Just the ticket for some fun

Just the ticket for some fun

Asia offers a world of new thrills for summer holidays, writes YP cadet Jocelyn Ng

So you've sat through your final assembly, weepily said goodbye to your teachers and cleared your locker. It's official: you've graduated. To those of you who have finished secondary school, and have work, a gap year or university to look forward to, congratulations.

If you want to continue your celebrations, but haven't had time to plan your graduation trip, we have some easy-to-reach suggestions in Asia for you. There's something to suit every mood! Happy holidays!


It's better to give than receive

Nepal What better way to learn about a country than by spending time with - and giving back to - the people? Nepal is home to the world's tallest mountain range, the Himalayas, plus many other natural wonders: jungles, rivers, parks and gorges.

Dive into Nepalese culture firsthand. Teach English and maths to underprivileged primary school children. Volunteer to look after kids at an orphanage and play games with them. Get your hands dirty by helping to paint schools and install water pumps. The trip will be unforgettable for all the best reasons. You won't want to leave.


Switch off and chill out

Goa (India) Just want to relax on the beach? Read a book by the pool? Get a massage? You can do it all in Goa, India's smallest state, on the country's west coast.

A former Portuguese colony, Goa attracts tourists from all over the world. They come mainly for its beaches, ancient temples and world heritage architecture. But it is also famous for its many perfect getaway resorts.If you do feel active, there are places for badminton, archery and India's favourite pastime, cricket.

Goa is a great contrast to India's bustling cities of Mumbai or Bangalore. It's the perfect retreat destination.


On your marks. Get wet. Go!

Langkawi (Malaysia) Can't stand the heat? Me neither. Take a trip to Langkawi, an archipelago of almost 100 islands also known as paradise. Bask in the sun while enjoying the cool water. Go in July to make the best of the beautiful weather.

Take your mind off school and what comes next, and simply enjoy everything Langkawi has to offer: snorkelling, swimming, canoeing, scuba diving, boating ...

It's easy to get to, but it's far enough from the cities to feel secluded, so you can finally relax, and I mean really relax.


Get a natural high

Sabah (Malaysia) Unless you're an avid backpacker, it's unlikely you'll have ever done a trip like this. You will be challenged, so be prepared. 

Get a guide for the two-day climb to Low's Peak, the top of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo's highest peak. Bring long-sleeved shirts, hiking trousers, a wind breaker, gloves, sunscreen and a raincoat. The weather should be beautiful but you never know.

More than 4,000 metres above sea level, this mountain is also home to thousands of species of plants and hundreds of species of birds and mammals. Mount Kinabalu will surprise you with its rich biodiversity.

The climb will be tough, but once you watch the sunrise from the peak, you'll have forgotten about the long, hard climb and be aware of nothing other than the beauty of nature.


Perfect for history lovers

Taipei (Taiwan) If you're a history nerd even now you've left school, head to Taipei. The city is packed with museums, temples and parks.

It's easy to get from one landmark to another, because like Hong Kong, Taipei offers a variety of public transport: the metro, buses, taxis and even bicycles.

While you're there, check out the breathtaking view from the world's former tallest building, Taipei 101. Visit the National Palace Museum and the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, to learn about Taiwan's fascinating past.

Don't leave without dining at the Shilin Night Market. It's been around since the early 20th century, so you can continue to geek out even as you eat.


Money to burn

Seoul (Korea) If you like shopping, eating good food and being part of a bustling city, Seoul may be the perfect place for you.

Like its Japanese counterpart, Seoul is a shopper's paradise. Start at the Dongdaemun Market, where all the locals shop for bargains. Then head to Myeongdong, where you'll find good value clothes, accessories and jewellery that your uni friends will envy.

Stylish Gangnam - remember the song? - has quite expensive stores but it's worth a look, while Itaewon has lots of great English-speaking restaurants and loads of different cuisines.

All this shopping is bound to make you hungry, so be sure to order bibimbap. You've probably tried the rice dish in Hong Kong, but it's so much better in Seoul. There's so much to do in the city, you'll run out of time; just be careful you don't run out of money!



This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Just the ticket for some fun


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