This week on The BootsnAll Indie Travel Challenge, the question is about Asia:
If you’ve never been to Asia, tell us about your dream trip in the region. Would you rather find your own paradise among the Thai Islands, or shop for crazy Harajuku fashion in Japan? Are the uncrowded temples of Burma calling you, or are you dreaming of a visit to China’s Great Wall?
With 30% of the world’s landmass and over half of the world’s population, Asia is both huge and attractive as a travel destination. It seems like most Indie travelers end up there at some point, backpacking their way around the continent, taking advantage of a much lower cost-of-living.
Well, neither of us have had the opportunity to make it to Asia yet, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t thought about what we’d do there. Of course, we’d love to go see the whole continent, but for the sake of not just saying “all of it,” we’ll talk about our top 3 picks if we could just go to Asia and spend some time.
Out of all of the countries of Asia, Thailand is the most appealing. First, there’s the food. We’re both Thai food lovers and would relish the chance to try real Thai food in Thailand.
Second, there’s the culture. With over 40,000 Buddhist temples and a number of monasteries, plus safari tours, national parks, and major cities, there’s plenty to see and do. If we’re lucky, we could manage to spend some time staying at a monastery and catch some of Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai.
Finally, there’s the geography. In an area about 1.2 times the size of California, Thailand manages to cover mountains, forests, savannahs, and beaches.
Next up would be India. Again, the food is a big draw. We’ve been talking recently that we haven’t had Indian food in quite a while and need to remedy that. But our bellies aren’t our sole concerns.
India, like Thailand, is another country rich in culture and tradition. Of course, there’s the Taj Mahal. It might be overrun with tourists, but it’s one of those tourist destinations you just have to see if you’re there. In India, there are also plenty of temples, though more of the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh variety.
And again, there’s a vast diversity of landscapes, from the Himalayas to the beaches of Goa to the Thar Desert.
And finally, there’s the Kingdom of Bhutan. Wait, what? Bhutan? Most people haven’t even heard of it, but that’s because it’s a tiny landlocked speck in the Himalayas between India and China. The main draws to Bhutan are the isolation and the largely undisturbed landscapes.
As I understand it, Bhutan controls tourism to reduce the impact to both the environment and the culture. They mainly do this by making the price of a tourist visa high.
Now To Go…
We think that Asian travel would give us a chance to really get outside of normal and experience new cultures. And now, we just have to make that trip a reality. We’re not sure when, where, or how, but one of these days, we’ll pull this trip off.