Juho S.

juhos

Juho S.


Booyah!

This is my travelblog during our trip in South Asia over three months. After having some serious thoughts, my friend and me finally decided to make the plans come true and booked the flights to Asia. I am not saying that those fortnight trips to Canary Islands couldn't be nice, but it still lacks quite much what we are looking for. During our journey landscapes will vary from beaches in Goa and jungles in Southeast Asia to some metropoles, for example Bangkok, Hanoi, Kunming and Varanasi. Himalaya mountain range (and hopefully Mt Everest) will also be seen.

Shortly I am a 23-year old Finnish law student. So far I've visited European countries and been a couple of times in Asia like a tourist, but now we are going to backpack. It's not the most comfortable but definitely the best way to discover the world. You'll be able to follow my correspondent-like stories and watch photos taken from the field. I decided to write my blog mostly in English since I've got a bunch of non-Finnish speaking friends who might like to read it (and people understand English anyway). Hopefully this (should I say) modern adventure also will allow us to experience cultures and everyday life as it really is, not only what a tourist sees.



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Map of Travelogue

This is a map to depict our proceeding in Asia. The route may change during the journey. Finland-> India -> Nepal -> China -> Vietnam -> Laos -> Cambodia -> Thailand -> Home.






Europe » Finland April 22nd 2010

On the 15th of April somewhere in Iceland a name monster called Eyjafjallajökull decided to start erupting and thanks to it one shopping day in Bangkok turned into a week of waiting for our canceled flight. I was a bit ill after so much traveling so I wasn't happy about this fact at all. Despite the riots of those infamous red-shirts in Bangkok and my weakened condition we could do some last day shopping and buy more and more t-shirts which were particularly cheap. Our guesthouse (or this time it must be called a hotel since it was the most expensive accommodation of our trip, and it was on our insurance company) was located on Khaosan road, which was very peaceful this time (maybe most of the people were at the airport hotels). However on the ... read more
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Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao April 6th 2010

Everything that has a beginning has an end, and like our Grand Asian journey, this doesn't make an expection. Thailand is our last destination, the last country and the Swedish canary islands. After seeing some riots pro Thai ex-prime minister in Bangkok we changed our bus from Siem Reap to Ko Tao unbelivably fast despite all the streets of Bangkok were jammed. The night bus to Chumphon took almost the whole night and early in the morning we traveled by boat to Ko Tao - Island of turtles. Without any longer hesitation we booked a open water diving course (that's the reason why we had come to Ko Tao anyway). The course by Sairee Cottage Diving was in English but we thought it'd be more useful to know the diving terms especially in English (it's available ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor March 26th 2010

So we departed Ban Lung and by bus (again) continued to the other side of country, to Siem Reap - it's Indiana Jones time! Siem Reap would be a sleepy village without this world famous Cambodian tourist attraction - I'm of course speaking of the temples of Angkor, and as the brightest gem in the crown - Angkor Wat. There's not much to say about Angkor, since you can read all about it from Wikipedia, but at least I'd like to tell some views of my own. As an ancient capital of Khmer Kingdom it's still unbelievably well preserved. It's thousand times bigger and mightier than its little brother Wat Phou, as you careful readers may remember, that we visited in Laos. All the tourists do at least Angkor Wat and most likely also Bayon (those ... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » East » Banlung March 21st 2010

Having left Don Det in Si Phan Don of Laos behind we moved by bus to the South and eventually we crossed the border of Cambodia. Despite the famous song by Dead Kennedys, a holiday in Cambodia is not (anymore) tough, but it's nearly as chill as in Laos. People seemed to be friendly at the first glance and we didn't find any trouble in heading to Ban Lung - the biggest town of Ratanakiri province. Literally it means Diamond Mountains since there are some profitable diamond mines in the area. This area is for trekkers mainly and because trekking in Nepal wasn't so devastating after all, we had enough courage to book a jungle trek to Virachey national park. The national park is uninhabited and only the minority tribes (and trekkers of course) wander there ... read more
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Asia » Laos March 5th 2010

So finally we could feel the same lovely temperature that we left behind in Goa many, many weeks ago (Vietnam was a huge disappointment when there was only something around +10 degrees in Hanoi). When the airplane landed at Vientiane airport I could feel that humid breeze of air which blew straight against my face at once. At the same time I noticed how passive and quiet was Vientiane's international airport: no rush, no people from the other flights, no pushing to take a tuk-tuk at the airport... So, welcome to Lao! Firstly we stayed a few days in Vientiane, probably the most laidback capital of the World (as far as I am concerned)! On the first day we already met a bunch of Finnish people (Emppu, Emily, Juuso and Kasperi), who were familiar with my ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta February 20th 2010

So having shivered in Nepal we decided to go back to the South, because the trips to Lhasa (our original plan) were quite expensive and the weather wouldn't have been nothing but colder there. And here's a hint for all the travelers out there: don't fly with China Southern as to it's bureaucratic and you'll get a lot problems if your passport doesn't include a visa for China. We didn't have time to get one before trekking so we had a master plan: we wouldn't enter China at all just the airports and go straight to Vietnam (then again, we should originally have gone to Yunnan province and Tibet, but now the time to travel is running out). So speaking of Chinese bureaucracy (or China southern's terms and conditions) they didn't allow us to go to ... read more
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Asia » Nepal » Annapurna February 11th 2010

Since it's stupid to go to country where 8 of the world's ten most highest peaks locate and not to see them, we decided to go trekking to see some of those houses of Gods. Just because our time was limited we had to choose a short trek. One of them was a short loop of the real two week lasting Annapurna circuit and that is what we conquered. Trek started by going from Kathmandu to Pokhara - to the city which i said to be the most beautiful in the world (I beg to differ, it looked just like a smaller Kathmandu to me). We were just hanging around nearby the lake. Next morning we were woken up by a knock on the door. Our guide asked us to get ready and quite soon we ... read more
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Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu February 4th 2010

It's another day at the office of the federal democratic republic of Nepal! Our expedition arrived in Nepal on Sunday last week because we got sick in Varanasi and therefore we had to postpone our train/bus 3 times! The nasty diarrhea bacteria wasn't an easy opponent and actually today when I'm writing this blog is the first day when I'm feeling well for the first time in week. My advice for all the travellers: don't hesitate to visit hospital in order to get the right antibiotics at once. A Varanasian pharmasist doesn't know a thing! So we have been a couple of days in Kathmandu and the most remarkable things compared with India are friendliness of people and surprisingly the minor amount of pollution. The sky is clear and I don't have feeling to cover myself ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi January 26th 2010

Holy smoke, not so holy pollution and cacophony of smells This is not going to be a long update since we should go to sleep quite early as to we shall go to Nepal early next morning and it will take two days to get to Kathmandu. So once again the Indian locomotive was very delayed when we arrived in Varanasi in the Sunday afternoon (the train left Agra four hours late and finally it was just 9 hours late when we came to the holy city). Therefore since people told us that the trains towards Gorakhpur are delayed or even canceled often we decided to take bus this time. So I'm looking forward to those bumpy roads and breathtaking mountain roads. We have spent a few days here in Varanasi now that is the holiest ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra January 22nd 2010

About Agra Namaskaar from Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, to be more exact from Agra - the city of India's most well-known landmark Taj Mahal. It has been a long journey to here since we chose to travel by train from the tropical Goa (Lauri is already missing the warmth of it and planning to take next flight to somewhere south... as if) to relatively cold North India... The train trip was somewhat an experience. Almost 40 hours and over 2000 kilometers in the train must be my longest train trip so far and the most exotic one as well. We left Goa and Anjuna beach wearing short shorts and t-shirts, but soon we realized that the nights will be colder the more up north we get, so therefore we arrived in Agra wearing our ... read more
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