During my time teaching English in Korea and Japan, I traveled to several popular travel destinations. During some of those trips, I had my camera with me and captured the best things to do in each place and created video travel guides that have since become both popular and very useful for people wondering what to do, how much time they need, and other questions.
Below are the video montages for Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto in Japan; Seoul and Busan in South Korea; Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia; and Taipei, Taiwan.
I spent 8 days in Tokyo and stayed at the Kodokan Judo Institute athlete hostel. At just around $30 per night for a single, private room, this is about as good as it gets in Tokyo proper. Plus I was at the mecca of the judo world. You will need a membership with the Kodokan to stay there, but it is well worth it. Here are 22 Things To Do in Tokyo, Japan.
Osaka was my first vacation in Japan. It was confusing and exciting at the same time. I spent about 4 days in Osaka and realized it wasn’t enough time. Many people do both Osaka and Kyoto in the same time I did Osaka. I don’t know how you can really enjoy it that quickly. You’ll see in from my Kyoto video that combining the two cities is a thorough affair. Take your time. Enjoy the trip and look for the little things. Here are 12 Things To Do in Osaka, Japan.
Kyoto is arguably the crown jewel of travel in Japan for Japanese citizens. I’ll tell you, it is quite spectacular. I happened to go in the dead of summer and even though my home is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I can’t remember being that hot. Still, the big attractions are just as they are billed. One thing to note, you’ll find it difficult to find a McDonald’s in Kyoto. They’re there, but not strewn throughout like other cities. This is a good sign! Here are 12 Things To Do in Kyoto, Japan.
Unlike my trip to Kyoto, I visited Seoul during the coldest week in the past several years to that point. I was born and raised in New Hampshire, and the cold that I felt in Seoul made N.H. feel like my life in Florida. Still, it was awesome to see what Seoul has to offer. It is a rapidly advancing city by global standards and the great thing about the city at this time in history is the old is juxtaposed with the new. You can still sense the old Korea while having the modern version right over your shoulder. Here are 35 Things To Do and Eat in Seoul, Korea.
This was the first travel video I ever made. Though not as crisp as the newer videos, the sights and explanations are still informative and entertaining for this second largest city in Korea. Busan was my home for four and a half years so I knew it well. There are many things to experience in Korea’s port city. It is right across the water from Fukuoka too so it could be part of a long vacation starting in Seoul and including the Japanese cities above. Here are 14 Things To Do in Busan, Korea.
Taipei was one of my favorite vacation spots even though I could barely walk thanks to the worlds worst charley horse in history from judo. Still, I recall the people being warmer and friendlier than I expected. This included throughout the streets and at the shops as well. I stayed in a 3 square meter Japanese tatami room if you can believe it. Beggars can’t be choosers since I only paid $100 for a round trip ticket from Busan. The room was in a nice hotel with great amenities in the heart of Taipei and cost around $30 per night. Win some, lose some. Here are 14 Things To Do in Taipei, Taiwan.
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia:
Stark contrast to Tokyo and Seoul, Cambodia is good for a slightly grittier experience. It is also slightly somber due to the history of the nation with the Khmer Rouge genocide. However, it’s for these reasons that Cambodia is a must visit country. It will change you. It changed me. Once you go through the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, you’ll have a greater appreciation for life. But Cambodia is not all depressing news. It can be inexpensive to visit and you will no doubt remember your experience. Here are the must-see attractions in Cambodia.