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My Definition of Well-Traveled

well trav·eled -
adjective – a person who has been to over 100 of the Travelers’ Century Club ”countries” and has, on several occasions, been the only one on the overnight bus (mini-van) who was fluent in English and not be able to hold a conversation in any of the local languages.

Kyoto Japan

Strategy: Kyoto is even more of a Japanese attraction than Tokyo. Fly into Osaka from Seoul and take a train to Kyoto. It saves a trip from Tokyo and you can spend a day in Osaka if you want. Plus, you’ll miss the transportation problems of Golden week by spending your last 4 days in Tokyo.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 52/70 with about 6 inches of rain in April. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in April.

Airfare: Fly from Seoul to Osaka for $103 on Jeju Air. I could not find any direct flights to Kyoto from Seoul because there is no airport in Kyoto. The one in Osaka is closest.

TransfersThere is an airport shuttle bus from Oksa airport to Kyoto Station for $13 USD. This same shuttle also goes to Osaka Station if you want to stay in Osaka for a day or two. Think seat61 for train transportation from Kyoto to Tokyo.

Hostels: HostelWorld. Hostelbookers. Kyoto Hostels. Lonely PlanetCapsule Ryokan Kyoto.

Attractions:  Map – Japan WondersGoogle. TripAdvisor. VirtualTourist. Lonely Planet. Planetware.

Food: Article. Article II. Article III. Article IV. Article V. Article VI.

 

Tokyo Japan

Strategy: Get to know Tokyo.

Weather:  Temperature averages for lows/highs is 50/71 with less than 1/8th inch of rain in April. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in April.

Airfare: Think less than $90 USD from Seoul. Lots of flights and interest. Note that you might want to fly into Osaka and then on to Kyoto and then on to Tokyo. Save one trip from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Transfers: 100.00 JPY = 0.989756 USD. I leave to come home from NRT. Transportation is expensive in Japan. Narita Express ($25?) is the high speed train. Tokyo Shuttle and The Access Narita are the bus services ($10?) to NRT. Good bus article is hereKeisei Limited Express ($10).

Hostels: HostelWorld. Hostelbookers. Lonely Planet. airbnb.

AttractionsMap – Japan Wonders. Google. TripAdvisor. VirtualTourist. Lonely Planet. PlanetWare.

Food: Article. Article II. Article III. Article IV. Article V. Article VI.

 

South Korea

Strategy: It’s a new country and I’d like to spend a little time there. Visas: U.S. citizens receive a 90-day entry permit on arrival. Jeju Island stays are visa free for 5 days. Jeju Island get me another country.  Note the flights to Jeju and back.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 46/65 with less than 1/8th inch of rain in April. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in April.

Airfare: Inchon is a good place to sleep. Seoul flights from Okinawa look to be $85 USD on Jeju Air. I checked Jetstar Japan and found there were no flights listed from Okinawa to Tokyo in April but there were flights listed in March for $85 USD. I’m thinking that it’s too early (09/2016) to book flights out in this area for April.

Transfers: 1,000.00 KRW = 0.906110 USD. Lots of ways to get to Seoul. Excellent guide is here.

Hostels: HostelWorld. Hostelbookers. Over 100 hostels listed in Seoul. Prices in the teens.

Attractions: TripAdvisor. VirtualTourist. GoogleLonely Planet. The Hillman Wonders of South Korea are the Bulguksa Temple (blue) and 8 reds: Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden Seoul), Jongmyo Royal Shrine (Seoul), Haeinsa Temple, Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul), Kyongju Tombs & Museum, Mt Sorak Hiking Trails, Beopjusa Temple and Sokkuram Grotto. Think N Seoul Tower, Namdaemun Market, Myeong-dong, Fortress Wall of Seoul, Lotte World, Insadong,  Cheonggyecheon Stream, The War Memorial of Korea, Bukchon, Noryangjin Fish Market,  Gwangjang Market, 63 City,

Food: Tosokchon Samgyetang, See this article for more. And here. and here.

Okinawa

Strategy: The primary reason to go is that it counts as another TCC country.

Weather:  Temperature averages for lows/highs is 66/76 with less than 1/4th inch of rain in April. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in April.

Airfare:  Tigerair (and Peach) also flies from Taipei to Okinawa for around $65 USD. If I want to do Japan before Golden Week, the airfare to from Okinawa to Tokyo is around $30 – $100 USD in March but jumps to $200 USD in April. Seoul flights from Okinawa look to be $85 USD on Jeju Air. I checked Jetstar Japan and found there were no flights listed from Okinawa to Tokyo in April but there were flights listed in March for $85 USD. I’m thinking that it’s too early (09/2016) to book flights out in this area for April.

Transfers: There appears to be a monorail and the fare seems to be between $2-4 USD.

Hostels: HostelWorld. Hostelbookers. Lonely Planet. Not a lot of options (10-20) and prices ($12-24) looked good. Apparently, location matters here.

Attractions: TripAdvisor. VirtualTourist. Google. The list does not look terribly inviting.

 

Taipei Taiwan

Strategy: It’s a new country and a chance to see a newer, more “western” (?) China.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 63/74 with less than 1 inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: Onetravel can get me out of Bangkok to Taipei for $107 on Tigerair. Tigerair (and Peach) also flies from Taipei to Okinawa for around $65 USD.

Transfers: Bus looks to cost $5 USD or less.

Hostels: HostelWorld. Hostelbookers. Lonely Planet. Over 100 hostels listed.

Attractions: TripAdvisor.  RoughGuides. Google. Lonely Planet. There are 5 Hillman Wonders, all red: Kenting National Park, National Palace Museum (Taipei), Lungsham Temple (Taipei), Taipei 101 Building and Taroko Gorge. Also think Shilin Night Market & Taiwan HSR.

 

Mayanmar

Strategy: Bagan Temples & Pagodas long with Shwedagon Stupa and Popa Taungkalat. Also, in Mandalay, Kuthodaw Pagoda,  Mandalay Palace and the Shwe Nandaw Monastery. Take trains around Myanmar. See seat61.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 77/97 with less than 1/25th inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: AirAsia flies from Bangkok to Yangon round-trip fir $112 USD in March. There are overnight and daily trains to get me back to Yangon from Mandalay. See seat61.

Transfers: No problem. Look cheap.

Hostels: HostelWorld, Hostelbooker & Lonely Planet*.

Attractions: Bagan Temples & Pagodas long with Shwedagon Stupa and Popa Taungkalat. Also, in Mandalay, Kuthodaw Pagoda,  Mandalay Palace and the Shwe Nandaw Monastery.

Bangkok Thailand

Strategy: Bangkok is to be a transit hub. I have been to Bangkok previously.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 79/95 with less than 1/15th inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: Spicejet can get me to Bangkok for $96.80 – 12:05 AM - 4:10 AM Flight: SG 83 from Madurai. Spicejet can get me to Bangkok for 90.40 USD from Kolkata. Note that BKK is “sleep-friendly” as far as Sleeping in Airports is concerned. Onetravel can get round-trip AirAsia tickets to Yangon for $147 USD. AirAsia can book it for $112 USD – much better. Onetravel can get me out of Bangkok to Taipei for $107 on Tigerair.

Transfers: See transit Bangkok.

Hostels: HostelWorld, Hostelbookers. There are over 300 hostels listed.

Attractions: TripAdvisor. Lonely Planet. Google. You’ve been there. Go see some places you have not been.

 

Kolkata India

Strategy: Kolkata is a base for going to Bangladesh, returning, and getting on to Thailand.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 63/85 with less than 1/50th inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: OneTravel can get me out of Madurai and on to Kolkata for $90. Spicejet can get me to Bangkok for 90.40 USD.

Transfers: Buses cost $2 USD for a 1 hour trip to town?

Hostels: Tons of cheap sleeps. Hostelworld. Lonely Planet.

Attractions: TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, Victoria Memorial (Images, Wikipedia), Indian Museum  (Images, Wikipedia), Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Shaheed Minar, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Marble Palace, more…

 

Dhaka Bangladesh

Strategy: Bangladesh is currently on my list because it represents another visa stamp. I know that’s sad, and I would like to change that in the future, but for this trip, it’s true.  Note that there is a $51 visa for entry into Bangladesh. The visa entry is not required for transition visitors.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 67/91 with less than 1/25th inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: Airfare into Kolkata costs $90. Airfare from Kolkata to Bangkok costs $115 in March on Indigo.

Transfers: No transfers involved. I will come in by train or not leave the airport if flying in.

Hostels: Try Lonely Planet Budget Accommodations.

Attractions: I’m still looking for what I think might be a good attraction to visit. I’m thinking a t-shirt from Dhaka University might be the best answer.

 

Madurai India

Strategy: India – map of Wonders to see. Wikitravel for Madurai. Meenakshi and Gopurams (gateway towers) is the reason why I’m going.

Weather: Temperature averages for lows/highs is 75/91 with less than 1/4 inch of rain in March. Oklahoma City gets about 3 inches of rain in March.

Airfare: The flight out from Columbo to Madurai costs $92.20 USD and leaves CMB @ 2:00 PM. Note that OneTravel can get me out of Madurai and on to Kolkata for $90. Note that I can get from Chennai to Bangkok for $96.20 on Spicejet (leaves Chennai at 10:00 PM arrives BKK at 3:00 AM..

Transfers: 500.00 INR = 7.46532 USD. Is 500 INR the going rate for airport transfers?

Hostels: Look at Lonely Planet or airbnb  for this one.

Attractions: Meenakshi and Gopurams (gateway towers) is the reason why I’m going.