Cara & Trevor

CaraTrev

Cara & Trevor

Well our 3 month 10 day Asia trek ended April 29, 2008, a month short because of political issues but otherwise a great experience. We traveled from Singapore up through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and China. Unfortunately we didn't get to go to Nepal because of political tension in Kathmandu. We couldn't go to Tibet because of the riots to free Tibet from China. And we chose not to go to India because of the heat, border tension with Nepal and because everyone we talked to said it was really hard to get around. The winner of the overall best country for sights, ease of travel, food and people was Thailand hands down. In all of our travels things went pretty well besides the many business owners trying to rip us off we had no problems and felt pretty safe wherever we went.

Well now that we're back in the real world we have to get jobs, build a home and get married, not necessarily in that order.
Well we hope you enjoy the blogs!

Visited Countries Map




Asia » Hong Kong » Kowloon April 29th 2008

Hong Kong at last! our final Asian destination. HK is a big clean modern city with big modern buildings resulting in big prices. We paid $25 (US) for a prison cell for 2 the first night and then upgraded to a cheap hotel place for $55 or we could of stayed at the Holiday Inn for $200 but we have a budget. The transit system here is really good, efficiently packing millions of people around on an extensive network of subways and double decker buses. Pretty much all of our time in HK was shopping because Lonely Planet said HK had good prices and because it was our last stop in Asia so we didn't have to worry about carrying our loot around. I originally was really excited about Hong Kong because of the supposedly wide ... read more
Pollution and big buildings
Millions of people
City Lights

Asia » China » Beijing April 25th 2008

On to the great big city of Beijing...we took a sleeper train from Bautoa to Beijing which was about 13 hours. They didn't have any soft sleepers available so we got hard sleepers, not totally sure how different they would be. The setup was pretty compact with 6 bunks in each little area - three stacked on each side. I got a top bunk and Trevor got a middle bunk. While it was a little tight getting set up and comfortable but, it wasn't that bad for sleeping and they provided bedding, although there wasn't much extra room for personal items in the bunks (and we didn't want to keep our valuable stuff like passports and money and stuff in the general racks). Once in Beijing, we made our way from the Beijing West train station ... read more
Forbidden chair
Panda
Zoo animal

Asia » China » Inner Mongolia » Baotou April 20th 2008

Okay what better to do after getting BBQed then go to the dessert, right. Or maybe the desert... Well we have seen a lot on our trip but we haven't seen a desert so it looked appealing. Since our Yurt excursion didn't go as planned we were short on time. Unlike most of out trip we decided to go the quick expensive route instead of the relaxed local route. Our time was cut even shorter than planned because the express bus that we took to Bautoa got a flat tire half way between the two towns. Luckily we were only a few km from a little town with a row of mechanics, so we limped to the town (10 min) and had the tire changed (30 minutes). So after the pit stop we arrived in town ... read more
Flat tire
Resonant Sand Dunes
Sand slide

Asia » China » Inner Mongolia » Hohhot April 20th 2008

I wish I could say the BBQ was a good experience. The first night we arrived in Hohhot at 10 pm. Having just missed the shuttle bus to town we tried our luck with the taxi cabs. Up to this point we avoided taxis because the LP book warns you that they they are the biggest rip-off artists out there. Knowing that, we cautiously appoached the taxi. As soon as we got near the taxi there were 10 other drivers & locals right there to watch the con artist do his work. He presuured us to get in the car but we insisted on a price of course. As the taxi driver stalled writing the price down the crowd looked over his shoulder in anticipation. As the crowd read the price they cringed and waited for ... read more
Horseing around
Yurt
Overlooking the homestead

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an April 18th 2008

After a long sleepless, smokey, and wild ride on the sleeper bus, we made it to Xi'an bright and early with the sunrise. Groggily we made our way across the city to where the cheaper hotels and hostels are located. After checking several hotels which either were full or didn't have any discounted rates (or didn't want to rent rooms to westerners) we found the Xiangzimen Youth Hostel. They offered us a good deal on a room and the atmosphere is really nice, not to mention the traditional chinese decor is great. (free internet and booking services have been helpful too). Our first site we set out to see was the Big Goose Pagoda, the most visited site here in Xi'an. Our expectations were high and so after a long walk to get to it, it ... read more
Swords in the park
Terra cotta warriors
Metal horses

Asia » China » Hubei » Three Gorges Dam April 15th 2008

Well, we spent the night in Yichang after our cruise up the Yangtze, but it was fairly uneventful and not that interesting...until we left Yichang on a sleeper bus to Xi'an. First, we get on and think it may be a pretty good deal since it's not too crowded and we each get a nifty little lounge type seat/bed (bedding included). The timing was better than the train as well so it seemed like a no brainer. Okay, that's where the good stuff stopped... I should mention that the "lounge seats" we were in were just barely long enough for us to stretch our legs out, and obviously this was a worse setup for Trevor with his long legs. This would have been bearable except that our driver felt the need to alternate between flooring it ... read more

Asia » China » Chongqing » Chongqing April 14th 2008

The answer is....32 million! I think it may be the largest city on the planet (or we were told so by a couple locals) and it is China's fastest growing city with the government pouring money into it for massive construction and design projects, helped by the fact that it's close to the biggest dam in the world (the three gorges dam) - dam, it's all big. We flew in from Guilin and caught a shuttle bus into town. Once again, we arrived late in the evening and didn't feel up to wandering too far that late at night so we ended up in a hotel right near where the bus dropped us. After listening to the booming of the karaoke bar late into the evening and a strange smell in the room, we changed to ... read more
The hydrofoil we took down the Yangze
Town to be drown
Chongqing town square

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 11th 2008

The drive to Yangshuo was beautiful! Hundreds of karst peaks and then coming into town a lovely city nestled among all these peaks along the river. Definitely a breath of fresh air compared to Guilin and Shenzhen. We got off the bus and told the many hotel salespeople that we already had a place reserved and didn't need a room. We did end up walking in the complete opposite direction than we intended in an effort to lose them but then regrouped and retraced our steps to make our way to West street, a street aptly named as it is where all the tourists (many of them westerners) hang out and stay. Just about every business on this street (and the side streets off of it) are hotels/guesthouses. So after finding the more quiet end of ... read more
Fresh fish
Finish product
Moon Hill

Asia » China » Guangxi » Longsheng » Pingan April 8th 2008

Guilin is a small city of about 670,000 people and pretty much seems to be shrouded in a constant gray fog/cloud which makes it very humid. Walking around, everything is wet, even when it hasn't been raining, and I don't just mean outside. As we were looking at hotels to find a place to stay, we slipped and slid around the lobbies and hallways. We found a place to stay that was reasonable, despite the persistent dampness of everything. We planned to stay here a couple nights and use it as a staging ground for visting the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces which are about an hour and a half away. Our first day here we scoped out the towns shopping and eating options, and ended up finding a cheaper, nicer place to stay for our second ... read more
long hair people
High rice
more rice

Asia » China » Guangdong » Shenzhen April 6th 2008

We landed in Shenzen on April 4th around 10pm with no hotel reservation. We wandered around the airport in search of some english signs and didn't find many and none that said anything about how to get to town. The airport was huge and empty - kinda strange for a City of 10 million people. So we basically just observed everone to try to figure out the process. We tried to talk to some people but they all said "hmm?". Finally we found the Airport shuttle bus and hopped on. Everyone seemed to yell out to the driver where they were going so we blurted out one of the hotels listed in our book. After about 30 min we got to town where we frantically tried to recognise land marks in our book so we could ... read more
Hotel
Tea Mall
Fresh fish




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