3 Things That You Must Do in Asia
Visiting Asia should definitely be on your bucket list.
10:50 11 April 2021
Because so many of the flavors and cultural traditions that have been introduced to the West have been watered down or simplified for Western consumption, you must go to Asia to understand these cuisines and customs where they originated. These nations have vivid, ancient civilizations that will be a joy and wonder to explore.
When you visit Asia, you may not like everything that you eat or see, but you will develop an appreciation for the cultures and peoples of the most populous continent on the planet. Here are some of the must-do activities to add to your bucket list.
The Japanese tea ceremony combines aesthetics and ritual to create a sublime experience. The tradition of drinking tea began in China and made its way to Japan with Buddhist monks. No longer the sole preserve of monks, the tea ceremony is open to all. Each ceremony is unique and the preparation of the tea is as important as the drinking of the tea.
When you attend a tea ceremony, wear a kimono if possible. If you are unable to rent or purchase a kimono for the occasion, that is fine too. You will be directed to enter on your knees and kneel on a tatami mat.
Your host will prepare a green matcha tea in front of you and give you a small treat to eat before serving the tea. When the tea is presented, pick up the cup with your right hand and turn it clockwise ninety degrees. Then you many drink.
After drinking the tea, your host will offer another cup. If you decline, the host will wash the cups and tools and the ceremony will be over. You should feel relaxed and in harmony with your surroundings. If you have time, take a Japan cruise.
India is home to over a billion people and has a culture stretching back millennia. The country is home to several religions that have influenced each other over the years, but Hinduism remains the majority practice. Since the middle of the last century, traveling yogis have introduced the West to yoga. Now there are yoga studios everywhere, but getting the opportunity to learn in India will be an experience you will never forget.
For the most authentic yoga lessons, you should visit an ashram in the holy city of Rishikesh in the Himalayan mountains. Ashrams are secluded hermitages led by a swami where you can practice yoga and meditation to grow spiritually. You will stay on site and be expected to follow a routine that involves cleaning and serving meals in addition to yoga and meditation training.
You will be taught about the relationship between the body and the mind, and therefore about how yoga and meditation are complementary. The teachings you receive combined with the beauty, austerity and seclusion of the ashram are designed to help you experience a peace and tranquility that you otherwise couldn’t access in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You might also be fortunate enough to have a life-changing insight.
China is the only country that can rival India in population and in the age of their culture. China’s traditions go back thousands of years and the sophistication of their cuisine if perfect for the traveling foodie. Chinese cooking is not a monolith; the nation is divided into regions, each with their own distinct food traditions. If you don’t have several months to devote sampling China’s cuisine, it is best to have a focus.
Hand-pulled noodles are incredible, and the place to eat them is where they come from in the western city of Lanzhou. These noodles are hand made and served in a broth spiced with anise and cinnamon. Then pieces of braised beef or duck are added to make the dish complete.
The result is a deliciously savory meal similar to Japanese ramen but with a completely different flavor profile. You will be so impressed that upon returning home you will want to make some yourself.
Asia is calling. Don’t hesitate. Just go!