From koi fish to awkward handshakes — here are the 20 best photos from Trump’s 12-day trip to Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) with US President Donald Trump (R) with children in China.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) with US President Donald Trump (R) with children in China.
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White House via Flickr

President Donald Trump’s whirlwind 12-day, five-country trip to Asia has finally come to a close. He lands back at the White House Tuesday night.

Although he faced many diplomatic challenges, there were also numerous memorable, quirky, awkward, and heart-warming moments during his time in South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Here are 19 more of the best photos to emerge from the president’s Asia trip:


Soon after arriving in Japan from Hawaii on Sunday, Trump met up with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a game of golf. Here they are fist-bumping on the course.

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Trump (L) and Abe (R) get ready for a few rounds of golf.
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Kyodo/Reuters

Abe even received a customized piece of Trump campaign merchandise to commemorate the US-Japan alliance. The hats say, “Donald and Shinzo Make Alliance Even Greater.”

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Pool/Reuters

First Lady Melania Trump visited children at Kyobashi Tsukiji Elementary School in Tokyo, where she joined students in a calligraphy class.

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Pool/Reuters

Source: CNN


In moment that went viral, Trump and Abe fed ceremonial koi together in Akasaka Palace. While Trump initially caught vitriol online for allegedly disrespectfully dumping all of his fish food in at once, it turns out he was simply following Abe’s lead.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Trump greeted Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace. Instead of bowing as past leaders have, Trump chose to shake the emperor’s hand instead.

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Trump (L) with Emperor Akihito (center) and his wife Empress Michiko (L).
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Pool/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


While Trump visited Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, American service members there greeted the president by giving him a slick, brown bomber jacket. Trump wore it proudly while he spoke in front of the crowd.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Next, Trump flew to South Korea, where challenging talks around North Korea awaited him. He and President Moon Jae-in seemed to be in good spirits, though.

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Donald Trump (L) with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R)
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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Trumps took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Seoul National Cemetery in South Korea, in which both the president and his wife donned white gloves to sprinkle powder into a ceremonial cauldron.

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Pool/Getty Images

Like in Japan, Melania Trump also spent time with children in South Korea. But this time around, her fans were greeted with an unexpected surprise when next to the first lady they saw K-pop star Minho, a member of a group called SHINee.

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Trump (center L) and K-pop icon Minho (center back R).
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White House via Flickr

Source: Business Insider


Trump flew to Beijing, China, where President Xi Jinping put the country’s influence, might, and economic success on full display.


Trump visited the Forbidden City, where elaborately dressed performers greeted him underneath American flags that flew high next to China’s.


Here, Trump and Xi shared what appeared to be a lighthearted moment ahead of a lavish state dinner with their wives behind them. The two have cultivated a mutual respect for one another — some have even called it friendship.

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Thomas Peter/Reuters

Sources: ABC, Business Insider


While her husband left for Vietnam on Friday, Melania stayed behind to enjoy Beijing not as a state guest but as a tourist. On Friday, she visited the Great Wall, and had a moment with a panda bear.

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White House via Flickr

Meanwhile in Vietnam, Trump attended an APEC summit in Danang. He and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was also in attendance, were given traditional, slightly oversized, Vietnamese shirts, leading to some awkward photos.

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Sputnik Photo Agency via Reuters

On his last day in Vietnam, Trump met with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi. Before giving a joint speech at the Presidential Palace, the pair were dwarfed by a giant bust of North Vietnamese communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, whose forces fought directly with US soldiers during the Vietnam War.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Source: The History Channel


In Vietnam, just like in China, South Korea, and Japan, local children made an appearance with Trump. Here, Vietnamese girls bid him farewell before he took off for the Philippines on Sunday.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

After arriving in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Trump took part in various events at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. After donning a Philippine traditional shirt, Trump had to wait in line as he peered over the heads of his fellow world leaders.


Trump matched shirts with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a dinner gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, and the two shared drinks, food, and apparently light-hearted chit-chat. Trump engaged in bilateral talks with the controversial leader in Manila during his stay.

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Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

On Monday, Trump, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Duterte did the so-called “ASEAN-way” handshake. The three men eventually got it right, but not without some group struggles to close out Trump’s 5-country Asia trip.