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Asia 2010

I need a holiday. I really need a holiday. It's been so busy that I haven't had time to relax at all, let alone update a blog. Moving to a new house, a highly mobile toddler who has bad nights, the even longer journey to work now that I take him to child care.

I need a holiday. I've booked a holiday.

I used our combined Qantas frequent flyer points to book us an Asian adventure on Qantas, Jetstar and Cathay Pacific. Flying up to Bangkok, then Hong Kong and finally my beloved Japan before returning to Australia. And thanks to those points I was able to splurge on short ride in first class on Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Osaka. Oh well, flying Jetstar home again.

Unfortunately, we are not adding any new countries to our list, having visited all of those destinations before. I tried to include South Korea or Taiwan, but they are difficult to book for Qantas frequent flyers. The list of countries in Asia that we haven't visited, apart from Taiwan, only includes developing nations without good public transport infrastructure. I don't want to subject Alex to more unrestrained taxi/car rides and, as he increasingly asserts his independence, he needs safe places to play and explore.

This time we plan to take it slower, without those late night food hunts/relative visits that disrupted his routine so much in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Our purpose is to relax. To explore, to shop, to dine, to experience, but also to stop in a park to let Alex run around, to return to the hotel for an afternoon nap and play, to read a book (hopefully not just picture books for Alex...). Why not just relax at home? Because there is always some housework to do, some important task. Plus the house is much bigger than a hotel room so there is more chasing of Alex!

Because of Alex we ruled out a Europe trip, much as we both would like to go. The points didn't quite cover it, but the effects on his sleeping routine due to the timezone change would have been horrendous and felt for many weeks afterwards.

Bangkok might be a bit of a challenge. Last time we were there it was really hot and we were exhausted from exploring temples, palaces and the surrounding area. This time, maybe not so much sightseeing. As long as the food is good I think we'll be happy.

Thanks to a Accor Hotel half-price sale I was able to book us into the same hotel, the Novotel CityGate, in Hong Kong that I stayed in during last year's transit from London. It's out of the way, but the outlet shopping is good and I loved the room. Hopefully the location will enforce some relaxation as well.

I admit that I hope to do more travelling in Japan. There is so much to explore and so many railway lines to travel on. My plan is to do the full San-in line with at least one inland branchline. I don't know if its possible. We explored some of the area last trip and I loved it. Kyushu is also inviting to me. There was something special about Matsuyama that I find it difficult to put my finger on. A quiet city with a few sights and a lovely old tram system. Inspired again by Spirited Away I'd like to travel in a little railmotor out to nowhere.

I can't wait for the holiday. It will be so nice to spend a couple of weeks together with B and Alex.


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