Page 5 of crowman Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island February 27th 2007

As I toured Hong Kong during the last days of my trip, I was left with no doubt that this was the premier city in Asia. Yes, Singapore was also impressive. But it did not leave nearly the impression that Hong Kong did. Hong Kong has better sights (cable car, the peak overlooking the island) and a far more impressive skyline. Having spent a a solid week in the city, I do feel it is worth the extra money to stay on Hong Kong Island. I ended up closing out my stay at the condo on the Island, and didn't go back to Kowloon. The city will easily eat a week of travel time if you have it. Since most of the sightseeing I did was arranged by someone else, I don't know a whole lot ... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Lantau Island February 26th 2007

Two of the American wedding guests and I headed out to Lantau to ride the Ngong Ping 360 and see the giant Buddha. This was a great day trip. The cable car was the longest I had ever been on, and was very accessible from Hong Kong Island. We spent a good few hours running around the top and then got in line to catch the return car before it got too late (and we got stuck in a line to get the last cars back).... read more

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island February 24th 2007

After several days of festivities leading up to the big day, we congregated at the Anglican cathedral for the ceremony. It was a classic wedding done well. After the wedding, we relocated to some yacht club for a reception, which, I must add, was very classy. My friend Rebekah took good care of me, arranging ground transport between the hotel and wedding, and then wedding to yacht club. The groomsman and me got a driver and Mercedes. Once we got to the reception hall, the photographer realized he had left a lens he needed at the hotel. Not problem. Another driver and Mercedes were procured and I went with him for the hell of it. I told the driver to wait for a sec while I finished me drink. "No problem, take it with you." So, ... read more
View from my table
Groomsman and Driver
Couple in Chinese attire

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island February 22nd 2007

I flew in to HK from Cebo, Philippines. My flight arrived at around midnight. During the flight, I had heard other passengers talking about how many people where going to HK for the Chinese new year, and how packed out the city would be. Based on our late arrival, I decided to sleep in the airport. I was not sure how many nice places there would be to sleep, so I took one of the rows of chairs at baggage claim. I slept pretty decent till a Cathay Pacific 747 landed from Paris. Once I got into town, I managed to get a bed in a dorm room. They said they couldn't guarantee a dorm bed, so I prepared myself for a mattress on the floor. Turned out I didn't need to sleep on the floor. ... read more
Mardi Grais theme night
Part of the Chan house
Grandpa explains the family history

Asia » Philippines » Malapascua Island February 18th 2007

Hard to believe, but this Island marked the last stop before Hong Kong, and the end of the 13 country journey. It was to be vacation. Not to delve too deep into semantics, but i do not consider the rest of the trip a vacation. The journey was at many times difficult, its goal was not 'pleasure' or relaxation but rather life experiences, personal growth and my inner need to see the world. this last aspect has only been reinforced and confirmed throughout the trip. There is something inside me that goes far beyond personal desire for travel. It is simply how I relate to the world. And consequently is the truest way for me to grow as a person. The last 2 1/2 months have been nothing short of incredible, but they have also been ... read more
"please leave this house standing"
View from the 'White Sands'
Malapascua Sunset

Asia » Philippines » Manila February 12th 2007

Probably not the best first stop for someone going to Asia! Is it in Asia? Or is it synthesis of the South-Pacific Island culture and the hub of Asia? From the look of all the recruiting signs for work in the Gulf, it is certainly a jumping off point for the Middle East. I flew into Angeles City, a few hours outside of Metro Manila. The ride into town gave me a chance to see the city in its entirety. The surrounding areas looked fairly nice, but as soon as one gets into the Metropolis, wow, look out for some dingy parts of town. I wouldn't describe it as a big 'danger zone'. The Pilipino people were among the warmest and most helpful I encountered during the trip. The city clearly struggles with a higher crime ... read more
Cathedral in Intramuros
Secure Eatery
Garbage River

Asia » Brunei » Bandar Seri Begawan February 9th 2007

Ok, so the trip over to Borneo didn’t start out the smoothest. I left Singapore with lots of time to get over to Johor Baru in order to catch my flight to Miri. But…I got stuck in traffic leaving Singapore, stuck at the border when the Malaysian authorities ran out of immigration forms, and then once I got through, I couldn’t find the bus station that would get me to the airport. Lonely Planet gave this great little piece of travel advice on saving money by taking the bus, but the departing location was not on the map. Go figure. So, in order to insure that I didn’t miss my flight, I flagged down a cab and decided to spend an extra couple bucks in order to cut the stress down. At 30 ringett, I thought ... read more
Kampung Ayer
The Sultan on display
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Asia » Singapore February 6th 2007

ok, boring blog. My two night day and a half stay in Singapore was fun, but not that eventful. I mostly walked around a whole bunch, saw all the must see districts, and then went on to Miri in Malaysia. I stayed at the backpackers cozy corner guesthouse, and, well, it was cozy! bunk beds in a hallway right off the balcony. open air etc. but, it had a hot shower, a free breakfast, and its location was superb at $10 a night, it was 1/3 of everything else. However, everything else includes some decor hostels that have amazing features like rooftop swimming pools (Hangout @ Emily's).Cozy corner did have a good location though, down the street from the legendary Raffles hotel and across the street from the intercontinental. The shopping malls here are way glitzy ... read more
Raffles by Day
National Museum of Singapore

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur February 4th 2007

This is a truly amazing city. The busride from Penang to KL was a testament to how developed this country is compared to most of its neighbors. One great thing about the city is that it is nowhere near the tourist trap that Bangkok has become, thereby allowing me to find a bunk in a well priced dorm on my second attempt (booked my first choice for the next night). While the dorms in KL where a little pricier than other places (between $7-8.50) there were the best places I stayed the entire trip. Free breakfast, free coffee and tea throughout the entire day, internet right in the guesthouse, movie selection and modern widescreen tvs to watch them on etc. Plus, these places used a designer for the decor, so they were rather hip. I ended ... read more
Petronas Towers
#8 Guesthouse
Malaysian Money

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra February 2nd 2007

Flying into PekanBaru is like stepping off of a plane, realizing that this city has next to no tourism, and then realizing that once the frustrations are set aside, this is the real Indonesia. The city is a business hub for the local oil industry, so prices are high and budget options are limited, but the local flavor lives on. It is one of the closest and cheapest cities in Indonesia to fly into from Malaysia, and also happened to be the city where Joann, a semester mate from Lithuania, was teaching English. I swung into town for one night before heading down to Bukintinggi, and then stopped in for a night on the way back. Everything worked out well, I was able to meet up with Joann, and ended up staying with her co-worker Acce, ... read more
The bus to Bukitinggi
Street Vender
Street musicians and Acce

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