Combining design & backpacking around China/Japan/India

As a 22 years old ID student I’ll be in Guilin, China, between February and July 2009. To learn Mandarin at an university.

After this period I have 5 weeks free, so it’s possible to do some backpacking.

Therefore I’d like to ask if it’s possible to combine this with visiting India and Japan, and visit there something, someone, or a company which deals with design. Because Ilike to write at my CV that I not only visited countries, but really showed interest in their design culture as well.

If yes, what, who and how? The more info and help, the better! Would be great…


India doesn’t have a “design history” so to say, even though there ARE design firms springing up from everywhere. You could look into Indian crafts actually…that’s the closest that would come to design history in India.

I’ve been to Asia 5(?) times in the last two years, and keep meaning to include some fun time during my trips! I’ll be back in May, hopefully to Vietnam. Halong bay looks amazing for rock climbing. I’ve heard there is epic mountain biking in Taiwan as well as Thailand, and you can get someone to drive your luggage for you while you ride. Taiwan is supposed to have sick hot springs as well… including one of only two that are in the open ocean… think about it: hot ocean water! I hope to get to Taiwan this spring as well. (you can use your Mandarin there!) Have fun and feel free to drop me a line for specifics. I can hook you up with info about Vitetnam and Thailand. I’ve only been to big cities in China (Shanghai, HK, and surrounding areas), so not so much info there. Cheers!

Is it wise for an 18 year old girl backpacker to travel by herself? I want to travel the world in a gap year but I would be alone. No family members can come, I don’t have a boyfriend, and not many friends, all of which said they are going straight onto university.

affiliateelite ~ ~ adgooroo ~

Yup. I have friends and friends of friends that have done it. The simple basic rule is to be smart about what you are doing, as vague as that is. Check up on the places you are going. Don’t deliver packages (specially across boarders) for folks you don’t really know.

There are lots of websites (w/ chat boards) that tell you how to do it. A very useful one that friends and I used to travel S.E. Asia with a few months ago is Wikitravel.


Great project… good luck for the backpack in China, it’s a quite “tough” country to backpack, but not impossible… especially if you do it after 5 months of learning mandarin, it will be very useful.

5 weeks seems a bit short to combine these 3 countries, China & India are large countries and transportation may take hours/days, moreover you will be starting from the middle… country. I’ll recommend you focus on China & Japan or China&India. From Guilin you can go to Shenzhen/HK, then maybe Taipei, or directly to Shanghai, then fly to Tokyo/Osaka, etc…