Looking for advice on a trip to Asia?

Question by : Looking for advice on a trip to Asia?
I am 23 years old, and my friend and I are very interested in traveling to Asia. My love for traveling has been passed down to me by my father, who has taken me all across Europe and most of the United States. I have traveled alone before, but I have never PLANNED and traveled on my own before.

That being said, going on travel websites is giving me a headache. I want to go sometime in the SPRING of 2012, so that it isn’t too hot, and not too cold (although I’ve heard spring is rainy, so maybe January?). The travel websites all want SPECIFIC dates, which I have no idea yet!

What I am asking is this: where do I start? I do NOT want a tour package, I want to explore myself. Somewhere where I could hire a translator for a few hours a day for the duration may be helpful, and my friend has been taking Mandarin. How did you plan your trip? Where did you go? What can you recommend?

I was thinking either a Shanghai / Hong Kong trip or a Kyoto / Tokyo trip, and taking a train in between? Anyone who has done this I would love to hear from you!!!

Thanks guys, look forward to your responses!!

Best answer:

Answer by 杜英
I’m a chinese in Shanghai.
I ‘d like to be a volunteer of being your guide.
It’s totally free,please do not worry of been cheated.
I’m famale,25,and have a master degree of literature.
I have a job as a business assistant in a IT company in Shanghai.
So if you come to Shanghai,I can guide you in weekends.
To make new friends and practice my English.
Just email me when you are making your schedule.
Alancy is my name.

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3 thoughts on “Looking for advice on a trip to Asia?”

  1. Shanghai / Hong Kong trip or a Kyoto / Tokyo trip: Both are great. A tough call.

    Spring is a great season for travelling in all these places. January is a little cold in Beijing or Kyoto.

    If I were you, I should choose Shanghai and Amoy or Shanghai and Beijing. Enjoy!

  2. I haven’t been to Shanghai but it’ll definitely be cold at that time.

    Kyoto/Tokyo would be a great trip too but it might be cold as well.

    I went to HK last year in January and the temperature was perfect. There was a little rain but just a tiny bit of drizzle. You may not need a translator there because a lot of things are written in English. It was the perfect place to just go and explore by yourself.

    If you have any interest in South Korea, it was the perfect temperature when I went there this April. There was a little rain but not much. The country’s largest Cherry Blossom Festival was also in early April and I’m sure Japan has one too. I came up with my own four city tour and it was great. You will need to do a little research on traveling between cities but the information centers are very helpful in each City.

    Have fun!

  3. Welcome to Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient! Its stunning Victoria Harbour and The Peak have just been rated as Asia’s No.1 skyline by a Japanese TV Station. HK is the perfect place to start your Asian tour as you will experience less cultural shock.

    HK has rich culture and history that give a perfect blend of the west and the east. Walk up the world’s longest Escalator which begins from Central District and goes all the way up to the Mid-Levels. Along the Escalator you’ll come across the early English settlement near Aberdeen Street, you’ll also pass by Soho, South of Hollywood Rd, which is a very unique bar and restaurant street. Hollywood Rd is the famous antique street where genuine Chinese antiques are sold.

    From Causeway Bay – Central District – Tsimshatsui District – Mongkok District along the MTR (subway) route are where most of the fascinating shoppings, restaurants, vibrant night life and gorgeous harbour view lies.

    If you like green, sea and nature, and are not in a rush in going to places visiting one of the outlying islands ie the Silvermine Bay of Lantau Island is quite relax and gives a completely different impression of Hong Kong than the one often see in pictures. Simply catch a ferry from the Central Pier right outside IFC Building. The ferry trip takes about 30 minutes, a very relaxed ride in the midst of a hustling bustling city.

    Another beautiful scenic area is Sai Kung District, there’re beautiful mountains, sea and a Seafood Street where you can handpick life seafood, have the restaurant cook them any way you like and enjoy it in front of the clear blue sea. There’re many beautiful mountain trails in Hong Kong, a popular one that goes all the way down to Aberdeen from the Peak. It’ll take more than an hour to walk down. In Aberdeen lies the Chinese boat restaurant “JUMBO” in the middle sea which is awesome.

    HK is renowned as the world’s shopping and dining paradise. You can eat like a billionaires, in the same token there’re many affordable places with unbelievable prices. HK has the cheapest McDonald’s prices on earth. A Cantonese wonton noodle soup is only around HK$ 15. A popular Chinese fast food chain all over the city, the De Coral Fast Food, with set meals under HK$ 30.

    Buying brand names is popular in HK since the City boasts the only zero sales tax nor import tariffs in Asia, brand names are often 10% – 50% cheaper than anywhere else in the world. Street vendors or flea markets is another interesting shopping paradise, they have all sorts of products selling at knockoff prices, eg the Ladies Street, the evening Temple Street vendors in Kowloon side, Stanley Market in HK side etc. Small street shops in Mongkok and Causeway Bay Districts may give you surprises too. There’re also many street vendors located in inner side streets of Central District, Wan Chai District, near Johnston Road and Causeway Bay District that sell genuine factory exports “left-overs” at around US$ 5 for a branded T-shirt. Most prices in HK are fixed, you may be able to bargain a few $ though in small shops and street vendors. You will hardly find any fakes or copies in HK as law enforcement against counterfeits is strict.

    Everywhere in Hong Kong is well connected by its efficient and timely public transportation system, the MTR, big and mini buses. Cost is from under US$ 1 – $ 2 per ride. It’s easiest to travel by MTR which runs pass all the central shopping and business districts, then either connect to a bus or walk to your destination. Separate fares are charged for each ride. Star Ferry that crosses the Victoria Harbour, and the Island Tram that runs from the East (Shaukeiwan District) to the West (Kennedy Town) of the HK Island are only HK$ 2 per ride which is a must for tourists. If you like exploring on your own, simply follow the map, people on the streets always happy to offer directions. HK is one of the most foreigner-friendly cities on earth, plus lots of fun and excitement, visitors often find the place the most vibrant, exciting city that never sleeps, even when you get bored at 3 AM, you could go and have a drink in the bar or even have a delicious late snack. Convenience Stores are located in almost every corner of the main streets and are opened around the clock. The best of all, HK is extremely easy to get around being supported by affordable and well connected public transportation. Hongkong people are very responsive and efficient in their work that make shopping, dining or doing business a very wonderful experience. You’ll also notice that the people will automatically stand by the side when walking up and down the stairs and escalators, not blocking those behind, which many Asian places are now following suit. In brief, Hong Kong is a fun place to be in, there’s always so much happenings around the clock. Please log onto http://www.discoverhongkong.com to find out more and have a wonderful stay!

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