Traveling Asia with Judy (Intern Articles)

Traveling Asia with Judy (Intern Articles)

.Living in Korea has given me the opportunity to visit multiple Asian countries. For the next six months, I will narrow down to some places that I think you most definitely should visit during your stay in Korea!

China (March 2019 Article)
  • May 4th Square - Beijing

    May 4th Square - Beijing

  • May 4th Square - Beijing

    May 4th Square - Beijing

  • Beijing Duck

    Beijing Duck

  • Hot Pot

    Hot Pot

  • Tianamen Square - Beijing

    Tianamen Square - Beijing

  • Wangfujing Entrance - Beijing

    Wangfujing Entrance - Beijing

  • Wangfujing Food

    Wangfujing Food

  • Xiaoyushan

    Xiaoyushan

  • Great Wall

    Great Wall

  • Malaxiangguo

    Malaxiangguo

  • Malatang

    Malatang

  • Lamb Skewers

    Lamb Skewers

  • Wangfujing Road

    Wangfujing Road

 

China

I'm going to start off this series with the second largest country in Asia and the country with the world’s second largest population—China. With China’s long history, it is a great place to see and experience history and different cultures. I would like to talk more about have been to Beijing and Qingdao—the most traveled to cities from Korea.


Beijing

Tiananmen Gate and Square

Tiananmen Gate (or Gate of Heavenly Peace) is an immense gate in the center of Beijing and resides on the northern side of its namesake, Tiananmen Square. It is widely used as a national symbol of China and is also a popular photo area especially due to the large iconic portrait of Mao Zedong. The square can accommodate up to a million people, making it one of the largest squares in the world.

The Great Wall

The Great Wall was built by the successive dynasties of China to prevent the invasion of nomadic tribes from the North. When walking along the Great Wall, one can imagine the people who had built and rebuilt these walls over hundreds of years.

Wangfujing Road

In the Qing Dynasty, Wangfujing Road was filled with nobles’ and bureaucrats’ houses, but now it is the most famous shopping street in Beijing. You can see all sorts of Chinese street food, like dumplings, deep-fried starfish, lamb skewers and scorpion skewers—it is a fantastic place to have a culinary adventure!


Qingdao

May Fourth Square (also known as 5.4 Square)

May Fourth Square is named after the May Fourth Movement that started in Qingdao in 1919. There is a pleasant walkway to take a stroll along the sea, making it perfect for pictures. It is quite beautiful during the day, but the square really shines at night when all of the lights come on.

Xiaoyushan Park

Xiaoyushan Park is a small park in Qingdao and has stunning panoramic views from its 3-story observatory. With wonderful views and surrounded by quaint cafes, Xiaoyushan Park is a gem of Qingdao. It is the perfect place to find a quiet cafe and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Qingdao Beer Museum

Established by German brewers in 1903, the Qingdao Beer Museum shows the process of making beer as well as the history of this old beer company. Learn about how beer is made and processed, both traditionally in the older part of the brewery all the way through bottling in the modern plant.

Taidong Night Market

Qingdao is a city famous for its seafood and Taidong Night Market is a great place to try what Qingdao has to offer. If seafood isn’t something you like, however, there are tons of other local foods to try as well.

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Judy's Traveling Tips and Suggestions

It's great to learn about the places before you visit, but what about when you're actually there? I've included some of my favorite foods to try, a few helpful phrases and tips about being a tourist in China.

 

Foods to Try
Dish Name (English) Dish (Mandarin) Romanization
Hotpot 火锅 Huoguo
Spicy Numbing Soup 麻辣烫 Malatang
Chili Pot 麻辣香锅 Malaxiangguo
Beijing Duck 北京烤鸭 Beijing Kao Ya
Lamb Skewer 羊肉串 Yang Rou Chuan

 

Phrases

In China, dialects are very regional and sometimes even Chinese people don't understand one another. Based on my experience traveling in China, I found that English wasn’t a commonly spoken language. To help you on your trip to China, below are some Mandarin phrases I found the most useful while traveling.

Basics

English Mandarin Romanization
Hello 你好 nǐhǎo
Thank you 谢谢 xièxie
Sorry 不好意思 bùhăoyìsī

 

Useful Phrases

English Mandarin Romanization
How much is it? 多少钱 duōshǎo qián ?
Where is the washroom? 洗手间在哪儿 Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎer?
I don't understand. 听不懂 tīngbùdǒng
I am American. 我是美国人 wŏ shì mĕiguó rén
Give me this one, please. 给我这个 gěi wǒ zhège
No, thanks. 不要 búyào
I want to go to the airport. 我要去机场 wŏ yào qù jīchăng

 

My Tips and Tricks for Travel
  • There are a lot of bike shares in China. When I traveled the city, I liked using Ofo Bicycle App since it’s really easy to spot the bright yellow bikes.
  • You can’t use Google, Kakaotalk, Facebook, Youtube or Instagram in China. In order to get around this, I downloaded a VPN app so I can access these social media sites.

  • Since you can’t use Google, there are a few apps that you can use to help with navigation. I personally liked using Baidu Map.

  • Since the country is large, using trains from city-to-city is a common mode of transportation. It was a really unique experience when I tried the bed train and even the high speed trains during my travels.

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Philippines (April 2019 Article)
  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • Cebu - Whale Shark

    Cebu - Whale Shark

  • Cebu

    Cebu

  • Cebu

    Cebu

  • Kawasan Falls Canyon

    Kawasan Falls Canyon

  • Kawasan Falls Canyon

    Kawasan Falls Canyon

  • Boracay

    Boracay

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • Crystal Cove Island

    Crystal Cove Island

  • slide
  • Crystal Cove Island

    Crystal Cove Island

  • D'Talipapa Market

    D'Talipapa Market

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach

  • White Beach

    White Beach


Philippines

Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, comprising more than 7,100 islands. Since it is located in the tropics, the average annual temperature is 27°C (about 81°F), which is hot all-year-round. The Philippines is a famous vacation spot, especially for honeymoons. Let's explore Boracay and Cebu, the most famous islands in the Philippines!


Cebu Island

Oslob

Oslob is a small town and very famous for its whale shark tour. Cebu-Oslob is the one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks.

Judy's Notes: If you want to learn more about how to swim with sharks and other marine wildlife, more information can be found on Project AWARE's Code of Conduct page. (This is a third party site. No federal endorsement implied.)

Kawasan Falls Canyon

If you’re not into getting buddy-buddy with some sharks but still want an adventure, canyoneering at Kawasan Falls is a popular location to try all types of outdoor activities. Experience the canyon through hiking, cliff jumping, swimming, rock climbing and even abseiling!

Sugbo Mercado (Night Market)

Sugbo Mercado is the biggest weekend food market in Cebu. For a reasonable price, you can find delicious Filipino foods and event various kinds of seafood and Asian cuisine. It is a fantastic place to enjoy the local foods with live music! If you do visit the market, note that it is only open from Thursday through Sunday.


Boracay Island

White Beach (Boracay Beach)

White Beach is the world's third largest beach and, true to its name, it has beautiful ivory sands. Enjoy the sand art while feeling the sand between your toes on this fine coral sand beach. It is beautiful around-the-clock, but it shines at sunset. If you have the chance, try a sunset sailboat tour and experience a breath-taking tropical sunset.

Crystal Cove Island

Crystal Cove Island is a great place for leisure or adventure. There are two caves on the island to explore—one that has great rock formations and a cave pool connected to the turquoise waters, while the other has a bit more spelunking with a small tunnel that leads to beautiful splashing waves. If you plan on exploring both caves, admission is around 200 piso (approximately 4 US dollars). Aside from exploring the caves, Crystal Cove is also a good place to enjoy snorkeling and swimming.

D'Talipapa Market

D’Talipapa is a seafood market surrounded by souvenir shops and restaurants. After you buy your favorite seafood at the market, you can bring it to a restaurant and have it prepared any way you want. Popular dishes to try are garlic cheese lobster and chili shrimp. You can also order a wide variety of side dishes to include garlic rice—a local favorite. Don’t forget to bargain at the marketplace!

Back to Philippines.


Judy's Traveling Tips and Suggestions

It's great to learn about the places before you visit, but what about when you're actually there? I've included some of my favorite foods to try, a few helpful phrases and tips about being a tourist in the Philippines.

Foods to Try

InternArticlesPhilippines_FoodCollage.jpgHere are some delicious foods to try when you visit!

  • Steamed Mud Crab
  • Halowich Mango Shake
  • Valhalla T-Bone Steak
  • Garlic Cheese Lobster
  • Chili Shrimp
  • Garlic Rice
Phrases

Most locals speak a variation of English called Philippine English, but if you want to speak like the locals, here are some Tagalog phrases to try.

Judy's Notes: Tagalog has an honorific indicator, “-po” (much like “-yo” in Korean).

Basics

English Tagalog
Good Morning Magandang Umaga
Good Afternoon Magandang Hapon
Good Evening Magandang Gabi
Thank you Salamat po
Sorry Sorry po

 

Useful Phrases

English Tagalog
How much is it? Magkano po?
Where is the washroom? Saan ang C.R.?
I don't understand. Hindi ko maintindihan
I will buy this one. Bibihin ko ito
Stop here, please. Para po dito
No, thanks. Hindi
I want to go to the airport. Gusto kong pumunta sa paliparan.

 

My Tips and Tricks for Travel
  • As Boracay has no airport, it is more convenient to research for a reputable pickup company to take you to Boracay via boat.

  • Due to exchange rates, it might be advantageous to exchange US dollars to Philippine piso ₱ (pronounced “peso” in Philippine English) rather than the Korean won.

  • I purchased a data free SIM card for 4 days in front of the airport for about 320 piso. However, I also found it cheaper at the DeMall in Boracay than at the airport. (Be sure to check if it's LTE!)

  • When leaving the Philippines, during check-in, I was charged an aiport/tourist fee in order to leave. Currently, as of writing this article, the fee is now around 850 piso.

Fun Things to Purchase

These are just a few things I considered as fun, unique purchases for the Philippines when I visited. Most of these items are uncommon to find in Korea or are unique to the Philippines.

  • Banana Chips
  • Mango Jelly
  • Dried Mango
  • Hair Oil
  • Havaianas Flip Flops
  • Noni Soap
  • Juice Powders (tons of flavors)
  • Kopiko Coffee

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Japan (May 2019 Article)
  • Sakura (Cherry) Blossom Tree (Osaka)

    Sakura (Cherry) Blossom Tree (Osaka)

  • Dotonburi (Osaka)

    Dotonburi (Osaka)

  • Dotonburi Glico (Osaka)

    Dotonburi Glico (Osaka)

  • Kuroman Ichiba Market (Osaka)

    Kuroman Ichiba Market (Osaka)

  • Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

    Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

  • Osaka Castle

    Osaka Castle

  • A Quaint Cafe Street (Osaka)

    A Quaint Cafe Street (Osaka)

  • Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

    Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

  • Dusk on Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

    Dusk on Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

  • Evening on Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

    Evening on Otaru Canal (Hokkaido)

  • Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

    Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

  • Inside Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

    Inside Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

  • Close-up of Music Boxes at the Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

    Close-up of Music Boxes at the Otaru Music Box Museum (Hokkaido)

  • Farm Tomita in Biei (Hokkaido)

    Farm Tomita in Biei (Hokkaido)

  • Shirogane Blue Pond (Hokkaido)

    Shirogane Blue Pond (Hokkaido)

  • Shirahige Waterfall (Hokkaido)

    Shirahige Waterfall (Hokkaido)

  • Sapporo

    Sapporo

  • Sapporo Beer Museum (Hokkaido)

    Sapporo Beer Museum (Hokkaido)

Japan

Japan is a country located in East Asia, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The seasons are relatively distinct and much like Korea, it has all four seasons. April and May is the best time to visit due to the blooming sakura (cherry) blossoms. This month, let’s travel to Osaka and Hokkaido—two locations in Japan that are only about a two-hour flight from Korea.


Osaka

Dotonbori

Dotonbori is the main street in Osaka. Famous restaurants and shopping streets are all located here. If you have time, an interesting way to view Dotonbori is by taking a river cruise (and I find it is one of the more fun ways to explore). Try taking a picture with the same pose as Dotonbori's trademark Glico!

Kuromon Ichiba Market (Black Gate Market)

Kuromon Ichiba Market is a food market located near Namba Station, next to Dotonbori. It has a long tradition of more than 170 years and with 170 shops it is one of the best places to buy high quality ingredients and delicious food. The market is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is a popular market for locals as well as tourists, because it allows you to buy, cook and eat a variety of seafood.

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

Osaka Housing Museum is a museum that shows the history of Osaka citizens in 19th and 20th century and the history of Japanese homes. On the 8th floor, there is an area that depicts the image of Osaka in the early 1900s through models and video materials; on the 9th floor, you can experience the Osakan street in the 1830s was completely reproduced like a set of a period film! There is also a place to rent kimono, so you can feel like a local by wearing traditional clothes!

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle, a famous symbol of Osaka, was built in the 16th century after Toyotomi Hideyoshi achieved Japanese reunification and was designed to show off his power. The castle was originally very luxurious and covered in gold decorations, but it was destroyed due to civil conflicts and war through Japan’s history. In 1995, it was restored to its current shape that you can visit today. The parks around Osaka Castle are filled with beautiful flowers and trees that change with the seasons. It is especially wonderful in the spring with the sakura trees in bloom and the fall when the leaves boasts bright yellows and reds.


Hokkaido Prefecture

Otaru

Otaru is a small city that takes about 35 minutes by JR rapid train from Sapporo. A popular tourist location is the Otaru Canal. Walking down the Otaru Canal, you can enjoy a leisurely view of various street vendors and historical buildings. Otaru is also famous for its music box museum! You can see and hear a variety of gorgeous, antique music boxes. And if you’re looking for a little snack, I recommend the cheesecake and Yubari melon as definitely must-eat items!

Biei

The first thing that comes to mind when you are in Hokkaido is “snow.” Biei is a small town surrounded by a wide, picturesque fields. It is fantastic location to see the gentle rolling landscape covered in a thick blanket of snow. Or if that is a bit too cold, during the warmer months, you can visit any number of flower parks (such as Shikisai Hill, Zerebu Hill and Kanno Farm), which are colored with beautiful and aromatic flowers. Other places to visit in Biei would also be Shirogane Blue Pond, Shirahige Waterfall and Farm Tomita.

Sapporo Beer Museum

When you hear Sapporo many people often think of Sapporo Beer. Sapporo Beer Museum was established in 1877 and became a museum in 1987. Also due to it being the birthplace of Japanese beers, in 2004 it became registered as a Hokkaido Heritage Site. Learn about the history and process of this beer at the only beer museum in Japan. You can take a tour of the museum and view various exhibits such as the history of the Japanese beer industry as well see various Sapporo bottles, posters and instruments of brewery--some of which were used in the brewery prior to World War II!


Judy's Traveling Tips and Suggestions

It's great to learn about the places before you visit, but what about when you're actually there? I've included some of my favorite foods to try, a few helpful phrases and tips about being a tourist in Japan.

Foods to Try

Here are some delicious foods to try when you visit!

FoodinJapan.jpg

  • Takoyaki
  • Gyūdon (Beef Ball)
  • Yubari King (Try it in Sapporo!)
  • Gyukatsu(Japanese Beef Cutlet)
  • Ten-Dong
  • Okonomiyaki(Japanese Pancake)
  • Yakisoba (Fried Buckwheat Noodles)
Phrases

Basics

English Japanese Romanization
Good Morning おはようございます Ohayōgozaimasu
Good Afternoon こんにちは Kon'nichiwa
Good Evening こんばんは Kon'banwa
Thank you ありがとうございます。 Arigatōgozaimasu
Sorry すみません。 Sumimasen

 

Useful Phrases

English Japanese Romanization
How much is it? これはいくらですか。? Kore wa ikuradesu ka?
Where is the washroom? トイレはどこですか? Toire wa dokodesu ka?
I don't understand. よく 聞(き)きとれません。 Yoku kikitoremasen
Does this bus go to the airport? このバス、空港(くうこう)まで行(い)くんですか。? Kono basu, kūkō (kū kō) made gyō (i )-kundesu ka?
Stop here, please. (ここで)止めてください。 (Koko de) tomete kudasai.
Can you take a picture please? 写真(しゃしん)を とって もらえますか。? Shashin o totte moraemasu ka?

 

My Tips and Tricks for Travel
  • In Japan, it is better to rent a pocket Wi-Fi at the airport than to buy a USIM chip.

  • Trains and subways are very advanced in Osaka, but the price is high, so it’s good to buy a one-day ticket or two-day pass before you start traveling.

  • In Japan, the quality of convenience food is very high and there are many kinds to try! It is a good idea to buy a meal at a convenience store.

  • If you use more than 5000¥ (yen) in one place, most stores will give you a tax refund. Ask to the staff to check and see if it is possible to get this tax refund.

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Malaysia (June 2019 Article)
  • Petronas Towers

    Petronas Towers

  • Tanjung Aru Beach

    Tanjung Aru Beach

  • Nanamun Fireflies

    Nanamun Fireflies

  • Nanamun Fireflies Tour

    Nanamun Fireflies Tour

  • Monkeys in Nanamun Fireflies Tour

    Monkeys in Nanamun Fireflies Tour

  • Merdeka Square

    Merdeka Square

  • Batu Cave

    Batu Cave

  • Bukit Bintang

    Bukit Bintang

Malaysia

Malaysia is located in South East Asia, occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. Malaysia is influenced by many countries and has a variety of nationalities and cultures. This month, I will introduce Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Kota Kinabalu, a place with one of the most beautiful sunsets.


Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square

When Malaysia became independent from England in 1957, Merdeka Square was the first location to have the Malayan flag raised in place of the Union flag making it a key historical site in Malayan history. Today, Malaysian flags and flags of each state are raised and various events are held here every year, including the Independence Day celebrations.

Batu Caves

The Batu Cave is known as the largest Hindu holy site in the world, outside of India. Many Hindus worldwide can be seen taking their ascetic pilgrimage here and during January and February the Taipusam Festival is held here. Not only a religious site, Batu Caves is also offers over 100 rock climbing routes and is a popular place to have abseiling and spelunking trips.

Bukit Bintang

It is the main street in Kuala Lumpur, where you can enjoy shopping during the day and night markets at night. You can eat delicious and copious amounts of seafood at a great price and you can also buy a variety of tropical fruits, including mangos and the infamous durian. It also sells unusual food, so it is fun to eat as well as fun to see!

Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers are one of the identifying landmarks of Kuala Lumpur and was ranked as the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. They stand at about 1,482 feet and each tower has 88 floors. The night view from outside is fantastic, but there is also a great observation deck on the 86 floor! However, there is a limit of 1,300 people a day, so don’t forget to reserve a ticket in advance!


Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Tanjung Aru Beach

Tanjung Aru Beach is considered one of the best places to catch a spectacular sunset near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s capital. There are also many street foods here, so you can enjoy delicious food while watching the scenery!

Kawakawa River Cruise Tour (Nanamun Fireflies Tour)

Nanamun is about a two-hour bus ride from the downtown area and it's famous for its Fireflies Tour. Float down the Kawakawsa River and marvel at the fireflies sparkling in the trees against the night sky.

Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (City Mosque)

The Sabah State Mosque is located on the Riksman Rotary. As the largest mosque in Sabah, it boasts magnificent views and gives a mysterious feeling of floating on the water. The appearance of the mosque reflected in the water is one of the famous photo-taking places of Kota Kinabalu.

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Judy's Traveling Tips and Suggestions

I've included some of Malaysia's famous foods and dishes to try while you're there and some helpful phrases and tips while traveling.

Famous Foods
  • Sayap (Grilled Chicken Wings) & Satay (Chicken Skewers)
  • Nasi Lemak
  • Nasi Goreng
  • Bah Kit Teh
  • Steam Boat (Hot Pot)
  • Sui Jiao & Wo Tei (Dumplings)
Phrases

The language is Bahasa Melayu, however English, Chinese and Tamil are very commonly spoken as well. The peoples of East Malaysia also have their own languages.

Basics

English Bahasa Melayu (Malay)
Good Morning Selemat pagi
Good Afternoon Selamat petang
Good Evening Selamat malam
Thank You Terima Kasih
Sorry Minta maaf

 

Useful Phrases

English Bahasa Melayu (Malay)
How much is it? Berapa harga?
Where is the washroom? Di mana tandas?
I can’t understand. Saya tidak faham.
Does this bus go to the airport? Adakah bas ini pergi ke lapangan terbang?
Can you take a picture please? Bolehkah anda mengambil gambar?

 

My Tips and Tricks for Travel
  • The rainy season is from October to February, the dry season is from March to September. It might be a good idea to pack an umbrella (even during the dry season) due to frequent showers.
  • Malaysia is great place to get a massage for a very reasonable price. (And don't forget to haggle!)
  • View tourist attractions comfortably in Kuala Lumpur! A city tour bus with a 24- and 48-hour pass provides riders the chance to get off at any tourist attraction on route. I especially recommend taking a double-decker bus as it is a great way to view the city.

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