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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.

Fairy Stream of Mui Ne, Vietnam – Photos & Info

Friday, September 2, 2011
Posted in
Ferry Stream Turns Red, Mui Ne
The soil begins to darken along the Fairy Stream

Mui Ne, Vietnam is mainly known for 2 things to the traveller (if you’ve even heard of it): Kite Surfing and Sand Dunes.  Most people that go see the sand dunes book a trip by jeep, and they throw in a few extra bonus stops along the way.  The Ferry Stream is kind of brushed off as an additional stop on the sand dunes tour; however it was actually better than the dunes themselves.  They’re not marketed well, and it’s really unofficial when you get there, but as tourism in Mui Ne grows, I’m sure they’ll become more well known.

Top 10 Best Places To Couch Surf

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Posted in
Sukhumi, Abkhazia
A man fishing at sunset in Sukhumi, Abkhazia

By now the secret is out. The evolution of budget travel has gone from $5 for a crappy dorm bed to a free private room. With the explosion of sites like CouchSurfing.org a new generation of penny pinching backpackers are able to travel further for cheaper. As a CS Ambassador, i'm always finding myself caught up in the philosophical (and moral) discussion of CouchSurfing being more than merely a free place to stay. It is instead an opportunity to share cultural experiences with locals (or quite often ex-pats) giving you an inside scoop. While you aren't paying for the room/bed/couch/floor space, a token gesture of a cooked meal or bottle of wine is always a welcome thank-you from the surfer. But regardless of your intentions, CS is a valuable tool every traveller should be packing.

Questions About Hiking to Everest Base Camp

Riding A Yak in Lake Namtso
Riding A Yak in Lake Namtso with the Nyechen Tangla mountains in the background

Q. I have a question about your travels, if you can think back to Everest Base Camp. Can you tell me about how that worked? How long did it take? How much did it cost? Any other tips or tricks in booking and doing it? Anything you’d do differently if you were to do it again?

Leaving Western Style Toilets Behind

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Posted in
A toilet near Yangshuo China
A toilet in a village near Yangshuo, China

A warning, this article is going to be about poop and pee, if you don't care to read about that, click here.  Otherwise, lets get to know each other a little bit...

Vending Machines of Seoul, South Korea

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Posted in
South Korea Vending Machine Competition
Here I am in an impromptu battle with a local South Korean man over who can win the most prizes

This is what I love about travelling, you never know when you're going to make a new friend, English speaking or not.  I visited Seoul, South Korea a couple years ago, and became addicted to these vending machine games.  They're basically the same as we have in the US, with the claw you drop and try to catch things, but they're dirt cheap, and the prizes are all gold lighters and chewing gums.

Visiting China – Questions & Answers

Great Wall of China - Jinshanling and Simatai
The best part of the wall to see from Beijing: Jinshanling and Simatai

Q. I need tips for China, I'm going there this week and meeting Anna on tuesday. We start from Beijing, and then have no idea where to go, have about a month there. Any must places outside of the big cities what did you enjoy, or anything else you recommend?

Up Up and Away – How We Crashed A Hot Air Balloon

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Posted in
In the Middle of A Hot Air Balloon Crash
Snapping photos in the middle of the hot air balloon crash

Weeks into trekking through Asia we'd arrived at my favorite part of china, Yangshuo. After being hassled to buy DVDs for days, scammed at both the Beijing airport and the cab from the airport, we'd finally found our way from the smog that is Beijing. Yangshou, and that part of China look like the china you see in paintings, on their currency and in films. Towering peaks breaking low laying clouds, rivers snaking through lush terrain, picturesque clouds over mountains. Arriving in Yangshuo we soon found ourselves inner tubing through mud filled caves, eating pig penises on a stick and drinking God knows what, lots of animals penises in whisky I can only assume, it is China. Yangshuo is one of the more picturesque areas I've been too, very distinct and you've never seen another place like it. It’s beautiful. It's also fairly popular with hot air balloon rides. Did I say hot air balloon rides? Funny, I meant hot air balloon crashes.

Best Way To Get Across Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Caves
A long boat going past a fishermans cave in Koh Phi Phi

Q. Couple questions... Right now we are just going to be on the west side of the islands in thailand. Do you recall it being easy to get to side to side? If so i really want to go to KohPhi Phi. We are going to get certified to dive in koh tao. Do you recommend that or should we do it in Koh Phi Phi?

Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong

Monday, May 2, 2011
Posted in
Busy Hong Kong
The busy streets of Hong Kong

"You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy" (Star Wars) than the Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong. I'd seen the film “Chungking Express” years prior and thought maybe the Chungking Mansions had an allure of charm, a sense of the city, a multicultural Mecca utopia perhaps? The first floor is all cell phone charging stands and ethnic food I couldn't place. We’d first arrived at the “mansion” after a long flight past maybe 2am, all we wanted was to sleep. Finding our “hotel” or “hostel” took what I remember feeling like hours. The mansion is basically a rubex cube of a building; eventually we ran into other backpackers and followed their lead. I remember going through steam rooms, being stopped by locked, fenced dead ends, closed hallways, and small claustrophobic rooms until finding our way to our part of the hive. Finally we found our floor. I remember thinking “I could never find my way back here, and in I fire I could never find my way out, I’m going to die in here”. The mansion is mostly interior the rooms and different business operate internally, meaning that most of the space in the building have no access to the outside, no windows, no exit doors. You’re in a box, in a box, in a box.

Limited Time in Taipei Question

Taipei
Taipei as seen from the Taipei 101 Building

Q. I’m flying home (LAX) From Australia on June 12, and I booked a flight that has a layover in Taipei. I arrive at 6am and my flight home leaves at 4:20pm, so if I’m lucky I’ll have 8 hours to get into the city and back to the airport. Any advice? How long does it take to get into the city from the airport? What’s the best way to go, train, bus? Once there, what should I do/see?

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