I don’t doodle, but I do make itineraries, hypothetical ones for trips I dream about taking one day. Southeast Asia (plus Hong Kong since it would be easier and convenient to fly directly there) is usually the trip I fantasize about the most, the trip I usually scribble an extremely large number of notes about. It’s a trip that would obviously require extensive planning and research, significant sums of money spent, and considerable time off from work. If I ever win the lottery, you can safely wager where I’ll be gallivanting for at least a month or more…
I dream about the hotels where I would stay, all usually out of my price range (the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi, the Raffles in Siem Reap). And then after I’m done dreaming, I look up hotels a bit more in my price range. However, regardless of the incredible deals (read $2 a night for lodging), Southeast Asia is a region of the world I would never go entirely bare bones cheap. I prefer my head to rest in an air conditioned room and without the company of cockroaches and other “awesome” bugs usually found in derelict accommodations.
My goal (it is yet to be determined at this point how realistic it is) is to go on my Asian odyssey in 2015. It’s a few years away, allowing for ample time to accrue frequent flier milers for a free ticket, and I’ll be 30 that year. What better way to usher in a new decade than travel to a region of the world so utterly exotic and fascinating to me? If 2015 were tomorrow, here’s how my dream itinerary would look:
Day 1-Embark on excruciatingly long flight halfway around the world.
Day 2-Arrive in Hong Kong, go to hotel and collapse into a quasi-comatose state since realistically that is the only thing your body is capable of doing after being on a flight for 14 hours and crossing over numerous timezones.
Day 3-Explore the Big Lychee, a nickname often bestowed upon Hong Kong and Shanghai. Enjoy High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel, a tangible memory of the city’s British colonial past. Go to the top of Victoria Peak and take in incredible views of the city’s skyline.
Day 4-Hong Kong Disney. It is a dream of D’s and mine visit all of the Disney parks in the world. Shanghai Disney and Japan’s two Disney parks (Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea) would be the only ones left.
Day 5-Say zài jiàn to Hong Kong and sawat dee to Ko Samui, a beautiful island in Thailand. Think tranquil paradise and I’m pretty sure Samui, as the locals refer to it, as would come to mind.
Day 6-More beach bliss in Samui
Day 7-And even more beach bliss
Day 8-Leave behind the bliss and head to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, and a city that is huge, chaotic, and ever on the go. See if Thai food is anything like American Thai food. Explore Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.
Day 9-Get an early start by first visiting the the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw and Wat Pho. If time permits, head to Damnoen Saduak, a famous floating market.
Day 10-Take a day trip to Kanchanaburi, an area most famous for the Bridge on the River Kwai and Hellfire Pass, two sites associated with the utterly dark side of World War Two’s Pacific Theater.
Day 11-Bye to Bangkok, and sabai dee to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage center, a city in north central Laos, a country most people still know very little about, let alone have visited.
Day 12-Explore more of this foreign locale. Take in a cooking class perhaps.
Day 13-Wish Laos sôhk dee der and chum riep sueh to Siem Reap, home to the famous Angkor Wat ruins in Cambodia.
Day 14-Enjoy sunrise over Angkor Wat. Explore more of this former French colonial city.
Day 15-Fly back to Hong Kong via Bangkok. Spend the night at an airport hotel reliving all of the incredible sights and experiences had the past two weeks.
Day 16-Au revoir to Asia…
Although I’m dying to visit Vietnam, that is a country I truly want to see a lot of (more than just a couple of days) so I almost think one day I would devote a trip solely to there.