An Outlook on the upcoming year „All Across Asia”
Slowly but surely, the year 2017 is coming to an end. This is typically the time of the year, when I start thinking about my travel plans for the following year. Fittingly, German travel blogger Julie from “Julie-en-voyage” called for a blog parade on the topic “My travel plans for 2018”. Now therefore, I have written down my thoughts to give you a foretaste of what is to come on “All Across Asia” in 2018.
2018 will most probably be my last full year in Asia, which also means that I need to think long and hard about which bucket list destinations I still want to visit within the remaining period I’ve got. Hence why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my travel plans for 2018 focus purely on Asian destinations 😉
Travel Plans for 2018: Winter 2018
Macao is only a good one-hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong. Nevertheless, I haven’t made it there yet. In the knowledge that I could always go there easily for a daytrip on a weekend, I’ve so far rather focused on Hong Kong itself or on destinations more far away when I had a long weekend to spend. This needs to be changed, Macao is definitely on my list for the beginning of 2018 (Jan/Feb).
However, a few weekends in that period are already planned for. The second weekend in February, for instance, will see us visiting Singapore. We fulfilled ourselves one of our dreams and booked a night in the Marina Bay Sands hotel – including usage of its legendary infinity pool at the rooftop, overlooking the Marina Bay area.
A weekend later, much of the eastern hemisphere will be celebrating Lunar New Year, which provides us with another good chance to spend a four-day holiday somewhere in Asia, using “Chinese New Year” public holidays. It is not finally fixed yet, but we currently target the Philippines, as we are keen on seeing the rice terrace panorama of Banaue, Sagada and Baguio in Northern Luzon.
Moreover, I would be very delighted if there was a chance to visit Penang, the “Pearl of the Orient” in Malaysia, for another weekend. We fell in love with this beautiful gem during a South East Asia Cruise last spring. Street Food and Street Art were only two of the highlights, for which I would always go back to Georgetown. Yet, this is not yet fixed and depends a little bit on my workload and flight availability. But one thing is for sure: if a weekend trip to Penang can be arranged reasonably, I’m game!
Travel Plans for 2018: Spring
The first longer trip in the planning for 2018 is targeted for April. We intend to go to the Golden Triangle (i. e. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, etc.) in Northern Thailand first, before we cross the land border over to Laos. There, we will make our way southward through jungle, along the Mekong River, stop for some tubing fun around Luang Prabang and eventually end up in the capital of Vientiane. We plan to allow two and a half weeks for this trip over Easter holidays, which means that I will even skip cherry blossom in Japan for the first time in my three years in Asia for this!
Cherry blossom in Japan – In 2018 without me?
But I’m sure that Laos won’t disappoint us. Moreover, I urgently want to see it now, as a) I have never been there before and b) I expect it to change quite rapidly within the upcoming five to ten years. With the help of Chinese investors, currently a railway linking Kunming in Southwest China with Bangkok in Thailand is being built. This railway will lead through the territory of Laos in a North-South direction and will definitely alter the look of the country. So, 2018 might be one of the last chances to explore the “old Laos” – that one of the backpackers, dropouts and adventurers.
Luckily enough, there are a few more public holidays in Hong Kong in May, allowing easily for long weekends. For example, Labour Day on May 1 falls on a Tuesday and could be used for a four-day getaway by taking one day off. The same applies to May 22, when Hong Kong celebrates the “Birthday of the Buddha” – oh, I love Buddhism! I haven’t made any concrete plans for those days, however, I could well imagine a trip to Japan in spring.
Travel Plans for 2018: Summer
Entering into Summer, public holiday season slowly comes to an end, but Dragon Boat Festival will pose one last chance to spend a long weekend somewhere. Ideas for this period are, for instance, Shanghai or once again Seoul, after we have come to like this city very much during this year’s trip to this lovely city.
…or Seoul? Or even both??
The first weeks of July are blocked for our next year’s summer vacation. As to our current planning, we will be drawn to China once again. One highlight which we haven’t seen so far in this incredibly multifaceted country is Yunnan province in southwestern China. Starting from Kunming, we intend to make our way up into the mountains via Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La and the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. Here, we will get to know the part of Tibet which today belongs to Yunnan province. This will be interesting to see after we had the pleasure to experience Tibet from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp this summer.
Travel Plans for 2018: Autumn
September brings the Mid-Autumn-Festival and another chance for a four-day long weekend by only taking one day off work. Two weeks later, there will be another public holiday in Hong Kong falling on a Wednesday. By taking two days off, this will allow for a five-day getaway. Nothing fixed yet, but one thing that’s also still on top of our list is a trip to Hanoi with a consequent trip to Ha Long Bay. I suppose that the October option will be the better choice for this trip, as chances are higher that rainy season will already have come to an end and temperatures as well as humidity are quite pleasant. In any case, this year I have made very positive experience with Northern Vietnam at this time of the year.
Furthermore, we would really love to see the Chinese National Park of Jiuzhaigou in northern Sichuan. The variety of colours around Mid-Autumn Festival would be very attractive, however, one must expect a lot of Chinese tourists around that time, too. In addition to that, we need to wait and see whether the region is able to recover from this summer’s devastating earthquakes at all.
I hope to climb another Asian summit in 2018 – here are pictures of this year’s trip up to Mount Fuji
If not, there will be other alternative ideas, I’m sure, as our bucket list is long enough for an additional five years in Asia… For instance, I would also love to climb Mount Kinabalu on Borneo after this year’s successful ascent of Mount Fuji in Japan. Or to ride a bike down the east coast of Taiwan for a few days, along steep and rugged cliffs and beautiful nature. Or to undertake a trip to the Mongolian steppe. Or, or, or…
Travel Plans for 2018: Winter 2018/19
In 2018, we will kind of save the best for last: over Christmas and the New Year holidays, we will spend three weeks in New Zealand. Luckily, we will only have to take three days off in 2018 for that, as Christmas is also a national holiday in Hong Kong. “As we are in the region now“, we thought at first, “we have to visit New Zealand in any case!” Meanwhile, we have realized that it’s not quite around the corner, but still a twelve-hour flight away. Anyway, it’s closer than travelling from Germany. And a more than worthy end to our Asia adventure, I’m sure.
Wow! Writing down my travel planning for 2018 as a contribution to the blog parade initiated by “Julie en voyage” has made me realize once again, how many cool plans there are on our list for the upcoming twelve months. This whets my appetite for 2018 even more. I will happily tell you about all these adventures on “All Across Asia” and hope that you will swear fidelity to my page in 2018 as well 😉
Have you thought about your travel plans for 2018 yet? What’s on your list? Will you perhaps be travelling to Asia? Or have you already visited some of the places that are on my list for next year and can give me some recommendations? I’d also be thankful for any advice on how to decide for those cases where I’m still in two minds about where to go. Thank you!