Page 2 of tja78 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen July 26th 2012

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind in terms of traveling. I've been trying to see certain places in time to go to Sardinia and Rome, where I'm trying to coordinate visiting friends amid their vacation season. This blog might not be as personal as some of the others. The Baltics, Russia, and Scandinavia run off of cafes and restaurants and just walking around. Though I did meet some great people, I didn’t have the close interactions I had with people like I did in Asia. I suppose it’s because a lot of the people just live there normal lives and let the tourists do their thing. Lithuania: Vilnius – After spending a day in Warsaw I headed to Vilnius in Lithuania. The train ride took about 8 hours total. I had to switch trains ... read more
Vilnius, Lithuania 2
KGB Prison, Vilnius, Lithania
Riga, Latvia

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 7th 2012

I took a night train from Belgrade to Bucharest. To do this I had to take a 2-hour bus to the station, take a train across the border, and then catch a night train to Bucharest. Apparently the line directly from Belgrade is out of commission. I met a few Serbians and they helped me get a couchette. Apparently, they didn't realize that I had already bought a ticket. I thought I was paying the difference between my seat and a couchette but I ended up paying a full fare. I tried to explain it to the conductor when I got off the train, but he gave me the runaround about how this was a separate train and that my ticket was for the train from Belgrade (even though it doesn't exist). It was a futile ... read more
Bucharest - Vlad the Impaler
Bucharest - The Symphony

Europe » Serbia » West » Belgrade June 28th 2012

The Balkans is one of the most war torn area of Europe. It is the crossroads of empires and religions. It also has some of the best scenery in Europe as well from the mountains to the Adriatic Sea. My trip though these former Yugoslavcountries were a bit rushed. Mostly the places I stayed were 2 days at a time. Macedonia: Skopje - The capital of Macedonia seems to be going though a revitalization. The downtown area is full of cafes and restaurants and feels like half of it is under construction. It's a very relaxing town. I got into the main bus station and walked around a bit before getting my bearings straight. Skopje has a walled fort and many statues of url=http://en.w... read more
Sunset in Tirana
Kotor 3
Dubrovnik 2

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia June 17th 2012

As I flew from Dubai to Istanbul we flew over Saudi Arabia, part of Iraq, and part of Syria. A few things crossed my mind: First, I knew I was looking down on one of the most dangerous places in the world. Within the land I was able to see there was a civil war that had been going on for years, a fragile democracy that wasn't able to protect its citizens from violence, and enough oil to run the world for the next 100 years. That was just to the right. To the left there were military forces killing its own citizens, a crackdown on western media, and a huge human migration heading to Turkey. Secondly, there was so much history I had to fly over and not get the chance to see because the ... read more
View of Istanbul
Hagia Sophia 9
Hagia Sophia

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai June 11th 2012

After two weeks in India I was ready for a change. This was probably the biggest culture shock to date - going from a developing country like India to some of the most affluent places in the world. Qatar, my first stop, has a GDP per person over $180,000. I just made it out a day before the monsoon season started. To be honest it would have been nice to see some rain. I can't remember the last time I saw that. Qatar: Doha - Given a few logistical issues I was facing in terms of meeting people on my trip I decided to head to Doha first, since it's only an hour flight west of the UAE. On of the first thing you'll notice is the number of women wearing abayas. I took a cab ... read more
The Oyster
Ferrari World 2

Asia » India » Goa » Colva May 25th 2012

India: While I was waiting at the Indian Consulate in Nepal for my visa, a girl asked me how long I planned to be in India. I said, "two weeks." Her reply was: "oh wow - just enough to get scarred." I came to understand what she meant. India is slow and hot - insanely hot. Most days were around 110 degrees. On top of that there are tons of people in the streets trying to get by you or begging for food or water. This was one of the differences in other places I had been. Most beggars to this point only asked for money. In India a lot of the beggars asked for food or water. I gave multiple half drank bottles of water to kids who asked for it when they saw it. ... read more
Red Fort 1
India Gate
The Taj

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu May 17th 2012

Nepal: After a month in China I was looking forward to getting to a new country. My attempt to go to Tibet was not to be. I wasn't able to find 3 other Americans to sign up for a tour group (a new law that went into effect that week). I did fly though Lhasa, so I was able to see a bit of Tibet. Getting off the plane to switch to my connecting flight, I could feel the elevation difference. The land looked arid until the snow capped mountains. Kathmandu - One of the main reasons I came to Nepal was because I wasn't able to get a visa for India in China, due to time restrictions I had in Beijing. It was also on the way to India and made for a good stop ... read more
Street Life
Make way for the cows
Getting around in Nepal

Asia » China » Beijing April 25th 2012

Some general thoughts on China: This is the biggest blog I've written so far. When I decided to take this trip, China was the main country I wanted to see. I thought I would take two weeks to see the main sites. I ended up staying for a month. This is a very interesting time to be in China. They get a new president this year and the senior leadership gets shuffled. There was a major scandal involving Bo Xilai, that was a major embarassment for a government that tries to control the message the world sees. This is China's biggest struggle - realizing they are losing control. More disturbing is the case involving Chen Guangcheng, a civil rights advocate and the man who has exposed China'... read more
Great Wall 7
Supporting the party
Tiananmen Square Flag

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei April 11th 2012

Taiwan: Since it was on the way to Shanghai, I figured I would stop in Taiwan. I was only planning to spend a few days there but ended up staying for a week because I couldn’t get a reasonable flight to Shanghai on the days I wanted to go. I got to Taipei late on Wednesday night and took the bus from the airport to downtown. I’ve mixed up my hotel schedule. Some days I’ll book in advance, others I’ll find something when I arrive. Since I was getting in late I thought it would be prudent to book ahead. I got downtown late with an address and phone number of the “hotel” I had book on It was really more like an apartment. The girl sitting next to me on the bus asked where ... read more
Performing Arts Hall
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall 2
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Asia » Hong Kong April 5th 2012

Hong Kong and Macau: I had a good mini-vacation in Boracay for about 6 days and felt rested up to start some serious traveling. I headed to the airport in Boracay early to make sure there were no complications. The only issue I ran into was needed to exchange money for the fees I did not anticipate (terminal fees, additional baggage fee, ect.) I exchanged just enough to have lunch when I got to Manila. I was looking forward to seeing Hong Kong, especially the skyline. Unfortunately, my flight was delayed an hour. Hong Kong - I arrived in Hong Kong a bit later than I expected. I was planning to meet my friend Jennie from LA and her friends for dinner. They were doing a week long study abroad program for their MBA at UCLA. ... read more
Hong Kong Island
MBAers and Me
The Venetian in Macau

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