Daily Archives: September 18, 2007

Part II: A New Hope

Posted by on September 18, 2007

Outside Night Market - Taipei
I was last in Asia in 1999

Tomorrow I leave for Manila and start a whole new adventure.

The past six months I’ve been visiting the obscure, the out of the way, and the places you’ve only heard of from Survivor (oh, btw, they are going to shoot another season of Survivor on Palau. They are constructing the set now.). When you think of generic visions of foreign travel, you might thing of a bustling exotic city, ancient ruins, medieval churches, a quaint countryside, or street food.

I have experienced almost none of that in the Pacific.

With the exception of Easter Island and Nan Modal, there were really no ruins to speak of in the Pacific. There is very little in the way of architecture to see. There are no large cities. Until Palau, I haven’t seen any street food (and in Palau it was a guy selling $1 kabobs and a really good burger stand).

The Pacific was the last part of the Earth settled by humans. They had no metal tools or written language. Most of the things to see in the Pacific are natural or cultural, not historical, architectural or urban. The appeal of the Pacific is very different than most places and that explains why it gets so little tourism.

Manila and the Philippines will be the start of something new. Manila is a city of 10 million people. It has 500 year old churches. In the countryside there are rice terraces that are thousands of years old. You have street foods, hustle, bustle, and much more opportunity for things to go wrong.

So I’m kind of excited.

Manila, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong. These places are going to be massively different than what I’ve experienced to date.

My last post on the Pacific will be up in a day or two. I’m doing a “Best of…” list for the places I’ve been.