The Favourites of Mark Brawler

Mark Brawler has visited more than 140 countries and he is the man behind the travel blog together with his wife Stefy. They met in South Africa around 10 years ago at the time of this article and has since travelled the world together. They have since been joined in their travels by their two kids Nora and Jago, and the family continue to travel. You can follow Mark on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

What are three of your favourite countries, and why?

Well, as you very well know, each country gives you something, it can be a meeting, a person, a sunset, a dish, so each of them has left something unforgettable in our hearts and minds.

Thailand for the wonderful cultures, the majestic nature, the yummy street food, and the relaxing massages.

Iran for its extremely warm and hospitable people and the wonders of its ancient culture.

Singapore. We love its lifestyle. We would move there right away if we could.

Are there any countries you don’t enjoy travelling?

No way, as said, each country always gives you something after all, and we would come back also to those where we have had bad experiences.

What are three of your favourite cities, and why?

Crib of history and art

Singapore and Bangkok
Exciting, live, and vibrant lifestyle

Bonus: Cape Town
A stunning city inside such a controversial country that we love to discover each time deeper and deeper.

What are three of your favourite hotels or places you’ve stayed, and why?

Akara Hotel in Bangkok
Elegant, trendy, and amazing in one of our favourite cities.

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Zamin Hotel in Samarcanda
Just in front of Bibi-Khanym Mosque, for the stunning view, you get from there.

Kastro Hotel, Spetses, Greece
A fantastic gem on a wonderful island where every detail is taken care of with precision. Everything is in the right place, and you will feel at home throughout your stay, which will make your departure even more difficult thanks to the love and care of staff in a magical background.

Bonus: Paradise Hotel in Agra
A small, cheap and not trendy hotel but with a wonderful little terrace just in front of the Taj Mahal. What do you want more after admiring the sunset or the sunrise from there?

What are the three worst places you’ve stayed?

That’s easy because these are the ones you will never forget. Luckily everything has been all right in the end though.

Whagi Bridge, Papua New Guinea
A small place in Whagi Bridge, Papua New Guinea, where we have woken up in the heart of the night disturbed by several mice in the hut.

Cebu, Philippines
We slept in a scary and dirty place where a bunch of cockroaches offered us their company the whole night.

Cotonou, Benin
We have found a huge spider inside our hut. Nobody slept that night.

What are three of your favourite restaurants and why?

I don’t have any favourite restaurants. I can tell you which cuisine we prefer the most instead.

I love pizza so whichever pizzeria but the absolutely best is in Naples, Italy. 

Street food wherever in Thailand and Laos

Ceviche in Peru in every sauce

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What are three of your favourite travel moments, and why?

Meeting Stefy in Johannesburg
When I met Stefy in Jo’burg, and I understood she would have become someone special in
my life. On that occasion, we rent a truck and went to Zimbabwe via Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.

Wife pregnant in Senegal
When we discovered, in Senegal, that Stefy was pregnant and our second child was set to arrive being born in February 2020.

Asian trip with Nora
When we started our Asian trip with Nora (2 years old) from Kazakhstan to Indonesia
through all Central Asia and South East Asia.

What are three of your worst travel moments, and why?

Tanna Island, Vanuatu
A very nice hut on the beach, very basic, but we were caught by an ocean storm during the night, and it made us very scared.

Stopped by angry people in Papua New Guinea
In the middle of nowhere in Papua New Guinea, a group of angry people in the street who were protesting, all armed with machetes, stopped us, and we were forced to pay a bribe to be able to proceed.

Tsunami alert in Dickwella, Sri Lanka
Well, during the night, we were woken up by the staff (we were the only guests) screaming because there was a tsunami alert. We were taken on a tuk-tuk on a hill the whole night. A scary experience.

What are three of your best travel tips?

Follow your instinct

Do the hardest part
The first step. Then everything will become easy right away.

Trust people
Of course, sometimes you will be disappointed but trust people because this is the best gift we can receive. 

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Do you have any little known travel tips?

Safety first, so I always suggest dividing your cash into different parts of your backpack and equipment (under the insole of the shoe, in a hidden pocket sewn inside your trousers, inside your dirty laundry, but remove it before washing them).

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