One’s first trip to Asia: it’s something hard to forget. The smells, the sounds, the crowds, big cities, wild landscapes, exotic food, a sometimes frenetic pace, tropical beaches, incredible mountains – you’re in Asia! We recently got chatting about our early trips to the continent, started to feel old, or perhaps well-experienced, and thought it might be fun to recount our initial journeys here, reflect on those first impressions and contrast it to our current lives and how we see things now. In these two parts, I then Trevor will recount our first visits to Asia. Here we go…
When: March 1993 – 1yr backpacking trip, with the focus for 10 months to be Australia with a working/traveling pass.
Why?: Parents pushed me to do so – pretty cool they did
With whom?: Tyler – a girlfriend’s roommate; we traveled the first three months and then went our separate way; made friends – Jeremy sleeping in Narita airport and Dan from Smiling Albino met me for a few months.
What was the plan?: Tokyo one week, Hong Kong one week with Macau for a day; Singapore (but got drunk and got off in Kuala Lumpur (KL)); one month in New Zealand and 10 months working/traveling Australia. On way home landed in KL, Ko Phangan and Samui for a week or so?
- Good stories here; finding guy at Rainbow Bungalows as sun came up
- Bargaining for my ring
- Really never been to a tropical island before this
- Thai food and noodles
- Puking on the bus on the way back to KL
Where to first, what did you do, anything unexpected occur, and highlights of the trip?
- Overall setting the tone and interest to explore more of Asia which then came soon, as I went to visit Dan in Thailand in 1995 with some friends (Jeremy from Narita); we went to Vietnam too (share some impressions from here – kids watching us sleep, few travelers, changing stacks of cash; bikes everywhere; cyclo races). Japan followed over subsequent years (5 more times) and then living in and moving to Thailand.
Impressions that were then but not now:
- Perhaps the heat you get used to a bit.
- Still remember smell of landing at Don Muang and that wet tropical vibe.
- Beaches are ‘normal’.
- It’s weird when the weird and exotic become normal and everyday life
- This area really has so much to offer, at various budgets, styles, etc.
- I think SE Asia in particular is about as good as it gets
- Monique and jeremy are still friends
More about Scott & Trevor
- Tantalizing Travel Tales IV
- Tantalizing Travel Tales I
- Tantalizing Travel Tales II
- Tantalizing Travel Tales III
- Follow Scott on Twitter: @scottcoates73
- Trevor’s Blog
- Scott’s Blog
- Groovy Map Seoul
- National Geographic Cambodia
- National Geographic Thailand
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