As a huge travel junkie, I am always looking forward my next destination. A while ago, I had written about my bucket list(s) for Europe, which you can check out here and here. However, having essentially exhausted the places that I had desired to visit on those lists, I am now taking it upon myself to move on to another part of the world…Asia!
It’s interesting because, although I am of Asian descent and have visited my homeland (Taiwan) countless of times while growing up, I haven’t actually visited much of the rest of Asia. Besides Taiwan, the only other countries I’ve been to were China and, most recent, Japan.
With that said, there’s so much that I need to visit in Asia, and have compiled a list of my top few places that I would like to go to, hopefully sometime in the future. Call it a long shot, but one can dream! Without further ado, here’s the bucket list!
1. Cambodia. Before hearing about and seeing the incredibly gorgeous photos of the Angkor Wat (pictured above), I knew very little about Cambodia, except that it was once under a heavily-oppressive Communist regime (led by the Khmer Rouges) that contributed to the Cambodian genocide in the mid to late 1970’s. In other words, not-so-good stuff…but after seeing photos online of its amazing-looking temples (also including the Bayon and those in Angkor Thom), I was hooked! If I were to ever visit Cambodia, I’d do so for the architecture!
2. Hong Kong. Technically not part of China, this island-peninsula is one of the most densely-populated urban areas in the world. I’d go into the historical and political reasons as to why Hong Kong doesn’t consider itself part of the rest of the country, but they’re way too complicated, so I leave that up to you to look up.
My parents had actually visited Hong Kong last year, and funny enough told me that the locals didn’t really like speaking Mandarin to them and actually preferred speaking English, considering that my parents didn’t know Cantonese. That shows just how fervent they wanted to distinguish themselves from the mainland, by speaking almost exclusively Cantonese and English (the latter which they picked up from having been a British colony for 100 years).
Any case, the reason why Hong Kong interests me is because, well, I had already been to many other major cities in China (Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai), but not there yet! Plus, it’s got a very different culture compared to the rest of the mainland, from the culture to the food (dim sum, represent!) to the dialect, which for me is incomprehensible (as a Mandarin speaker).
3. India. Of course, I had to put a photo of the Taj Mahal here, since it’s one of the top places that I want to go visit if I decide to go to India! I know, though, there’s so much more to the country than just Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located. Indeed, I would like to visit places like Jaipur, Goa, Kashmir, New Delhi, Mumbai and, my most recent discovery, Mysore. What can I say? A girl can only dream!
4. Indonesia. It seems like most of the photos I see of Indonesia are taken from Bali and, while it seems like the epitome of paradise, I know that it’s not the only place worth visiting in the country. I suppose checking out Jakarta, the capital, would be nice, but otherwise, I’m stuck. If any of you Indonesians out there know any places to go while in the country, I’m open to suggestions!
5. Jiuzhaigou, China. Along with Hong Kong, Jiuzhaigou would be another place that would impel me to return to China, considering that beforehand I didn’t really feel like going back after having seen the main touristy areas as a teenager. Known as the “Nine Village Valley,” this area is a national park in the Sichuan province, home to lush waterfalls, incredible aquamarine-colored lakes, and snow-capped mountains. It’s also located at altitudes above 2000 to 4500 meters, so I’ve been told that it’s best to take some altitude sickness pills for safety when hiking there.
Frankly, I hadn’t even heard of this place before until my aunt, uncle, and cousin went there last year (or was it the year before?), and returned with nothing but positive memories from there. I love my architecture, but I’m also a huge sucker for scenic landscapes of rivers, mountains, and everything in between. If I decide on going to Hong Kong (#2), I might as well hop over to Jiuzhaigou while I’m there!
…oof! Well, this list took a lot more effort than I’d thought to write, even with only five destinations! I do have plenty more places that I would like to visit in Asia, and will definitely have to write a Part Two pretty soon!
Where do you want to visit in Asia, or the world? Let me know!
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic