Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Five: Places I Need to Revisit

Hello lovelies!

I recently decided to try something new on my blog! Given my love of lists, I've decided to make a "Friday Five" feature on my blog. Every Friday, I'll be sharing five things based on a theme. It might be a top five, it might be a worst five, about Japan, New Zealand, or anything or anywhere else! You'll just have to keep checking back every Friday to find out. ;)

After thinking about this for the last couple of weeks, there couldn't have been a more perfect time to be tagged by the Adventures Around Asia blog in her "5 Places I Need to Revisit" post. This post is part of the booked.net Go There Promotion. Thank you so much, Richelle! I loved reading about her 5, as she's been to a lot of places in Asia which are on my list (South Korea, I'm especially looking at you) and it was great so see that she deemed a lot of them revisit-worthy! Now, I don't think I can quite match her when it comes to exploring Asia, but I've still been a few fun places in my own adventures, so without further ado, here are my own top 5 places I need to revisit.

5. Rarotonga

Oh Rarotonga, Where do I begin? I've been to Rarotonga, the most populous of the Cook Islands, twice. The most recent time was in 2013, for one of my best friend's weddings. Rarotonga is an easy 4 hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand.

Me doing what I did most of the time - taking every chance I got to snorkel in the crystal clear water.
It's basically everything you imagine when you picture an island in the South Pacific. Soft, sandy beaches with fantastic snorkeling opportunities inches offshore. Warm island breezes with the sweet hint of frangipani. Fresh seafood served with a smile. Passionate dancers, drummers and singers showcasing their talents. Rarotonga has it all. Relax in the sun with a cocktail, or watch the sunset from the back of a scooter as you glide around the island. There's no way I'd pass up a chance to visit this South Pacific paradise, and neither should you!

4. Taiwan

1,600 pandas. Just chillin' in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.
I wrote about my trip to Taiwan earlier this year in this post. My boyfriend and I visited his sister there, and we all had such a fun time! Because of my work schedule, it was a bit of a whirlwind trip. I got just enough of a taste of Taiwan (quite literally...those dumplings though) to know that I need to go back for more. Aside from the food, there's loads of places outside of Taipei that I hope to visit in the near future.

3. Malaysia

Okay, so technically...I've only had a layover here. But it was a long layover! Surely that counts? I'm always wanting to explore more of Asia, and seeing as it's about smack bang in the middle of Japan and New Zealand, my two homes, it seems like the perfect place to stop in again - for a much longer stay, I hope. I researched Malaysia a little recently, and there's tonnes of things I'd love to do. Based on my time in Rarotonga, you can guess I'd be all over the snorkeling opportunities. But there's also shipwrecks to explore, tea plantations to wander, night markets to devour, and...Hello Kitty Town (!!!).

The breathtaking Petronas Towers would be my first stop!
2. Hawaii

Hawaii was a huge trip for me in a lot of ways. It was my first time travelling to the northern hemisphere, for one. It's the only part of the United States I've ever been to, and for a young Kiwi girl, it was amazing! I went inside Tiffany's (in my high school hoodie, no less), found myself obsessed with Betsey Johnson, and bought a pair of Michael Kors heels - which should be inducted into some kind of shoe hall of fame for all the wonderful nights they accompanied me on.

Obama had just recently become president, so Hawaii was very festive!
(I wasn't kidding about wearing that hoodie into Tiffany's.)
Of course, it wasn't all about the shopping (just a lot of it). I also went horseback riding in the Hawaiian wilderness, took a movie set tour, visited Pearl Harbour, and watched traditional Hawaiian dancing before taking a sunset cruise around the harbour. You might wonder, if I visited Hawaii now, having visited so much more of the world, would I have such an amazing time? I know I would. Hawaii really holds a special place in my heart!

1. China

There could be no other number one for this question. I admit it - I'm dying to visit China again!

The Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China - can you believe no one else ruined my shot?
In 2013, after studying Chinese for over 5 years, I was faced with a decision: spend the money I'd been saving for the last six months on a car, as intended, or...on a tour of China that was half price. I chose China. My mum and I set out, she excited, me surprisingly nervous. We spent three weeks travelling China, from Beijing to Shanghai, stopping in Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Hangzhou on the way. We had an amazing time, the tour was fantastic value, and I think both of us would definitely do it again. These days, I'm considering spending some time living in China teaching or studying, as it's a place I do truly want to come to understand on a deeper level. I can't recommend China enough as a travel destination. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells were like nothing I'd ever experienced - it was my introduction to Asia, and as you can see, I've been hooked ever since!

Thanks again to Richelle for the tag, and don't forget to check out this promotion yourself.
Booked.net - Top Destinations to Go There
To pass on this fun challenge, and invite others to enter the competition, I'm tagging 5 other bloggers:
Ginger in JapanJapan and KnittingKim Dao BlogMemoirs of a Gaijin, and last but not least, Semi Japanese. I suggest you check out all these blogs for some interesting reading, too!

Have you ever visited these countries? What were your impressions? And the biggest question of all - which countries would make your "five places I need to revisit" list? Let me know in the comments below!

- Annabelle

2 comments:

  1. This is a great list. I miss Taiwan, already. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Eileen! Taiwan was a fantastic place to visit, and the trip was made even better by having my boyfriend's sister guide us around all the local spots!

      Delete

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I've been a high school English language teacher on the JET Programme since August 2013. Read about my experiences, advice on being accepted into the JET Programme, and travel tips around Japan on my blog:
 
 
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