Page 5 of Cho45 Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi December 24th 2014

As the title says, Hanoi the capital of Vietnam was established in 1010 under a different name. It had several name changes until 1831, when it was re-named 'Hanoi' by King Minh Mang. We were there in July 2010 when the city was preparing for the 1,000 year anniversary of its founding. In July 2010 while I was still stationed in Bangkok, we had a four day weekend, so we decided to travel to Hanoi, the second largest city in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh city. We booked with Vietnam Airlines the national flag carrier of the country, through my usual and dependable travel agent. Initially, I had some qualms about flying with this airline as it was a state owned one, and Vietnam is still officially a Communist nation. However, my fears were unfounded. It ... read more
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane December 23rd 2014

In October 2009 we took the overnight bus from Bangkok to Vientiane, the sleepy capital of Lao PDR, People's Democratic Republic. I was not overly excited as I knew it was a Communist state. However, much to my pleasant surprise I found the country and people to be very agreeable. On the evening of our departure we went to the office of my usual travel agent to wait for transport to the bus station. It was just a short ride to the bus station, in fact we could have walked over there from the travel agent's office. We had to wait for over an hour for other passengers to arrive, and when the bus finally came, we left Bangkok around 9 pm. Our double decker bus was air-conditioned with fairly wide reclining seats and a toilet ... read more
Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane, Laos

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap December 19th 2014

From 2006 to 2011, I worked as a high school teacher in Bangkok, Thailand. During that period I took the opportunity to travel extensively around the region. One of my trips was to Cambodia which is next door to Thailand. It was during my school's summer break in March when my friend and I decided to pay a visit to the famed Angkor Wat in the town of Siem Reap. I had heard so many things about this vast temple complex and both of us were looking forward to seeing this well known tourist attraction. I know many people who have been there might disagree with me when I say that Angkor Wat did not come up to our expectations. I suppose it's partly our fault since we had very high expectations of this popular destination. ... read more
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Asia » Sri Lanka » Sabaragamuwa Province » Pinnawala December 18th 2014

Since I was a young boy I have always been fascinated by elephants. On trips to the zoo I would go and see them first before the other animals. As I grew older I came to realize that these great beasts of burden were being exploited to make money for man. I could give many examples, but since this page is for travel reviews, and not a forum for airing my protests I will just write about our trip to the elephant orphanage So when we were in Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) in October 2010, I thought it would be a good opportunity to go see how they were taken care of at this orphanage. We were staying at Sapphire Hotel in Colombo and hired a car with driver through the front desk. The ... read more
Pinnawela, Sri Lanka
Pinnawela, Sri Lanka
Pinnawela, Sri Lanka

Asia » Sri Lanka » Central Province » Kandy December 17th 2014

During our stay in Colombo we decided to take a trip to Kandy which is the second largest city in Sri Lanka. Actually we had already planned to travel to Kandy, and when we arrived in Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka, Lily our Sri Lankan friend advised us to reserve the train tickets at least a day in advance. Somehow or other, mainly due to our hectic schedule we failed to book the tickets and went to the Fort railway station early in the morning to catch the morning train. Much to our dismay, we found a long line in front of the ticket office. Actually the line extended to the street outside! Anyway, we decided to wait it out and try our luck. The line moved inch by inch, and when we finally got ... read more
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Asia » Sri Lanka » Western Province » Colombo December 16th 2014

Contrary to popular belief, Colombo is not the capital city of Sri Lanka. The capital is Kotte a satellite city located beyond the Colombo city center. However, Colombo is a busy and vibrant metropolis and still remain as the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of the country with its mixture of modern life and colonial-era buildings. I was in Colombo the first time in 2008, but only in transit and saw the city for a couple of hours only. Then in October 2010, my friend and I decided to go there as part of our Sri Lanka/India trip. We booked on SriLankan Airlines but our flight was delayed for over two hours at Bangkok airport, so we arrived in Colombo much later than the scheduled time. However, the good service received on board the plane somewhat ... read more
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 15th 2014

As any kid growing up in Rangoon, (or Yangon as it is called now) going to the zoo was always a treat. At that time my father's cousin was director of the Rangoon Zoo, as it was called then, and we kids would have VIP tours escorted by the zoo's staff. Passing adolescence into adulthood, with work and family commitments, a great number of years passed and visits to the zoo became less and less frequent. In 1978 I left the country to seek my fortunes abroad, but after a period of 9 years overseas, I felt homesick and went back to visit my homeland. Since then, I have returned on regular trips to see old friends and relatives. In 2001, on one of those trips I took my American friend Ken to Yangon. In between ... read more
Yangon zoo
Yangon Zoo
Yangon zoo

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 14th 2014

Just a short distance away from the city's main tourist attraction, the great Shwedagon pagoda, is the Chauk Htat Gyi pagoda where you can see the third largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar (indeed, the world). This remarkable statue is housed in a large metal-roof shed and is highly revered by the local people, the majority of whom are Buddhists. Although it is not as well known as the fabled Shwedagon, it is fast becoming a tourist draw. I have been there several times, my last visit being two years ago. The very impressive 65 meters/214 feet long image is wearing a golden robe; the right arm of the Buddha is supporting the back of the head. It is decorated with very expressive colors, white face, red lips, blue eye shadow, golden robe and red finger nails. ... read more
Reclining Buddha
Reclining Buddha
Reclining Buddha

Asia » Burma » Yangon Region » Yangon December 13th 2014

First of all, this market is officially called "Bogyoke Market" after General Aung San the father of Burma's independence. 'Bogyoke' is the Burmese term for General. However, it is still known as Scott Market even after all these years. The place is supposed to be named after J.G. Scott, an administrator during the British rule of Burma. Known for its colonial era architecture and inner cobblestone streets, the market is one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. It is also a popular shopping center for the local people as it has a number of stores selling medicine, foodstuffs, garments and foreign goods. The market is believed to have been built in 1926 during the British rule of the country when it was known as Burma. Needless to say, ... read more
Scott Market - Yangon
Scott Market - Yangon
Scott Market - Yangon

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai December 11th 2014

Instead of going to the usual tourist spots in India, we decided to visit the south of India in Kerala and Tamil Nadu states. I am glad we did because I got to see another part of India that foreigners don't normally travel to. We flew into Chennai from Trivandrum on Kingfisher Airlines. The approximately one hour domestic flight was quite smooth and the cabin crew were dressed in attractive uniforms, and provided the passengers with good service. We were even given a snack box and a soft drink. I should mention that Chennai used to be known as Madras in the past, and was an important trading port during British colonial rule. Today, it is the 4th most populous city in India, and the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Upon arrival at Chennai airport we ... read more
Chennai, India
Chennai, India
Chennai, India




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