Today I'm back with Bootsnall's Indie Travel Challenge. This week, we share our tales of travel in Asia, as well as our dreams for future adventures on the continent.
For all its long history, Asia has been a bit of a mystery to most in the western world. As the planet has gone flat over the last few decades, many have started to unlock that mystery, and discover the rich culture, history, and opportunities for travel that Asia has to offer. I feel fortunate to have visited the continent once, and that small taste has left me hungry for more.
Where I've Been
On a few occasions I've shared some of the stories from my trip to South Korea and Beijing. From being dropped on the side of the road in the middle of the night, to our hike on the Simatai Great Wall, this was one of my most exciting adventures, not to mention my first time traveling abroad.
|North Korea from the DMZ at Panmunjom|
While I loved both destinations, there was a stark contrast in my lasting impressions of them. Beijing felt sterile. The only interactions I had with locals were either scam artists, or a shopkeeper hounding me to buy his knock off Gucci glasses. We had a private tour which was great for getting around the city, but not so great for exploring some of the areas off the beaten path.
|So one day I was in the Forbidden City...|
South Korea on the other hand felt comfortable, and I had many memorable, yet random encounters with locals. There was the older gentleman on the bus, which shared his dream of reunification with the North. Or the group of businessmen that insisted my friend and I join them for a few rounds of Soju. I didn't feel like a target in South Korea, but a guest, and the lesson I learned is it's the people which truly make a destination memorable.
Where I Want To Go
Singapore. Plain and simple. Sure, there are plenty of more exotic locales on the continent of Asia - certainly many that are cheaper - but there is something about Singapore that's put it at the top of my list. Maybe because it's the safe choice, both literally and figuratively. Any place that regulates the street food to ensure safety and has virtually zero crime has gotta be great right? I'm sure that many would scoff at the choice for these very same reasons, but I still hope to one day enjoy a Manhattan atop the Marina Bay Sands.
|The Marina Bay Sands. Photo Credit: Wikipedia|
Beyond Singapore, the list of places I'd like to visit in Asia is a mile long. Eventually I know I'll return to tackle that list...It is not a matter of if, but when...
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~