There are some rivalries in sports that transcend the limits of the game being played: Barca – Madrid, Celtic -Rangers, Boca – River, Olympiacos – Panathinaikos…But no doubt the two most important are Depor – Celta and Chitral – Gilgit.
Having witnessed the 1st a few times it was time to aim for the 2nd. The highest polo ground in the world is located at Shandur pass where every year a festival happens. It’s a 3 days event with the big match happening on the last one.
It’s free polo, which means everything is allowed, from hitting the opponent with the stick, to force their horse to listen to an Ed Sheeran during the game. There are some basic rules though: you need to ride a horse; donkeys, llamas or komodo dragons or Land Rovers are not allowed.
Tired of reading useless crap on this blog? Well, here you have a post with some useful information.
Disclaimer: As any ranking, it is subjective and a bit random. Usually based on bar prices at the time I was there. Don’t complain if after reading this you take the first flight to Dushanbe and get charged 50c for a beer. Any suggestion is welcomed, What? Did you find cheaper beer? Where? Burundi you said? I am going!
Please drink responsibly, don’t spill your beer
Hors catégorie – República Bolivariana de Venezuela
About €0.11 for a 22cl ice-cold Polar in a bar (May 2018). Approx price as it can go up overnight so can do the currency exchange.
Other things to do… Find toilette paper and not getting robbed
€0.32 will get you a pint in the local bars around the bazaar in the capital. They pump it from the keg like when you inflate bike tire. The company and curiosity of friendly locals come free. Be careful or you can end up in jail.
Other things to do… Have a buzkashi game
From €0.40 a pint, omnipresent beer stations will keep you well hydrated on those hot Burmese days Orwell used to talk about.
Other things to do… Chew on betel nut
From 1.5-2 lari (0.50-0.70€). Wine and chacha are dirt cheap as well.
Other things to do… Stalin
Probably the cheapest in Europe, good range, and quality as well!
Other things to do… Fight for the Donetsk People’s Republic
From $0.50 33cl of draft beer.
Other things to do… Blow up a cow with a rocket launcher
6. Czech Republik
It’s said that beer in Prague is cheaper than water. I can’t tell as I didn’t drink water while there. Most Eastern European countries are a good deal as well (Poland, Slovakia, Albania, Belarus, Hungary, the Baltics…) The word “piv@” will get you a long way.
Other things to do… Absinthe
7. Samara, Russia
The Zhiguli brewery is by the Volga. Probably, you will have to queue to get a bottle filled with a hose (1.5l or 5l are the only choices). Then you can join the friendly local folks and enjoy your beer watching the sunset over the river. More on next episodes…
Other things to do… Nothing. The Lada factory is just 90 km away, sadly I haven’t been.
If your choice of beer is usually the likes of Corona, Heineken, Cruzcampo, Fosters… you will like it there. I was in doubt whether to include China in this list, but well the title says “cheap”, not “good”. Ice cold big bottle of beer at 0.5€. Still, you will need to down a few to feel something or forget about the taste.
Other things to do… Jackie Chan spotting, play real-life Mahjong
Local beers Victoria and Toña are not bad. Rum drinks (mojitos included) are inexpensive as well.
Other things to do… Volcano boarding
1 euro for a 660ml Beerlao, though for the same price you have a liter of Lao Lao (rice whisky, about 40%).
If you feel like having a refreshing break from the vodka and kymys (fermented mare milk) you will be forced to drink, a beer won’t break your bank.
Other things to do… Bride kidnapping
Certainly not the cheapest but I decided to add it because it is the best in the world and totally worth what you pay. Nowadays there is a big worldwide hip about craft beer, meaning you can find great beers and many choices in a lot of places but long before, top quality stuff was being brewed at Belgian abbeys. Good that monks keep their hands with the hops instead of children.
Other things to do… The disappointment tour: Manneken Pis + Atomium + EU bureaucrats
All around Europe. Especially useful in the most expensive countries. Good value for your money and fairly good beers. And no, I don’t get sponsored by Lidl.
Other things to do… Buy bananas
This is still about Georgia, haven’t been to Colombia yet, so it refers to Snow. And by Snow, I mean frozen water, not John Snow, the GoT character who died in the last episode of Season 7.
Gori is not far from Tbilisi and only famous for being the birthplace of Stalin. Long time no see Joseph!. There is a Stalin Museum, located in the Stalin Park, on the main city avenue named… can you guess it? Leon Trotsky? Milton Friedman? Nope, it is the Stalin Avenue.
As the museum doesn’t make any attempt to judge, neither I am going to do here. There you can find random stuff about the State Capitalist leader: statues, carpets, his train, lots of pictures, his pyjamas… As well, many Stalin souvenirs in the surroundings shops.
Another thing nearby you can see (or avoid) is Upshtilike cave city, just saying.
It has been already one week of traveling so let’s see how I am doing with my travel goals list:
The free wifi network “Tbilisi loves you” will greet you as you arrive at the airport (great for sleeping btw). The same lovable network will follow you around the city center, to make sure you don’t miss on the latest news in Venezuela, your friends’ meals on FB, or your Tinder matches, if that is your thing.
Soon I could see some of the familiar features of former Soviet countries cities: krushyovkas, marshutkas, ladas, leafy big avenues, deep underground with a lady in a cabin by the escalator, supermarkets with a larger variety of vodka and beer than food… That makes easier figuring out how things work. Sure there are some nice differentials particular to the Georgian landscape: khachapuri in all shapes and sizes, good food, and smiley people that even seem kind of happy.
Overall, Tbilisi is a pretty pleasant city. It has an interesting nightlife, you may just go out for a beer in the evening and be back at sunrise. There are many chances that friendly Georgians will assault you armed with chacha. I was expecting chacha to be like vodka or tequila, but it plays in a different league, closer to absinthe I would say. Chacha loves you as much as Tbilisi, just in a different way. Tbilisi is like the sweet lover you hold hands with in the park, while Chacha is more like the priest that approaches a kid with sweet talk and then… all of a sudden… becomes another isolated case.
One day I visited Sighnagi, in the wine region. There I had a guesthouse for myself to chill out and take a break from the chacha life. I was told the place is good for a couple of hours, but that is too optimistic, I would say more like half an hour. Going for a stroll to the nearby monastery may keep you busy a bit longer. It’s a pretty village and locals are certainly an endearing, laid back bunch. Sighnagi is good if you go, life goes on if you don’t.
Because lists seem to be the thing among lazy readers, here you have one with some pathetic creatures I found on my trips. Will try to publish one with the most awesome ones at some point.
1. Komodo Dragon
Why? They don’t spit fire or fly. Big disappointment. They should be called Komodo lizards or Komodo dicks
Where? Bukit Lawan, Sumatra, Indonesia
Why? Any red haired primate is meager (think Ed Sheeran). Other monkeys make fun of them.
Where? Argentinian pampa
Why? Get stuck on fences and die
Why? Like German girls, these hairy creatures don’t shave. Yaks have been known to inadvertently shove people off the path and down the steep slopes while hiking, a dumb way to die.
Why? Will stand in the middle of the road and not move if you are driving a car. Try to get out to take a pic and they will run away as. They provide sleigh rides to tourist and end up on the plate for dinner. Some people admire how they adapted to the cold weather, but if they were smarter they would have moved somewhere warmer.
Where? Puerto Natales, Chile
Why? Kind of big sloth that got extinct because he was too lazy to move for food. They hug gringos.
6. This Donkey
Where? Kashgar, Xinjang, China
Why? 5th leg for no reason. Other donkeys are awesome
7. The Paulo Coelho reader
Where? You can find them in any place with a “good energy”, but they thrive in The Banana Pancake Trail. Eat-Pray-Lovers are their relatives
Why? No comments. I am being generous not placing them in nr 1
Why? See pic
Where? Many places, but the Bali ones are the worst of their species
Why? OK, you can stand on a table on water, got it, congrats! and that makes you think you are cooler than other people