You Hipmunks are adventurous sleepers!


This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

On Tuesday, I asked you “where’s the craziest place you’ve slept while traveling?” The responses have been terrific.

From Mary:

During a vaccination and health promotion campaign in the mountains of Honduras, I slept on two tables pushed together in a one-room school… the mattress came the second night, which was a definitely improvement. We were 5 hours by donkey from the nearest town, and I had an unnerving encounter with a fer-de-lance in a latrine that ended with a village full of men running after the snake with machetes.

You can see her makeshift sleeping arrangements here.

From Mike: When I slept overnight in a rain-sodden field in Orkney.” You can read more about his (soaked) experience. You can read about his long, rainy night here.

From Roxanne: ”I’d have to go with a hammock in the Amazon jungle or a tent in the middle of the White Desert in the Western Sahara.”

From Tuarn:

On the border between mongolia an China, Erlian/Zamyn Ude. At 4am, the border wasn’t open but a guard house was – which was lucky cause we where the only ones there and it was raining… this is not the way most westerners cross:) Thankfully they had hot water there and there guards brought us a heater when they turned up for work, lovely thoughtful Chinese guards :)

From Marie: “An ATM vestibule in Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls. Not fun.”

From Naomi: “Sleeping on a rooftop in Ladakh, and then another in the Tsangpo Valley in Tibet, under the stars, wrapped in blankets against the chill. Magic.”

From David:

A Chinese truck stop on the Nepal border. There was a torrential downpour and all the bugs in the area came inside to share the dorm room with dozens of backpackers and Chinese truckdrivers.

On my end, another great memory was sleeping on the deck of a slow boat in Northern Myanmar. It was during a solar eclipse, and I took the boat because the widest part of the eclipse cut a line directly over the boat’s path. For 3 nights, I shared snacks with the Burmese people on the boat, sang karaoke with the captain (hooked up to the PA system, no less!) and wafted down the river on the way to Mandalay. 

The slow boat at dusk:

Thanks to everyone who submitted answers!

For the rest of the roundup, check out the reader comments here and here for all the awesome places you’ve stayed on the road. Keep up the crazy travels, Hipmunks!

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Where’s the craziest place you’ve slept while traveling?


This is a Hipmunk guest post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

With news that Hipmunk has improved its hotel search to speed up and streamline results, I thought I’d turn to the quirker side of accommodations and see where Hipmunks have stayed that deserves a mention.

In my years of round-the-world travel, I’ve certainly had my share of strange places to sleep. 

For starters, this:

Having driven 8 hours out of Ulan-Bator in Mongolia into the Gobi desert, I was staying with a nomadic family near the ancient site of Gengghis Khan’s Karakorum. This tent-like structure, called a ger in Mongolia (or a yurt in other central Asian countries), comes with a very strict series of rules. The inside of the ger is divided into two parts, one side for men and the other for women, with their respective tools (cooking pots on the woman’s side, saddles and hunting materials on the men’s side), separated out by supportive pillars.

Mongolian culture is replete with customs and deeply ingrained superstitions, each taken very seriously. Among them is the prohibition on walking between the pillars inside the ger – always walk around them. This was hard to remember, but under the watchful eyes of my hosts, I did my best to make sure I was respectful. 

The pillars inside the ger:

Given that this was the Gobi desert, there wasn’t any toilet in sight and the family did not use an outhouse. Instead, they dug a hole about half a kilometer away, topped by a wooden box. For short people like me, this was semi-private; for taller people let’s just you wouldn’t be able to hide much. After I settled in, I realized that there wasn’t a direct path to the toilet because these guys:

were in the way.

The family had 500 horses (the horse to person ratio in Mongolia is 13:1, so this was a fairly established family) and over 1000 sheep and goats. In the middle of the night, this was a bit of an issue. These sheep and goats would come in toward the ger for warmth, and it was impossible to make my way to the bathroom with a headlamp to guide me. I can’t count how many sheep I tripped over before I gave up and went back to bed until daybreak.

Overall, this remains one of the most memorable places I’ve stayed. For several days, isolated in the wilderness with animals and a family of nomads, heating my ger with sheep’s dung (yes, it stunk) and sharing meals around the fire at night. 

The family’s grandmother (59 yrs old) and her great-granddaughter (4 years old)

So where’s the craziest place you’ve ever stayed on your travels? I’ve enabled photo replies in the comments – let us know in pictures or words!

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