The content of each post is solely written by that contributor and only expresses the contributor's personal views. Each post does not represent the views of all the contributors or Women of Color Living Abroad as an organization. Each contributor is speaking from their own person experiences and/or perspective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I want to go to: ASIA…but where?

March 15, 2012--Brittany S
Asia is a HUGE continent that encompasses A LOT of different countries/sovereign states.  If you decide to go to Asia, you are going to have to be a little more specific than that. :-) Here are a few basic questions to help you figure out where in Asia you would like to visit.*  Please choose the answer that is most like you and keep a tally of each letter.  No cheating!

If I was in a movie based on some aspect of Asian culture, I’d be in:
AMemoirs of a Geisha, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The King and I, or anything Bruce Lee
B Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Lethal Weapon 4, or the Rush Hour movies
C Well now that you mention it, I’d be in A & B. (Choose C if you can’t choose between A & B, otherwise, choose your favorite.)

When I travel abroad, I think knowing a place’s language is:
Aessential!  Without it, I won’t be able to get around and will end up lost and hungry.  LOST AND HUNGRY! Oh the agony!
B beneficial, but not required. Body language is universal for the most part, plus I can draw!
C Hey, as long as I know how to be polite in their language, and they have a convenient metro system, I’m good to go!

While on my vacation I decide what I want to do based on:
Ahow much it’s gonna cost me!  I already spent a ton of money to get out here, I don’t want the bill to stress me out to the point where this isn’t a vacation anymore!
B what I came here to do!  I just HAVE to hit up the night market and did I hear you say Mall of Asia?!  Plus I need a massage.
C I just need to buy a few souvenirs for the people back home, take a pic of some cultural stuff, and sleep in a safe place…like, a REAL safe place.  None of that creepy stuff like on Hostel.

Vacations cost, but mine cost:
Aless than $1000USD, including my airfare!  I’ll only be there a couple of days and I’m just trying to visit a bunch of cultural stuff, take some pics, eat, sleep, and come home.
B whatever it costs.  I want to be able to shop, relax on a beach or something, get a massage, and do whatever else I want to without having to worry about the price tag.  I’m trying to get my groove back!
C somewhere between $1000-2000.  I know the ticket is going to be a bit pricy, but after I buy that, as long as what I spend outside of that is less than the cost of the ticket, I’ll be happy and it’ll be worth it.  I want to see the sights, relax, and shop, but I’m not opposed to cheap housing and transit.

Your Score

If your answers are mostly (A)s:

You are curious about travel and open to learning about new cultures.  You acknowledge that not all places are the same in terms of standard of living, language, etc but you are ready to explore these differences.  You will be just as content riding on a long boat in Thailand or on the back of someone’s motorbike in Vietnam.  You are ready to face the language barrier challenges and will at least attempt to learn some basic phrases and/or carry a phrase book with you.  You are a patient and understanding traveler and will make the most of every moment of your trip.

Suggested Spots:  Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, (Phuket) Thailand, (Osaka or Kyoto) Japan, (anywhere but Taipei) Taiwan, (Andong or either of the Jeolla Provinces) S. Korea.

If your answers are mostly (B)s:

When you think about vacations, you think about the best of the best.  From 4-Star beach resorts and succulent lamb or steak platters, to endless shopping and spa treatments, you like to vacation like the stars.  When you go on vacation you can be caught with a big beach bag, straw hat, sunglasses, and a flowing sun dress with a drink with an umbrella in it by side.  Your vacation has a very relaxed itinerary and you’re not in a hurry to do anything but unwind.

Suggested Spots:  (The southwest part of) Sri Lanka, (Da Nang) Vietnam, (Boracay or Cebu) Philippines, (Hainan Island) China, (Phuket) Thailand, (Bali) Indonesia, Cambodia, (Jeju Island) S. Korea

If your answers are mostly (C)s:

Your travel options are limitless.  You could just as easily visit the Ankor Wat and the Great Wall of China as you could the Tokyo Tower or Bangkok’s downtown shopping district.  Although you enjoy a little pampering now and then on a beautiful beach and luxurious hotel, you acknowledge that these places exist in your country, too and there is no need to leave it to find this.  Your idea of international travel is a cross between traditional and modern cultural elements.  (I fall under this category and what helps me decide which place to go is which place has the cheapest ticket at the time.)

Suggested Spots: Anywhere!  Generally speaking, the bigger cities in different countries have traditional elements like old temples, shrines, and palaces as well as a variety of cultural museums.  But they also offer some of the best shopping the country has to offer, as well as must-see performances (Cantonese operas, sumo wrestling, “lady-boy” shows, etc).  You can stay anywhere from a hostel to a 5-star hotel in these cities.  If you are looking more for traditional elements, see (A) suggested spots.  If you want more beach resort this go-round, see (B).  

Otherwise, try: (Bangkok) Thailand, (Tokyo) Japan, (Manila) Philippines, (Taipei) Taiwan, Hong Kong, (Beijing) China, Singapore, (Seoul) S. Korea

*This list does not include every Asian country/sovereign state.  This focuses mainly on Southeast Asia.  It includes places that are easily accessed by foreign crowds (flights and public transit considered).

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