SAY GOODBYE TO tuk-tuks and 20c noodles, welcome to the expensive parts of Asia.
Almost as diverse as South East Asia, and neck and neck in the Food Olympics, there can be found a huge array of sights, sounds, languages, people and culture.
From the suited salaryman of Tokyo to the eagle hunters on the Mongolian mountains, J-pop, K-pop, Canto-pop (they all suck), superfast trains, and superslow jeeps.
China covers 30% of the world’s land mass. Taiwan has over 200 mountains over 3000 metres. Yokohama has the same population as Mongolia, which is the same size as Hokkaido. Japan begins in tropical Okinawa, down by Taiwan, and stretches all the way to Russia’s far east, getting into territorial disputes with South Korea on the way.
JAPAN: Fuji. Sumo. Sushi. Gadgets. Drunk Salarymen. Skiiing. Hiking. Vending machines. Tea ceremonies. Ikebana. Kyoto. Harajuku. Tropical Okinawa. Japan seems to be shedding its image…….
CHINA: HOME TO 1,400,000,000 people. A few thousand years of history. 56 ethnice groups. 297 languages. Some really good tucker.
SOUTH KOREA: When I say “Korea”, I really mean ” Seoul “. Just a 3 day weekend’s worth a pics. Really keen to get back and see the countryside of this often forgotten gem.
TAIWAN: A little island with a lot of punch. I watched Charlie Boorman, Ewan McGregor’s motorcycling partner, ride through there in his By Any Means series, and I could not believe how beautiful it was…..
MONGOLIA: NOT A Mongolian BBQ restaurant to be found. Lots of vodka, horses, space, nomads, lakes, snow, vodka and horses.
MACAU: ASIA’S GAMBLING capital. A Portugese enclave in China, which reverted to Chinese rule after Hong Kong did, just because. Sounds interesting?