Monthly Archives: December 2011

Tips please!

Amid filling in endless visa forms and arranging to have my soon-to-be-former flat’s carpet deep cleaned (no one tells you about the glamour of arranging to go travelling), it’s really high time I began sorting out just what I’m going to see and do when we leave for Japan, China and South East Asia next month. I’ve thumbed my Lonely Planet guides to near destruction, but my quest to find events and places off the radar is ongoing.

Which is where this blog steps in. I’m looking for tips. Loads of them. Anything from the best bars to hit in Osaka, whether taking endless snaps of snow monkeys in Nagano is worthwhile, the most insane places to eat in Hong Kong and what parts of the Great Wall of China we should avoid at all costs.

If you’ve got any ideas, please drop them in the comments section below, stick them on my Facebook timeline, or hit me up on Twitter @joeminihane.

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Six weeks to go…

On 17th January, at 1pm, I’ll board a plane to Tokyo on a one way ticket. The flight was booked on a whim back in February, when I discovered that thanks to the miracle of air miles (saved up courtesy of a string of work-based trips to the US over the past four years), that I could get to Japan for under £200.

It will mark the beginning of a six month trip with my girlfriend, taking in Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia. The trip feels as if it’s been in the post for ages. I’ve been reading guidebooks and indulging my inner voyeur by trawling through apartments in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai on AirBnB for almost a year now. Getting to Heathrow and easing down into that snug airplane seat can’t come soon enough.

There are obviously a large amount of nerves in making a big trip like this. We’ve had to give up our lovely fifth floor flat overlooking central London and my life as a freelance writer will be on hold for half a year. Hence I’ll be keeping up my writing here. This blog won’t be a blow-by-blow account of every day on my trip. I have no desire to chronicle every single train missed, average meal eaten and uncomfortable hostel bed slept in. There’ll be no deep and meaningful posts about how my life is changing either. I expect to be affected by what I experience, but not for my 30-year-old self to be changed irrevocably in a cod spiritual fashion.

Instead, I’ll be writing about my very best experiences and the my most interesting encounters. About things that you can do and perhaps even pontificating about why you should find the time to do them. It’s going to be an eventful journey and I hope this blog can help anyone who’s reading get a glimpse of life in the world’s most colourful continent.

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