SUNDAY TRAVEL ADVENTURES – "Asian Adventure"
Asia is a long plane ride even from the west coast, but those that can endure the long flight, you’ll be rewarded with an experience of a lifetime. Asia boasts a vast array of countries from developing nations to highly developed nations. I’ve been extremely fortunate to travel to Asia on several different occasions and thrilled to share my experiences.
When to Go
I’ve always planned my trips between the months of September and November or March to April because the spring and fall seasons are best times to visit.
These time frames tend to have the least amount of rain and most comfortable temperatures. This holds especially true for North Asia: China, South Korea, and Japan where the seasons changes as they do in North America.
For South East Asia, it’s going to be hot and humid no matter when you go, but the fall times tend to have more tolerable temperatures and less rain.
Another general tip is to avoid Asia during the summer months unless you like rain because that’s their monsoon season. Also for certain countries, the weather and rainfall depends on the region. For instance Thailand, the southern parts tend to have more rainfall than the northern part. It pays to do research the climate. In general, you can’t go wrong with visits during the fall or spring seasons
Budget Friendly Destinations
With the favorable exchange rates and lower cost of living, Countries in South East Asia are friendlier for the wallet. Some of my favorites include: Thailand, Bali(Indonesia), and Singapore. For instance, Singapore, has a night safari which is entertaining for both kids and adults.
Parts of Northern Asia, specifically, Japan and South Korea are a bit more expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to rule these destinations out if you’re on a tight budget. By simply planning your time well in these countries and utilizing hotel points, visiting these countries can be affordable. For instance, Japan, an expensive country offers some affordable stuff like going to a baseball game(tickets are cheaper than in the States AND you can bring your own food into the stadium) or visiting the Tsukiji fish market. Planning your day for inexpensive events or free events is a great way to tour more expensive countries.
Mickey Mouse and children go hand-in-hand. Japan and Hong Kong both have a Disneyland resort, which does appeal to children than say a trip to a historic temple. If you’re traveling with Children, going to a resort theme park can be nice cultural experience.
Staying on Budget
For a family, food is going to be an expense. To ease your budget, stray away from western chain establishments and restaurants in busy tourist areas. Eat at the local family owned restaurants. The food will be more traditional and be cheaper.
Getting Over the Food Shock
The food in Asia is different than what’s found in the Western world. Even going to McDonald’s where the ever familiar Big Mac is sold has a modified menu to cater to the taste of Asians.
With that said, the food will be different. If the notion of eating some exotic fish, octopus or duck doesn’t some appealing, be prepared to stick with noodles, rice and vegetables. You’ll have to get used to eating without a fork.
Be prepared to use chopsticks. There’s plenty of lesson on youtube to get practice before going. Just order some Chinese take out and ask for a chop sticks in lieu of a fork.
Avoid Food Poisoning
To avoid a case of food poisoning, always eat cooked foods. Stray away from salads and foods that contain uncooked vegetables. After one instance where I ate a chicken wrap with lettuce in Nepal, I had a major case of system downloads. I strongly suspect that the lettuce was not washed with filtered water.
Street food is fine as long as it’s cooked. I’ve eaten plenty of meals from streets carts in Thailand. Again stay away from uncooked food items. Ensure bottled water is always sealed.
If you do get a case of food poisoning, it’s better to have some ciprolflaxin on you. Ask your doctor for a prescription before you trip.
Asia is a fun and affordable place. Don’t be afraid to venture to this continent because it’s foreign. Once you take that first step, you’ll want to go back. My first country I visited in Asia was Thailand and looking back on it, it was a bold first step, but had I not gone, I probably wouldn’t have ventured to other Asian countries. The continent of Asia awaits.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Today’s featured travel writer is Mike Choi who writes The Fit World Traveler. Mike is an avid traveler never passing the opportunity to hop a mistake fare. He blogs at www.thefitworldtraveler.com about his travels and his visits to Crossfit affiliates.