My one year of teaching English in Japan had come to an end? Where next? The most logical choice for convenience was to backpack through Asia. I actually had a 3 Year Work Visa in Japan but Asia was calling me to explore and wanderlust. I had done a lot of “Fast Travel” in the past (20+ countries in 4 months and 6 countries in 6 weeks) so this time, I chose to do more “Slow Travel” covering just a few countries at a much slower pace (2 months in China, 2 months in Thailand, 6 months In India, etc).
From Shimonoseki, Japan, I took a ferry to Busan, Korea, spent a few weeks exploring Korea, and then boarded another ferry from Seoul to Tianjin, China. I spent both Christmas and New Years in China visiting over 15 states including Tibet. From Lhasa, Tibet we went overland to Kathmandu, Nepal stopped by the famous Mount Everest Base Camp. From Kathmandu, I spent a few weeks exploring the main tourist areas of Nepal and then I went overland to India.
India was one of my “Must Do” destinations. Partly because of my Ethnic Origins, but also because it is a country which such diversity and uniqueness. I quickly used up my 6 month Tourist Visa exploring nearly every state in India (with the exception of the North-East). My family members primarily are in Nagpur, Mangalore, and Mumbai so I invested a lot of time in this region. Of course, I was able to see the infamous Taj Mahal, the River Ganges in Varanasi, the gorgeous beaches of Goa, and much more.
From India, I went to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and then onto South East Asia covering Myanmar (also known as Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and East Timor. My highlights were definitely the less touristy areas such as Laos and Burma. I also absolutely loved the Philippines visiting the 3 major areas of Mindanao, Visaysas, and Luzon. Maybe, that’s why, when I got back to Vancouver, I ended up marrying my beautiful wife who was born and raised in the Philippines.
After Asia, I made my way to Australia where I spent 3 years doing 1 year Working Holiday Visa and 2 years studying at Hillsong Leadership College.
Here’s the list of all the Asian countries I visited:
2. Korea (both South and North – at the DMZ)
3. China (including Hong Kong and Macau)
6. Sri Lanka
8. Myanmar (Burma)
17. East Timor