Backpacking East Asia 2016

The year 2016 is running so fast, and it’s already approaching its last quarter. During this span of time I have been to various places: I spent my New Year’s Day in Ho Chi Minh City as part of my 16-day Indochina trip, spent the Catholic Holy Week holiday in Kuala Lumpur, and experienced the epic Eid al-Fitr-slash-mudik season in Jakarta and Yogyakarta. I have two more travel plans for this year. I’m not quite sure about my upcoming trip to Borneo (Kota Kinabalu and Brunei Darussalam), but I am certain of the other subsequent journey because I already have the approved visas.

HCMC City Hall

Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Vietnam

KLCC Malaysia

KLCC, Malaysia

On the last part of October until the first week of November, I am going to see three major cities in East Asia, namely Taipei, Taiwan, Tokyo, Japan, and Shanghai, China. Originally I wanted to visit Tokyo, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. I deliberated both the possible routes and compared them to see which one is cheaper. After some time I decided to have a separate trip to Guangzhou along with other Southern China cities, if it’s possible. And then I remember that by the power of the Japanese visa, I can have a short stopover in Taipei. I considered to revisit my favourite city so far. Yay!

East Asia

Manila – Taipei – Tokyo – Shanghai – (Manila)

On my first trip to Taiwan I applied for a tourist visa, but while I was doing my research, I found out that it is possible to enter the country if you have a valid visa for some countries enumerated which includes Japan, and after applying for a travel authorization certificate you will be granted a multiple-entry access for 30 days. (Let me write it in a separate post soon!) Because I need the visa to be still valid when shown to the Taiwanese immigration, I shall be there before flying to Tokyo. It’s possible to cross China first, but since I expect to spend more in Japan, I put Shanghai on the last destination. That’s how I came up with the Taipei-Tokyo-Shanghai route. I will spend two days in Taiwan, five days in Japan, and four days in China, adding up to eleven days, which for me is a short time considering the size of these metropoles.

My Pictures from Taiwan

After my Chinese and Japanese visa were approved, I immediately booked my flights so I could catch the cheap airfares, except Manila-Taipei as I’ve booked it earlier when there was a previous sale. Here are the costs of my flights with additional baggage of 15 or 20 kilograms:

Flight Schedule

I think it’s a great deal for this route!

From Manila (MNL), I will have the first flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and will leave the country through the same airport. I will arrive in Japan through Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT) and depart through Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND). I will enter China in Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and will spend the last days of the trip before I go back to Manila.

I haven’t had a further research yet about the hotel/ hostel where I’m going to stay, though I have dummy bookings that I used for application of the visas. Perhaps on the next month I’ll purchase rooms already so that I will not worry about it in the future.

As for the itinerary, I’m not fully planned yet as well, but I know that I’ll be going to visit numerous skyscrapers like Taipei 101, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, and Shanghai Tower. I’m also sure to visit a lot of temples and shrines while on this journey and if my budget permits, I would also try going to a theme park abroad for the first time, and Shanghai Disneyland is my definite choice.

Oriental Pearl Tower

Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai (Source:

For those who have already been to these cities, I gladly accept recommendations and tips on where to go and what to do. Have a nice day everyone!

Featured Image taken from

25 thoughts on “Backpacking East Asia 2016

  1. Pingback: Backpacking East Asia 2016 | Journal Edge

  2. Pingback: East Asia, Part 1: Taiwan | Adventures of JPE

  3. I’m so jealous. I love your blog, especially the little tid bits of info on getting to these countries (especially entering the country). Can’t wait to see where your travels take you

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Definitely try to eat in a cafe /restaurant in Shanghai that is above the Bund so you can have great view on the financial district and the oriental pearl tower. Kathleen’s Waitan is for example a great place to have breakfast or brunch or just a drink 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is very informative and inspiring! Kudos! 😀
    I would like to ask you something, though. Considering that I have a working visa in Japan, is it also possible to go to Taiwan and China without applying for a tourist visa? Thanks for your reply! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! So this travel authorization certificate in Taiwan is only valid if you have a residence certificate or an entry visa in the enumerated countries, including Japan. And take note that this is only applicable to nationals of India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hi John, if you are considering a trip to Borneo, i can’t recommend basing yourself in the delightful town of Kuching enough (Malaysian Borneo). I’m working on a post about my recent trip there at the moment, as soon as it’s finished i’ll send you a link.

    Liked by 1 person

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