In April 2014 I was lucky enough to embark on a holiday of a lifetime. Travelling from London to Singapore, via Dubai, and then further on to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. All these were destinations that for many years I had wanted to visit, particularly Japan. With the images and stories that you hear about these places it is hard not to want to experience it all for yourself.
Landing in Singapore and disembarking the plane to blazing hot sunshine and humidity of 90% was an experience in itself. With temperatures at 40 degrees it was almost impossible to keep cool, resulting in attempting to seek air conditioning at every possible opportunity!
But you don’t travel to the Far East without expecting the temperatures to be a little hotter than what we are used to in the UK, and truly the sunshine reflecting off the sea as you lay upon the sand is what travelling to these destinations is all about.
Singapore is a wonderful place; built up compared to other places across the water like Vietnam. It is fairly modern, with shopping centres and plush hotels. But it still retains its charm, character and culture.
Some of the most delicious food I have eaten was in Singapore and it was cheap too. Making it all the better! Bento boxes were a daily staple; for breakfast, lunch or dinner and every combination tried was as delicious as the last.
Of course, Singapore wasn’t my final destination and so I waved good bye and moved on to Vietnam.
This country truly stole my heart. The beauty of the place and the people within it were amazing, and the fact the place is relatively untouched resonated too. I travelled from the main cities such as Ho Chi Min to smaller villages, a vivid comparison of the money and poverty within the country.
Of course if you have ever seen an image of Vietnam is would have undoubtedly featured mopeds of some sort. These things were absolutely incredible, often carrying a family of 4 or a fridge freezer. I am not quite sure what the traffic laws are there but they doesn’t seem to be any limitations of what one can carry on their Vespa.
Hong Kong too was a beautiful place, offering boat journeys across the river for just 20p. The juxtaposition of the high rise, commercial buildings and the ancient monestry was not lost on me; this may be a modern and cosmopolitan city now but it retains its values and culture to the core.
Travelling to Japan towards the end of the trip was a highlight, particularly as it was a destination I have always wanted to visit. The craziness of Japan and the odd things that they stock in stores, plus the outlets like cuddle cafes, were a little different but they make the city what it is.
I went to the top of the Tokyo Sky Tree, ears popping on the way up, and couldn’t believe the extraordinary view across the city. You really cannot beat a view from that high – it is spectacular.
I really cannot wait to return to the Orient. The beauty of these destinations and the madness of Japan and all it entails was incredible, I really couldn’t recommend visiting enough. But enough, let me leave you with some photos from my travels…