I joined dealchecker in 2009 and since then, have still managed to fit in all sorts of exciting holidays despite working full time! One of my favourite places in the world is China; my time there was spent travelling around eating delicious food, taking in beautiful sights and meeting some of the friendliest people - certainly makes a change from working at Dealchecker. Well, apart from the last part, of course!
I lived in Hangzhou for three years so I like to think I could be considered something of an expert!
I spent the last year of my Computer Science degree at the University of Nottingham at the Malaysia campus in Kuala Lumpur.
I grew up on the boundary of these two counties and though I did not appreciate it so much while I was growing up, it is a delightful place to live in. Sandwiched between the New Forest and the beaches and rugged coastline of Dorset, there are wide range of healthy outdoor activities that are possible in this part of the world.
I grew up in these two countries during my earliest years and though some of my memories are a little hazy, I'd like to think that I have retained something of the spirit of these places.
TRAVEL TIP - "When going to China, do learn a little bit of Mandarin before you go. Not many people speak English well in China and they absolutely love it when a foreigner speaks their language and can be even more friendly and welcoming than they usually are."
Hangzhou, China. Mostly a family visit, but Hangzhou is much more picturesque than the average Chinese city, especially the area around the West Lake. It is also only a 45 minute journey by super-fast bullet train to Shanghai, which is arguably China's most exciting city.
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. The first holiday with my wife. We went as part of a group of around ten people we met at university, so was quite chaotic but very good fun. Riding scooters, boat trips, barbecues on beautiful tropical beaches and all in the company of very interesting and pleasant people.
Lots of friends, a road trip, possibly in the USA.
Coming back from Perhentian, I ate a meal from a local food stall about an hour before an 8-hour coach trip back to Kuala Lumpur and very quickly regretted it. I spent a horrible few minutes in the coach station's public toilet - which only had those hole-in-the-floor type toilets. Fortunately, I had brought some medication to calm my bowels with me, but it was still a long, bumpy and agonising trip back to KL.
Would prefer to lounge around more, but my need to make the most of being in a new place usually gets the better of me, so I end up running around trying to see everything.
Knowing that you have been efficient with your money.
China. They take their food very seriously there and Chinese cuisine is an extremely vast subject. There is a Chinese dish to satisfy anyone's taste, I think.