An ode to Asia:
Asia, you are a litany of contradictions,
From your crowds of Shanghai, to the vastness of the New Territories
From the heavy (smog) air of Beijing, to the clearer skies of Huashan
From the old warriors of Xi’an, to the newly built Badaling section of the Great Wall
Vastness and curiosity drive me further, every trip into Asia
Let me first say, I love Asia. There’s really no place like it (that I’ve been) in the world. The combination of enormous mega-cities (Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc.), abandoned landscapes (Huashan, Ha Long Bay, etc.), and incredible beaches (Boracay) cannot be beat. That’s just a short list of what’s amazing here. So, you want to travel Asia? Here’s what you should know –
- Determine how long you can go. This is the step everyone seems to skip. Asia is enormous, every place is very different, and there’s so much to see and do. If you’re coming for two weeks – sorry! You just aren’t going to see more than two or three countries without skipping a few things. If you’re going to do a mega trip (more than 3 weeks), you can plan an awesome multi-destination crusade through the region. If you’re coming for three weeks or less ask yourself – am I planning on coming back anytime soon? Or should I focus on seeing the top sites?
- What do you want to see? Are you a temples and shrine person? Beaches and bikinis? Or maybe a military historian? No worries, Asia has something for you, but each country is different. So you should know what you’ll see and do there. Reach my country posts or email me for suggestions.
- How much are you willing (or able) to spend? Traveling Asia will cost whatever you let it (most places are like this). For the most part, finances (aside from getting to Asia) won’t impact your trip duration or activities, ONLY the number of destinations you see and how quickly. If you’re on a tight timeline, you can’t fly around Asia for free (well you kind of can, check flight deals for that), so this limits how many places you can get to. This will force you to choose wisely.
After you answer these questions, you can piece together how long your going, how many places you can see, and how to travel between destinations. I’m putting together some good itineraries soon, so check those out!