How AirAsia Enable Me To Learn From Different Cultures and Make Me a Better Person
/I think this title is more appropriate for this post.
If I had 10 AirAsia Free Seats, I would go to Cebu Philippines and I’d bring along my wife – because we are getting marry in 2 weeks time and I am unable to bring anyone else besides her. Plus, we both like to eat, especially lechon and sisig.. I would get into very bad shape if I don’t nominate her.
Anyway, I want to share my past travel experiences with you. I learn something from every travels so below are 10 lessons I learnt these years. I also recommended who are the best person to travel with.
1. Siam Reap – Cambodia
Taking photo of exotic creatures
Angkor Wat is definitely a place you have to visit. However, many doesn’t know that there are more than 50 of such temples scattered around. You only need half day to visit 3-5 famous temples. And the rest of the day you can explore some other things. We hired full time tuk-tuk driver named Makara and he brought us to interesting places (wayyyy moreee funnnn thannnn Angkor Wat). We had equivalent of 4 towers of beer for less than RM50. Easily cost RM320 at Sabah.
Best type of travel companion: a buddy who can drink and take great photo.
Lesson learnt: Do no follow conventional path, there are always alternative ways. We did not finish touring Angkor Wat; and we visited Beer Garden, only locals have fun.
2. Hong Kong & Macau – China
Stayed at the most notorious location in Hong Kong (watch the video here), in less than 100 square feet of room. Heaven for food, but nightmare for people who hates to walk fast. They keep moving moving moving like a robot. My stress level is over the chart during my entire stay at Hong Kong. On the bright side, the foods are awesome. The casinos at Macau flaunt their riches and luxury at entirely different level. How do these people got so rich?!
The most memorable event for the trip for me is Disneyland. I crossed out this destination at first because it’s not suitable for grown ups. I thought grown ups like us won’t enjoy it, and boy I was sooooo wrong. I missed Disneyland the most at the end of the trip.
Best travel companion: Person who loves to eat dim sum.
Lesson learnt: There are always people who are wealthier and more capable than you. Stay humble, like a potato. But – don’t underestimate what you can do.
3. Taipei – Taiwan
Shilin Night Market
I’ve been to Taiwan for several times, both holiday and business purpose. In Taiwan, everything works in a systematic way. The bus and train arrives on time, people follow rules, even the foods served in 7-11 get replaced few times a day. Breakfast > lunch > dinner > supper. And oh boy the food are incredibly delicious. Make sure you visit Shilin night market and get a week’s worth of food down your throat (and stay on bed entire day for full time digestion). Oh, make sure you visit the night clubs as well, it’s crazy fun. All my boys didn’t want to leave the night club even it’s 3am.
Best travel companion: Buddy who enjoys looking at Tai Mei (Taiwanese girls).
Lesson Learnt: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just need to do what works. Copy and paste from others.
4. Bangkok – Thailand
Mesmerized by guitars like 3 years old in candy store
Tourist hub for South East Asia. Expect to see many tourists here even in off-beat track. It’s place filled with music, beer, great food and cheap shirts. Red district aside, this is actually a fun place to bring your family for holiday. I always thought Kuala Lumpur is a shopping heaven, until I visited the largest shopping mall at Bangkok. “OK next time we come here for shopping too, KL memang kalah…”. Make sure you ride on Tuk-tuk and do a few wheelies (dangerous). I am not going to mention the activities we did there because that requires entire blog post (and quite ham sap too).
Best travel companion: Friends who enjoy shopping, as well as opposite sex – so you behave yourself when entering red-light districts.
Lesson learnt: People are making money in creative ways and cash-in where the trends are going. e.g. tourists. We should learn to adapt and make good use of every possible opportunities instead of complaining what we don’t have.
5. Guangzhou – China
Pork, hmmmm yummy.
I stayed at a run down hotel located next to a pig slaughter factory and it stank like hell. And that’s all I remembered. The next trip was at 5 stars hotel in middle of city, just above the spas and KTV. Both experiences were entirely different, but both were for business purposes. I was here to meet with my manufacturer and all they did was bring us to enjoy.
Spas – checked.
Massage – checked.
Huge meals – checked.
KTV – checked.
Visit factory – almost forgot.
You’re not supposed to finish the food on table or else they keep adding. Your glass is not supposed to raise higher than elderly, etc. The rich historical culture often amazed me until this day.
Best travel companion: Business partner, who is able to spot good business opportunities as well as drink well.
Lesson learn #1: Never trust online hotel reviews.
Lesson learnt #2: Find what your market need, and produce at China. Not go China to look for what you can sell, because they can produce anything.
6. Hanoi – Vietnam
Helping plants to grow faster and healthier
One thing that stands out the most in Hanoi are the ladies. I don’t understand why majority of them has great body curves. And they looked like Hong Kong superstars wei! How come like this one?! No wonder newspaper always run ads about marrying Vietnamese bride. Thing in Vietnam is, I always constant struggle between beer and water, because they both costs the same! Another thing you must experience here – sit at stool by the road side and enjoy their delicious street food. Pho for the win! PS. I ate snake.
Best travel companion: Probably my dad so we can go cuci mata together
Lesson learnt: Don’t judge book by it’s cover. Don’t pick your wife based on body curves. Ha!
7. Kelantan – Malaysia
Kelantan is a great place with rich histories and culture. I suggest everyone to visit this state at least once. I was invited as a travel blogger by AirAsia to write about Kelantan tourism and oh boy I’ve learned so much in such short few days. The tourism industry is just started to boom and now is a good time to visit. For me, I think the must-visit is Wayang Kulit and must-eat is Ayam Penyet. I’ve prepared a comprehensive post about my Kelantan trip here.
Best travel companion: Family. Activities are mostly sightseeing and museum.
Lesson learnt: Every culture takes effort to preserve. Many are doing their part to retain their culture without getting any in return. Are you doing your part as Malaysian?
8. Ho Chi Minh City– Vietnam
Beer is common language all over the world
Experiencing how to crossing the road is worth the return trip to Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City). There are several must-do day trips around the city like shooting rifle and Cu Chi tunnel. But none of the activity beats the experience of sitting by the road side and drinking beer with fellow locals. Seeing the motorists zig-zag along the busy roads without bumping to each other is quite something.
Best travel companion: Buddy who is adventurous and playful. No sissies please..
Lesson learnt: I believe people are 99/100 good, don’t let 1/100 bad apple spoil your perception that ones’ country is a dangerous place to visit. I met many strangers, both locals and tourists, and they are all good people.
9. Vientiene – Laos
Look at my happy face, ha!
Vientinene is a quiet city by itself, nothing much to see except Buddha Park. However you can find something MORE FUN, it’s a new town called Vang Vieng, a place for hippies! It’s a new town created by tourists and it’s a heaven for hard core party goers, nothing close to Zouk or LAVA, because this is entirely different league. My travel companion, Shannon, tried magic mushrooms and he shares his experience in the blog posts.
Best travel companion: Definitely not with your parents; but with someone who you can trust and look after you. Preferably whole gang of friends.
Lesson learnt: Life is short, indulge and enjoy. Take reasonable risks and reap the benefits.
10. Kota Kinabalu – Malaysia
Poring hot springs
How can I don’t include my favourite city of entire Malaysia?! WOOOOOO!!! this one confirm no need me to say much de lah. KK is one of the favourite travel destination for many Asia countries. We have island, mountains, river, wildlife and Top 50 Best Foods of Kota Kinabalu. I even a few websites dedicated for local tourism, like SabahGuide.com, MountKK.com and KotaKinabaluGuide.com.
Best travel companion: Family or group of friends. Perfect for honeymoon too.
Lesson Learnt: You don’t have to travel far to travel well. This applies to all parts of countries too.
How Traveling To These Places Made Me A Better Person
I’ve only travelled to less than 5% of the countries in the world, yet I already benefit so much from the experiences from different cultures and people. I’ve grown not only in business perspective, but in personal growth as well. Not only that, now I have plenty of stories to tell to everyone in many years to come. I can related back to some experience or inspirations from one of my past travels in everything I am doing right now.
I am grateful for the possibilities of all these travels thanks to affordable air tickets by AirAsia. Dato Tony has not only changed my life for better, but for majority of customers who travelled by AirAsia as well. Ok I am done shining Dato’s shoes, hahahahhaha! But for the grateful part – it’s honest one.
Make good use of AirAsia FREE SEATS promo
Giving out free seats is one of the most brilliant marketing tactics ever pulled off. Why aren’t you taking good use of this chance to travel to new places? AirAsia gives out free seats to public every year, and it’s up to you to grab the free seats. By travelling to 1-2 different places per year, you’re already growing from all the exposures, which greatly benefits you in many ways.
Most importantly, it’s not expensive, everyone can travel like I do.