Travels

Travel to Asia: Where to start (3)


The question is very general as to pretend to close the subject with the name of a specific country, city or monumental complex. Everyone's experience and what they are looking for are the determining factors when considering both a trip to Asia and a weekend in a European capital. Time, of course, is not a secondary factor and the more we have, the better.

There are those who are accustomed to traveling by plane, staying in hotels of a minimum of four stars and using the full Travel Agency services to plan a tailor-made trip. This type of tourists will find that they can move smoothly through Asia, or anywhere in the world, jumping from resort to resort from Thailand to Vietnam and interacting only with hotel staff, tour guides and chauffeurs.

Although nobody is bitter about candy, and after several weeks of ceaseless travel the prospect of a few days of calm in a tropical paradise is not to call anyone a heretic, I think that is not the mentality of Viajablog readers. When one decides to leave during one, three or six months of travel in Asia, it is not usually a person who frequent the VIP lounges of the airports, the truth is said.

And, speaking of airports, when buying tickets and choosing a destination, two are the main players in that area of ​​the world: Bangkok and Singapore.

If you have about three months and have never been to Asia, the best way to lose your virginity is to land in the Thai capital and start from it a circuit that also makes you travel through Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

If there are four months that you will flee from civilized Europe, then I propose that with those four additional weeks, you take land in Singapore, cross the Malay Peninsula and enter Thailand (why not do it from one of the islands like Langkawi or Penang ?) to go in search of your capital. From there, take the tour mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Have you thrown the house out the window and it is half a year that awaits you traveling? So, my friends, you can not miss the jump to New Zealand, the country of bungee jumping, zorbing, rafting, Peter Jackson, hobbies, elves and Mordor, among other attractions. Beaches in the North, glaciers in the South and everywhere a wide range of possibilities for leisure, always in contact with Nature.

The big two

There are two countries that for their gigantic proportions would deserve a separate trip, or their inclusion only if you have considered traveling during the equivalent of a pregnancy, and they are China and India. Even traveling on night trains to make the most of the calendar, its distances are so vast that you will be surprised how fast the days go by and how little you have traveled when you look at it on the map.

In addition, in the case of India, many travelers do not support the harassment, smiling yes, of the sellers and beggars and the constant need to haggle. Feeling wallet with legs is mentally exhausting especially in the North of the Country and in cities like New Delhi. And then there is poverty and garbage everywhere, which make India a paradox with a thousand languages ​​and dialects: a developing country with a nuclear arsenal.

It may not be the most appropriate point for one to begin to know Asia and must be left for another occasion, to avoid the risk of tarnishing our experiences with the veil of prejudice, caused by a brutal cultural shock that we cannot assimilate.

The two privileged

Tired of countries with an extension like half of Europe? Do you like mountain landscapes or do you want to explore a desert? Then look for ways to accommodate three weeks in Nepal and at least two in Mongolia.

In the cradle of the highest peak in the world, you can not stop trekking through any of its multiple circuits, of varied difficulty, suitable for beginners and others for experienced mountaineers. In addition, Kathmandu is in a valley with a multitude of small picturesque villages to visit if we want to rest the sight of contemplating summits of more than eight thousand meters.

You should arrive in Mongolia via China or down from Russia, so probably only on a really long trip can you approach the land of the khanes. The capital, Ulaan Batar (which is abbreviated as U.B.) still exudes that air from the ex-Soviet republics and countries politically subjected to the red colossus, which has already disappeared from Eastern Europe. Join other travelers, rent a van with a guide and spend a week touring the Gobi, a desert made up of different, and varied, deserts. You will sleep in gers and it will always seem to you that the food tastes like ram, but it is an incredible experience to see the sunset knowing that there are only a dozen people in a hundred kilometers around, or to see sunrise with the sound of the cold morning wind like only distraction.

The fate you can't miss

Without a doubt, Burma, the current Myanmar. Like Cuba or Iran, it is a destination that demands serene reflection before visiting that dictatorship. If after weighing the pros and cons, of which I will speak in another article, you decide to go, strive to contribute as little as possible to fattening the bank accounts of the communist military that controls the country.

For about one hundred euros you can buy a round trip ticket from Bangkok to Yangon, with a Thai airline or that is not owned by the Burmese State. When you arrive in the country, you will find a selection of the best landscapes that Asia can offer, monumental complexes such as thousands of temples in Bagán, mountains with villages where they have not seen a white man for decades and, without a doubt, The friendliest people in the entire continent. It is the real country of a thousand smiles.

There, and anywhere, be flexible, be friendly and be open to new experiences.

As I never tire of repeating, "look at everything with the eyes of a child"