CheeseWeb’s Asian Adventure 2013

By - March 15, 2013 (Updated: November 18, 2014)

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series CheeseWeb's Asian Adventure 2013.
CheeseWeb's Asian Adventure - Coming soon!

CheeseWeb’s Asian Adventure – Coming soon!

Andrew and I are busy planning our first big trip of 2013 and it’s a doozy! At the end of March, we will be heading to Asia, to spend a week in Hong Kong and a week in Malaysian Borneo. Besides our 2011 travels to India, this will be our first trip to Asia and I’m feeling excited and a little scared.

When I say ‘Andrew and I are busy planning our trip,’ what I actually mean is I am knee deep in guide books, blogs, and AFAR Highlights and Andrew is putting up with me showing him yet another place we have to eat dim sum. I have pestered all of my traveler friends for recommendations (and even some of my friends’ friends), and I have enough activities and restaurants to fill two months, rather than two weeks.

While I have an (ever so slight) tendency to over-research travel destinations, CheeseWeb’s Asian Adventuretm has me in full-blown ‘type A’ mode. The truth is, just as with our trip to India, my excitement for new travel experiences is tempered with more than a little fear. It’s not the jungles of Borneo giving me the jitters (although I’ve purposely not researched the island’s insect life for fear of uncovering a troop of giant photographer-eating spiders.) It’s actually civilized Hong Kong that has the power to induce a panic-attack.

If I’m honest, China has never been high on my ‘places to visit’ list. It’s not that I don’t want to go there; there are just so many other places I want to visit more. Why that is, I’m not entirely sure, but my fear of crowds is certainly part of the reason.

I’ve been jokingly referring to Hong Kong as ‘China lite,’ and I realize it is much different than its mainland neighbor. However, Hong Kong has the 4th highest population density in the world, vs Belgium at 34 and Canada at 228. I likely won’t be enjoying any wide open spaces during my week there.

So instead of freaking out, I’m trying to focus on the things I love: photography, culture, art and food. Hong Kong has all of these in spades.

Before visiting India, I collected some inspiring photos of things I wanted to do, see and eat. So, to help me focus on anything but the crowds, here are some things I’m looking forward to experiencing in May:

Take a Star Ferry ride of Hong Kong Harbour

Take a Star Ferry ride of Hong Kong Harbour

Fight over Dim Sum

Fight over Michelin starred Dim Sum

Indulge in the ultimate food porn experience

Indulge in the ultimate food porn experience here

Burn off Dim Sum calories by hiking up to the Big Buddha of Lantau

Burn off Dim Sum calories by hiking up to the Big Buddha of Lantau

Recover my walking stamina on the Mid-Levels Escalators

Recover my walking stamina on the Mid-Levels Escalators; the longest in the world.

Count the Buddhas at the 10 Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Count the Buddhas at the 10 Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Listen to song birds at Yuen Po Street Bird Garden

Listen to song birds at Yuen Po Street Bird Garden

Restore my tranquillity at Nan Lian Garden

Restore my tranquillity at Nan Lian Garden

Revel in the world's most impressive skyline

Revel in the world’s most impressive skyline

(All photos via Wiki Commons and linked back to the original file.)

If you’ve been to Hong Kong (or borneo) and you’d like to share some tips with us, leave them in the comments below. (Just don’t mention spiders or crowds please.)

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
- 18 hours ago


  1. Comment by Amy

    Amy March 15, 2013 at 13:09

    You are going to have an amazing trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back. I would be nervous about those crowds too, but I’m sure you’re going to be fine! 🙂

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 15, 2013 at 13:54

      Thanks Amy! We’re definitely getting excited now!

  2. Comment by Yehuda Kovesh

    Yehuda Kovesh March 15, 2013 at 17:45

    Most of the places visited by tourists in Malaysian Borneo are rather tame including climbing mt Kinabalu, visiting orang tuan sanctuary, caves near Miri or sites near Kuching. If you want to see Borneo as it is, go up the river Rajang, stay at Kaput, brave the rapids and find i ban people living traditionally or with luck some penan people.
    The danger to Borneo or yourselves are not from crowds or flesh eating flowers but logging companies which is making a mess of the landscape.
    You can bring home some good handicrafts including genuine beadwork

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison March 18, 2013 at 13:50

      Thanks for the tips! This time around our visit is going to be quite relaxed but hopefully we’ll have time to return and explore more in depth in the future.

  3. Pingback: Highlights from CheeseWeb's Asian Adventure 2013 | Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

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