A Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, is the second most populated city in the country. Situated approximately an hour and half away by car, Abu Dhabi is a perfect destination for a day trip while visiting Dubai. The capital city is located in the largest of the seven emirates, and is home to many government offices, as well as the President of the nation. Not only that, but the city claims various attractions that pull people from all around the world. Fortunately, I was able to visit two of the most popular attractions by taking a day trip from Dubai.

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Top Things To Do In Dubai

It’s still hard to believe that I had the opportunity to travel to Dubai. We spent about 5 days exploring the magnificent city and everything it had to offered – or at least I tried to cover everything. To help us to do that, we invested in the Dubai City Sightseeing Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Tour. We decided to go with the 7-day ticket, and it not only helped us see many different things, but also helped with transportation when we wanted to get from point A to point B. Most of my recommendations are covered by the bus tour, so I highly suggest looking into it, especially if you will not be renting a car.

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10 Things To Do In Singapore

Known as the ‘city in a garden’, Singapore has so much to offer! Delicious food that will have you coming back for more; rooftop bars with fabulous views; areas that celebrate the mixture of cultures; beautiful experiences that educate; and so much more! Listed alphabetically are my top 10 picks for Singapore.

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Top 3 Temples to Visit in Bangkok

Named as the top tourist destination city in the world, Bangkok welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year. People are attracted to the diversity the city has to offers. Although we did not have a lot of time to explore everything we would have liked, we were able to see some of the more popular temples.

With the official religion of Thailand being Buddhism, and approximately 97% of the population identifying as Buddhists, it’s not too surprising to learn that there are over 30,000 temples in the country. Bangkok specifically is home to a little over 400 of these temples. Each one is unique and has its own characteristics and personality.

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Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam

If you would have asked me if I would be visiting Vietnam in my lifetime, I’m sure my answer would be along the lines of “I don’t know…maybe one day.” But life has a funny way of throwing surprises our way – whether good or bad. Thankfully, it was a good surprise to see that Vietnam was on our cruise itinerary. I didn’t know much about Vietnam or the Cu Chi Tunnels before going, but I was excited to see and experience the country with the limited time we had.

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Top Things to Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. Although Hong Kong is technically a part of China, it falls under the ‘one country; two systems’ philosophy. The laws, the regulations, and even the currency are different from the mainland.

Hong Kong, meaning Fragrant Harbour, got its name due to the incense being burned at temples and letting off a pleasant aroma. The city is one of the world’s most densely populated areas, which means when you find out that it’s also the world’s most vertical city it shouldn’t be a surprise. Approximately 8,000 skyscrapers dominate the city, helping to house the 7.4 million residents.

Although I did not have the chance to spend a lot of time in Hong Kong, I was able to see and experience some pretty neat things. Below you’ll find my recommendations listed alphabetically!

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Top Things to Do in Busan

Busan, the second largest city in South Korea and the tourist capital of the country, is also known for their medical tourism. So much so that there is a Medical Street, where it is popular to schedule procedures. Approximately 60% of young female Koreans have had cosmetic surgery, which why you’ll see a lot of women wearing face masks. Busan is also the only place with the world with a United Nations cemetery.

Although I didn’t have as much time as I wanted in this interesting city, you will find my top recommendations below, listed in alphabetical order.

BIFF Square

Eating Deliciousness - Busan
Eating Deliciousness

If you’re looking for a prime place to snack on delicious street food while doing your shopping, this is the perfect place. BIFF Square has many different options when it comes to satisfying both your hunger and retail needs. Feel free to come to the square ravenous, as there are multiple areas where you can sit and get complete meals. The dishes are cooked right in front of you, and you can opt to sit down in a mini chair at a mini table. If you’ve already eaten, small snacks and sweets are easy to find. We munched on some candy-coated strawberries, the famous Busan pancakes, scrumptious waffles, and delectable peanuts wrapped in fried dough. I highly recommend them all!

For shopping purposes, you will find all the traditional trinkets and souvenirs for tourists, such as magnets, keychains, and postcards. You’ll also find you can do more substantial shopping, including handbags, clothes, sunglasses, and even healthcare needs. The BIFF Square can take care of all your needs!

Dongbaekseom

Views from Dongbaekseom - Busan
Views from Dongbaekseom

Dongbaekseom, containing many picturesque areas, used to be an island of Busan, but is now connected to the mainland. This area only accommodates foot passengers, and there is a walking trail that takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. There are two options for walking – 1) the more picturesque route, but contains many stairs and may not be the best for those with knee pain; 2) the more direct route, but may miss a lot of the scenic views. I personally did not think the first route was too much, especially if you are not in a hurry. Others in our group felt the same way, and they were glad they decided to forgo the more direct route.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Haedong Temple - Busan
Haedong Temple

Originally constructed in 1376, the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple stands proudly against the seaside – one the few in all of South Korea. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion of Korea, but was rebuilt in the 1930s. 12 zodiac sign statues line the entrance of the temple, and protect it from evil spirits. Inside the temple, you will find picturesque views each and every way you turn. You’ll also find two golden pigs, which represent prosperity and luck. Don’t forget to rub the pigs when you pass by!

Jagalchi Fish Market

Squid from the Market - Busan
Squid from the Market

Established by women during the Korean War, the Jagalchi Fish Market continues to thrive to this day. During the war, women needed a way to make money while the men were away at war, and thus the fish market was born. With so many different options to choose from, the streets are brimming with tanks and tubs filled with various seafood. We saw octopi, fish [some we had seen before, and some we had never seen], seaweed, and so many different things. People were coming to buy them fresh – and even though you may not want to buy any fish, it’s an interesting market to explore, and there are even restaurants you can go and eat at.

Nurimaru APEC House

The APEC House - Busan
The APEC House

In 2005, Busan hosted the APEC, Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Leaders’ Meeting. The building, overlooking the gorgeous blue waters and amazing cityscape, has now been transformed into a museum to commemorate the meeting. Inside you’ll be able to learn about what took place at the meeting, what food was served, and you’ll also get to see the huge table where all the leaders sat. The table has name placements as to which country sat where – that was pretty cool to see.

Busan was a fun and exciting city to explore. To be honest, Busan had never really been on my list of places to go just because it hadn’t crossed my radar before, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit. Have you ever been to Busan? What about South Korea? What were your first impressions? If you haven’t been, is it on your list of places to visit? I’d love to hear from you!

Osaka and Kyoto

Rounding out my Japan posts, is my post about our two day trips to Osaka and Kyoto. I wish we could have spent more time in these beautiful cities; however, I am grateful for the time that we did have! We had the opportunity to eat delicious food, experience the beautiful colors of fall, and take in the exquisite sights in the cities. Come along with me, as I share our day and pictures! If you would like the comprehensive recount of our travels, start on our Tokyo trip first! Continue reading “Osaka and Kyoto”

Takin’ on Tokyo

I couldn’t believe when the plane tickets to Japan were purchased. It was so surreal to me that I was actually flying across the world to go to my first Asian country. My travel partners – Vika, a longtime friend since middle school, and her boyfriend, Telal – were also so excited as well. We were heading to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto! Continue reading “Takin’ on Tokyo”

Photo Essay of Japan

Remember when I informed you guys that I was going to Japan? Well, it happened over Thanksgiving break! It was my first time visiting an Asian country, so I was a little nervous and anxious about what to expect. I didn’t speak or read the language. I did give Duolingo a try, but it didn’t help me out too much.  Turns out though, I had nothing to worry about. The trip went pretty smoothly, and we only got lost a handful of times! I have so many stories from our trip, but to kick off my Japan posts, I put together a photo essay of Japan to share some of my favorite pictures! Continue reading “Photo Essay of Japan”