*This was written in Andong, South Korea on April 6th 2011 @ 9:15 pm.
I was in Hanoi, debating for days on whether or not:
1. To go to China
2. Skip China, fly to Hong Kong
3. Skip China and Hong Kong, fly to South Korea
4. Skip all of them and fly straight home to the USA (stopping by to visit my friend Tim in LA)
Let me break down each #:
1. Getting a Chinese visa in Hanoi, which would cost $140 + travel agency fees ($30-40 from what I was told) + wait time (4-6 business days). More hassle than it’s worth. China is worth it but I really only want to see the Beijing (Forbidden City and the Great Wall nearby) and Xian (Terracotta warriors, an image I can’t get out of my head since I watched some HK movie when I was a kid…). I originally wanted to see Shanghai but not only do I have temple-burnout and museum-burnout, I also have big-city-burnout. It didn’t seem to have much new and exciting things to offer and I can’t deal with it this trip. And not only that, I would have to spend a lot of time on the train to get from Vietnam to HK to Shanghai to Beijing. China, you’ll have to wait.
2. HK is another “big” city. Food would be the only motivation for me going there and maybe the harbor. The stop (2-3 days tops) is not worth the ticket price ($360 from Hanoi to HK) for a 1.5 hour ride.
3. I wanted to visit some friends in South Korea. Also, the Korean culture, language, and food is quite unique to me. And there’s the DMZ. Should be a breathe of fresh air. Plus, I gotta do some Hyori stalking for my friend Peter. I gotta see if South Korea (in particular, Seoul and it’s “hot” people) is all it’s hyped up to be, so I can report back to my friends/family.
4. But I would be home so soon…there’s time and energy for one last push for adventure.
I tried to come to a single perfect decision but as I’ve learned many times, there is no perfect decision. I will have wished I went to China when I feel bored and fresh back home in the States. But I have to make a decision based on my situation and feelings at that particular time.