Kuching

When the Coronavirus stops the world in its tracks, it sends people to feel a little blue while craving to watch their favourite sports team, have a beer in a pub or get on a plane and travel to your next destination.

The stay at home message is vital; of course, we need to save lives.

However, it does not stop us to reminisce about favourite adventures and think of the fondest travel memories over the years.

You get where I am going with, discussing my fondest travel memories, since right now, travel is out of the question as we bide our time and wait for the next adventures to creep back into our lives once again.

 

bako day trip

A day at Bako, where else would you rather be during one of the fondest travel memories in Borneo.

 

 

My fondest travel memories before the big virus hit the world

Since a majority of my adventures have been in the continent of Asia, it only makes sense the fondest travel memories belong in the vast continent. All nine to be exact.

Starting from nine amid the winter snow and ending with a trekking adventure, let’s get into a few of my favourite adventures.

 

9. The Winter Snow melts the heart in Muju-Gun of South Korea

Snow has been I rarity in my life, especially living in the state of Western Australia, a mainly sunshine state that I’m so spoilt to call it home.

Therefore, when I ventured to South Korea in December 2014, the mountains were surely waiting, and it was pure bliss.

In the central part of South Korea, a few hours from Seoul sits a small town called Muju-Gun, famous in its winter months due to the spectacular mountains of the Deogyusan National Park.

I will never forget the memories, the picturesque mountain views which were so white, daily hikes in the thickened snow, making a snowman with the kids and wandering though the Deogyusan Resort to saviour the vibrancy of a famous holiday location with busy ski slopes.

 

Perfect Paradise

Fun in the snow at Muju-gun in South Korea.

 

 

8. The Love island of Koh Samui in Thailand provides the perfect anniversary destination

When you think of the ideal location for a wedding anniversary, Koh Samui is an ideal section for a romantic destination.

Thanks to grandma, the kids were left behind, as the wife and I celebrated ten years of marriage in Thailand, staying at the stunning Mai Samui Resort.

The walks on the beach, the magnificent Ang Thing National Park, daily cocktails by the swimming pool, a romantic dinner on the sands with sunset and throw in a few private intimate moments. Koh Samui in Thailand was a week to remember.

How during a pandemic, would you love to get that week back in your life (without the kids)?

 

sun smart

Who wouldn’t be happy with a view like this?

 

7. A crazy few hours in Shenzhen, China to check out a big building

The story goes!

My oldest son is addicted to buildings of the world, so much so he wishes to be an architect. That meant while Holidaying in Hong Kong, a short Visa into mainland China was essential, with the world’s third-biggest building agonisingly in reach.  

The Ping An Financial Centre is the famous building in Shenzhen China, and once we finally got a hold of our Visas, which took forever, we made our way onto the crazy subway system in search for a building.

Without a pre-purchased sim card and WIFI hard to come by, the only way to find the building was to be above ground and look skywards for the unique structure. Once we got our radar onto the Ping An, we walked in its general direction, discovering a little more of Shenzhen along the way.

The building, at the time, was entirely new, with many shops in the mall not open, yet, the Sky Deck at the very top was well and truly open for business, as we made our way to the very top of the Ping AM Financial Centre to check out the sights of Shenzhen, through the smog.

 

Ping An Financial centre

Ping An Financial Centre in Shenzhen.

 

 

6. Dalat, A garden city of Vietnam with stunning waterfalls

What is a Southeast Asian piece without mentioning the delightful, yet the chaotic country of Vietnam?

Dalat, in the Central Southern Highlands, was an incredible destination, that offered great food, busy streets, gorgeous lakes and streaming waterfalls in several locations.

Not only that, but Dalat is also the garden city of Vietnam, with plenty of fascinating places to visit for spectacular gardens views with booming flowers, and undoubtedly the Dalat Garden Centre will demand your attention.

A day trip away from the chaos of the city streets is compulsory for all tourists, and it’s no different for our family getaway to the city, as we ventured far and wide with a paid driver, visited coffee plantations and the majestic Elephant Waterfalls.

 

Da Lat, Vietnam

Elephant Waterfalls in Da Lat, Vietnam.

 

 

5 The Cat city of Kuching in Sarawak made for the ideal solo adventure

The Sarawak state of Borneo, Malaysia was one of the last destinations visited before the virus hit, and I am pleased to say that the Cat city of Kuching, left a positive effect in many ways.

A solo trip, Kuching was much admired for its laidback city streets where you could easily browse through markets, enjoy a beer overlooking the Sarawak River and visit many astonishing historic sites.

It is once I got out of the city limits where the region indeed showed its beautiful colours with the likes of Bako National Park, a picturesque hit with many excellent treks and gorgeous coastline views. It was one of the National Parks within easy distance to the city, along with Sarawak Cultural Park that showcased the city’s culture from long ago.  

 

 

What to do in Kuching

What to do in Kuching varies from a river cruise to a visit to a National Park.

 

 

4. Stepping into the DMZ of North and South Korea

There is always an eery feeling when you are about to enter into the Demilitarized Zone of Korea and cross the border into North Korea, even if it is within the rooms of the Blue House.

Please make no mistake about it, when holidaying in Seoul of South Korea, a DMZ day tour is a compulsory trip. 

There’s nothing like learning about the history of Korea, looking through the binoculars into the North, and as mentioned, stepping into the Blue Houses of the DMZ.  

For my wife and I, the whole day was a real opener. However, the best experience was talking to a North Korean Defector and discovering her struggles to leave her husband behind to defect through China with her daughter and setting up a new life in South Korea.

 

dmz tour

Inside the blue building of the DMZ.

 

 

3. The Cultural city of Kyoto in Japan is a favourite city

It’s the best city I have ever visited during my adventure in Asia, Kyoto, in Japan.

You see, I love the culture, food and historic structures and Kyoto delivers in spades when it comes to those specifics, not to forget the breathtaking nature on the outskirts of the city, especially Arashiyama.

It’s no surprise that Kyoto is a favourite for many tourists who venture to Japan. The fantastic landmarks to visit never ends and the around the city, especially when you think of iconic places which include, the Bamboo grove of Arashiyama, the Fushimi Inari Shrine, The magnificent Kinkaju Temple and the iconic Nijo Castle.

They are only a few of the temples that come to mind when I think of my four days in Kyoto, I wish it had been more, but I’m sure I will return to this incredible city.

 

The streets of Kyoto City

The streets of Kyoto City.

 

 

2. Volunteering in Vientiane, Laos is an adventure never to forget

To volunteer was an adventure of a different type and most satisfying, which was giving back to travel and assist those who need help.

Volunteering abroad was to always a goal of mine, and I achieved this when I ventured to Laos in 2017 to teach English in the capital Vientiane to school kids and Monks.

Please make no mistake about it; volunteering programs are not cheap. Still, money isn’t everything when it comes to experiencing something incredible and lend to assist those who need help in a poverty situation.

The most cherished memory was meeting other volunteers around the world and bonding together for a particular purpose. Most of the volunteers were young adults, and it was incredible to see these young people give up their time and hard-earned money to experience an adventure which is quite real and satisfying.

On the country Laos itself and the city of Vientiane, it was a unique destination. A Southeast Asian Country which lacks chaos on the streets and laidback to explore the city streets, enjoy a cold beer and eat delicious local cuisines. The city landmarks were quite distinctive too.

 

Teaching monks in Laos

Teaching Monks in Laos.

 

 

1. The Himalayan Mountains come alive in Nepal

The number one adventure is no surprise at all. Think about it, how amazing it is to have the opportunity to stare at the Himalayan Mountains in the flesh and the mountains follow you for the three-day journey. Unbelievable can hardly describe the trip.

During my trip to Nepal in March of 2019, I visited Kathmandu city and took part in a short three-day hike on the edge valley, the Chisapani to Nagarkot Trek.

With a guide who had a wealth of Knowledge, the trip was unforgettable. From pushing through the pain barrier on the treacherous mountains to dealing with the difficulty of breathing at high altitude, never in my life had I experienced a trip where it was hard work, however high rewarding.

The Himalayan Mountains will never leave me for as long as I live. Whether it’s through the memory of the occasion or the thousands of pictures I took, I can gladly say that the Himalayan Mountains isn’t a scenic beauty that I have seen in travel books, but through my own eyes.

Happy travels to you and hopefully the world will open again real soon, so new adventures and memories can be created.

 

Nepal Mountain

The sunrise from Chisapani and the Himalayan Mountains.

 

 

 

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