Here’s some more from the beautiful Asian continent. Some unforgettable destinations shared by some of my fellow female travel bloggers.
Start creating your bucket-list now!
Eat Live Octopus in South Korea
There are few people willing to eat real fresh meat— as in, fresh from the tank, head chopped off, squirted with an acidic juice and then down-the-hatchet fresh. But in port cities around the world, this extremely fresh seafood is a delicacy to be savored. As in the case of the Korean dish sannakji, best translated as “live baby octopus.” The long-armed creature is pulled from the water, killed immediately, and then served either whole or in tiny pieces drizzled with sesame oil. One of the best places to try sannakji is at Korea’s biggest seafood market in the southern city of Busan. Due to continued nerve activity, even after it’s served the tentacles continue doing a gnarly dance, making it appear to still be alive. Do you dare try it?
Doing a live-aboard experience, sailing around the Thailand islands, was the most memorable travel our family has ever enjoyed. We were going to go explore the hustle of Bangkok and the surrounding area. But first, we took 4 days on a captained sailboat around the islands. Getting up with the sun, sitting on deck and watching the stars at night, and hopping ashore to explore Koh Kut and Koh Chang was absolutely unforgettable. I would do it again in a minute!
Picnic Under the Cherry Blossoms in Yoshino, Japan
Most people know that Japan can be a fantastic place to see cherry blossoms in spring. Almost all Japanese cities have a park or river lined with pink, fragrant flowers. However, the very best cherry blossom views are in a beautiful ancient town called Yoshino, south of Nara City. Yoshino is surrounded by mountains where monks planted tens of thousands of cherry blossom trees. So each April, the whole mountain turns pink! Most people bring sake (Japanese rice wine) and picnic food, then sit beneath the blossoms to admire the flowers. This is called hanami. I recommend buying some kakinohazushi (sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves). It is unique to this area, bring a camera, and then join in the fun! Kanpai!
If you are traveling to Hong Kong and only have time to visit one place, you must go to Victoria Peak! At an elevation of 1,811 ft, The Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island. And on a clear day, you will have a panoramic view of Central, Victoria Harbour, Llama Island, and the surrounding Hong Kong Islands.
In addition, the Peak is the perfect spot to watch Hong Kong’s famous light show. The Symphony of Lights Show is a spectacular LED light show in which the buildings surrounding Victoria Harbor light up. The light show begins after 8:00 pm every night and lasts for about fifteen minutes.
How To Get To The Peak
There are several ways to get to The Peak. You can reach it by bus, tram or taxi. If you want to go by bus you should take the number 15 bus. Bus 15 (usually a double-decker bus) is my preferred method to go. It’s available at multiple bus stops throughout the city. Plus it’s only 10 Hong Kong Dollars ( 1 USD) and 5 Hong Kong Dollars for children.
Moreover, the bus 15 route has a much better view of the mountain than the tram. Unlike the Peak Tram, the bus route goes around the mountain, giving you a clear view below.
Famous for the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world. Komodo National Park in Indonesia is the only place in the world you can see these terrifying animals in the wild. Below the waters of Komodo lies another amazing world ready to be discovered. Manta rays glide past and sharks bask in the shallows. The national park offers some of the most stunning hard and soft corals in the world. Along with its renowned manta ray sightings and an array of other marine life. With the currents bring some of the large pelagics for you to marvel at through the turquoise water and, afterward, you can chill on deck surrounded by the beauty of Komodos many islands.
Laos is a relatively underrated destination in Southeast Asia and few venture out of the cities into the beautiful countryside. In January 2018 I spent three days on a jungle trek in Nong Khiaw in Laos. In a group of 5, with a local guide, we hiked through lush jungle, visiting traditional mountain and fishing villages. We slept with families in homestays, ate their traditional dishes (grilled squirrel anyone?) and drank copious amounts of homemade rice whiskey. From the incredible views, the challenging treks (that our guide did in flip flops!) to experiencing rural Lao life, this is still easily one of my favorite travel experiences ever.
When we moved to China two years ago, we knew there were some incredible experiences to discover. China is home to some incredible landmarks and experiences; the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, Harbin’s Ice Festival and the Giant Panda Research Base just to name a few.
We thought we had seen it all until a colleague suggested Ping’an Village. The village is based in the middle of the rice terraces. About a 45-minute hike up from the nearest parking spot and surrounded by roaming chickens and donkeys used for transport.
After a challenging journey up to the village (we are not hiking people), we found ourselves in the middle of wooden homes and guesthouses. Once we had checked in and stepped onto our balcony, we realized that every step here was well worth it. We spent two days exploring the rice terraces, watching the sunrise and set over the mountains and eating local dishes such as Bamboo rice.
A once in a lifetime experience that I feel so privileged to have enjoyed.