Traveling is like a drug; if you go to the right places and find the good stuff, you’ll keep going after more like an addict, going broke trying to satisfy your want. Although, I’ve found my ultimate place, Japan, my current stagnant-student status has left me with withdrawals, eventually leading to hours spent on google maps and flickr. As many of my readers may already know, I plan to find work in Japan once I receive my degree. Not only will such an opportunity allow me to finally start paying off my student loans, but it will also give me a great chance to explore other Asian culture that I do find so fascinating. I’ve put together this list of my top 3 cities to visit outside of Japan (hopefully within the next 5 years). So…where to?
To me, China seems to be a very intimidating place. You might as well call the government China, Inc. with their bold moves and relentless nationalists’ strategies to harness as much economic power as possible. They also have a reputation for not being quite so fond of foreigners. However, Shanghai has a unique attraction for me. They’ve got the first implementation of Maglev rail technology (yes, I would go there just to ride their awesome train), and there seems to be many years-worth of activities; exploring it’s unique history through museums, or just walking around and absorbing the atmosphere of this crowded city (a little over 70,000 people per sq. mile) would be on my list of to-do’s. It is a bustling high-tech city with a powerful international community. On the downside, my friends have told me the city is quite dirty, and poor sanitation standards in restaurants could leave you sick. I’ve always been “afraid,” so to speak, of going to China ever since I had passport issues just flying through the country (and hearing the Japanese’s stories about their dislike of China), but I think Shanghai is a place where I’d like to get my foot in the door; the door of China that is.
I do not really know a whole lot about Korean culture other than LG, Samsung, and Hyundai (can you pronounce it correctly?), but they’ve got my attention in Seoul. Almost every Korean person I met while in Japan was from this city, and the had nothing but good things to say about it. Supposedly they have heating down a bit better than the Japanese, and they’ve got some heat in the food as well. The food and technology are what thrive in Seoul. They also have one of the most efficient public transportation systems, which would be another thing I would like to experience.
I’ve already been here. And you may ask, “why do you go there if there are other interesting places you haven’t been?” I will answer, “because it’s that awesome.” And I was there with a lousy budget that only allowed for the cheapest food and a self-guided foot tour of the city. This place is a feast for culture (and food) enthusiasts. With a population comprising Chinese, Indians, and Malaysians; you’ve got so much to do here. Having seen much of the city, I have two specific focal points for a future visit. First Attraction: the food. There are restaurants everywhere, with decent prices too. You will find anything from traditional foods from these three cultures, contemporary Singaporean, to a mix of all three. I was astonished by the amount of quality foods. Second Attraction: the port. Singapore houses the world’s largest port and I want to see it. They import almost everything and export tons of electronics and other assembled goods. If it weren’t for such a large, sufficient port Singapore would not be what it is today and that fascinates me. The City-State also has an interesting trade history which would be interesting to delve into as well.
So that’s it. There are so many other places I would like to visit, especially in Japan, but these three are the top three cities that I constantly find myself reading about in procrastination of my coursework.
What places would you like to visit?