Blogs from Asia - page 3

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Asia » Kazakhstan » Kyzylorda April 26th 2015

Yes, I spent 36 hours in the train! It was a comfortable train with berths to sleep on, including their linen, blankets and pillows. The people I met in the train, from my own compartment and also from neighbouring compartments, were very friendly and of course many of them took pictures with me. These people shared their food and drinks with me, even though it was not easy to communicate with most of them. A truly great experience with warm, friendly and hospitable Kazakh people. After 36 hours I arrived in Aralsk and it was around 8am. My guide, Zhasulan, was already waiting at the station and he took me to my home-stay where I took a shower and had a nap on a proper bed. I was treated very well by the family and my ... read more
Zhalanash shipyard; remnants of a ship sitting on what used to be the bottom of the Aral Sea
Driving through the Aral Sea area; a vast emptiness
Almaty 1 station, where I took the train

Asia April 25th 2015

I’ve been blessed with a soft landing in Bangkok, provided by my friend Abby. She is heading back to the states in 2 days, so I will be off on my own. While I’m bummed that she is leaving, I am so thankful I was able to spend my first 9 days abroad in her home and her presence. She has some astute observations about the city and the people. The sharing of her observations made my immersion easier and made me notice things quickly that may have taken a while amongst the overwhelming colors, smells, and sounds of this fascinating city. Here are some of my observations of Thailand so far: Thai people are kind, polite, and quiet. Everyone smiles and treats each other nicely. Standing in a crowd of people on a train is ... read more
Fake Food
Victory Monument

Asia » Philippines » Manila April 25th 2015

Stilts, xylophones played by beautiful girls, dancing and costumes greeted us as we arrived in Manila this morning. It was a beautiful sight and made for good entertainment early in the day. Our first stop was the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial where 17,000 Americans are buried. It is was a solemn sight and the location is beautiful. We then spent a couple of hours navigating traffic which was apparently snarled due to an accident. Finally we arrived at La Loma, a marketplace renowned for its suckling pigs. We didn’t sample any… On to a Chinese cemetery where we found 2 story mausoleums, some with running water and air conditioning as the families tend to spend time there in reverence to their ancestors. We were told the Chinese are wealthy in the Philippines and their burial ... read more
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Asia » China » Hunan » ChangSha April 25th 2015

Today is a little bit of a sad start to the day for me as I hear news of my friends mum passing, my thoughts will be with him today. Yesterday was another relaxed start to the day, Marcus disappeared to teach some lesson which left us to get showered and dressed and pack our bag. When Marcus came back and was ready we went off to the school canteen for a spot of lunch and then to his last lesson of the day, towards the end of the lesson Marcus decided to play the "one frog jumped in the pond kerplunk" game, I will post a video on facebook later for those who don't know what this is, Marcus decided to use myself and Claire to demonstrate, the funny thing was the kids who got ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi April 25th 2015

2 weeks. 4 countries. And a whole lot of Hell Yeah!! My faithful back pack leans against the front door, my passport has just enough pages left to handle this trip, and my folding toothbrush ready for whatever delicacies I might feats on lays patiently next to a packet of Tums. (I hear the street food in Cambodia can be a little rebellious). I am ready for the whirlwind in front of me (I think). Not so ready for the long flight back in Economy class but this time I think I am better prepared. I've got a tiny foot stool (did you know they made such things??) so I can actually reach something solid with my feet while in flight. I stumbled upon some homeopathic jet lag pills and the new neck url=http://www.amazon.com/Pillow-British-Invention-Selling-Amazon-co-... read more

Asia » Japan » Kagoshima » Yakushima April 25th 2015

Day 10 Yakushima Today was another day of surprises with a bonus of a beach Onsen’ at a third of our way around the island. Since the Onsen pools were quite small, with males and females separated by a flimsy fence we retained our modesty in our shorts and bikinis. The hottest part was the pebbles leading to the Onsen. Martin set off with a will out of town first thing and a breakaway of four soon dropped the group and with a tail wind, despite some steep little hills, we averaged 15mph until the Boulangerie at 11am. The roads after this point were very traffic free and we encountered several deer and some macaques doing their ablutions in the shade. As usual for the coastline of Japan the road was rather lumpy and we soon ... read more
Turtle beach
Sika deer
Macaques

Asia » Nepal » Chitwan April 25th 2015

Hi Readers, Before I get to Chitwan I must explain some Nepalese driving etiquette!! The horn on any vehicle ( car,motorcycle,rickshaw and anything else on wheels) must be used at all times, especially to let you know they are behind you, at the side of you or in front of you. So up nice and early to catch bus to Chitwan, was supposed to have a pick up but that didn't happen, turns out he came the day before. Bus is all loaded and we're off on a 6 hour trip. Most of the way the horn did the talking, slow vehicle in front, honk honk I'm behind you, honk honk I'm beside you, honk honk (from the other vehicle) you're in front of me, honk honk (from the vehicle coming towards you) better get over ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel April 24th 2015

Today was the last day of our memorable time in Tibet. Left hotel early for short drive to the border so we could be near the front of the line for when Chinese immigration and customs opens at 10 am (closed overnight from 5 pm). After completing formalities we transferred our gear to a truck while we walked across the Friendship Bridge to clear Nepal’s customs and immigration. The whole process took over 2 hrs. While incredibly complicated for us it is far worse for trucks. 100's line up each side & neither are allowed to cross into the other country & all goods have to be transferred to waiting trucks on the other side. The road on the Nepal side is almost undrivable as we have a small walk through an arcade of traders to ... read more
Walk from bridge to bus.
Wheat Terraces
Final Group dinner

Asia » Vietnam » North Central Coast » Thua Thien - Huế April 24th 2015

Hue Have added photos from The Citadel as left them off in yesterdays post. Enormous place and hopefully it will be restored. Photos don't due it justice. See next post for fun day on a motorbike.... read more
3 bronwyn imperial palace
230415 imperial palace
230415 remains of wall after bombing

Asia » Japan » Kagoshima » Yakushima April 24th 2015

Day 9 The island of Yakushima A short bus ride to the ferry terminal and we were on the Surf Jet to the island of Yakushima at full speed. We were amazed as it blazed into the harbour leaning over into the corner like a motorcycle. We had to strap in like on an aircraft as we sped across the Pacific Ocean to clear water to the south. The weather was good to us again, as it has been for most of the trip, with a clear sky and the sun lifting the spirits on this beautiful spring day. As we landed in Miyanoura Port we could see a road zig zagging up the mountain and this was the road our bus took for 9 km to the start of our walk in the Shiratani Unsuikyo ... read more
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