Asia: 22 days – 3 countries

In an effort to keep my 2015 promise to myself to Shop Less, and Travel More … I’ve taken the bulk of March off work to explore South-East Asia.

In my last post, I reviewed the 5 essential things to know before you go ….the importance of planning BEFORE a big trip.  I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to book all my flights, determine a budget for the overall trip, topped up my travel insurance, and have made an appointment for all necessary vaccinations with a travel clinic for early next week (giving me plenty of time to begin any early doses of meds, if required).  I’m feeling pretty accomplished friends. 🙂

Now, the big question remains … WHERE the heck am I going?

The Huffington Post recently put out an article entitled: The Top 50 Cities To See In Your Lifetime.  I’m sad to report that I’ve only been to 8 out of these 50 cities so far. Buuuuuut…come March 2015, I’ll be able to check off #26 from this list!

DESTINATION #1:  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur

This is the capital and most populous city in Malaysia. The main religion there is Islam, with significant Buddhist, Hindu and Christian minorities.  With tropical super-summer-heat weather from March through to July.  I’ve gotta keep both of these elements in mind when coming up with outfit choices.

Sadly, there won’t be any major festivals being celebrated while I’m there.  This is the first destination of this trip as I’m meeting a gf of mine who currently lives there.  Once I’ve recovered from the 29-hour flight there (yup…29-hours of solo travel – two stopovers – ew!  That’s what you get when you book big travel on points friends.)  After taking a few days to adjust to the time difference, she and I will head off together to ………….

DESTINATION #2: Boracay, Philippines

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Boracay Island

This is a small and most famous island in the Philippines –  known for its beautiful beaches, and pricey resorts, with a major party scene.  Woot! Woot!   We’ve decided to book a more modest hotel for the bulk of our stay here, but do a two-day splurge-o at a fancy spot before we depart.

Thinking I might even don my very first bikini on this beach …let’s see if my online order arrives on time…and if my body confidence is at an all time high by then.  The main religion here is Roman Catholic, so I’ll fit right in – catholic guilt and all 😉

DESTINATION #3: Hội An, Vietnam

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Hội An

Our last trip will be to this historic Old City in Vietnam, with a unique mix of Japanese, Vietnamese, and European influences.  Turns out, there’s a community of swing dancers out here and they are hosting a dancing weekend while I’m there!!!

VLX – Vietnam Lindy Exchange, is a fun weekend of Swing dance exchange hosted by Saigon Swing Cats annually since 2009 in different towns in Vietnam. (Mui Ne, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon).  

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2015 VLX – Swing Dancers Nationality

Apparently for the first time in the history of the VLX, this year, the Vietnamese represent less than 10% of the dancers.   We have signed ourselves up for the full weekend – which means we don’t have to do much research for hotels – yay!    I’m also determined to find a fab tailor to make me some custom threads too while we’re in Vietnam, I just hope there’s enough time.

There you have it folks – high level overview of where and what I’m planning on doing in South-East Asia.  Weeeeeee!  Writing this post has been super helpful – It’s really REAL now and I’m getting excited.

Full Disclosure: I’m freaking out!!!

This will be the first time I’m flying completely solo — I’m a nervous flyer in general, and these multiple connections I’ve gotta do alone is making me very anxious.  Plus, don’t the airplanes of Malaysia have a recent history of disappearing all together!?!?!? 😮

A tourist inadvertently destroying the place he is visiting

Packing right is going to be incredibly important.  With all my many flights and connections, I’ve decided NOT to check any luggage.  Which means, I’ve gotta come up with 22 days worth of outfits that are cultural respectful, yet summertime comfortable that fits into 1 piece of carry-on only … yikes!

That’s gonna be challenging.  Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll cover just that friends.  Dun dun dunnnnnnn…

What are the MUST pack vs. Nice-to-pack items that YOU’D recommend I take along with me for this upcoming adventure friends? Would love your packing tips and thoughts and tricks — leave them in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Asia: 22 days – 3 countries

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