Kawachi Fuji Garden, Kitakyushu, Japan

Located in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, straight from an impressionnist paint, Kawachi Fuji Garden is home to an incredible 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species. The garden’s main attraction is the Wisteria tunnel that allows visitors to walk down an enchanting tunnel exploding with colour.

Tips

Located about 6 hours from Tokyo, the best time to visit it, is from late April to mid May, typically peaking at the end of April. The garden is private so there is an entry fee. Stay in one of those typical Japanese guest’s house, you will be enchanted.

 

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Laos

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia limiting with Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. Mountains and plateaus occupy over 70% of the country; forest covers 44% of the country. Laos has opened up in 1986 in the ‘new economic mechanism’ and several countries have started to invest in the country but foreign investments remain modest and are mainly in tourism (hotels, restaurants, services) but it continues to be the one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector is the most important; we find rice, corn, starch, coffee, peanuts, cotton and tobacco. Its opening to tourism is fairly recent as well (1990). Vientiane, the capital, has many temples to visit and you can do it by renting a motorbike or bicycle; you can also take a stroll along the Mekong. Another way to know the country is on a guided boat tour through the Mekong. You can also enjoy other villages and areas of interest more easily. Another beautiful town to visit is Luang Prabang which was the old royal city; you will find interesting temples.

Tips

The rainy season is from May to September but try to avoid visiting during the months of October and November also because they can be rainy and have tails typhoons.

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Wuzhen, China

Wuzhen is a small Chinese city on the Grand Canal, south of the mouth of the Yangtze River, near the city of Tongxiang (17 km), north of Zhejiang province; 80km from the city of Suzhou and Hangzhou, 140 kilometers from Shanghai. It is a one of the six largest old towns in southern China, a typical water town with a history of over 6000 years. The city is entirely built around canals. There are just over 60,000 inhabitants but only 12,000 are residents. The river binds all the streets together. Streams and streets are well connected, the houses are built on the banks of the river. The economy is mainly based on crafts, like weaving, wood carving or rice wine distillation. Tourism activity is recent, and visitors are still overwhelmingly Chinese. There are ancient stone bridges, stone paths and wood carvings.

Tips

You can visit the city by boat or by walking. Spring and autumn are the best seasons. It rains a lot in spring and in summer, the typhoon is common. During the day, early in the morning and evening are the best times to visit it.
You will find hostels accommodation, varied and special ones. In some places you can cook yourself, in others you can taste special family dishes.

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