Most Memorable Travel Experiences: Asia

We’ve been asking bloggers to share their most memorable travel experiences from around the world. So today we are going to focus on some most memorable travel experiences in Asia.

1.      Sunrise in Shanghai

On my recent trip to China, I had an incredbile night in Shanghai. Ater 5 days in Beijing we travelled to Shanghai by high speed train. I had perviously met up with a girl in Scotland who was studying abroad but was now back home in Shanghai so we had arranged to meet up at my hostel for a night out. This was my first hostel experience and it was pretty much exactly like everyone had told me it would be. Our group of 2 soon became a group of 6. We had a quick dinner and all made our way to a Mexican club which was absolutely amazing! With free tequila shots and everyone dancing on the bar, any preconceptions I had of China were shattered!

After a couple of drinks we made our way to a place called Bar Rouge – apparently the most expensive club in Shanghai. I mean we were only there for 2 nights so why not?! Though, when we arrived it was very fancy and standing face to face with a steep entrance fee, we decided against it. That is where we met a group from another hostel who had the same change of heart as us. With the intention of finding another club, but quickly realising that no one could google anything with the Internet block in China, we settled with buying beer from a late night corner shop and took in the view of The Bund.

Sunrise over Shanghai. Photo by Chiera McLaughlin

The next thing we knew 4 hours had passed and the sun was rising. Everyone stopped what they were doing, paused their converations and watched as the sun rose up over the Shanghai Skyline. It was an incredible moment with people who were complete strangers a few hours ago. That moment is the reason I love travel. 

Story by Chiera McLaughlin from Young and Undecided.

Follow her adventures on Instagram.

2.      Hiking Mount Bromo, Indonesia

I’ve always been obsessed by volcanoes. The idea of hot molten lava exuding from the center of the Earth fascinates me. Well the obsession usually translates into action where I am concerned. That’s how we landed up booking a trip to Indonesia. During my course there I saw three volcanoes but the one I truly fell in love with was Mount Bromo. This particular volcano is located in East Java and is totally off the beaten track. Sure there are some overpriced tours that could take you there but the real flavor is something that you can savor when you travel like a local or in my case a backpacker!

Mount Bromo. Photo by Penny Fernandes

Most people fall in love with this concept of a huffing and puffing volcano and not all volcanoes fall under that category. Some of them sleep peacefully till they wreck havoc one day (that’s assuming that they aren’t dormant!). Mount Bromo however is a beast that huffs and puffs and growls. You can walk right up to the edge of the crater and the best part is the trek isn’t difficult at all. Once you reach the crater you can hear the growling sound that the volcano makes. Logically one would assume that it’s the wind. Me… I’m too steeped in fantasy and it felt like a dragon slept within!

We spent a whole day roaming around the volcano complete with a picnic lunch! It was my kind of paradise. Simple, unique, peaceful and different!

Story by Penny Fernandes at Globe Trove.

Read more about her adventure here, and follow her travels on Instagram.

3.      Getting Inked in Thailand

When I was on Kho Phi Phi Island in Thailand nearly everyone was in a swim suit, and I saw more people with tattoos than I think I probably had anywhere else. I had three tattoos already at that point and I love to see what other people have, so I was looking around at everyone’s tattoos all day. When we were riding on the ferry to get back to the coast of Krabi, I sat next to a woman who had a beautiful thigh tattoo. I couldn’t stop admiring it and when we got off I knew that I had the tattoo bug. 

Over the next few days, I perused the design books of every tattoo parlor I stumbled across before deciding I wanted to draw my own, and doodling away until I had something I liked. After research into reputable tattoo parlors in Chiang Mai, my last destination in Thailand, I settled on a studio and made an appointment.

Tattoos in Thailand. Photo by Sarah Swank

I was extremely nervous before the session because it was my biggest tattoo by far with the others taking between 10-15 minutes at most. My tattoo artist was pretty quiet – he probably spoke very little English and I spoke no Thai – so for three hours we sat mostly in silence while he worked. The pain wasn’t as bad as I expected at first, but by the end of the three hours when he was going over details and touching up areas that were already beginning to swell, I was squirming so badly I was worried I would seriously mess up the tattoo! There are a few spots where you can tell I twitched if you look closely, but the mistakes and the memory brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

Story by Sarah Swank of Suitcase Six.

Follow her adventures on Instagram.

4. Sunset in Bagan, Myanmar

My most memorable experience in Asia has got to be sat at the top of a temple in Bagan watching the sunset and listening to a nearby village chanting and singing in prayer. Bagan was quiet in June and we had the place almost to ourselves. As the sun slowly set on the horizon, the whole scene glowed bright orange and red – I’ve never seen a sunset so vibrant or colourful. The view coupled perfectly with the melodies drifting from down below and the faint ringing of bells in the distance to complete our contentment!

There are hundreds of temples here scattered across the countryside which you can clamber up and perch at the top, to watch the sun set across the plains. Some temples are partially covered in gold leaf and literally sparkle in the sun – an incredible sight. You could also get out for sunrise and see a completely different view, with different temples illuminated.

Sunset in Bagan. Photo by Elise

The best way to visit the temples here is by E-bike, which is an electronic moped that you can rent from all around town. It gives you such freedom to visit any temple you’d like and even to leave if a tour bus beats you there! You can spend the whole day barely seeing another tourist if you time it right. Some of the temples are now off limit after the recent earthquake, but there are still opportunities to watch a sunset from the top. It’s still our most memorable moment to date so we’d highly recommend!”

Story by Elise from Travel, Work and Play. 

Follow her adventures on Instagram.

5. Paragliding in the Himalayas

Paragliding has always been my dream. When I discovered, that I could do it in the Himalayas, I knew it was a must. I was travelling in the Indian region Ladakh, that covers the west part of the Himalayan mountains. Full of tiny villages, colourful praying flags and the most breath-taking views, that I’ve ever seen.

It was three of us in one car going for the adventure. The rusty vehicle was struggling to get to the mountain pass where we were supposed to fly from. The weather was perfect – blue sky, the sun and just enough wind for the paraglide to fly easily. We were standing on the mountain slope overlooking the forest. The paraglide ropes were very thin and our Indian guides very young, which made me a bit concerned. But then, the Swedish traveller who was with us in the car went first and set off to the air, gliding gently. It looked so peaceful and beautiful. “Let’s do it”, I thought. Next, it was my turn. Quick instructions from the guide on how to run and land safely, and off we go. We started running down and suddenly I felt that my feet are not touching the ground anymore. We were flying!

most memorable travel experiences

Paragliding in the Himalayas. Photo by Aga

Pine trees tops were swinging on the wind below our feet, birds flying next to us and the road spiralling like a snail shell. It felt like we are in a different world, way above the ground, in the bird’s kingdom. It was an amazing feeling of freedom. After touring in the air for a while, we landed safely on the ground – me with a huge smile. Another one of my dreams just came true and I knew I will definitely do it again.

Story by Aga of Woldering Around. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
 

Check more most memorable travel experiences from Central America, South America, and Africa

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