The continent of Asia is a fascinating place with incredible architecture and ancient history. It's a culture shock for westerners that visit there. I was very fortunate in being able to go on an Asia vacation recently. I enjoyed it very much and would love to go back there. My husband and I stayed with a friend in a suburb of Tokyo, Japan and we used his apartment as a base. We got to know the capital quite well and met some of our friend's Japanese friends and colleagues. The Japanese people are extremely friendly and love to meet foreign visitors. They were very keen to practice their English on us. The highlight of our time in Japan was when we went to Kyoto to see the temples, castles and shrines there. Another memorable time was our journey on the bullet train. Blink and you miss the scenery!
After exploring Japan, we flew to Hong Kong for the next part of our Asia vacation. It's a very lively, bustling place and is full of contrast. The old narrow streets and tenement buildings sit next to the modern, office skyscrapers on the waterfront. We had a trip on the ferry and we went up into the mountains to see a Buddhist temple. Our favorite part was just walking round the market stalls and seeing the everyday life of the people there.
The next flight was to Beijing, China. We didn't really know what to expect from this part of the Asia vacation. The first thing that you notice is the constant noise of car horns. The Chinese are turning away from the bicycle to cars in a big way. We did all the tourist attractions, such as Tiannmen Square and the Forbidden Palace. The whole experience was very interesting, although the signs in English were not translated very well. We then traveled by train to Xian to see the famous Terracotta Warriors. I would say that this is a must see item on any Asia vacation agenda. The rows on rows of soldiers and their horses is quite awesome and they're still working on the dig.
Our time in Asia was an incredible experience. Seeing the attractions and the people going about their daily lives was a real eye opener. I would like to see many other countries on an Asia vacation, such as Russia, India, Nepal and Vietnam. It would be good to see all these countries by train and really take in the scenery.