Asian April Adventures

Okay, I might be a bit of an alliteration fan, which brings me to the title “Asian April Adventures”. April is a beautiful time, where flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the sky is bright and sunny. I feel bad for people with allergies, but i just love spring because of the beautiful scenery all around, and the fact that the weather is pretty much perfect for just about anything.

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Coming from a tropical country myself, I’d always try to arrange for my vacations to be around spring, mainly so I can escape the heat, but not freeze to death, and I find that Asia offers a good selection of destinations.

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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I wouldn’t consider Chiang Mai to be really cooling, but the evening and night do offer lower temperatures, which makes it great for visiting one of the huge night markets. Honestly, Thailand is a really good place to go for its food and shopping. If you’re ever there, the street food is a definite must-have, and the best part is everything is just so affordable that you won’t find yourself spending too much.

One of the more popular spots for street food hunting is the Chang Pheuak Gate, where the square located at the outer ring of the moat would be filled with vendors selling many different cuisines to serve tropes of locals and tourists alike.

 

Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Most visitors to Cambodia would go there for the temples, namely Angkor Wat, but Siem Reap offers more things to do once you’re all done with temple-visiting. Think world-class wine and dine, spas, shopping, all down to a creative cultural scene including a contemporary circus.

Some of the must-visit places include the Angkor National Museum, Angkor Silk Farm, Artisans Angkor (wood- and stone-carving techniques, silk painting, and other artisan skills), and the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chorm (a Buddhist shrine).

 

Luang Prabang

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Loas is probably not on the top of your mind when visiting and Asian or Southeast Asian countries, but if you ever wondered what the country is like, Luang Prabang is probably the best place to go to. It’s a nice town with lots to see, mostly.

Imagine aquamarine waterfalls, trekking opportunities, mountain bike trails, kayaking trips, river cruises and beautiful, natural scenery, all hemmed within hazy green mountains. So many options in one town. Definitely worth a few days’ stay.

 

Pokhara, Nepal

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Nepal is mostly about mountains and hiking or trekking, and if you’re into that, Pokhara is the best place to go. April is the perfect month, offering dry weather and warm temperatures (cool, if you come from Malaysia). While a trekking or hiking adventure there can be relatively expensive, everything else is really cheap, so it balances your expenditure.

There are a lot of different paths you can choose for trekking, and if you’re a little more adventurous, they even offer skydiving with beautiful, natural sceneries.

 

Beijing, China

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While it may not be as tourist-friendly as say, Shanghai, Beijing is a nice destination for April, with temperatures ranging from the average low of 8 to the average high of 21 degree Celsius. Personally, I’d describe Beijing as a compelling city with a good mixture of modern and traditional.

The main thing to do in Beijing would be to explore the food. The Chinese is quite notorious for having exotic cuisine, and really, if it’s within what you find acceptable, just give them a go. Of course, you can opt for more normal food, like the Peking duck and juicy dumplings. Besides food, Beijing is also known for its beautiful architecture from the ancient Great Wall of China, to innovative modern buildings like the Galaxy Soho.

 

Aomori, Japan

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Spring calls for hanami, which is the blossoming of the cherry blossom trees in Japan, perfect for viewing. While many may argue that there are more or better places to view it, my personal favourite is Aomori, which is the home of the Hirosaki Castle.

What I love about the place is that the cherry blossom trees line the moat built around the castle, so at some point, the moat would be petal-filled, where you can experience firsthand in a romantic rental boat. For me, having a historical architecture building while viewing the blossoms really brings out a nice feeling, like travelling back into the past before technology disrupted our lives.

 

Taean County, South Korea

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When we talk about spring in Asia we all think of cherry blossoms, but South Korea offers a more colourful alternative: tulips. The Taean Tulip Festival (yes, it’s a thing) is the largest tulip festival in Korea, featuring 1.5 million colourful tulips. It runs from late April to mid-May, and I’d recommend April because the weather is just perfect.

While you’re there, be sure to get a taste of all the local delicacies, especially snacks and street food! South Korea is not just all kimchi. It’s also fresh seafood, lots of cheese, many forms of rice cakes, and super delicious fried chicken!

 

East Coast of Malaysia

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Beach holidays, anyone? April is usually the peak season for Malaysia’s east coast, with bright and sunny days expected to come, with the little occasional downpour. The beaches are all open and ready to invite visitors in.

Malaysia boasts really good beaches, just at the east coast itself, you can find the Tioman Islands, Perhentian Islands, and even Pulau Redang, a sanctuary for nesting turtles.

So what do you think? Ready to take some leave days in April?

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