Wondering where we would travel in Asia if we had free time to explore? On this episode of Talk Travel Asia podcast we talk about our Dream Travel Destinations – Volume 3! Back in December 2014 we shared some of the places in Asia we’d like to visit on ‘Dream Travel Destinations 1’ and then in June 2016 we followed up with ‘Dream Travel Destinations 2’. Well, we, just like you, are still dreaming of travel and the next spots we want to hit. So you guessed it, on this episode we’re going to share some spots we’re hoping to make it to soon.
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Before we get to a list of our new Dream Destinations, let’s go through our list of spots from the first two episodes and see if we’ve made it to any of these yet:
Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) and Wat Phu, Laos – In between 2014 and 2016, Trevor made it to Wat Phu, which is the temple to the north of the islands and the major Khmer monument in Laos. It was on his pre-Angkorian Cambodian temples bucket list. Scott made it here in June 2018 and loved it. We talked a fair bit about it on Ep. 85: 4,000 Islands and Vat Phou, Laos.
Virachey National Park, Ratanakiri, Cambodia – Scott hasn’t been to that corner of Cambodia yet but is very keen. I hear you have to go quite far into the park now though as they’ve logged some of it. Trevor has been back up to that part of Cambodia twice in the past two years and explored some areas he hadn’t been to before but still not all the way up into the park. I love this part of Cambodia.
Preah Khan – Kompong Svay, Cambodia – We finally made it here together in September 2018. Epic trip. Teaser: This is an upcoming episode!
Siargao and Palawan, Philippines – Scott: not yet! Never been to the Philippines. Trevor: I had some friends go last year and they said the surf is crowded and there is no craft beer, soo….
Lombok, Indonesia – Scott made it, enjoyed it, but it was one of the first and only times he stayed in the hotel and didn’t really explore at all. No Rinjani yet! Trevor: I was supposed to go in April for Khmer New year this year but it was cancelled by COVID. I plan to reschedule to September this year. Surf, Dive Party 2020. I had already made the playlist so I’m still looking forward to it. Doing Lombok and returning to Gili Trawangan again!
Putao, Myanmar – Scott: Nope – still high on the bucket list. This one takes weeks and some serious money. Trevor: Still haven’t been back to Myanmar since 2001
Surin Islands, Thailand – Trevor: I still want to do the Mokken Experience with Bodhi and Andaman Discoveries from episode 26. Scott: Made it to nearby Koh Phayam this past year and planning to go to Koh Phra Thong soon…
Yunnan, China – Scott: Not yet, but our episode with Jeff Fuchs, talking about the ancient tea horse trail has further peaked our interest. Trevor: I did a bit of Yunnan in 2010. It was awesome. A lot more there I would love to return and explore.
So that was Dream Travel Destinations 1. In Dream Travel Destinations 2 we said we wanted to go to these other places:
Scott: Ladakh, India and Trevor: Chennai, India:
Trevor: Funny that we both picked India and we recently recorded our first episode about India with our old friend Tom Vater. I still have yet to go to India but as we discussed with Tom, it’s a quick and cheap flight from Bangkok to India on Thai Air Asia. It’ll happen before Dream Travel Destinations 4 gets recorded.
Scott: I’d never thought about going to Kolkata but Tom got me interested. And his suggestion of the 18-20 hour train ride to Darjeeling has me quite interested.
Scott: Hokkaido, Japan and Trevor Kyoto, Japan.
Scott: Haven’t made it to Hokkaido yet but did go mountain biking at a ski resort in Nagano prefecture in June 2019 which was a pretty great experience and had a great day of craft beer bars and an art gallery in Matsumoto. So getting closer. Maybe 2021…
Trevor: We plan to have an episode about skiing and snowboarding in Japan here soon. Since we recorded Dream Travel Destinations 2, I’ve heard too many stories about the mountains of northern Japan not to do this trip. As for Kyoto, it’s going to have to wait. I miss Japan though. I need an excuse to go back.
Scott: Dali, China: Trevor: yeah, this is on the Yunnan list from above. As mentioned, there are a lot of places in Yunnan that would be great to visit. In fact there are many places in China I’d love to see:
Scott: Iran – we did do an episode about this one with John and Kathleen. This one might be harder to do now…My father and I did a big trip in 2019 and were considering Iran for quite a while but went to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan instead. But Iran is still very high on my list.
Trevor: Petra, Jordan: This, along with Egypt (which is not in Asia) might be high on my list for a post-COVID world. I feel like we should go to places that are normally really crowded, like the Angkor Temples here in Cambodia before the crowds return. Obviously after it’s safe to go, but Petra would be great to have all to oneself.
Scott: Okinawa – Like you Trevor, I love Hawaii and this seems like the Hawaii of Japan. And Peach Aviation has direct flights from Bangkok for about $400/return. I don’t know much about it but heard it’s not that big, tropical, great food (it’s Japan) and then you can go to islands like Kerama National Park, which has spectacular looking water and snorkeling. I’m kind of interested in going to spots I don’t know a whole lot about and then don’t read up too much or plan too much before going, which I tend to do, so it’s a bit more of a surprise.
Trevor: Andaman Islands. Tom Vater mentioned these on Episode 102: Kolkata India with Tom Vater. Some call them “the poor man’s Maldives”. Speaking of which, I recently blew a chance for a trip to Maldives. But the Andaman’s look pretty cool. I know next to nothing about them except their location and the hunter gatherer tribes that still live on the neighboring nicobar islands. They are quite remote and therefore must be stunning.
Trevor: I know you’ve been there, but I really want to go to Sri Lanka. It’s a huge island so there must be tons of sites. My friend Ruben was telling me about this amazing hike, you’ve told me about some great beaches where you can surf (not great surf but surf) and all the Sri Lankan people I’ve met are great. The food is probably really good, there is a fascinating Buddhist history. I just think it would be a great place to visit. And easy to get to: Air Asia again.
Scott: Kolkata and Darjeeling, India – Tom’s episode got me interested in this and India is not high on my list at all. But I see this as a week-long trip. A couple days in Kolkata, then the best possible train cabin to Darjeeling for a couple nights and back. Just a quick, total escape from where I live now. I enjoyed the descriptions he gave of the colonial buildings, the best in Asia he said. And I love the mountains and would like to get up there and try some tea!
Trevor: I want to go somewhere else in Indo I’ve never been. Sulawesi looks amazing. And it’s a massive island. Check out our google map on the show notes. Huge. A friend went there a year or so ago and his photos looked amazing. One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met was from Sulawesi. My favorite coffee beans, Toraja, come from Sulawesi, and the diving there must be epic. Not sure about the surfing though, so I’ll also consider going somewhere that faces south swells like Sumba. I know nothing about it except that it must have amazing surf with no people in the water.
Scott: our friend Ruben went there in 2019 and his stories and photos really piqued my interest.
Scott: Silk Road: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – This was on the short-list for my 2019 trip with my Dad. We did quite a bit of research, got quotes and were very close to going. Experiencing spots like Tashkent, Samarkland, Bukhara, Ashgabat, Merv, seem so different from anything else I’ve seen and experienced. I’d like to do it – maybe with my wife using mostly trains. We ultimately didn’t go due to the very long distances and lack of alcohol – hey – we enjoy some drinks while on holiday! I also read an interesting book last year, The Great Game, about how the British and Russians were jockeying for control of this region in the late 1800s and it really painted some fascinating scenes.
Trevor: Turkey. Why not. It’s the most western Asian country. I also have friends living there. And it seems really fascinating: the culture, the history, the food. A friend recently went hot air ballooning and visited hot springs in the snow. It looked amazing. Just a place that seems very different from most other places in Asia.
Scott: Turkey is high on my list and my dream trip is Bangkok to Istanbul overland using land transport.
Scott: Mrauk U, Myanmar – Mrauk U is an archaeologically important town in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. It is also the capital of Mrauk-U Township, a sub region of the Mrauk-U District. From 1430 until 1785, it was the capital of the Mrauk U Kingdom, the most important and powerful Rakhine kingdom. I think you have to fly into Sittwe then take a government boat 6-hours up river. Just seems far-flung, and quite interesting.
Trevor: When we were kicking around ideas for new episodes for this year i tried to think about places we’d never been and thought would be interesting topics. And i thought we should do an episode on Taiwan. And then I thought, why Taiwan? And that’s the episode. Why go to Taiwan. I honestly don’t know much about it although I’ve been there at least a dozen times. To the airport! And you can learn a lot at the airport. The last few times they had displays about all the different provinces with photos and information about National Parks. It’s also a big island and there must be some really cool places to see. Plus everyone I’ve ever met from Taiwan is really cool. They also have very beautiful women. 555 Ok you can tell I’ve been single too long. But I have friends that live there and I should go and visit them and explore Taiwan. I imagine it must be quite easy to do so.
Scott: Flores, Indonesia – The pictures of the crystal clear ocean, small mountains coming up from the sea and the colors really have me excited. While in the area you have to visit Komodo National Park, which I’m not that excited about but will do. Live-aboard scuba is also the thing. Will do it – not super pumped – but overall the area, scenery and diversity has me intrigued. But getting there takes at least two flights from Bangkok so it’s not super easy.
You can sponsor anywhere from $1/month upwards. These funds will help us cover costs of keeping the show going. Visit PATREON TO DONATE TO THE SHOW or the link from the left-side of our website, or search Talk Travel Asia Patreon. Thanks in advance for supporting the cost and helping to keep the travel talk happening. There are several sponsorship levels: $1 – Vagabond (thanks for helping to keep it going); $2 – Day Dreamer (much love); $25The Big Kahuna (we’ll give you a shout-out and send you a postcard from Asia); $100 You Da Woman – Man!! (talk about you on the show and send you something from Asia)
- Check out a Google Map of this Episode
- Dream Travel Destinations 1
- Dream Travel Destinations 2
- Ep. 85: 4,000 Islands and Vat Phou, Laos.
- Ep. 37: Trekking Asia’s Tea Trails with Jeff Fuchs
- Ep. 102: Kolkata India with Tom Vater
To learn more about Scott & Trevor:
- Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottcoates73
- Trevor’s Blog
- Scott’s Blog
- Groovy Map Seoul
- National Geographic Cambodia
- National Geographic Thailand
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Talk Travel Asia is brought to you by Trevor Ranges and Scott Coates, every two weeks(ish) from wherever in the Asia they happen to be. Alternating episodes feature a guest or the two hosts, cultivating travel insight through intelligent conversation. If you enjoyed the show, please donate, even just a dollar a month: that’s only .50c per episode(ish).
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