[Wanderlust Tips October 2019] With the theme “Awestruck by Asia”, Share the love section in October 2019 will take you to an amazing variety of stunningly beautiful destinations throughout Asia.
PHAM THI THU THAO – HOTEL MANAGEMENT, BEIJING | CHINA WAS JUST A BEAUTIFUL DREAM
Since my childhood, I have always dreamt of visiting China. Currently, I have moved to Beijing for work and my dream has come true. China is a vast country, spanning many complicated terrains with an extremely diverse climate. Therefore, it is home to an abundance of stunning landscapes and rich culture. Travelling through different cities gave me a diverse insight into the country.
I spent many years exploring an amazing variety of destinations in China, for instance, Qinghai, Tianjin, Suzhou, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu and Harbin. Most recently, I visited Xinjiang but I still have not discovered all of the cities in this vast country. Beijing and Shanghai are particularly notable for their high-rise buildings and hectic growth, but Xinjiang impressed me with its stunningly beautiful natural scenery. I was completely taken aback by the magnificent scenery and I was honestly speechless because the views were picture-perfect.
The lush green pastures, dazzling sunflower fields, winding jade-green river, herds of cattle, sheep and horses grazing leisurely and a spectacular sunset. Not only can you marvel at the natural beauty of the area but you can also participate in an array of experiences in Xinjiang including dancing with the locals in Grand Bazaar, camping, picking mushrooms and enjoying tea. After my amazing visit to Xinjiang, I will take a second trip to the beautiful Harbin. Notably, Chinese food does not entirely match the Vietnamese palette, but you will not be able to resist its tempting flavours.
LE KHANH HIEP – BUSINESS, HANOI | A HARSH AND MAJESTIC MONGOLIA
I was impressed by the Mongolian culture as the country is notable for its long history and rich traditions. Mongolian people often live in small groups, each group characterised by a different lifestyle, cuisine and customs. For example, after my trip to visit the Tsaatan and Kazakh ethnic groups, my curiosity got the better of me and I felt inspired to explore and challenge my limits.
The Mongolian countryside features fresh air, but the climate is radically cold and harsh. Additionally, the Mongolian autonomous region is rather complex, so transportation is not easy for many tourists. Nevertheless, your efforts will be totally worth it when you come here. During my Mongolian adventure, I was blown away by the experience of sleeping in a tent of Kazakh eagle hunters.
I called this experience “sleeping in the fridge” because the temperature dropped to -30oC. I put a bottle of water in bed and it was frozen the following morning. More memorably, I switched the heating on while closing the tent, as a result, I felt like I might suffocate. After my trip to Mongolia, I was most proud to become a valedictorian of the photography department at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema thanks to my stunning photos of Mongolia. My biggest regret is that I did not film many beautiful scenes of this land.
TRINH THI MAI – SOCIAL MEDIA, HANOI | A SPECIAL MARK FROM NEPAL
Up to now, I have had the opportunity to visit some Asian countries, for instance, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia and Nepal. The most memorable trip was to Nepal, as this was not only the longest but also the most arduous journey to Annapurna Base Camp. Nepal is also home to the most spectacular views and the harshest climate I have ever experienced. The Nepalese weather was very cold in the mountains, so we often had to get up very early to prepare for the next leg of the journey.
A far cry from China or Japan, Nepal is home to many unique features leaving me with a sense of freedom, simplicity and generosity. Even with the icy temperatures, I appreciated the peaceful ambience when admiring the sparkling galaxy. I felt tears in my eyes when witnessing the majestic beauty of the Himalayas or Annapurna with the old azalea forests adorned in red blooms. Nepal attracts travel enthusiasts with its dusty experiences and distinctive pious culture.
I feel like the Nepalese people do not put money first. Their shops often open late in the mornings and close early in the evenings. They also visit the temples for ceremonies in the afternoon. When they pass away, their bodies are burnt in front of many people. Perhaps their happiness is based not so much on money but on freedom and fulfilment. I wish I could return to Nepal to discover the Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit because Nepal has so many interesting things to discover, conquer and admire.
PHAN THI DIEU HUONG – ACCOUNTANT, HUNG YEN | AN EXOTIC FASCINATING SIDE TO DUBAI
Dubai is completely different from the other countries I have ever travelled to. The place is not known for the stunningly beautiful landscapes like Suzhou, Hangzhou in China or the craziness of the bustling markets in Bangkok Thailand, instead Dubai holds its own identity as an ultra-modern city surrounded by a vast desert. In Dubai, the traditional Eastern temples are no longer popular. You will encounter a whole host of the Persian-style churches resembling the castles in the masterpiece “One Thousand and One Nights”.
Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates. The Islamic country is a far cry from the other Northeast Asian and Southeast Asian countries particularly with regards to the lifestyle, custom and traditions. These differences really made me surprised. The unique Emirati identity is derived from these interesting differences. I had an incredible time for travelling in a terrain car across the sand dunes, riding camels on safari in the afternoons and enjoying a delicious dinner under a starry sky.
I was also intrigued by the traditional Emirati dress. Almost Emirati women opt for the discreet outfits, some people wear clothing which only shows their eyes. I really appreciated the femininity through their stunning yet somewhat mysterious dress after I had tried a traditional outfit. I was also extremely impressed by the wealth and luxury of the Emirati people. Though not a producer of gold, this precious metal is used widely in the daily life of the Emirati people, you can easily find an amazing variety of golden products, for instance, jewellery or tapestries woven from the golden threads.