30 days across South-East Asia, 7 countries

..... with only 7kg-backpack

Once I was studying and living in South Korea, I didn´t want it to be a short stay. I might not be here ever again, I said to myself. So I wanted to explore a bit more of Asia after I´d finished my semester. Meaning, to visit some other countries except of Korea. Guys, IT WAS THE BEST DECISION EVER MADE. I eventually visited 7 Asian countries within 30 amazing and challenging days full of everything you can not even imagine. 

I started my 30-day-adventure with the second biggest city on Earth, Tokyo. Then I flew to Taipei on Taiwan. Afterwards I spend 10 days on Borneo island, where I visited two countries - Malaysia and sultanate of Brunei. Then I took a plane from Brunei to the capital of Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur. I chose Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, a as a next destination. After that I flew to Singapore, where I had 7 hours layover between my my flight from Jakarta to Thailand. I spent 3 days in coutryside of Thailand and 2 days in the capital of Bangkok. Eventually, I survived 12 hours in the air during my flight from Bangkok to Köln in Germany. My last flight was from Köln to Vienna. To sum up, I spend 31 hours in the airplane during my whole journey!

This mindset began in April, when I had firstly thought about traveling across Asia. The worst were not all the challenges during traveling itself, but to manage and organize the flights, accommodation, routes etc. before I set out. I am being serious right now. I had been planning the whole trip literally every afternoon in Korea for like a week. I was trying to combine all possible flights matching my budget and, of course, the wish of visitng many exotic and wonderful countries! Visiting Malaysia and Tokyo in Japan was a must for me! I always dreamed of seeing Toyko and I fell in love with Malaysia thanks to Malaysian people that  I´ve met  in Korea. But that´s only two countries. How did I end up with 7 countries?! Well, firstly, my flight back home was from Bangkok on July 16. Why from Bangkok? Because it was super cheap. Why on July 16? Because it was ideal timing => 30 days. So I knew I wanna visit Tokyo and Malaysia and at the same time  to finish my trip in Thailand. Secondly, the flight from Tokyo to KL (Kuala Lumpur) was too long and expensive, so I had to come up with some stop-over-countries to fill those 30 days. Taipei  was a perfect match - beautiful and modern city, got a friend there....But still many days left, right? I was checking many airlines, their connections and suitable, affordable combinaitons. I saw place called "Kota Kinabalu", which I have not heard of before. I found it belongs to Malaysia and it´s on Borneo island. Yes, on Borneo! So next country was on the list! I knew there is the Sultanate of Brunei on Borneo as I remember from geography class which I loved when attending high school. I read some travel arcticles about this semi-closed country and found out that I can reach this country from KK (Kota Kinabalu) by ferry. Awesome plan! All I had to solve was how to get out from Brunei. Fortunatelly, there was a quite affordable flight to KL. Still around 12 days left before departure from Bangkok. Jakarta was one of the options. I was in touch with some indonesian girls in Korea, so I asked them about Jakarta, its safety, weather, accommodation etc. One indonesian girl was so nice, that she even offered to host me and be my guide when I am there. Cool! So my trip was all planned. Only thing left was to book a flight from Jakarta to Bangkok. But you know what happened? There were two options. Either a direct flight from Jakarta to Bangkok or with 7-hour-stopover in Singapore for almost the same price! You can guess which option I chose :)

As a conclusion, my plan was to set out on June 17 from Seoul to Tokyo --> Taipei --> Kota Kinabalu --> Brunei --> Kuala Lumpur --> Jakarta --> Singapore --> Bangkok --> Köln --> Vienna--> HOME!

Worth mentioning, that I was hosted in every country either by my friend I had met in Korea or by hosts from couchsurfing. Thus, it saved a big amount of money. But the best thing on using couchsurfing was meeting and having a good time with tens of great people. In hindsight,  this was the most important and beneficial factor of whole trip across Asia. Just a quick hint. I was hosted by super cool guy in Tokyo, who even lent me his flat key and portable wifi for my whole time in Tokyo. Thanks to girl in Taipei I was in amazing Taiwan nature with active volcano, tried exotic fruits. I was swimming on the most beautiful islands and beaches I´ve ever seen thanks to girls both from Jakarta and Thailand (also saw Thai countryside). I would never see so many things without a great hosts in Brunei, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu (both with cars, big house, amazing families). And I even can´t express how much I am thankful for everything to two guys in Kota Kinabalu (Borneo island). Seriously, my trip was that awesome and full of excitement only because of those people.