If you only had two weeks of vacation, and wanted to use them to visit Asia for the first time, where should you go? How should you spend your time?
This was a question I faced in 2013, when I was organizing a two week trip for – and with – my parents.
Our idea was to have a mix of food, cultures, landscapes and level of development. I wanted to maximize what we saw (because it might be our only chance to go together), but also have enough time to kick back a little and enjoy each location.
The schedule we hit upon offers plenty of rest time to recover from jetlag on both ends of the trip. And 12 days gives you enough time to see three very different countries and cultures.
If you are planning on visiting the region, and have limited time, I hope you find the following useful – or, at least, a starting point!
- Hong Kong. 3 days. Why? Spectacular cityscape. Developed, futuristic city. Great food and shopping.
- Hanoi, Vietnam. 4 days. Why? Food, food, food. Frenetic and developing city. History everywhere.
- Koh Samui, Thailand. 4 days. Picture postcard beaches. Opportunities for pampering. Snorkeling, boating, relaxing by the infinity pool.
- Bangkok, Thailand. 1 day. Why? Street food, shopping, a modern Asian city that compliments Hong Kong and Hanoi’s different levels of development. A fabulously colorful culture and street life.
In retrospect, I would have cut one day off of HK and added it to Bangkok at the end.
Here’s some pics from the trip!
Days 1 to 3 – Hong Kong
Days 4 through 7 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Days 8 through 11 – Koh Samui, Thailand
Final Day – Bangkok
So how did it go? I consider this trip to be one of my greatest life accomplishments. Great memories, no great disasters. Family time made extra special by sharing places I’ve grown to love with those closest to me.
I’m going to shut my laptop now and get on a one way flight to Bangkok. Figured it would be a fitting time to post these photos which have been uploaded to, but unpublished on, my blog for a few years now.
Would love to hear your insights if you’ve ever done a similar trip. What would you do differently?