BY MICCA VANVIELD
Have you ever thought about just being totally adventurous when it comes to travelling? Wanting to visit a particular place so bad that you would do whatever it takes to get there. Or how about simply feeling like you needed a break and just wanting to get on a plane. Well, I do that a lot. My thoughts are always filled with travelling the world. Sometimes they are quick gateways and sometimes they require a lot more time. This article will share with you how I visualized travelling across the globe and found myself in four countries over a span of nine days.
As travel professionals we often get offers and rewards from our travel partners. Now I would love to say that I’ve always had the opportunity to take advantage of all the offers, however there are times where I get to take advantage of some of the most interesting ones. I received an opportunity to fly with a particular airline at a ridiculously discounted rate. This was an offer that I could never pass up. It was to visit Hong Kong, which was definitely on my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to see the real culture, visit the monuments, eat the food, chat with the people. I decided to jump at the opportunity to really explore a part of the world that I’ve never seen. Though I’m a true adventurist, I thought I would complicate things a little bit. I decided to create an itinerary that would take me through four countries in nine days. From the moment I departed to the moment I arrived home I wanted to have the experience of a lifetime. After much scrutiny from my fellow travel partners, I created my vision. Fly from Canada to Hong Kong with a connection in Vancouver. While in Hong Kong visit Thailand and Macao before flying back to Toronto.
So it was March break of 2014 and I was off. I decided to do a connection in Vancouver as I wasn’t sure that I wanted to fly a direct fifteen hrs across the globe. This also gave me an opportunity to add Vancouver to my list of places visited even though it was for a quick visit. To my surprise, I handled the five hours to Vancouver, then another thirteen hours to Hong Kong quite well. I slept and got caught up on some of my favorite shows. I had now started my journey to making it half way around the world.
While in Hong Kong I wanted to waste no time. I knew how much I wanted to see and made my way straight to the hotel concierge to start planning the sites I wanted to visit. I visited the very popular “the peak” or Victoria Peak. This is the highest point in Hong Kong and the views are absolutely amazing. Stanley Market and Ladies Market for some fantastic shopping. Allot Lan Kwai Fong for the most impeccable nightlife. One of my favorite things to do in Hong Kong was ride the MTR (subway system). I was extremely impressed with how clean it all was and really updated with technology. You can get free WIFI and cell phone signal up to six or seven levels down.
From Hong Kong you can expand your adventure by visiting Macao. A country filled with Chinese and Portuguese history, influence and culture. It’s definitely one of Asia’s most exciting entertainment destinations. This is like Las Vegas on steroids. Like Hong Kong, you can visit the most popular sites by bus. You can visit the Macau Tower, A Ma Temple, Lilau Square, Mandarin House, St Lawrence Church, St. Augustine’s Square, Dom Pedro V Theater, Senado Square, Ruin’s of St. Paul’s, Macau Museum. My absolute favourite thing that I did however was sightsee the hotel zone, which was filled with some of the elaborately decorated hotels and lighting. Very similar to Las Vegas. My favorite of them all was the Venetian. Venetian Macau the world’s largest casino. Over 3,000 of the rooms are suites that house more than 70 sqm of space and lavish Italian marble bathrooms. While at the Venetian you get to shop at over 350 international shops, be dazzled by street performers, or take a ride on an authentic Venetian gondola, all at the resort.
From Hong Kong you can take a three hour plane ride over to the Gulf of Thailand. Though you won’t have time to see everything, this is needed for some rest and relaxation. I chose to stay in Phuket which is the largest of the Thai islands, but specifically in Talang because I really wanted to relax. If you are looking for more of the busy town hustle Patong is the place to be as they have the busiest beach and fantastic nightlife. While in Thailand I definitely got my fair share of the ocean every single day. I did the very popular (maybe not the most humanitarian) elephant ride and also ATV riding through the jungles of Patong. My most favorite excursion though was my day trip to Kho Phi Phi where we got to see the Thai islands from our catamaran, snorkel and feed the monkeys of Monkey Island. The best part of my Thai experience was visiting Maya Bay which was featured in the movie The Beach. That moment when I stepped off our catamaran and stepped in the ocean was amazing! I have never felt such powder white sand or saw a more crystal clear water. It was as if I was melting into the depths of the ocean. It was beautiful.
To round out my trip we flew back to Hong Kong to complete some shopping before heading back to Toronto. Anything in life is a dream. You create your thoughts, and you have the ability for your thoughts to become reality. If you dream what you think is a crazy adventure, make it happen. You will never regret it.