Asia Journals

Four months in Asia

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A September 2004 trip to Asia by Cat19

Great Wall at Simatai Photo, China, Asia More Photos
Quote: In 2004 I decided to take six months off work and spent much of this time exploring Asia.

China

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Attraction | "Great Things - An Overview of China"

Great Wall at Simatai Photo, China, Asia
Quote:
In 2004 I was able to take a four month trip around Asia. China has always fascinated me and as the northernmost country included in my plans, it was the first country on the itinerary. My overall plan was to travel through Asia from north to south and I followed the same strategy in China, so for me, first stop Beijing. Beijing~~~~I arrived in Beijing in the early morning after a ten hour flight from London. After catching up with sleep, I spent what was left of the day walking to and exploring Tiananmen Square. The square is vast. Actually it is a rectangle, 500m wide and 900m long. At one end there is the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Qianmen gate, which is the vi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2009

Chinese Culture Shock

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Story/Tip

Quote:
My trip to China was over four years ago and pre-Olympic games, it was noticeable at the time that the government had already started initiatives to ready the nation for an influx of international visitors. For example there was a daily TV program to teach the English language.Nevertheless the language and cultural barriers were as large as I have ever faced. It was hard to get used to the Chinese habit of spitting, although this was one of those practices that the government had already started to discourage in anticipation of increased visitors in 2008, so no spitting signs were found in many places. I have noted in my journal that I did not see a single other westerner on...Read More

Hong Kong

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Attraction | "Hong Kong days - An overview of HK"

Victoria Peak Photo, Hong Kong, China
Quote:
After my three weeks of independent and solo travel in mainland China I was really looking forward to Hong Kong. From the moment I arrived everything was so much easier and less stressful. Mainland China had been hard work and Hong Kong provided much needed respite.My journey was relatively easy, a quick flight from Shanghai and I was soon making my way through the airport terminal to the MTR train station. My hotel was in the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong Island, I believe I got one train over to the island and then changed lines to go a few more stops to Wan Chai. It was a very easy system to negotiate and I was checked in and ready to start exploring in no time. I had about five days ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2009

Vietnam

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Attraction | "Reunification Express Trail - An Overview of Vietnam"

Halong Bay Photo, Halong Bay, Vietnam
Quote:
It was a quick two hour flight from Hong Kong to my starting point in Vietnam of Hanoi. It is likely that most people would start a holiday in Vietnam in one of these two cities and work their way towards the other. Better still, some or all of the travelling between towns can be made on the Reunification Express train. Hanoi~~ I vividly remember my arrival in Hanoi, a stark contrast to ultra sleek Hong Kong airport. This was a different side of Asia. I took a taxi to my guesthouse and the journey was an experience in itself. Lunatic driving, constant horn honking and what seemed like thousands of mopeds. It was common to see three of four people on one moped and I shall neve...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2009

Cambodia

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Attraction | "Bus Stops in Cambodia - Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville"

Phnom Penh - Tonle Sap riverbank Photo, Cambodia, Asia
Quote:
I had travelled south through Vietnam, which meant it was a very quick (40 minute) flight from Ho Chi Minh City in the south to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Once in the country, getting around is quite an adventure but not necessarily in a good way. Trains are infrequent and not reliable and the roads are in very poor condition. I found there was not a bus service between two regions I wanted to visit meaning a shared taxi or minivan was the only way to get to the second location. But shared taxi drivers will try to cram six adults in one average saloon type car which I can only imagine to be very unpleasant for a six hour journey on potholed roads. Minivans have the same over-crowding iss...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2009

Angkor

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Attraction | "Angkor....What? Temples of Angkor and Siem Reap"

Angkor Photo, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Quote:
I generally found Cambodia a challenge to travel around due to poor transport links, but one places that is served well is Siem Reap and I chose to fly here from Phnom Penh. I used Siem Reap Airlines, I found their planes to be modern and the service good. The airport at Siem Reap is excellent for its size. There are several flights a day between the two locations, flight time is 50 minutes and the cost about US$50 one way. The true backpackers would of course choose to save a few pounds and spend six hours on an uncomfortable bus instead.. A couple of days earlier, I met a fellow Brit at a bus stop in Sihanoukville. We were both planning to visit the temples of Angkor next and decided...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2009

Angkor
Siem Riep, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Banyan Tree Bangkok

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Hotel | "Top of the World"

Banyan Tree Bangkok Photo, Bangkok, Thailand
Quote:
I first heard of the Banyan Tree when a fellow traveller in Vietnam told me that dinner in the roof top restaurant of the Banyan Tree would be the perfect way to end my trip before returning home to London. I was determined to do this and the following month I met another traveller in Cambodia who travelled on to Bangkok with me and agree to accompany me to this magnificent restaurant on the final night of my trip.It was a perfect evening and ending to my trip, I was only sorry that my budget on this particular trip did not permit me to actually stay here. In 2005, I was back in Thailand for Christmas and New Year and with that same traveller that I met in Cambodia, who was now my fianc...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 2, 2009

Banyan Tree Bangkok
21 100 SOUTH SATHON ROAD
Bangkok, Thailand 10120
66-26-791200