For me, April began in Vietnam. To be more precise: Da Nang, Vietnam. From Hanoi I made my way down to this modern and constantly growing city in central Vietnam. The city stretches along a wide coastline with sandy beaches. After exploring the city and relaxing at the beach, I decided to do a daytrip to the famous city of Hoi An. It is a remarkable city, strongly influenced by the French colonists. It is a unique twist of Vietnamese and French influences. One of my personal highlights was visiting a Museum by French photograph Rehahn. He portrayed almost all the ethnic minorities in Vietnam and one of his pictures became world-famous. It was very interesting to learn more about those minorities and their unique traditions, especially when it comes to their clothing. After my time in Da Nang and Hoi An I continued with the train to Ho Chi Minh city. I boarded the train and had to sleep in a 6 bedroom with a Vietnamese family. I had the top bed which only had about 40cm distance to the roof. Not the most comfortable ride but this is an essential part of travel and a fun story to tell afterwards. After I slept the first 7 hours, I got out of the bed and searched for some coffee. On my way I met a guy from the Philippines. We had a great conversation and decided to meet up in Ho-Chi-Minh City. I was really tired after this 19 hour travel but I managed to go out the same evening to get a glimpse of the city’s nightlife. In the following days I visited the war remaining’s museum, Notre Dame cathedral and the around the Bitxco Tower, Saigon`s highest building.
On the night of the 5th April I boarded my flight to Seoul, South Korea. I was super excited for this one and Korea didn´t disappoint. The time in Seoul was amazing. I never seen such an advanced and modern city, while the old traditions are still visible. It was also great to meet up with a few friends and indulging some traditional Korean dishes. I continued to visit Gyeongju, the old capital of Korea and Busan, the second largest city of Korea. Gyeongju was much more peaceful then Seoul and hat lots of historical sights to offer meanwhile Busan had the best of both to offer.
From Busan I boarded the plane to Fukuoka, a major city in Kyushu prefecture, southern Japan. Some people told me that Japan is similar to Korea but from my experience it is very different. Besides Fukuoka I visited Hiroshima and learned about the terrifying events in the second world war.
My personal highlight was travelling to the countryside and living with a family in a traditional Japanese house for 2 days. During those 2 days I climbed Mount Daisen, a volcano and one of Japans 100 sacred mountains. It was so peaceful to spend time in the nature and being active. I continued to travel to Osaka and Kyoto, 2 amazing cities but also quiet crowded. But to have that contrast of experiencing rural life and popular places was a perfect itinerary in my opinion. That’s what I wanted.
I can´t put into words how much I´ve seen, how much I learned and how much these experiences influence my personal development. I arrived back in Thailand by the end of April and used the time to write down all my memories and reflecting on my recent adventures. It´s been an awesome ride and I feel so blessed to be able to experience this.