If you’re planning a jaunt halfway across the globe, there are many places that you could have on your bucket list. You might find the allure of the cosmopolitan and romantic cities of Europe appealing, or perhaps you want to get off the beaten track in some unexplored region of Siberia, or maybe you want to follow in the footsteps of many a well-seasoned backpacker and head to the ancient trails of Machu Picchu. Wherever you see yourself traveling to next, you need to have an itinerary or at least a skeleton plan detailing everything you wish to see, experience, visit and taste.
Many people are taken with the Land of the Rising Sun and the cultural hot pot of Far Eastern promise in the countries that surround Japan. Western tourists have flocked to these destinations for decades wanting to immerse themselves in new and exciting cultures. With buckets of Taoist, Buddhist and Shinto history alongside relics, old buildings, nature, and scenery, the Far East has something to offer everyone. You might be a culture vulture, an adrenaline junkie, or a tour bus advocate. However you like to vacation, travel or meander through your destinations of choice, the Far East can accommodate your needs. If you’re tempted to head to the Far East, take a look at these three gems that you don’t want to miss.
While the thought of heading to a city that had its heart ripped out and its residents decimated at the end of World War II due to the unleashing of the first atomic bomb may be heartbreaking, there is much hope to be found in this Japanese city. Hiroshima was once a bustling and beautiful place, as seen at https://www.theatlantic.com, before it was destroyed. Being enveloped in a mushroom cloud in 1945 ensured Hiroshima would always be remembered for one of modern history’s most tragic events.
Fast forward seventy years, and this is a city that still learns from the lessons from the past but is ultimately forward thinking, thriving and optimistic. You can visit the Atomic Dome, a building that semi-survived the atomic bomb and is still standing today. The building will never be restored and stands as a reminder never to forget the past. The Hiroshima Museum tells the stories of survivors from the event through video and interviews. Relics from that day such as a burned and melted child’s tricycle sit encased for people to ogle as they learn about the events leading up the decision to drop the bomb. The museum feels modern and is a fitting tribute to all of those who died.
Venture into the city itself, and you find a cosmopolitan city famous for its hipster eateries, vegan bars and live music venues. If you fancy dabbling in a spot of karaoke, Hiroshima has some of the best booths in all of Japan. Amusements, nightlife and fun are the order of the day. With some swanky hotels and being a riverside and scenic city, this makes for the perfect destination for those travelers who love getting to the heart of a city and those who enjoy learning about the historical significance of a place.
While everyone raves about Bali; it’s white beaches, crystal turquoise waters and incredible laid-back vibe, lesser-known Lombok is passing tourists by. Bali has become such a famous destination and remains the perfect island idyll that it is now becoming overrun by people wanting to get their desert island kicks. Overcrowded and full of touristy ventures, Bali is no longer the tranquil haven that it once was. Instead, if you’re looking for a more relaxed, less populated place to take some stunning photographs and while away the days in your own Robinson Crusoe type destination, travel to Lombok.
Lombok is, of course, the perfect place for surfers, beach bunnies and sun worshipers. However, if there’s a nature lover in your midst, there are trails, climbs and peaks to explore. Head to Gunung Rinjani on the island, and you could spend days exploring Indonesia’s second highest volcano. The views are such madness that you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. While you might not make it to the peak of the mountain, there are plenty of woodland walks at the bottom and hot springs adorn the side if you fancy a tranquil and private dip in one of nature’s finest vistas.
Many people choose to spend an extended period of time in Indonesia and will base themselves in a central location from which to tour. Sites like https://www.rumah.com/tanah/dijual have many short-term leases that can make better financial sense than hotel hopping of you’re planning to fully immerse yourself in island life. The rents are reasonable, and you could live like a local while enjoying everything that Indonesia has to offer.
While Beijing and Shanghai have their seduction techniques and are well worth a visit, the place you want to immerse yourself in is the birth of Chinese civilization: Xi’an. With more ancient architectural splendor than you can shake a stick at and with a diverse range of temples, museums and history, you can learn about the birth of a nation.
The most famous aspect of Xi’an is the Terracotta Warriors. Many travelers each year travel to this region to marvel at the two millennia year old army of statues. Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, chose to have each and every soldier hand carved to be placed at the entrance of his tomb to guard him in the afterlife. While such a surreal story may seem more fitting at the sarcophagus’s of the pharaohs in Egypt, these Chinese marvels are a sight to behold.
As well as ancient wonders to see, Xi’an is also famous for its diverse cuisine. You aren’t limited to one style of Chinese food and can head to a spicy Sichuan eatery, venture to a Chinese barbecued duck haunt or visit a noodle stand specializing in Cantonese fayre. If you head out onto the streets of the city after dark, you must head to one of the many street food stalls adorning the main street. The dumplings, like the ones seen at https://www.travelchinaguide.com, are a delicacy.
For those who have more rural activities on their mind, you can venture outside of the city walls to experience the world’s only yellow waterfall. Hukou waterfall stretches up to fifty meters wide during the rainiest months and looks particularly spectacular during the winter when it freezes over, becomes stuck in time and the ice glistens in the cold sunlight. Surrounded by mountains on either side, the area is ripe for exploration and hiking could see you lose yourself for three or four days wandering from natural wonder to natural wonder.
The Far East doesn’t simply consist of Japan, Indonesia and China. You may want to visit the sites of Vietnam, the beaches and islands of Thailand, the Buddhist temples of Myanmar or the experience the nomadic way of life in Mongolia. Each of these countries also holds much for the backpacker to enjoy and explore. The Far East, although often lumped together as a group of countries, is diverse and full of different cultural experiences, cuisines, geographical wonders and historical features. Take some time out and travel for an extended period of time to really get to the core of the region and allow the Far East to welcome you into its heart.
* This is a collaborative post