My Top 5 Cities to Wander

The Internet is riddled with Top 5 lists or whichever number is trending so I figure I will post one too. Where does this wanderer like to wander? Aside from just about everywhere I do have some faves. As I continue to traverse the globe I suspect this list will change though this is the list currently. 

It’s all about the cities. I have to say I prefer cities and the energy found within them. Of course small towns and nature are phenomenal and even entire countries I find amazing, though today it’s about the urban landscape. 

Here they are:

  1. PARIS – Paris! Paris! Paris! Arguably the most beautiful city on the planet, I always find wandering in Paris a joy. The art, the history and vibe. 
  2. ISTANBUL – An extremely close second, Istanbul took my breath away with its history, architectural beauty and culture.
  3. CHICAGO – Not only did I have a fab time in the Windy City I adored its arts, buildings and that deep dish pizza
  4. BUDAPEST – Not only does Budapest offer a gorgeous and clean city there is much to do.  Caving nearby, history, ruin bars & thermals baths makes for a very fun city!
  5. GEORGETOWN (a.k.a. Penang) & BELGRADE – tied for 5th as I was unable to decide. Both so different yet equally cool. Penang’s street art and street food within a chill atmosphere compared to Belgrade’s history, great people and fun nightlife made it a definite tie. 

There you go. My current top 5 cities. Next up will be my fav countries. 

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World 


Top row (L – R): Paris, Istanbul, Chicago
Bottom row: Budapest, Belgrade, me on boat in Belgrade, Georgtown (Penang)



Sunday Special – Sri Lanka

The South Asian island country of Sri Lanka has been on my travel list for a bit now. Despite not knowing too much about this destination (yet) I have been intrigued and enamoured by the photos that have crossed my eyes.  So when I began my research for this post I thought I would pick one place and focus on that.  I couldn’t.  So much to see and do that I had to focus on the whole country itself (although I don’t think my little post will do it justice). Sri Lanka seems like a great place to go.  I won’t list every place and sight though I did find this wiki helpful.  So what can you expect to see, do and experience in Sri Lanka? Here are a few suggestions that I found:

  • A warm tropical climate (and some rain)
  • Eight UNESCO World Heritage sights such as the sacred city of Kandy and Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress
  • Beaches galore for worshipers
  • Surfing is very popular here. Surf season varies depending on which coast you choose to ride the waves. Many place offer board rentals
  • Other outdoor activities such as white water rafting, snorkeling, trekking and cycling are prominent activities as well
  • Cricket games – it is a much loved game here
  • Temples and pagodas abound and can be visited though please respect the sights by adhering to guidelines such as being covered up or removing your shoes
  • Food – Sri Lankan food is influenced by its long history with a blend of flavours and often brings on the heat

Sounds great and it has climbed up higher on my travel bucket list.


Tangalla Beach, Sri Lanka – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned By Colby Otero from Brooklyn, USA (Tangalla Morning  Uploaded by Ekabhishek) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


Sigiriya (UNESCO World Heritage Sight), Sri Lanka – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned By Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday Special – Penang, Malaysia

This state in the northwest is partly on Peninsular Malaysia and the rest on Penang Island. I visited the capital of Georgetown which is located on Penang Island. I have to say it is my favourite place in Malaysia. A bustling centre known for amazing food, it did not disappoint. My tastebuds were amazed. Add the cool street art and the old colonial-era building (all with stories to tell I’m certain) and I was very taken with this gem of Malaysia. Additionally Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Sight

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Around Georgetown

A Chinese Temple

A local mosque

Colonial-era architecture

The colours of Penang

Penang Street Art

One of many pieces of wire art around Georgetown

Man in a Rickshaw – it’s a huge mural on the side of a building

One of Penang’s more famous pieces of street art

Another mural on a wall

A smaller wire art installation

This wall mural wash down the street from our hostel


One of the many hawker stalls, each serving one or two specific dishes

Adding fresh-made sambal sauce and fresh curry leaves to one of our dishes at cooking class

Angle bean salad, again made at cooking class

Nasi Lemak, THE dish of Penang and oh-so-good (cooking class)

Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

Chicken, beef and lamb satays with peanut sauce

Char Koay Teow – a yummy chicken & noodle dish

Have no idea what’s in it but probably the best noodles ever!

In Myanmar 

I do apologize for not posting as much as I intended. It has been a busy & fun trip. I extended my time in Malaysia a couple of days as S and I were having so much fun. Langkawi was a bust so we headed to Malacca and then Singapore. After that it was a flight for me to Yangon, which is where I am now. Most of my photos are on my other camera and uploading them has been a bit of a process so my camera phone photos will have to do. I’m off to Bagan tomorrow. 

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World 

Malacca, Malaysia


Back to Malacca pics (oops)

Happy travels!