Most of the time when I visit a city, I will not have a strong desire to return again simply because the world is a huge playground and it already seems impossible to use my whole lifetime to explore every city, why would I want to revisit the same old place again? Of course there are exceptions where I find myself silently making a pact that I will return some day, whether it is to relish memories, walking back the same old path, returning for the food craving or exploring new food and places.
Aggy of Dream, Explore, Wander, Kavitha of Red Bohemia & RealGunner had nominated me for a challenge by Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There, that got me thinking of the top 5 cities I vow to return some day.
1) Hua Lien, Taiwan
It was winter when I visited Hua Lien. Although Taiwan’s winter does not command snow but the temperature was freezing cold enough especially coming from someone who lives in a tropical country, the weather got me decked in thick coats, 2 pants and gloves. Hua Lien took my breath away. It is a laid-back town with no big name chain hotels, only their local brands of hotels and guest houses where travellers can tuck in. There are no skyscrapers, just beautiful nature and friendly locals. How often do you get to drive along a road with range of mountains on your right and Pacific ocean on your left? It has a very famous shop, 公正街包子店 (Gong Zheng Jie Bao Zi Dian) that sells delicious baozi at extremely affordable price. Not forgetting heading to Shitiping campsite where I got to stand right in front of the majestic Pacific Ccean listening to waves crashing against the rocks, they are like music to the ears.
I will love to head back during summer, to cycle and explore, take the opportunity to go out to the ocean for whale-sighting, purchase fireworks from night markets to brighten up the sky at night. and to write my wishes on a sky lantern again sending it high up into the sky. Oh yes, how can I forget my favourite stink tofu? Yum!
2) Liverpool, United Kingdom
Spent 24 hours in Liverpool, barely had time to explore the lovely peaceful city. At least my objective of visiting Anfield was met, fulfilled one wish from my list of life goals. I was in Liverpool on a Sunday and Sundays are ghost towns everywhere by 5 in the evening because shops close early, even in city centre. I was disappointed not able to sink my teeth into my first Krispy Kreme at one of the kiosk I spotted because they were close for business for the day.
Let’s not lie, the main reason why I want to go back to Liverpool is to watch Liverpool FC live in action, screaming at the top of my lungs with adrenaline pump when Liverpool scores a goal and celebrating with my favourite team. You never walk alone they say.
3) Sydney, Australia
First, I have to admit Sydney is not my favourite city in Australia but I could explore more in this city. Blue Mountain was the highlight of my trip. Spent some time during Christmas lying on Manly Beach just doing nothing, not forgetting that crazy Boxing Day sales where I woke up at 4am just to queue and get into Myer, a departmental store at 6 in the morning.
I have a rough idea of how my next itinerary to Sydney is going to be. I will go for wine-tasting in Hunter Valley, climb up Sydney Harbour Bridge, spend some time by Bondi Beach, catch a show inside famous Opera House and experience skydiving down from 15,000 ft high! Oh yeah, I will return to Sydney Fish Market for some fresh seafood feast anytime! It would be perfect if I can coincide all these with a new year countdown overlooking spectacular fireworks display from Sydney Harbour Bridge would be a brilliant way to begin a new year!
4) Seoul, South Korea
Visited Seoul in April this year on packaged tour. You know how I dislike being on packaged tour where I had to rush up and down buses getting from points to points and not having a say in the places we visited. Oh well, for a free trip, I accepted that fate. It was spring time with cherry blossom however cherry trees decided to bloom a week earlier hence our plan to go crazy with photos during cherry blossom season was ruin. It was not too bad missing out on that activity, the weather was lovely most of the time. I had a blast in Lotte World with a bunch of people who enjoy exciting rides filled with adrenaline rushed like me! I plucked up my courage and sat on the vertical drop ride for the very first time. Oh right, I was having the YOLO and FOMO syndrome.
The barbecue beef buffet we had was one of the best meal I had eaten in Seoul. I will hold on to the wonderful memories in hope to savour the taste forever. The best-est (I know there is no such word but it’s the best of the best!) part of it all is the day I get to roam around on my own. As much as I want to pretend I am not into material goods however the shopaholic in me was unleashed in Seoul. Their subway line is more complex than the one we have in Singapore, certainly more fun figuring out different routes to get from one destination to another.
One day, I will return to this city, during the season change. I will be back for delicious food such as barbecue beef, steam chicken and topokki (Korean rice cake), I want to eat them all! I have yet walk over to the other side of Korea via DMZ in the legal manner. I intend to use Seoul as a base to explore other cities in South Korea.
5) London, United Kingdom
No way am I done with London yet, 3 days was all I had in London and I consider that merely a glimpse of the city. I fell in love with the London, simply because seeing familiar landmarks that I have always seen on TV, prints and internet made me awed in sight. No matter how premium are the quality of images on digital and print, nothing beats seeing the real thing with your own eyes. In a land where nobody knows me, I felt invincible and invisible, light-hearted just to embrace the moments, moments that belongs to me. I was particularly excited to walk down the exact same path along Westminster where Jay Chou walked where he shot his 大笨钟 (Big Ben) music video.
There are so many places I have yet to explore! I NEED to go back one day! London, wait for me, you will make a great stopover to other parts of Europe when I return.
For now, I am going to nominate my friends on their top 5 destination which they will want to return to.
1) Debbiez – My Time Capsule
2) Susan – (I am sure she does not want to make her URL public at the moment, but I would love to hear from my dear friend.)
3) Jenny – Jenny Far Away
4) Charles – Charles Ryan trip reports
5) Deb – Ardent Traveller
What’s yours? Share with me!