Tuesday, September 30, 2014

my favorite way to explore


When I first started traveling, trains were my favorite way to explore. Now, trains have been demoted and replaced by scooters.

Yes, I am a self-confessed moped lover.

I have had the opportunity to explore by moped in three different Asian nations: Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Scootering is my favorite method of exploration for a few reasons.

First, it's limitless.
In Asia, scooters can go anywhere and everywhere. Renting a scooter is a great way to get off the beaten path. In Taiwan, we often scoot up into the hillside for a weekend adventure. In Thailand, we scooted down a remote road on Koh Tao island and found a secluded beach {... we also got the scooter stuck and it took two hours to get it back on the main road, but that's all part of the adventure, right?}.

Second, it's exhilarating.
Being in an Asian scooter horde, especially in a big city, is an experience to be had! In Ho Chi Minh City, we scooted during rush hour from one end of the city to another. It was crazy and real and one of the most surreal experiences I have ever had. Being a part of a two hundred strong scooter horde on one tiny road merging into a thousand strong scooter horde is a nearly unbelievable experience.

Third, it's romantic.
I know, I know. A scooter? Romantic? But it really, really is! It's hard to find privacy on a boat or train or plane or helicopter or elephant or camel. But on a scooter, you are all pressed up against your special person and can pull over whenever you want to watch the sunset or take a stroll or simply have a moment together.

What about you? What's your favorite way to explore?











14 comments

  1. I've only ever had one moped experience - travelling to work on the back of a moped whilst working in Beijing - and since that day I've never touched a moped since! It was truly terrifying lol. I have to admit, they're a great way to get around and maybe it's not so scary when you're actually in control of the thing! :) Anyhow, glad to have found your blog via the Travel Tuesdays link-up.

    http://ablogbyrobert.com

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    1. I so understand. When we first got to Taiwan, I had to close my eyes to ride on the back of the scooter while my husband navigated. Now it all seems... normal.

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  2. I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with exploring on a scooter/motorcycle too. You can fit in through smaller spaces, go a lot faster, and not have to do the work that comes with bicycling lol. I think the key for me is to do these kinds of trips in short bursts because it's hard to pack a lot of gear and (let's be totally real for a sec) my crotch KILLS after a couple hours! I've never been able to explore via helicopter and think it would be the ultimate glam experience :)

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    1. OMG yes! For me, I lose all feeling in my butt after an hour or so. It's so annoying!

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  3. I always thought being a scooter lover (or at least tolerating them) was a prerequisite of living in Taiwan/Vietnam :) I have to say that - for myself - I much prefer the classic romanticism of a train trip.

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    1. True. I know one person who refused to scoot and walked everywhere in the insane heat and humidity. Suffice it to say, they did not make it very long in Taiwan. They moved ASAP.

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  4. I love trains!! I tried to scooter in Malaysia and nearly crashed and haven't been game since. we hired scooters recently in Croatia, but I went on the back with a friend. It definitely gives you a lot of freedom and they are so easy to park!

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    1. Trains are my second favorite! I love European train experiences. Asian ones? Not so much,

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  5. Sounds really fun! I love trains for longer distances but bicycles for getting around town. I can see how a moped would be pretty exhilarating though.

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    1. Bikes are fun if you are not worried you are going to be killed due to terrible driving.

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  6. Scooters are such a fun way to explore! I love almost all ways to travel--by car and by train--but I also love biking and walking to soak up the atmosphere.

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    1. Ha. We drove a car once in Taiwan and found the experience horrifying. I am not sure there is much worse than Asian rush hour traffic.

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  7. I'm not very good driving a scooter but love being on the back when travelling with someone who is! I agree they are great for flexibility and seeing things you wouldn't ordinarily.

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    1. I like driving the scooter best, but I like to pretend I am super duper cool and on a slick motorcycle and not moped :)

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