the local food is. I have to say, for me it hasn´t been true. The fish is taaaasty.
  • Having said that Cambodian people are really friendly – Filipinos are not far behind. Instead of trying to rip you off they even tell you that you´re entitled to some free things. Absolutely lovely. Unfortunately in some areas the tourism has already started to change this. Hopefully the rude behaviour of those areas won´t change the rest of the country…
  • Amazing landscapes. This country (especially the west) has some absolutely stunning nature to offer!!
  • If you ever wanted to spend a few days all by yourself on a lonely island, camping and fishing with your own harpune, cooking it over a fire with a mug of good old Filipino Rum for less than 1 Euro – this country is the place to go to!

Cambodia

  • Size: 181.035 km²
  • Language: Khmer
  • Currency: 4200 Cambodian Riel = 1 Euro
  • The kids of Cambodia are probably the cutest kids you will ever meet. And with probably I mean definitely. Cuteness overload.
  • It is amazing how, with the black history of this country as well as the poverty, people are so happy. You actually have a hard time finding a Cambodian who does not have a smile on his or her face. It is inspiring!
  • One of my favourite countries I have been to. The people just make it.

Nepal

  • Size: 147.181 km²
  • Language: Nepali
  • Currency: 115 Nepali Rupie = 1 Euro
  • What a country! It got it all – the Himalayas, beautiful, beautiful landscapes, lovely and smiling people, good cuisine and the chance of any kind of activity just around the next corner. You will come here thinking you will see one country – and experience so many things it  will leave you speechless.
  • Nepalese Sherpas – people from another world. I do not know how they  do it -but they carry 50 kg on their back (only hold but their forehead). Up the steep mountain. For hours. Every single day. And they are still smiling. Incredible.
  • Dhal Bhat. A rice and cury dish, that once ordered entitles you to a refill. As much as you want. Well, until the rice is empty. THE dish of the trekkers, guides and sherpas in the mountains.
  • Nepales kids are the cutest kids you will ever meet. With their apple cheeks and big smiles, asking you to “high five” them while trekking along, you can´t help but absolutely adore them.
  • People can not reverse. They just can´t. A three point turn in Nepal is a twenty point turn. Minimum. It´s crazy.

India

  • Size: 3.287.000 km²
  • Language: Hindi, English
  • Currency: 75 Indian Rupie = 1 Euro
  • A big, big, big country. Just as a comparison , India is 13 times as big as the UK. 13 times.
  • A country, where the South couldn´t be more different to the North. It´s like being in two different countries.
  • Get used to being stared at. Every day. All the time. Same goes for getting talked to.
  • A country, that even shocks the biggest travellers from time to time – but at the same time is just an amazing, mysterious and adventurous place, that you can´t really put into words.
  • Great food! And what a variety there is. Whereever you go in the country, there is always a new dish to try, a new way of cooking, different kind of street fruits, anything you could want. Just be ready for one thing: it is most definitely going to be spicy. And with that I mean really spicy. So if you are like me, and you aren´t really that good with spicy food, well there is just one way to go: You just gotta get used to it. There is no way out.
  • Goa. Oh Goa, what a lovely little state you are. So different to the rest of your country, so heavenly relaxed.

Sri Lanka

  • Size: 65.610 km²
  • Language: Singhalese, Tamil, English
  • Currency:  160 Sri Lankan Rupie= 1 Euro
  • In all aspects Sri Lanka is a very chilled out country – and therefore a different world compared to its big neighbour India.
  • You will find lots of holiday makers here, and not that may long term travellers.
  • Everything is nice and decent about the country: Good food, lovely people, nice beaches, beautiful temples – but still, there is something missing, it just doesn´t blow you away.

New Zealand

  • Size: 268.021 km²
  • Language: English
  • Currency:  1,50 New Zealand Dollar = 1 Euro
  • Australia´s little sister – everything is a bit smaller and slower. You can tell you are a long way from anywhere else.
  • Very multicultural in the cities (Indians, Asians, Europeans), but once you get into country side you will only meet hardcore New Zealander´s
  • What no one knows: New Zealand actually has a massive poverty problem. And despite that, it is the most charitable country per capita in the world. Even though some of them have almost nothing themselves, Kiwis help out others who have even less. Probably a reason for all of us to think about our own behaviour towards helping others, don`t you think?

Indonesia

  • Size: 1.919.440 km²
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Currency: 14000 Rupiah = 1 Euro
  • Great cuisine: Rice, noodles, vegetables, meat & lots of different fruits
  • It is warm. And with that I mean really warm. You are basically sweating non-stop.
  • Most rain I have ever experienced in a short amount of days. Walking barefoot in knee deep water on your way to the bar with your bikini top on and your shirt in a plastic bag.
  • First country I ever got robbed/massively screwed. Which, and this I can´t stress enough,  doesn´t change my view about the country one bit. Just because you come across one asshole, doesnt mean the rest of them are all assholes too. In fact, the rest of them are really lovely people.

Ethiopia

  • Size: 1.127.127 km²
  • Language: Amharic
  • Currency: 22 Birr = 1 Euro
  • A very poor country
  • There is a mixed reaction of the people here when they see you: Some just starte at you, some say hi and want to talk to you while others seem very unhappy about you being there. The kids are the cutest: They just scream “Hello, hello” and some even run up to you to shake your hand.
  • Injera, injera, injera – the national food of Ethiopia. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – you won´t find much else then injera…
  • Sometimes you don´t know how to behave right. There are quite a lot of kids begging for money and pens. You feel bad not giving anything as you have way more then they have but on the other hand you shouldn`t encourage this begging nature. Same when you sit in a café and a kid is serving you instead of going to school. You don´t want to encourage this but on the other hand if you leave the café the owners loose out on your money and are even less likely to send their kids to school. It isn´t always easy here to know what is the  right thing to do.

Mexico

  • Size: 1.972.550 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency:  16 MXN = 1 Euro
  • Bevore I came to Mexico I never realised how immensily BIG this country is. Unfortunately I just saw the caribbean coast – and this part of Mexico is the tourist hotspot par excellence!
  • But: Isla Mujeres. A small island near Cancun, where you can chill, lie at the beach, swim in the turquoise blue ocean, eat tacos, talk to great people and drink a few cold Coronas for weeks on end without being bored for one single minute
  • Tacos, Burrotos, Quesadillas, Sopas, Tortas, Arroz con Frijoles y Tortillas – I ate it all (way too often). Did I forget any other speciality of the fine mexican cuisine?

Guatemala

  • Size: 108.890 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 9 Q = 1 Euro
  • Guatemala = I love love love this country
  • Guatemala is the best of Centralamerica combined with the best of Southamerica – a warm climate, volcanoes, really friendly people as well as a beautiful mountain scenery, deep jungle and one thing in particular: culture
  • Lago de Atitlán – possibly the most beautiful lake in the world
  • If you just have enough money for one plane ticket –  book a flight to Guatemala and you will see why this country is so unique!

El Salvador

  • Size: 21.040 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 1,20 US$ = 1 Euro
  • An unbelievably small country
  • Two days in El Salvador probably won`t be enough to say much abouth this country. Just one thing: If a country`s currency is the US$ you can be sure of the fact that you`ll get less for your money…

Nicaragua

  • Size: 129.494 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency:  30 C$= 1 Euro
  • Wherever you look: Nicaragua is such a green country!
  • Volcanoes, volcanoes, volcanoes – it doesn`matter where in Nicaragua you are, you can be sure that there is a minimum of two volcanoes in front of your door step
  • In the west the populated pacific coast, in the middle of the country a massive lake  with an island right out of a fairytale and in the east the caribbean coast where you can hardly get to because of the jungle around it – Nicaragua has everything the heart desires
  • The only thing you might miss a little bit is some culture. Unfortunately you don`t notice much around here.

Costa Rica

  • Size: 51.100 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 650 C = 1 Euro
  • You will notice the american influence pretty quick around here. And especially the american money.
  • I just spent two days in Costa Rica so unforrtunately I can`t really say much about it
  • What I did notice though in these two days: there seem to be a lot of beautiful places in this country but rainy season definitely and without a doubt means rainy season here

Panama

  • Size: 75.517 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency:  1,20 US$ = 1 Euro
  • The country, that connects Centralamerica with Southamerica
  • The country with the one-of-a-kind San Blas Islands: lots of little islands with the whitest beaches surrounded by turquoise blue water –  pure paradise!
  • How you will notice that you are in Centralamerica now? English is way more present then it was in Southamerica

Columbia

  • Size: 1.141.748 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 2500 COP = 1 Euro
  • Friendly people wherever you look
  • Well – the exceptions are the drivers of the minivans. Go, go, go, hurry up, we have no time to wait anymore. And then we`ll be standing there for another 20 minutes waiting for the driver…
  • The Columbians love fruits! Bananas, pineapples and the most exotic fruits you can imagine – you can buy it all on the streets of Columbia. Even the normal food looks way better then what I have seen so far in Southamerica. And yes, it tastes better too!
  • A country of diversity – mountains, jungles, cities and caribbean coast. Everywhere looks different, everywhere feels different.

Ecuador

  • Size: 283.560 km²flagge-ecuador
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 1,2 USD = 1 Euro
  • Small, but hurray: (Like it`s neighbour Peru) Ecuador has a lot to offer: Ocean, the Andes and the Amazon
  • But there is one more thing Ecuador has to offer, that no other country has: the Galápagos Islands!
  • Food isn`t the best here. I mean food in Southamerica isn`t very great in genreal, but ecuadorian food is even worse. Except on the Galápagos Islands. Weirdly, it`s pretty good there.
  • Also, most of the Ecuadorians won`t win the price for biggest friendliness.

Peru

  • Size: 1.285.220 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 3,6 PEN = 1 Euro
  • In a lot of ways Peru reminds me of Bolivia: similar food, similar looking people, similar cultue
  • Country of the unique and incredible Machu Picchu
  • But also a country of diversity: partially new, partially old, partially cold, partially hot, partially mountains, partially ocean, partially jungle – here you can find everything
  • It doesn`t matter what day it is: the Peruvians love a good demonstration, a streetparty or any other streetactivity

Chile

  • Size: 756.096 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 770 CLP = 1 Euro
  • Chile is definitely one of the wealthier countires of Southamerica – prices here are like prices in Europe
  • But not just the prices are european: the level of english here is amazing. While hardly no one speaks English in Paraguay or Bolivia Chileanians,  especially the young adults, speak a very good level of English
  • Such a long but no wide country which makes it hard(er) to travel
  • Waves that are definitely not made for beginner surfers. That, I experienced myself – hey there saltwater! Above me, below me and in my mouth.

Bolivia

  • Size: 1.098.580 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 9 BOB = 1 Euro
  • You can tell that Bolivia is one of the poorer countries of the world – life here is unbelievable cheap: you never really pay more than 5 euros a night for your hostelbed and to eat out is cheaper then going foodshopping in the supermarket
  • Unhealthy food wherever you go to eat – though vegetables are incredible cheap here
  • If your food isn`t fried it just doesn`t count as real food
  • People here drive like maniacs. If there are any traffic rules then everyone ignores them 100%
  • A country of contrast: heat, cold, jungles, mountains, deserts and the highest “capital” of the world
  • A country you will like

Paraguay

  • Size: 406.752 km²
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: 5500 PYG = 1 Euro
  • 97 % of the Paraguayans live in the south of the country. That should say all about the north.
  • Paraguayans star, never say thanks or please and smile very rarely
  • This country definitely won`t win the price for the best cuisine
  • As you might have noticed unfortunately there is nothing positive I can say about this country…

Brasil

  • Size: 8.515.767 km²
  • Language: Portugese
  • Currency: 3 R$ = 1 Euro
  • Cheese, cheese, cheese – this country loves strong cheese and they seriously put it on everything
  • Beer that gets served so cold that sometimes it`s still frozen
  • Every second store is a drug store – but good luck finding a big supermarket
  • The Brasilians don`t know any rush: it doesn`t matter if in a store, a restaurant or a supermarket – chatting with the colleagues definitely has priority before serving any customers
  • The Brasilians are friendly and heartily people who always help you – even if they just chat you up in portugese
  • Does anyone of you need a washing machine? Just come to Brasil! You will find a washing machine shop at every street corner. Seriously.
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