How to Divide My Time in Asia? Help please!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by James K., May 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Hey there fellow travel enthusiasts.

    As an avid point user, I typically start planning my trips about a year in advance and Summer 2014 is on my mind. My wife and I are fairly well-traveled but neither of us have been to Pacific Rim Asia before, so it's our number one priority.

    My idea is to fly to Tokyo first, then on to Seoul, then Hong Kong and back home. Maybe try to throw in Taipei, but that seems like an excellent start. I'm pretty set on the destinations, but what I don't know is how much time to spend in each. Let's imagine I have roughly 14 days, well 13 if one is lost to travel. How would you divide your time? How much time does Tokyo warrant? What about Seoul?

    If it helps your advice-giving, I'm an active traveler but I like having a little downtime. I like both city activities and outdoors stuff, and I'm always up for a daytrip.

    Thank you so much for your input -- I have never been to any of these places and rely on you all for such questions!
     
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  2. Drek82

    Drek82 Silver Member

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    I would probably do 4-5 days in Seoul. See the different temples and museums and a day trip to the DMZ is always nice (although I don't know if that is still going on with the recent hostilities of NK). Key things we enjoyed in Seoul were Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeok Palace, Buchon Village, changing of the guard in Deoksugung Palace, and walking around the various districts in town (shopping areas, markets, the river area, etc.)


    Hong Kong is worth maybe 2 or 3 days. I didn't think HK had alot to see other than city type stuff. There is the giant buddha, but most of it is "city" tourism as opposed to cultural IMHO. Personally, I would cut this stop out and just focus on Japan (trip down to Kyoto/Nara and then also some City time in Tokyo).

    Tokyo becomes the tough one ... when I went to Tokyo I spent only 4 days there and I filled it up pretty easily. Depending on what your priorities are, I think spending more time in Japan in general is probably worthwhile. Getting out of the city to the Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima type of places I think would expose you to alot more culture and history. That being said if you are looking at 5 days in Seoul, 3 days in HK, that leaves 6 days, 2 of which probably have to be dedicated to travel (transit between countries and to/from Source to first destination). So since that leaves only 4 days in Tokyo, you probably won't have alot of time to get out into the country. So I would stick to the city attractions like the fish market, Asakusa, Akhihabara, Edo Tokyo Museum, and then maybe a day trip to Kamakura to get a little bit more of the "old" japan feel.

    I think that distribution would give you some time to relax and enjoy some downtime in each of the cities, but still give you time to see key tourist attractions. If you do decide to eliminate HK, I would definitily plan on getting the Japan Tourism Train Pass (forgot what its called ,but 7 day pass that lets you use train system) and make trips out to Kyoto, Nara, and some of the castles like Himeji and things outside of Tokyo.
     
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  3. freebird

    freebird Silver Member

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    Wow, I'm really impressed with such detailed info.

    While we were in Tokyo, we went to the Skytree tower in Tokyo, but it was too crowed. We ended up just shopping at the base of the tower and eating at the famous Udon restaurant. The line was really long at the restaurant; however, because Asians in general do not linger long after the meal is done, so we were seated in about 20-30 minutes.

    While in Seoul, go to Myoung Dong for some shopping and people watching. Also there are two famous department stores in Myoung Dong, Lotte and ShinSaGae. While there, go to the basement to checkout the food court. We stayed at Westin Chosun Hotel and had lunch almost everyday at the ShinSaGae and Lotte food court.

    You can also visit Nam(south) Dae(I think it's big or main) Moon(door) open market near ShinSaGae department store.
     
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  4. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Wife and I are currently in Tokyo for 5 nights and it isn't enough. She would say take the 14 days and travel around Japan. Short of that if you are a foodie vs. a "cultural" person definitely HK and or TPE over ICN. She went there for a few days for work and said shopping and food was more expensive than NYC and the difference in food isn't as great as the other 3 cities you mentioned. Many of our well traveled friends said 2-3 days max. It gets very expensive fast. Again from a cultural perspective of temples and such it probably offers more than a HKG. My best meals have been in HKG and TYO with Malaysia and Thailand as 1C and D. Of course we are coming from a NYC mentality with heavy concentration of Asian food. Not so much an interest in "the traditional" cultural aspects for background color. Like interacting with folks through food.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  5. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    Hmmmm so Hong Kong isn't that impressive? Interesting
     
  6. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    I think it really depends on what you want to see. HkG after all is an island with limited sites, however, I have never been able to see all that I wanted to because quite frankly, the food gets in the way for me as I have mentioned. Also as a first timer into Asia, HKG is easier of a transition than some other places since English is readily spoken. Seoul and Tokyo are definitely more work especially the further you go from some of the typical tourist spots. Still friendly and somewhat helpful but carry google translate app on you.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  7. StevenGerrard

    StevenGerrard Silver Member

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    During this 13 days you can visit all city's but it is just like Reading Titles from the News Paper
     
  8. marysmith9990

    marysmith9990 Member

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