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The Bride's Guide Blog

Asia, anyone?

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Posted by Jennifer Miranda, Associate Editor

Last Sunday, I took my boyfriend out for dim sum (small dishes of steamed and fried dumplings, among other things) for the first time. And he loved it!

Being at dim sum is an experience in itself. It's loud and fragrant, and waiters come one after another with carts and trays of shrimp dumplings, pork buns, vegetables, custards, and a million other things in cute steamer baskets. If you close your eyes, it almost feels like you're in the middle of a street-vendor paradise back in China.

Which made me think—we spend all this time talking about honeymooning in the U.S. and Europe, on a beach and or in the mountains, which are all great, but I don't think I've ever mentioned traveling in Asia. I have a friend planning a big trip to Laos in a few months. Even Matt Lauer went there during his Where In the World Is Matt Lauer tour earlier this year. A collegue has made it her life goal to go to an ashram in India one day, and another is backpacking through Cambodia this very minute! Are any of you planning a trip to Asia? Where are you visiting specifically and how long are you staying there? I've never been, so please write in and let me know so I can live vicariously through you!

Comments (8)

  • I've been living in North India for the past 6 months. It's the most naturally beautiful place on earth and the people I've met are truly wonderful. I love it here and am so sad to be leaving next week.

  • We honeymooned in Asia and it was life-changing. We stopped in Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Bali on an all-Asia pass just after the SARs epidemic. It was kind of intense after the wedding and all, but I wouldn't trade it.
    The Cameroon Highland tea plantations in Malaysia were one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I tell everyone to visit a tea plantation at least once. The oil on the leaves reflects and everything seems to glow. Lovely.

  • Hello. I highly recommend an Asia trip to anyone who's ever wanted to visit.
    As someone who's lived for extended periods of time in both Japan and Korea, I find Japan incredibly clean and easy to navigate for foreigners who don't speak the language (between guidebooks and English signs, you'll be taken care of). The temples and small streets of Kyoto are definitely what every Westerner thinks of when they imagine Japan, and it tends not to disappoint. If you're going to go to Kyoto, try visiting my favorite site, Sanjuusangendo Hall, and then take a few hours to walk the back-alley streets of San-jo and Shi-jo to find tiny, intriguing stores selling all kinds of wares.
    On the other hand, Korea is much harder to navigate as there are fewer English signs and people who speak English once you get out of the capital. However, if you're less adventurous, you can stay in Seoul for a week and still have lots to see and do. Don't miss the slightly touristy, but fun Insa-dong (try some tea in a serene back-alley tea house with a garden) and take an hour or two to explore the traditional Korean houses in Samcheong-dong.
    I would recommend Thailand in a heart beat. The temples and sights are beautiful and the food is amazing. The on-the-ground expenses are also incredibly reasonable. Thailand is very used to tourists, so they are very accommodating as well (but beware...you don't want to get ripped off either! Negotiate, negotiate, and bargain!). Chiang Mai, in N. Thailand, is great if you want to see some amazing temples but get out of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
    In Taiwan, I used a Lonely Planet to navigate Taipei and had a great time, even though I didn't speak a lick of Chinese. Taipei101 has the most amazing food court I've ever seen in my life and the endless night markets are great to peruse, even if you're not in the mood to eat some of the "exotic" stuff!
    I found mainland China much harder to travel and feel comfortable. I would definitely recommend going with a group or hiring a guide if you don't speak the language. However, I do have to say that I "hiked" a less well known part of the Great Wall (read: I was one of the few people there) and it was incredibly spiritual.
    On one last note, for Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and China, I don't recommend visiting at Lunar New Year as most everything is shut down. Transportation is harder (and more expensive) to come by as people go home to visit their families. Hope this helps and inspires some new travel experiences!

  • My fiance's mother is Chinese and most of her family still lives in Singapore and Malaysia, so for Chinese New Year (January 2011, four months after our August 2010 wedding) we'll be going to Singapore to have a traditional Chinese wedding tea ceremony and celebrate with his family. From there, we'll go straight on to a belated honeymoon in Malaysia and Hong Kong. I haven't been to Asia before so I can't wait. Malaysia has the same isolated, lush beach resorts that Thailand has, but it's slightly more off the beaten track.

  • we just returned from a 3 week honeymoon in thailand and we LOVED it! So many beautiful things to see and do. Wonderful people.

  • Bali Island in Indonesia :)

  • I'm so jealous of all of you! I think I just may have to plan a trip to Asia in the next year. These all sound so amazing!

  • Thailand, especially Bangkok, is VERY tourist friendly. Mom mom worked there for a few years and we visited many, many times. It is also a great jumping point for Siam Reap (Angkor Wat), Singapore, etc. Those are also good places to visit, but Siam Reap, Cambodia is best done with a guide. You can stay in a place we'd think of as a 3* in the states, for $25-40/night in Cambodia!

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