Traveling through Asia from Singapore by Madison Caranta

After feeling like I had found my place in Singapore, I started planning trips.

I first went to Bangkok, Thailand. I will be honest and state that I did not love it. Nevertheless, it was a great experience. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. It has made me more appreciative of the countries I have lived in or visited.

It is a very dirty city where hundreds of electric cables dangle on every streetlamp making static noises. The train and bus systems are complicated. The main roads have children street vendors selling not so appropriate items next to young women waiting to start their night shifts. It is an overwhelming experience when put all together. It truly is a place to see but you must be prepared for certain aspects of the city before visiting.


After my trip to Bangkok, I went to South Korea for recess week. The first thing I was faced with was the communication problems. Koreans do not speak any English. Also, the country restricted the use of Google Maps, meaning I had to figure out on my own which Korean app to use. I’ll make it easy for you, it’s the Naver app you should download. While I was in Seoul, I of course had to eat Korean BBQ. If you are ever in Korea, you should know that if a restaurant has a line outside the door, that’s where you want to go. If not, stay away!


I also visited the North Korean border! I crossed the infamous bridge, called the Gmaksan Suspension Bridge, where North and South Korea exchange prisoners. I was lucky enough to befriend soldiers. They gave me binoculars to look for North Koreans biking and walking to work behind the border. I also visited the Third Tunnel that connects directly to North Korea. There were gas masks every few feet “just in case”.

A few days in, I went to Busan, and visited Gamcheon, which inspired the story of the Little Prince.

For the last two days of my trip, I went back to Seoul to meet with the Chairman of the 8th biggest direct sales company in the world to attend his South Korean national congress. I was surrounded by the head of state and many other VIPs from all around Asia. I was thrown into a completely different world, being invited to Michelin star restaurants that were specifically rented out for the inner circle of VIPs, cars were charged to drive me around, and I had my own security detail.

My last trip was in Langkawi, Malaysia. I was very pleasantly surprised with how welcoming the people were. It was the only place throughout my entire semester where I felt the most comfortable. It is one of UNESCO’s protected Global Geopark and

is such a nice place to wind down. But, beware of the monkeys!! I may or may not have been chased by a family of them while biking around…



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