2012 has been a fantastic year, and thanks to you, my loyal readers, Tripologist’s first full year has seen great success!
I started the year in Japan, but spent the first two months living in South Korea before embarking on six-months of overland travel. For the last four months of the year, I’ve been living back in America trying to settle into a daily routine that doesn’t involve picking the least dirty shirt out of a backpack.
While I’ve written many articles over the last year, there were several that really struck a chord with some of you.
Some of them I expected to do well, and some of them surprised me. Some were instant hits, while others have gained steam through being frequently discovered on Google and social media. Overall though, I feel that these 10 articles represent some of the best content featured on Tripologist.com over the last year.
These are the top ten most read posts of the year.
Lying just off the south-eastern coast of China lies the island of Taiwan. Long known for its beauty, the island has faded into the background as a tourist destination in recent years. However, in recently, Taiwan has been getting more and more well-deserved attention as a fantastic place to visit.
Any visit to Taiwan is likely to start and end in the capital of Taipei. And, while there is much to see outside of the capital region, it would be a shame to skip over Taipei. When I visited in December of 2010, I found Taipei to be a charming city with wide and beautiful tree-lined streets, bustling markets, and several fantastic sights to see.
One other fantastic thing about Taipei is that it is an affordable option for those traveling on a budget. However, is it possible to spend a fun-filled day in Taipei, Taiwan for $30 US? Let’s find out.
There is very little that is weirder than standing on a beautiful coastline next to a quaint fishing village while being surrounded by giant lifelike phallic statues; however, if you visit the fishing village of Sinnam on South Korea’s east coast you too can experience one of the oddest tourist attractions in all of Asia.
The park, officially called J, sits on a hillside overlooking the town and the nearby sea. As the story goes, a young virgin was left on a nearby island by her fiance so that she could collect seaweed. However, the weather soon turned for the worse, and the fiance couldn’t rescue the young maiden, who drowned in the stormy sea. From that moment, the fisherman were unable to catch enough fish to fill their nets.
Singapore is one of the most historically important cities/countries in Southeast Asia, but isn’t on the itinerary of many budget travelers because they think that it is too expensive. I’ve already discussed why Singapore isn’t as expensive as you might think it is, but let’s turn our attention to things to do during the day.
Here are 5 free things to do when visiting Singapore.
Check Out Raffles Hotel
Open for business since 1887, the Raffles Hotel is one of the world’s premier hotels.
As I settled into the warm waters of the Millennium Hot Spring, the chilly winter air blowing across my face, I felt my worries roll away. Having spent the last few days traipsing around Taipei, the capital of Taiwan (or the Republic of China, depending on who you ask), I had come up to the northern edges of the city to the beautiful district of Beitou for a relaxing afternoon.
Those who have never been to Taiwan might be surprised to find out that Taiwan has over 100 hot springs scattered around the country. The first to open commercially was in the Taipei suburb of Beitou (or Peitou) in 1893. Since then, Beitou has been a popular place for locals and tourists to unwind.
Often referred to as the “Hidden Jewel of Asia”, Taiwan is becoming more and more well-known as a fantastic travel destination. With inexpensive but efficient transportation, and a ton of fantastic natural and man-made wonders to see, it’s no wonder than Taiwan is quickly becoming a much more popular place to vacation.
Despite being a relatively inexpensive tourist destination, there are still ways to maximize your money when traveling in the country.
Here are five fantastic free things to do in Taipei, Taiwan.
There really isn’t any way to sugarcoat it: Japan is an expensive destination. From $40 hostel dorm beds, to insanely expensive taxi rides, it’s hard to find a good deal in Japan.
However, having just visited Tokyo, I came away with a few ideas on how to save money while traveling to Japan, one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Don’t Take the Taxis
Taxis in Tokyo are insanely expensive. At ¥710 ($9.25 USD) for the first 2 kilometers, they can add up very quickly.
When planning a big trip, most travelers have a basic budget in mind, and they usually remember to include the obvious things like hotel rooms, transportation between cities, food, entrance fees, and maybe even a little flex money.
I know that I planned in all of these things before I set off on my six month long trip; however, there were several things that I forgot to include in my travel, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to forget an expense or two.
Here are seven easy travel expenses to overlook, and some suggestions on how to minimize their impact on your budget.
Recently, my wife and I finished traveling for six consecutive months. At times, it was challenging, but overall, it was a highly rewarding experience that I would encourage everyone to do at some point in their lives.
Before we left, I did a lot of planning for the trip. Even so, there were several lessons that we learned along the way.
So, to help those of your lucky enough and adventurous enough to set out on a long-term trip, here are six things that I learned from six months of traveling.
Any list of the world’s most expensive cities includes Tokyo, Japan. Visiting a city that is so atrociously expensive can be daunting for any traveler on a budget; however, despite the expensive cost of hotels and transportation around the country, sight-seeing in Tokyo can be a bargain.
Here’s a list of five great things to see in Tokyo, Japan for free.
The Rainbow Bridge
Constructed in 1993, the Rainbow Bridge connects Shibaura Pier with Odaiba, an upscale waterfront district. The bridge is over 700 meters long and provides excellent views of Tokyo.
South Korea and Japan are two fantastic countries to visit, and if you are visiting one, it makes a lot of sense to take the short hop across the East Sea/Sea of Japan to visit the other. Unfortunately, the cost of flights between the two countries can be ridiculously high, with a one-way ticket usually costing over $300 USD for the short two-hour flight.
However, for those in either country, there is another way to travel from the Land of the Morning Calm to the Land of the Rising Sun: the JR Beetle.
For more of my 2012 year in review, check out My Top 10 Travel Experiences of 2012.