When planning a vacation last year, I decided to go for the more exotic locations and had the time of my life. Never having experienced the Orient, I decided to start with Indonesia.
Made up of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is an awesome place to go when you want to experience a wonderfully diverse culture and escape the cool winter months here in the States in the same time. Because Indonesia straddles the equator, they have a moderate climate all year round and no really cold weather.
I saw beautiful islands with crystal clear water, went scuba diving and ate the exotic dishes native to the area. I noticed that while all of the islands were beautiful, they were different in both the lay of the land as well as the culture found there.
On islands like Bali, you find jet setters while others such as Kalimantan are havens for students and backpackers. On Sumatra you can find volcanic lakes and mummies. For every different taste, there is a different island in Indonesia that can fill your exotic desires. Just be sure to be careful on the streets because the driving laws there seem to be almost nonexistent.
From Indonesia, I traveled to Thailand. Thailand has an interesting mix of cultures. From the lights and sounds of the city to the relaxing peace of the rice fields, you can find it all in Thailand.
I found that you can find a karaoke bar on almost every corner in Bangkok. Bangkok is one of the busiest cities in the country and the streets are always crowded. You can see such an eclectic mix of dress and style that you almost don’t want to blink for fear that you might miss something.
You can see school kids in uniform, people in the Asian Goth style, business people and even Buddhist Monks all in the space of 2 seconds. Bangkok also has an enormous amount of traffic. You will want to be careful on the streets.
If you want to get away from the city, and are more inclined to enjoy the peace and relaxation of the country, there is an abundance of countryside to be found in Thailand.
Thailand has a mass of beautiful countryside filled with a lush vegetation and wildlife. If you are more into beaches, there are plenty of them with beautiful clear water and lined with white sand and palm trees.
That was the extent of my introduction to the Asian culture for that trip. I brought back some amazing pieces of handmade Thai and Indonesian jewelry as souvenirs too.
Both of those countries I found have a plethora of independent jewelers that make beautiful intricate pieces out of the abundant amounts of silver found in those countries.
If you are planning to take a vacation and want to check out some exotic places then I strongly recommend checking into the Asian countries. They really do hold the key to exotic vacations and they will open your mind to the age old cultures that merge so effortlessly with the current popular culture.