This past year has already been filled with a lot of travel adventures. I’ve been lucky enough to not only visit, but also live in two different countries- Japan and Hong Kong, as well as just traveling to nearby countries such as Macao. It may have been my first year setting food abroad but I definitely got some good mileage.
My travels aren’t going to stop anytime soon either. With living in Asia, it’s so easy and cheap to travel, so why wouldn’t I take advantage of this opportunity?
I have a few upcoming trips already booked and ready to go. Most people don’t know about these plans, and with getting ready to leave soon I figured this would be the perfect time to share my plans with all of you!
Hong Kong lifestyle can be rough. Working 50 hour weeks (while getting paid for 30–but that’s another story for later), plus commuting two hours a day starts to take a toll pretty quickly.
Luckily a few months back when all my coworkers were rushing to get their vacation days approved, I figured it might be nice to take a little break towards the end of November. Unluckily, at the time I didn’t know how much I’d need those days off.
A lot of you may know that I’ve been recently recovering from an incident where I lost consciousness and ended up on the floor of a McDonalds. A few long hours at the hospital and three stitches later, I was released with all healthy test results and no conclusive reasons for my accident.
What’s even worse is a coworker of mine had a similar incident that landed her in the hospital a week prior to me… and yet another coworker passed out and spent some time in the hospital a few days after. I couldn’t believe I was the 2nd of three people to pass out within a mere three weeks of one another at my work– but fortunately everyone else at least had something soft to crash their faces into, so their damage wasn’t quite as bad.
We decided it might not be such a coincidence after all–we were overworked and all feeling worn down. It was at that point that I decided–I need a break from Hong Kong.
I need to relax and recover.
I need a vacation.
Perfect timing I guess since I had already taken off all of next week. And like I said in my previous post The Top 10 Reasons You Should Travel After Graduation— book a ticket and just leave, so that’s exactly what I did.
So with that, I now present to you my travel plans for this fall, winter and even spring!
NOVEMBER 20-24 THAILAND
Next week Johnny and I will be spending Thanksgiving soaking up the sun and riding elephants in Phuket, Thailand. It’ll be our first real vacation together, so I couldn’t be more excited!
During the time there I plan to do all of the “touristy” type things, but some of the highlights will include:
- Exploring Wats and temples
- Snorkeling with live coral
- Relaxing on the sands of Maya Bay –where DiCaprio’s The Beach was filmed.
- Riding elephants in the jungle
- Island hopping
- And much, much more!
We’re also going to try to encounter some glowing phytoplankton, so I’d be pretty excited to cross that off my bucket list!
JANUARY 18-20 SINGAPORE
Although I’ll only be staying a weekend, I’m really looking forward to this trip. Singapore is small enough that I feel I’ll be able to fit everything I want to do in. Plus Singapore is (surprisingly) insanely expensive so I think a weekend is perfect to keep it cheap.
I’ll be traveling here with one of my coworkers– it’ll be the first time traveling to Singapore for both of us.
Highlights may include:
- Visiting Marina Bay Sands
- Underwater World diving with sharks
- Exploring the Singapore Zoo–said to be the best zoo in the world
- Getting massages and spa treatments
- Eating some of the best food in the world, such as the famous chili crab
Singapore has roots in China, Malaysia, and India so I can’t wait to explore such a diverse country. Plus… it’ll be quite a bit warmer than Hong Kong so it’ll be a nice mini winter retreat!
APRIL 6-13 JAPAN
April 6 I’ll be setting foot in Japan for the second time–this time with Johnny. I guess my love for this country just can’t keep me away, I realized I have too much unfinished business from my previous time spent there. With coming back 4 months early, I missed some of the things I was most excited to experience. So I’m heading back.
Highlights will include:
- Seeing the cherry blossoms in spring
- Riding the shinkansen across the country
- Visiting Tokyo Disney Sea
- Seeing Mount Fuji
- Visiting my university
- Reuniting with a bunch of our college friends
I can’t wait to be back and see everyone! Although it’s not a place I would want to live forever–I really do miss Japan.
I’m also considering a few other smaller trips, similar to my Singapore stint, before settling back down in the United States. So far no plans have been made obviously, but there’s a few other countries I’d really like to visit in Asia.
I honestly didn’t have that much interest in Taiwan before, but between Taipei 101, the Lotus temple and tons of oddly themed restaurants, there’s enough I want to see there that it might make a worthwhile trip. I was thinking of trying to maybe do a long layover here during one of my flights to Japan
There’s something about this country that’s begging me to come visit. Maybe it’s the Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider in me that wants to explore the cool temple ruins in Angkor Wat, I’m not sure. But one thing’s for sure–out of all the Asian countries I’ve wanted to go to, Cambodia sure seems the most different from my own culture.
Malaysia is somewhere I’ve wanted to go–although I don’t have many reasons to make it a priority. I really only want to visit Kuala Lumpur to see the Petronas Towers. Quite honestly I wouldn’t know what else to do there to make the trip worthwhile. Fortunately, tickets to Malaysia are around $100 USD or less for round-trip. Maybe one of you readers would have a more compelling reason for me to go to Malaysia? (I’m up for any and all suggestions!)
The most promising or realistic option, China has been taunting me to come visit. Only a short train ride away, visiting our mainland neighbor would be the cheapest option (apart from securing the visa), and is easily doable as a day trip to Shenzhen or Guangzhou. The only reason I haven’t yet is because you need a visa to enter China and unfortunately being American means that the visa comes with a whopping $125 price tag (anyone care to donate? ;P). At least once I would finally suck it up and buy the visa, I can maybe also squeeze in a quick trip to see the Great Wall in Beijing before it expires.
When I think about it, a year just isn’t enough in Asia. Although I miss the US, I’m really not so sure I’d be ready to leave with so much unexplored…