Asian adventure

As if the very idea of a blog isn't already completely self-indulgent, it's time for just a tad more indulgence.

From November 2004 through February 2005, I'm planning a trip through northern Asia. Initially sparked by my strange obsession with North Korea, the trip has now expanded significantly to include large parts of the region.

Of course travel plans do always change, and it is still five months out, but at this stage the plan is to start in Bangkok, then travel into Burma (I'll give Myanmar a miss), then across east to Vientiane in Laos and possibly to Hanoi. I'll continue onto Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, a brief stop in Japan (which is well worth a long stay, but on another trip), back west through Seoul, and into Beijing. From there I will travel to Pyongyang and back again to Beijing, before heading home through whichever Asian hub can get me back safe and sound as quickly as possible.

With any luck, the trip with be a mental and physical challenge, but also a wonderful opportunity to explore lifestyles dramatically different to anything in my cosy slice of middle class suburbia. There are also plenty of ethical issues to arise, and no doubt they will be explored blogally both before and during the drip.


Anonymous said…
ok, I lied, it does work with www on the front.

I'm disappointed that you're going to North Korea, but at least you're including Taiwan -- hmm, now I sound very USAian!

Ari Sharp said…
Thanks JB, whatever mysterious creature of the night you happen to be! The places I've chosen are there for a number of reasons. (i) cost, (ii) proximity (iii) interesting modern history (iv - gosh I love Roman Numerals!) interesting current political and economic position. By heading to North Korea, for example, I am in no way suggesting that I'm a big Kim Jong-il fan, but I am fascinated to see a closed society in operation. You'll note a stop in Seoul as well, so I'll be seeing both sides of this cold conflict.
Anonymous said…
Are you planning on writing an Asian cook book while you're away? You could call it "The Road to Har Gau" or "From Bok Choy to Chong Fan."

Alternatively you could do a comparison of scented teas (90% fragrance and 10% substance etc if you know the old joke.)

Just remember - your band of followers will be waiting for your every instalment, no matter what you write about.
Anonymous said…
Yo Ari,
I didn't feel like reading this whole thing but great work on the North Korea think, my dad did a tour in the 50s and he said it was a life changing event. I hope ur experience is equally rewarding,
- Marc

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