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Asia Articles, Information, & Ideas

If your trip will include Asia, be sure to browse through all the Asia articles below. We at The Cheap Route have already done a lot of first hand research about Asia, we've been there done that when it comes to Asia, continue reading to gain first hand insight. Our goal is to to provide the hard to find information and photos about Asia.

7 Day Sri Lanka Itinerary – Colombo to Negombo

Monkey vs King Cobra
A monkey taunting a spitting king cobra on the beach of Mt. Lavinia

Late this summer I visited Sri Lanka on my way from Singapore to India.  I flew into Colombo and spent a couple days in the city and down on Mount Lavinia beach.  Then, since my time was limited and I was feeling lazy, I booked a tour through a company so I could see as much of the rest of the country as possible.  I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do and see, and worked with the agent to come up with this 7 day Sri Lanka itinerary. The itinerary is something she wrote, and I added a few of my comments to each location. A fair warning the article may be a bit choppy because of this.

Japan To Give 10,000 Free Flights To Boost Tourism?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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Inari Shrine Orange Gate - Kyoto, Japan
The orange gates of the Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

We're not the first to mention it, but in case you haven't heard, Japan is talking about giving away 10,000 free flights to international visitors in order to boost tourism. Since the triple disaster Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Accident in Fukushima, tourism in Japan has taken a serious hit. People don't feel it's safe to visit Japan anymore, and to fight this perception the Japanese government are trying to give out 10,000 free flights to bring bloggers and others with internet presence into their country so they'll write about their trip.

Some Quick Advice For A Mumbai Trip

Detailed Carvings in the Elephanta Caves
Some cool carvings in the Elephanta Caves

That Dussehra festival is tonight at about 6pm (Oct. 6, 2011), they’ve been warming up for it every night and its super loud up until midnight. Sounds pretty cool. No Goa, didn’t have time, didn’t even have time to see everything here, traffic is terrible and everything is really spread out, it’s a huge city. I feel like this must kind of be like how foreigners feel trying to visit LA. I didn’t do much it seems like, but I filled up 2 full days of sightseeing.

Sanjay Gandhi Lion Safari in Mumbai Sucks

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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Sleeping Lion, Sanjay Gandhi National Park Lion Safari, Mumbai
The only lion we saw on the entire lion safari, at least it wasn't completely caged like the tigers

I'm a huge fan of animals, especially getting to see exciting things like lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys, etc. in the wild. When planning my time in Mumbai, India I was happy to find the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the north of the city. With limited time, and considering what I read, I figured I'd skip the nature walk and mainly just do the Lion and Tiger Safari (supposedly there's a good chance of seeing some leopards as well). Sounds cool right? Well I'm here to tell you it's not...

Poshanu Cham Temple and The Prince’s Castle – Phan Thiet, Vietnam

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
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Cham Towers A and C
Tower C, the Fire Diety Tower, is just a small mound compared to Tower A

Renting scooters is a thrilling way to explore Mui Ne and Phan Thiet, and stopping at the Cham Temple and Prince's Castle on Banai Hill is the perfect stop to break up the scooting and stretch your legs hiking up to the ruins. Atop the hill you get great views of the coastline and a massive cemetery dotted with colorful grave markers. If you are looking to buy souvenirs, there is pottery, woodcarvings and silk textiles that are hand loomed on site. There is a nominal entrance fee, and if you forgot your water or want some ice cream there is a small outdoor shop near the Towers.

Would You Expect Sri Lanka To Be Cheap?

Sigiriya Rock Fortress Lion Gate
Whats left of a once fantastic Lion Gate entrance to the Sigiriya Rock Palace.

I'm currently wrapping up my time here in Sri Lanka, a place I never planned to visit on this trip, but threw in last minute as I worked my way west towards India. I had about 3 weeks of time to fill from when I split with one set of friends in Vietnam, and before meeting another in India. Originally I was going to head straight to India, but instead I ended up cruising up the Mekong to Cambodia for 5 days, then stopped over in Singapore for a couple, and then noticed flights to Sri Lanka and on to India didn't cost much more than straight to India. On a whim I went for it and booked my flight from Singapore to Sri Lanka.

How To Use The Sri Lankan 3 Prong Euro Style Plug

Thursday, September 8, 2011
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Weird Sri Lanka 3 Prong Outlet
The strange three prong outlet of Sri Lanka, how do you plug in here?

It took a while, but eventually I figured it out. The Sri Lankan outlets were unlike any I've seen in any other country. They looked as though my Euro 2 round prongs adapter should work, however it would not fit in the socket. After unplugging everything in my room and not being able to plug it back in I began to get frustrated. The lamps and TV were plugged in as you'd expect, just leaving the upper 3rd prong empty, similar to a lot of US plugs where they have the optional ground hole. I tried a lot of things, including brute force, but nothing worked. Eventually it hit me, that maybe I should plug it in diagonally because there was another outlet in my bathroom which had 3 holes as well, but for a US style plug, and if you used the left 2 it was 110 volts, and if you used the right 2 it was 220 volts. I gave it a shot, and accidentally shorted something and shut down power in my whole section of the hotel (not the first time I've done this abroad messing around with strange power adapter configurations).

Mui Ne Sand Dunes – Offroading, ATVs, Sledding

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
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ATV Mui Ne White Dunes
My friend riding his ATV in front of a huge white dune with no footprints

Mui Ne has some of the craziest sand/soil I’ve ever seen, the reds were darker than I’ve seen even in Australia. The big draw for tourists in Mui Ne, other than the world class kite surfing, is the sand dune tour. We mentioned these tours in the Mui Ne Fairy Stream article, and we also mentioned how the Fairy Stream was more unique and we liked it better, however the sand dunes were a good visit as well. There are 2 sets of dunes the jeeps will take you to, one is white, and one is orange. The better ones in my opinion were the white sand dunes, and that’s what we’re talking about here.

Swimming With Jellyfish – Bucas Grande, Philippines

Monday, September 5, 2011
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Snorkeling with the jellyfish in Bucas Grande, Philippines
A jellyfish up close with a snorkeler in the background

Last month I was travelling through the Philippines. We spent 5 days visiting a friend on the Island of Siargao, famous for its surfing break Cloud 9, and relatively unknown otherwise (for now). He took us around to all the cool things he’s discovered on the island, including a set of water caves a few hours away by boat. Apparently we lucked out with our timing, because the caves were nothing compared to what was going on in a nearby cove. I guess it’s seasonal, but every year a nearby protected lagoon becomes a breeding ground for jellyfish.

Getting The Fish Eating Feet Massage In Boracay, Philippines

Saturday, September 3, 2011
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Fish Eating Feet Borocay
Fish Eating Dead Skin Off Feet

Walking to the tuk tuk line on our way to a club in Boracay, Philippines we saw a spa advertising those fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. The next day we headed back to try it out. I’ve seen it before in other Asian countries, but never actually tried it. It’s a strange concept, and I don’t know that I could tell the difference afterwards (and my feet were all messed up from climbing Mt. Whitney), but it was worth trying.

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