Our hearts are with Turkey

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Turkey has had some rough times recently and things aren’t getting better. This makes us very sad because it’s one of the most incredible places we’ve ever been, and we felt 100% safe on our trip.

When were we there
11 days, June 10 – June 20

Where did we go
✈️ Flight from Hong Kong to Dubai
This was our first long flight on the trip, and we used points to upgrade to business on Emirates. WOW.
✈️ Flight from Dubai to Istanbul
🏨 Rixos Pera Hotel
✈️ Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia
🏨 Sultan Cave Suites
Amazing hotel with rooms literally carved into the rocks. The staff were absolutely incredible. And there was an adorable puppy hanging out in the lobby while we were there.
✈️ Flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul

Highlights

Istanbul

  • Süleymaniye Mosque
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Boat ride on the Bosphorus
  • Incredible food at Zubeyir Ocakbasi
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Shopping at Grand Bazaar

Cappadocia

  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Exploring Fairy chimneys and churches carved into the rocks
  • Derinkuyu Underground City

We absolutely loved Turkey. Istanbul is a beautiful city with lots of mosques and museums.  The Bosphorus cuts Istanbul in half, part of the city is in Europe and another part in Asia. It’s very cool to move between the two sides on a $1 ferry ride!

Cappadocia looks like another world. The ferry chimneys, made from volcanic ash erosion, are incredible. There are also underground cities and churches carved into the rocks!

We almost melted in Hong Kong

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After nearly a month of non stop site seeing, we took some time in Hong Kong to just relax and do (almost) nothing. We loved the energy of Hong Kong; it was similar to New York.

When were we there
5 days, June 6 – June 10

Where did we go
✈️ Flight from Beijing to Hong Kong
🏡 Airbnb in Hong Kong
We found a really great place in the mid-levels right by the escalators. Ton of great food was just around the corner.

Highlights

  • Custom suit for Sachin

72 hours in Beijing

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Getting a visa for China is very difficult. But there’s a 72 hour transit visa you can get upon arrival. Luckily a lot of the major attractions are close to the city and can be seen in just a couple days.

When were we there
4 days, June 3 – June 6

Where did we go
✈️ Flight from Seoul to Beijing
Quick and easy flight on Air China. We got upgraded to business for free!
🏨 Park Hyatt
We stayed at the Park Hyatt. It was $150/night (after discounts) and probably the best hotel we’ve ever stayed at. Giant 45th floor modern room, floor to ceiling glass on two walls. We could live there.

Highlights

  • Great Wall of China
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City
  • Silk Market (epic shopping!)

I’ll be honest: I never thought I’d visit China. I was intimidated. Boy was I wrong. I thought Beijing would be like Delhi: busy, crowded, dusty, and still developing. Actually it was clean and modern. The air quality was the only issue.

We enjoyed incredible food (we ate everything! It was spicy!), beautiful sites, and a rich ancient history.

We had a tour guide take us around for 2 days and she was awesome! Super energetic and funny!

China seems to be developing WAY faster than India. They seem to have come very far in just the past 20 years, and I don’t think I can say the same about India.

A quick stop in Seoul

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When were we there
4 days, May 31 – June 3

Where did we go
✈️ Flight from Osaka to Seoul
🏨 Metro Hotel

Highlights

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Food and shopping!

Our stop in Seoul was short but fun. We weren’t planning to stop in Korea but our friend Joe urged us to. Glad we did! Seoul has a similar energy to Tokyo, and great food. Transportation is easy, people are very nice, and there are some great sights to see.

Unlike Japan:

  • People speak more English and are more touristy friendly
  • There are way fewer tourists, so it feels more authentic
  • The food is *spicy* which we love
  • It’s way cheaper

I don’t think Korea is on many people’s travel lists, but I think it should be. I wouldn’t pick it over Japan, but it’s a great addition. I’m hoping we can return in the future for a longer stay.