Backpacking Challenge Plan for Summer 2012

My holiday plan for Summer 2012 is finally ready! Before I had made up my mind though, I spent hours and hours trying to decide where I wanted to go and what places I should discover this Summer, and believe me, it wasn’t an easy decision :-). I had so many ideas of what I want to do and where I want to go for my first backpacking trip. Apart from travelling around different provinces in China, this is going to be my very first backpacking adventure where I need to pack lite and travel with my two backpacks around different, in this case, countries till I finally get back home, and by home I mean my home country, not China. At first, I was thinking of Bali Island (Indonesia) but I’ve heard it’s overcrowded with tourists so I gave up this idea. Then I wanted to visit South-East Asia countries: Cambodia/ Laos/ Vietnam, considered by many as backpackers’ paradise or heaven, but for some reason I was feeling I wouldn’t enjoy it that much, as my friends have been there and I knew every single story about each country and have seen millions of pictures. There was a new idea every day until……… TODAY! I woke up this morning and I had a feeling it’s gonna be a very productive day- “just do it” day.

I sat down in front on my laptop and asked myself two questions: “What is the place I’ve been always dreaming to visit when I was younger?” and the answer was “JAPAN!”, “What is the most spiritual and mysterious place I’ve heard of on the earth I wish I was there?” and the answer was “TIBET!” This time I followed my heart and intuition and I knew that this Summer I’m heading to JAPAN and TIBET :)))). I started to look for direct flights from China to Japan but all of them were way too expensive. One of my friends recommended Jetstar airlines as the cheapest and the most reliable so I checked them and found a great deal: Honk Kong- Osaka flight. The flight, in comparison to others, was super cheap so I was just about to book it when I noticed that there is one stop between these two destinations in Manila, which is the capital of Philippines. That was a great news! Philippines? It sounds awesome. I booked a flight to Manila immediately and I’m going to stay there for 8 days and then catch another flight to Osaka (Japan). This day, with no doubts, has been one of the most productive days I have had this year. I called my friend and said “I think I’m insane and I’m about to book a flight to Manila and Osaka, what do you think?” and he just started to laugh and said “Girl, just go for it!!!” That made me so happy!! I closed my eyes and press CONFIRM. That was it. Done. Right after that I took a piece of paper and planned the route, which, so far, looks like that:

DESTINATION 1: TIBET– I’m heading to see the Roof of the World in June. I don’t know the exact date yet (set off between 2nd and 5th that’s for sure) but I’m in touch with some travel agencies where I am going to apply for visa permit. I can’t visit Tibet by myself, only tour guide tours are permitted. I’m planning to visit: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor area, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Norbulingka, meaning Jewel Park, which was Dalai Lama’s summer palace since the Seventh.

DESTINATION 2: HONG KONG– right after Tibet I’m going to Hong Kong. I will start with discovering Kowloon again, but this time in details, and then move to other islands by ferry. I also want to meet my friends there and have a nice chat with them.

DESTINATION 3: MACAU– this is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China and it’s easy to enter from Hong Kong. I’m planning to go sightseeing there for at least 2 days.

DESTINATION 4: MANILA (PHILIPPINES) – I’ve got my flight from Hong Kong to Manila already booked. Here I will focus on enjoying its individual areas (more in my next entries) and try to get a tan on the beach if possible.

 

DESTINATION 5: OSAKA/ TOKYO (JAPAN)– From Manila I’m flying to Osaka and stay there a few days then I’m planning to take either a bus or a fast train to Tokyo. I’ve heard that Tokyo is super expensive but being there for me is kind of making my dreams come true but I will try my best to live cheaply there. One thing I know for sure: I’m finally gonna try a real SUSHI :)))))!

DESTINATION 6: BANGKOK (THAILAND)– from Tokyo I will catch my flight to Bangkok and enjoy Tai food and hopefully ride an elephant. I will try not to wake up next morning with a hangover :). This is also the place where my backpacking challenge will bone to an end.

After nearly 46 days of voyage I will be taking my flight back home and arriving at Warsaw airport. I hope to enjoy Summer time with my family for at least one month. The great news is that I don’t need to apply for any visas, except visa permit to enter Tibet. From now on, I will focus on planning my trip in details, find out what top experiences are in each place, what I should know before visiting these countries. I will learn some basic vocabulary in each language, read about its culture and traditions, and try to figure out how to travel there cheaply. It will be my first time to look for hosts and other couch surfers where I can sleep at and meet up to have fun. My backpacks are ready to go so am I ! ! !

“Pack Lite, Live Long and Travel Far” …

Let’s start the countdown … 63 days left!!!!

A.

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