Mar 26th, 2019, 10:01 AM

Exotic Destinations for AUP's Globe Trotters

By Claire Price
AUP students head to exotic locations around the world. Image credit: Pixabay/ Mariamichelle
Where did AUP students go for spring break?

Entering the second week of back to school, spring break feels like almost an eternity ago. With midterms and assignments piling up, Peacock Plume decided to catch up with students and reminisce about a fonder time, spring break. The Plume investigated some of the most popular spring break destinations amongst the AUP community and how people spent their spring break. Their responses just might give you some inspiration for your next getaway.

For a luxurious beach getaway with a twist, Thailand is about 11-16 hours away by plane. Not only does Thailand offer relaxing beach experiences, but it also offers a vibrant culture with a thriving nightlife scene. Thailand is widely known as a top party destination. In legendary Koh Phangan, the Island of the Moon, there is a half moon party took place on March 13th deep in the jungle featuring three stages of EDM that will have you dancing until the sun rises. Koh Phi Phi is famous for its beachside clubs that sell actual buckets of cheap alcohol. There are parties and pub crawls, as well as fire dancing and ladyboy cabarets which are cabaret shows performed by Thai transgender women. Koh Phi Phi’s other claim to fame is Maya Bay, a beautiful bay famously featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The Beach. Unfortunately, the bay has been closed indefinitely for ecological recovery. 

One cannot visit Thailand without exploring the natural wonders of the country. There are many beautiful caves to explore as well as beaches where you can swim, go on long-tail boats, snorkel, and scuba. Of course, northern Thailand is famous for its elephant rides, but many elephant trekking companies abuse their animals. It is recommended that tourists only visit elephant sanctuaries, where one can play with the elephants but not ride them. City dwellers might prefer visiting Bangkok, the vibrant capital of Thailand. With temples, street food, culture, and a vibrant nightlife, one cannot be bored.

An elephant in Thailand. Image credit: Pixabay/ Sasint

Northeast of Thailand is Japan, an equally vibrant and exciting destination. Japan is famous for its deep traditional culture. Tourists can attend traditional tea ceremonies, try on kimonos, visit temples, and visit an onsen- a Japanese hot spring spa. Foodies will be in heaven, eating the worlds best ramen, sushi, udon, and other traditional Japanese dishes. Japan is home to many Shinto and Buddhist temples with zen gardens and cherry blossom trees. Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is most famous for its beautiful temples and shrines.

The most delicious sushi in the world is in Japan. Image credit: Pixabay/ Born_in_88

Tokyo, the current capital of Japan, famous for its exotic culture and food. On every corner, vending machines sell everything from beer to fake used underwear. The Harajuku district is famous for its unique street style, popular among Japanese teens, featuring pastel colors and an anime-like aesthetic. Themed restaurants are popular in Japan, with Harajuku girl cafés, cafés featuring owls and cats that customers can play with, and even robot restaurants. Nightlife thrives in Tokyo with hundreds of bars and clubs peppering the city. The fun doesn’t have to stop there- Tokyo has its own Disneyland and DisneySea as well as many museums like the Ghibli Museum, dedicated to Studio Ghibli movies like Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky.

A temple in Kyoto. Image credit: Pixabay/ MariaMichelle

Athletic tourists will be delighted to visit Switzerland, one of the best places to ski during spring. Switzerland is world famous for chocolate and cheese, so you’ll be able to warm up with hot chocolate and some cheese fondue after a day on the slopes. One can expect breathtaking panoramic views that should not be missed. Switzerland is home to the famous Matterhorn Mountain where explorers can take gondola rides, ski, and hike. Interlaken is a popular destination for explorers looking for a rustic town with big views. This quaint town is nestled between two lakes surrounded by soaring mountain peaks. Locals offer scenic train rides and mountain tours. For a dash of Italian culture, one can head to Lugano, a city in the Italian speaking area of Switzerland, nearby to Italy. The architecture is heavily Italian influenced and located on the edge of a large lake, creating picture-perfect scenery. tourists are sure to not be disappointed by a Swiss spring break.

Switzerland is home to beautiful soaring mountains that can be skied during winter. Image credit: Pixabay/ Julius_silver

Warmer weather can be found in Morocco, North Africa. Morocco is famous for its rich culture and traditions. It is a Muslim country, so there are many beautiful mosques to see. Be mindful that women must cover their heads when entering mosques. There is no shortage of things and people to look at, with crowded spice markets, streets, performers, and more. Morocco’s markets are well known for high-quality spices, rugs, and leather. Be careful that you get the right price by haggling, which is customary. Also, be careful when buying saffron. Many merchants sell fake saffron, but you can test it by putting it in water to see if the water turns yellow, or if red dye used to make fake saffron appears. Just by walking down the streets in a city like Marrakesh, Fes, or Casablanca, one can see snake tamers, street food vendors, stray kittens, and a whirlwind of activity.

A bazaar in Morocco. Image credit: Pixabay/ TheUjulala

Anyone thinking of visiting Thailand, Japan, Switzerland, or Morocco is in for a treat. Whether you are spending it partying on the beaches of Thailand or experiencing a foreign culture in Morocco, you are sure to return to school invigorated and ready to finish off the year.