Asia Recommendations and Raves
quote:Hotel with most character in Bangkok is the Atlanta
The Atlanta is also where BootsnAll co-founder and bikini model Sean Keener chose when he went to Bangkok.
Sure, it is hard work dealing with Tajik officialdom, and you're more that likely going to have to grease the palms of a few corrupt police, but when you are standing on a high windswept pass in the Pamir, not having seen a soul for days, all this effort seems worth it.
Luang Prabang - The most laid-back, beautiful, rustic little town. The Lao people are so timid and unassuming and you feel bad about bargaining with them every night at the night market! The town overlooks a river and there are some very nice views. The main street in town is dotted with traveler cafes serving comforts from home, street stalls (try to hunt down the all you can eat buffet for $0.50!), and beautiful temples and museums that are so laid-back in character that they fit right in! And did I mention cheap??
Halong Bay - rent an overnight boat with a fresh seafood dinner and sleeping accomodations! Tour the limestone caves which are gorgeous.
Hoi An - if you are a girl (or enjoy shopping and a good deal), COME HERE! Hundreds and hundreds of tailors setting up shop to make whatever clothes (including suits, coats, wedding gowns, boots) you can dream of! They'll sit you down, give you a stack of the latest fashion magazines, and you can pick style and fabric. Be sure to shop around and ask about price. I got a couple things from each shop as they vary in quality and you never know which ones are better. Also, there are some wonderful cafes here!
Siem Reap - go visit Angkor Wat (and the other temples - Ta Prohm was also a favourite). NOW. Breathtaking. Everyone should do this once in their life. Get at least a 3-day pass.
Phnom Penh - a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields are very sobering.
Now getting famous for its casinos, I think Macau still has character in its older parts - walk and don't worry about getting lost.
It also has some of the best restaurants in Asia, and the wine is cheap.
Personal favourites include:
Annapuran Base Camp Trek : 12 Days
Annapurna Circuit Trek: 20 Days
Jomsom Muktinath Trek: 10 Days
Poon Hill Trek: 5 Days
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If you find yourself in the Philippine Islands, don't miss out on Boracay. Named one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world by Conde Nast, it is a definite site to see! The people there are amazing, they're friendly and have a good grasp of English. So many foreigners have also chosen to settle on this beautiful island, so you never feel lonely no matter what part of the world you're from
Tourism in China is booming nowadays.Sure, as a potential country on tourism. China will attract more and more guests from all over the world. As a charimg country, attractions here are uncountable. Just list some of them as reference:
Tibet: Tibetan culture, Lamaism, breath-taking landscape.
Xinjiang: desert, Oasis, Grape estate, raisin, wine, Ethnic culture, Grassland.
Inner Mongolia:Grassland, Tomb of Genghis Khan, Mengu Ethnic Nationality.
Jilin: Snow view and international ice festival.
Shandong: Confucius Temple, Confucius Mansion, Confucius Forest. Qingdao Beer, Taishan Mountain(One of the five holy mountains of China)
Shanxi: Yungang Grottos, The Qiao's Mansion, Pinyao Ancient City (On the list of the UNESCO's curtural Relics)
Shaanxi: the Eeigth Wonder of the world--the Terra-cotta Warriors Army. City Wall, Mausoleums. Cave House, Foping Nattional Panda Reserve(more than 100 pandas scatter here)
Gansu: Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, Desert. Sound Dune.
Henan: Shaolin Temple (Kongfu), Luoyang, Kaifeng, Yuntai Mountain.
Hainan: Sun, Sand, Sea.
Hong Kong: Shopping Paradise.
Sichuan: Jiuzhaigou Village, EMei Mountain, Great Buddha Carve, Huanglong Natural Reserve.
I highly reccomend staying at the BackPax Hostel in Xi'an. American owned, it's staffed by Chinese Graduate Students who all speak very good english. They have a Western style menu, and the coffee here is to die for! By far the best western food and coffee in China!
The rooms are very nice, and very spacious and the main bathroom is like walking into a palace. The hostel as a whole is very clean, fun and down to earth.
PLUS, it's only a 7min walk from the Bell Tower, and a short walk to the Drum Tower, Great Mosque and the South Gate of the city wall.
Solo Traveler. Spunky Woman. A World of Misadventure. I'm currently traveling through Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and beyond! Follow my adventures on my blog Spunky Girl Monologues.
i am a guide of motorcycle.
My name is Tan and i'm from China-Shenyang.
I am a very trustworthy person.
I only can the little English,but i am studying everyday.
20080520 China Shenyang
The social and guest friendly atmosphere Rocks...Tons of Helpful Info on getting about.
I would like to recommend hiring a driver to see India. The first time I went to India, I went with a tour group in a bus, which was overall a decent experience of India, but the second time I went to India, a travel-savvy friend gave me the name of a driver who I hired and I am now convinced that this is the best way to travel in India. I travelled with a friend, and the the two of us spent almost a month touring North India in a private car with a driver for a very reasonable price and we had a fantastic time. I would not travel any other way now, and plan to do this again in the future. You can hire a driver through a tourism company (not the best way), through a hotel (this is better), or you can find one by word-of-mouth (this is best, but get a few references!) Finding a driver who works independently and is not affiliated with a tour company or hotel is a little more difficult. If you ask enough people, eventually you will find someone who has the name of a driver they used in India. It is much more cost efficient to hire an independent driver because you are dealing directly with the driver and there is no middleman taking a cut. Just be sure you can get references from the driver for people who have hired him in the past.
10+ Reasons to Hire a Driver:
1) you get the experience of traveling with a local person who knows the culture, history, best places to eat
2) you won't endure the wait or hassle involved with buses or trains
3) you can travel by yourself or with a friend or group of your choosing, rather than with a group of strangers
4) you come and go on your own schedule
5) the car is always there when you want it
6) if you make purchases along the way, you can just leave them in the trunk, or store some of your belongings in the car instead of carrying them with you all the time
7) you can design your own itinerary, change your plans along the way, go to off-the-beaten-track places more easily
8) driving in India is dangerous and scary - hiring a local person to drive you is much safer than renting a car
9) in a car, you "blend in" to the local traffic more than if you are on a huge tour bus - and it is much easier to navigate around the streets and you get there faster
10) it is a very stress-free way to travel, but still feel independent about making your own decisions
11) it is very inexpensive - most drivers can arrange a day rate which includes all the gas, tolls, driver fee AND cost of the hotel if you want. It is usually about $40/day/per person if you choose this option. You can't beat that.
If my friend had not recommended hiring a driver, I don't think I would have known about this option. Hopefully this will help someone in their trip planning.
For travellers, Thailand is the only gateway in which to experience the special life of Southeast Asia. Due to the fact that the country has never been colonised, the Thai individuality blooms and remains vibrant. When the journey is over, the Kingdom will leave visitors with the desire to return again and again, as the smells, sights, and memories of the land and people remain indelible in their thoughts, for Thailand is a feast that they will always carry with them.
Drinking water: food and water-borne diseases are common. Use only bottled or otherwise sterilised (eg boiled) water for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice.
Dress code: light and cool clothes are suitable. For business, meetings, dining in top restaurants and some social functions, a jacket is appropriate. A light jacket or sweater is always advisable for Northern Thailand. Modest dress is required in temples and shrines.
Travel wisdom: petty crime such as pickpocketing has increased. Bags should not be left unattended. Exercise normal safety precautions and ensure valuables are secure, especially in tourist areas, crowded markets, and bus or train stations. Break-ins frequently occur while tourists are asleep in budget guesthouses. Demonstrations can occur and should be avoided.
Do not accept food or drinks from strangers. Do not leave food or drinks unattended, particularly in bars. Cases of drugging followed by robbery and assault have increased.
quote:Originally posted by jphayden:
A little more off the beaten path, but so much to offer. I've spent two years in Kazakhstan and haven't seen a fraction of what's out there. Here are my favorite spots in and around Almaty (the old capital of KZ):
Big Almaty Lake
If you love the outdoors, you'll love Central Asia. Hike the Pamirs, the Tien Shan, paraglide, raft, climb.
For history buffs, hit the Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva in Uzbekistan. Here's an article I wrote for GoNomad on traveling to Bukhara if anyone is looking for some good details.
Would be happy to talk to anyone interested in this part of the world. When I first moved here I knew so little about Central Asian history and culture and I've truly fallen in love with it.
This sounds like a pretty exciting journey. Any suggestions for someone who has not visited this area before? Any precautions or suggestions on how to travel this area. Also what type of preparation do you need if you want to do trekking?
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