Looking back on where I traveled this year, I realized that I was fortunate to have traveled 4 countries in Asia as well as taken a trip back home in summer which was one of the most memorable. Being a traveler with constant wanderlust, this itch that can only be relieved with seeing a place I have never seen before, this was very surprising as I felt that I haven’t really traveled a lot this year – but actually I have!
In this post, I am sharing with you my top 10 travel moments of 2015!
1. The Tsingtao Beer Museum in Qingdao, China
I started the year off traveling along the East coast of China during Chinese New Year in February. The first stop was Qingdao where I especially enjoyed a tour of the famous Tsingtao Beer factory and museum. It wasn’t a boring museum visit at all but much more a history lesson learnt first hand. The fact that the brewery was founded by German colonists brought me to the city and I will never forget the taste of the sample beer I got to try during the morning hours of my visit.
2. The Nanjing Massacre Memorial, Nanjing, China
After Qingdao, I went straight to Nanjing, which modern history is one of the most fascinating in the whole of China to me. The most memorable moment was when I visited the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. I will never forget the tense feelings and dark images of this morbid place. It really takes you back to the time of the happenings of the ruthless massacre and – even just for a moment – I could understand why some Chinese people dislike the Japanese.
3. Tongli Water Town in Suzhou, China
Moving on to a happier scene: the famous Tongli water town outside of Suzhou. Even though I visited during the peak of Chinese New Year and people were basically trampling each other, I will never forget the beauty of this place. Despite the masses of people, this place gave me a sense of peace and tranquility within the madness. It takes you back to how Suzhou used to be during its most prosperous times during the Tang dynasty (618–907).
4. Ah Meow Cat Café in Hong Kong
There’s always something new to see in Hong Kong so when I went again this year, I just had to check out the talked-about cat cafe “Ah Meow”. It was a very nice experience and I had a lot of fun. I recommend this place for travellers of all kinds: single, couple or group!
5. Mekong Cruise in Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, and Laos in general, is one of the most fascinating places I have been to. The mighty Mekong is one of the most important means of infrastructure in the region and that’s why I was absolutely excited to take a cruise on the Mekong river. I got to see how people along the river banks live and experience Laos from a different perspective.
6. Ancient Town in Xishuangbanna, China
Jinghong ancient town in the Xishuangbanna autonomous region in Yunnan province of China is absolutely one of the most amazing places I have been to to date. It’s nothing like other places in China and has it’s own Southeast Asian history and influence which is still prominent today in using their own writing system and language in the region. Words cannot describe how beautiful and exciting this place is to explore and venture in.
7. Ancient Town in Dali, China
Another ancient town, but so different from the one above. Dali is probably one of the most Chinese old towns you can imagine. Having become quite touristy, it is still a gem and worth a visit. Beautiful Chinese architecture, a ton of beautiful scenery and restaurants to choose from await you there.
8. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang, China
A little north from Dali lies another traveller’s hotspot – the city of Lijiang. My personal favorite was the breathtaking Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which compares to nothing I had seen before. The beauty of this region seemed almost surreal and the whole place gives you a warm feeling and tranquility.
9. Kimono Experience in Fukuoka, Japan
I am so lucky that I got to travel to Japan this year – the first time I had been to the wonderful “Land of the Rising Sun”. I had to take a visa run to get my Korean work visa and must admit that I was a little sad that I had to do it in Fukuoka (since it’s the closest city to the Korean mainland). However, this beautiful city completely took a piece of my heart. The most memorable moment from that trip was definitely the kimono experience and the combined city walk.
10. Cable Cars in Tongyeong, South Korea
During Chuseok (Korean Mid-Autumn Festival), I got to travel around the southern coastline of Korea and one stop was the city of Tongyeong. It’s very different from other places I have seen in Korea and it completely blew me away. The amazing view you have on top of the cable car station is one taken out of a travel magazine. You can see the most amazing sunsets and sunrises you could ever imagine.
BONUS: Neuschwanstein Castle in Fuessen, Germany
2015 was a very important year: I took Jeongsu to my hometown in Germany and presented him to my family. We had such a wonderful time exploring where I grew up and traveling around surrounding areas with my family. One of these tourist spots is the world-famous “Neuschwanstein Castle” near Fuessen in southern Germany. Traveling with Jeongsu in my own country gave me such a great new perspective on where I come from and I saw things in a different light. I will never forget this beautiful day and this extraordinary view of the fairytale castle.