North-East Asia Travel Guide

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Bei jing tiantan

Bei jing tiantan

North-East Asia is many different and contrasting things. The region is dominated by two giants: The economic superpower Japan and the more and more influential world power of China. While the countries of North-East Asia now show some diversity, their cultures all draw from the Chinese. Traditional scripts of the Korean and Japanese languages are, in fact, borrowed from Chinese. The further West you travel, the lesser the influence of the Chinese is seen, with the Mongolians and the ethnic minorities in China, whose languages are more like those of Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent.

Japan has kept an interesting mix between old traditions and new customs. Some people avoid Japan, assuming it is not interesting enough. The only reason we can imagine for not going there, is the high cost of living (and travel). But if your budget permits you should not give this extraordinary place a miss. Most people enter Japan by taking a plane to Tokyo or Osaka.

Rather inexpensive is a visit to China. You've got to see what this country has to offer. Among the long list of highlights are, for example, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the stone warriors of Xian, the mountains of Guilin and the interesting ethnic mix of Yunnan Province. Something completely different is the commercial centre of China, Shanghai. It is hardly necessary to mention that Tibet is a great place to visit, too (especially in March). Visitors should be aware of the difficult political situation there. Do, however, consider, that China is a vast country, and a lot of ground has to be covered.

Being now part of mainland China Hong Kong and Macau are still great places to visit. Hong Kong is still an economic power centre in North-East Asia. Just an hour away by jetfoil is Macau, the oldest former European settlement in the East and a relaxing contrast to busy Hong Kong

Taiwan is situated about 160 kilometers off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland. Taiwan's relationship with mainland China has been complicated for many decades. The same is true for he economic strong South Korea and the rather isolated North Korea. There are hardly any accurate information on travelling available in North Korea. In recent months the ice between the hostile brothers is melting slowly. 

Last but not least the exotic homeland of Jingis Khan, Mongolia, should not be forgotten.

North-East Asia is waiting for you to explore it. Just go!

Contributors

August 31, 2005 change by baclaran

December 11, 2005 change by out of the grey

August 19, 2005 change by sclin