My Top 5 Favorite Places in the World to Run

A friend asked me what my favorite places are to run when I travel. I realized there are so many great locations. Some I had a chance to visit many times ( I made a promise that every time I’m in Hong Kong, I run up to Victoria Peak), others I visited only once but made an impression for a lifetime. This is my top 5, but more likely to follow in a later post.

5. San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

The run from San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge to Battery Spencer viewpoint on the hill is my favorite in the US. It is a 7-mile loop with a steep incline to the top of the hill above the bridge and the view is simply unparalleled. There are sidewalks and running paths throughout the course.

4. Budapest Danube River Bank

This is the best riverbank run in the world. (Paris is a close second). In Budapest the sidewalks stretch on both banks of the river for dozens of miles and you can criss-cross from one side to the other on the city’s bridges. From most spots you see either the Parliament on one side of the Buda Castle and hills on the other. You can even run up and down the Castle Hill for an even more breathtaking view. Day or night, unparalleled.

3. Hong Kong Victoria Peak

As I said, I always make a point to run Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. It is a very hard uphill run and a fun, steep downhill. On top of the peak you can run further as Hong Kong has many connected hills and well marked paths. Lion Rock is a favorite. It is my absolute favorite city panorama, a great reward for the effort. I love mountain running and the city has fantastic runs on its many outer islands as well, a short ferry ride away.

2. Zhang Jia Jie (Avatar Mountains)

I have run on many mountains in China because the paths are well build out and the many signs prevent you from getting lost. Zhang Jia Jie is my clear favorite and not just because it inspired the Avatar movie. You can pick your adventure by running an easy jog on connecting paths on top of the mountain or take a long, arduous (20+ miles) run up and down the peaks (I didn’t do that). There is only one place on the planet with this view. Crowds can get very big to stop your run, so take the first gondola to the top.

1. Temple Ruins in Siam Reap

Cambodia’s Siam Reap is magical. With hundreds of temples dating back 900 years and a town that feels ageless, you are transported to a whole different place in time. While many go to Angkor Wat, there dozens of many smaller temples around town within running distance (it gets very humid so distances vary). Many temples are open and no fences around. If you watch your footing and are armed with a GPS you are guaranteed to be lost in the ages.

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