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My Asian Bucket List

March 12th, 2010 by

Back in 2007, I got to see an extraordinary movie that made a significant mark in my life.  The story is about a corporate billionaire and a simple middle class mechanic who had nothing in common except that they were both terminally ill and that they shared a hospital room.  One day, they made a list of the things that they wanted to do before they “kick the bucket.”  So one day, they decided to leave and do all the things that they wanted to do before they die.  It turned out their journey became the greatest adventure of their lives.  Yes, I am talking about “The Bucket List” which starred Jack Nicholson as Edward Cole and Morgan Freeman as Carter Chambers.

Lord Buddha Head at Wat Mahathat  Photo by:  the shutterbugs

When I saw that movie, I decided to make my own list of things that I wanted to do before I “kick my bucket.”  Since I have a pretty long list, I will just share with you My Asian Bucket List.  But I will not only share my list with you but I will also clue you in on how I am doing so far.  My status will be marked as FULFILLED if I have already ticked it off my Bucket List and PENDING if I have yet to achieve it :)

VISIT THE WATS OF THAILAND – There are definitely a lot of interesting places to see while in Thailand like zoos, factories, and malls.  But aside from these stops, one should never pass up the chance to visit the different wats – a place of worship or a temple.  Some of the famous wats include Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Mahathat (The Temple of the Great Relic), Wat Pho (TheTemple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Traimit (The Temple of the Golden Buddha), and Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep just to name a few.  Each wat boasts of a different landmark and a colorful history to match.  The good thing about Thailand is that there are numerous hotels to choose from during your stay.  Why not try booking a room at the Bossotel Hotel Bangkok?  STATUS = FULFILLED

TREK ON THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA – Another marvelous landmark to visit in Asia is the Great Wall of China.  This is a spot that is recognized from all over the world.  There was even a time when it is believed to be so big that it can be seen from outer space! This long wall of pure magnificence was built sometime between the 5th century BC and the 16th century as a prime means of protecting the Chinese borders.     The Great Wall is actually divided in several sections wherein each section can be accessed differently – some are easier to reach than the others. An example is the Joyungguan Great Wall which is the section that locals claim is the nearest to downtown Beijing.  One has to go to Xichimen Station to ride bus 919.  This bus is bound for Nan Kou Dong Jie Station.  From this station, one has to take another bus (#68) that brings visitors directly to the Great Wall.  Another plus point of this section of the wall is that it is said to be the one with less tourists.  More tourists head to the Badaling Great Wall.  The trip can be physically and emotionally demanding.  STATUS = PENDING

Under the Sea  Photo by: kitci

DIVE AT TUBBATAHA REEF IN THE PHILIPPINES – The Tubbataha Reef is considered a Natural Park that is located in the Western part of the Philippines specifically about 181 kilometers southeast of equally gorgeous Puerto Princesa City of Palawan.  This reef, which is an atoll coral reef, is considered the only marine natural park in the Philippines and holds the recognition of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Divers head to this fantastic destination to see virgin coral reefs that will simply take your breath away.  Of course, it goes without saying that one can also marvel at the diverse marine life including incomparable selection of sea creatures like manta rays, moray eels, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, and hammerhead sharks just to mention a few.  Tourists who visit Tubbataha Reef anytime from middle of March up to middle of June would have to do so onboard specially designed vessels.  These small ships leave Puerto Princesa City and travel for twelve straight hours to the Natural Park.  Anyone who is interested in making the trip would have to book everything way in advance most especially for trips targeted during peak seasons like holidays or during the summer season. The Tubbataha Reef is currently nominated in the list of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.  STATUS = PENDING

EXPERIENCE THE MAGNIFICENCE OF ANGKOR WAT IN CAMBODIA – Angkor Wat of Cambodia was built in the early 12th century during the reign of Suryavarman II.  This is considered as the world’s largest religious monument covering almost 200 hectares.  It is so big that the temple, which can be found at the center, already measures nine hectares. The rest of the royal grounds are occupied by the palace itself and the city.  It is said that Angkor Wat is a fitting representation of the Hindu universe wherein everything ends on the five peaks of Mount Meru – the home of the gods.  There are a lot of elements to appreciate in Angkor Wat like the enclosures, towers, the moat, and the various bas-reliefs that are true representations of Khmer art.  Visitors who head to Angko Wat do so either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is about to set.  Anytime of the day, it is surely a visual treat for many and could also be too much to absorb in just one visit.  There is surely something magical about the place that would make one want to go there again and again to re-experience the mystery.    STATUS = FULFILLED

Angkor Wat  Photo by: the shutterbugs

CRUISE ALONG HA LONG BAY IN VIETNAM – Ha Long Bay is another world heritage site that must not be missed.  Ha Long is roughly three hours away from the center of Hanoi.  It is highly suggested to book the cruise or tour at the front desk of your hotel in Hanoi.  There are a number of options to choose from ranging from the short half day tours or cruises that can last for several days.  Tour packages can even include meals and side trips for some cave exploration.  This famous bay is made up of close to two thousand islets that are made of limestone.  These limestone islets or rock formations resemble interesting elements like turtles, dogs and one even looks like a fighting cock.  Cruising along Ha Long Bay is sure is a fine way to experience Vietnam not only the sights but the rich culture as well.  STATUS = PENDING

FALL IN LOVE WITH THE TAJ MAHAL OF INDIA – Being a hopeless romantic, I must definitely include what I believe is one of the most romantic landmarks in the world – the Taj Mahal.  The Taj Mahal is a wonderful mausoleum which can be found in Agra, India.  This was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to pay tribute to the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This structure became as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was referred to as the “jewel of Muslim art in India.”  Its white dome, which is made of marble, would have to be its most popular part and can be seen from afar.  Locals recommend for the trip to be made either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  It can be extremely hot during mid-day.  Travel buffs from all over the world must definitely include the Taj Mahal in their travel itineraries as no photo would ever do justice to the beauty of the this famous symbol of love.  STATUS = PENDING

I know that this is quite a list but this is not even my entire Bucket List!  Somehow, it is fun to create a similar list to make you realize that the world is wonderful place and that we should strive hard to see as much of it as we can in what little time that we have.

So, what will you include in your own Asian Bucket List?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~ Lao Tzu

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  • Polls

    Top 5 Romantic Spots in Asia

    • Palawan, Philippines (39%, 182 Votes)
    • Boracay, Philippines (36%, 168 Votes)
    • Bali, Indonesia (31%, 143 Votes)
    • Agra, India (18%, 84 Votes)
    • Batangas, Philippines (17%, 79 Votes)
    • Male, Maldives (16%, 77 Votes)
    • Jeju Island, South Korea (16%, 75 Votes)
    • Sentosa Island, Singapore (15%, 72 Votes)
    • Krabi, Thailand (13%, 60 Votes)
    • Macau, China (10%, 49 Votes)
    • Halong Bay, Vietnam (7%, 34 Votes)

    Total Voters: 467

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