have you started planning your travels for the upcoming year? Asia should be at the top of your list!
after 2.5 years of living and exploring here, I could share a million reasons why you should want to travel to this continent. but for the sake of time... I'll stick with the 7 most simple [but important] things that should convince you that your trip to Asia will be enjoyable, affordable, and delicious.
the beachesno matter what you're looking for in a beach destination, Asia has got you covered. options range from deserted islands to shores of crowded cities, huts on the sand to full-service high-end resorts. you can party all night in Kuta [Bali, Indonesia,] rock climb in Railay [Thailand,] or relax on gorgeous white sands in Boracay [Philippines.]
the peoplenot all of my encounters while traveling have been positive. but for the most part, the people in Asia are very friendly. when one of our group was bit by a monkey in Bali, the owner of our hotel drove him to a medical clinic. any time I am lost in Taiwan, people are more than willing to answer my questions and point me in the right direction. [and usually offer me food.]
the transportationmost of us have been on a bus or a plane, but Asia offers a few unique methods of travel you can experience. living in Taiwan, I drive a scooter every day. Thailand offers tuktuks and long tail boats, and both Japan and Taiwan have fantastic high speed trains. there's always a variety of options for getting from point A to point B.
the costI know, guys. getting all the way over here isn't cheap. but once you're on this continent, things are ridiculously affordable. traveling on a budget is really easy to do in Asia. you can find food and lodgings for about 1/3 of the cost in the US, depending on what you're comfortable with. you can certainly spend more if you like - plenty of luxury options are available - but if you want to save by eating at 7-11 for every meal and sleeping on overnight buses, it's totally doable here.
the naturemost people picture Asia as full of crowded cities, but there is plenty of green space too. you can take a bicycle tour through rice paddies, ride an elephant through the jungle, or hike through a marble gorge cut through mountains. sometimes you'll have to go farther off the beaten track, but you can find more than [amazing] city skylines here.
the foodif you like to eat, then this continent should definitely be on your travel wish list. [eating pad thai from a street vendor in Bangkok was practically a religious experience for me. for about $3 US.] Asia is also home to the night market- rows of stalls dedicated to serving up unique snacks like squid-on-a-stick and classic dishes like beef noodle. and if you aren't convinced yet, I have 3 words for you: xiao long bao. dumplings in general are extremely delicious, but these little morsels have a soup broth steamed inside which makes them extra tasty!
the templesone of my favorite things about traveling and living in Asia is being able to visit temples. I love how each country and culture has their specific types of architecture and decoration. I'm partial to the dragon-topped temples of Taiwan, but the orange stone of Bali... the mirrored details in Thailand... the wooden structures in Japan... OK, I just really love temples!
have I convinced you to book a ticket to Asia yet? for more info, check out my travel page for links to posts about destinations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.