Category: Misc

Jun 30 2010

Summary of my travel route

This is the route map of my 100,000km 10 months trip to around 43 countries and 180 cities. (Zoom in for a closer look at the routes or click on the below Link).

This is my other blog about my training for the NYC Ironman and marathon after coming back from my backpacking trip. I’ve been involving in some endurance sports such as running and biking after the backpacking trip so thought this is another journey that I can write about. It’s still work in progress.. http://journey26.com/training/ Feel free to provide feedbacks.

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Jun 01 2010

Shenzhen – Hong Kong – Seoul – New York

I spent 2 weeks in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, then flew to Seoul, South Korea for a few days before flying back to New York, and that’s the end of my backpacking trip.

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Apr 14 2010

Shangri La to Lijiang, China

Went to the ShongZhanLing monastery which is a Tibetan temple. The entrance ticket to the monastery cost 85Yuan which is quite steep so decided not to go in. However, I heard that it’s possible to take bus number 3 to get in without getting a ticket.
While waiting, spent time at a souvenir store hanging with the employees. The employees are from different ethnicities such as Zang, Naxi and Bai.

Yak meat for lunch (55Yuan for 4 dishes and 4 people)

Back to the bus station

Got on the 3.40pm bus towards Lijiang (46Yuan~USD$7).

View on the way

Got back to Lijiang at around 7.30pm before sunset.

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Mar 15 2010

Bukit Tinggi to Parapat, Indonesia

View of the volcanic mountain Singhalang from Hotel Orkid rooftop.

This is the typical Padang style restaurant where plates of different dishes are stacked behind the window.

Food is served in plates and half serving of meat cost 8,000 Ruppiah.

Bridge

in the middle of the town which links Fort de Kock, a fort built by the Dutch and Bundo Kanduang Park which also have a mini zoo in it.

Traditional house

Kids

The weather in Bukit Tinggi is quite unpredictable, even though it’s sunny in the morning but it poured heavily at noon. It has rained 3 times since yesterday afternoon until now. Met an Indonesian friend yesterday and he wanted to show me around. We went to see Sianok Canyon (Ngarai Sianok).

Just right below is Lubang Jepang, meaning Japanese hole.

During world war II, Bukit Tinggi was the headquarter for Japanese army in Sumatera. There is an underground bunker and a network of tunnels built by the Japanese.

Faddy who showed me around with his van.

Booked a bus ticket to Parapat from the front desk at the hostel (175,000 Ruppiah). Those guys at Hotel Orkid were pretty nice and sent me to A.L.S bus office for the 5.30pm bus to Parapat.


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The road is pretty windy and narrow going around the jungle in the mountains. Infrastructure in Indonesia is still under developed. When it rains, the road will be blocked by landslides.

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Dec 12 2009

Almaty day 2 and 3, Kazakhstan

Dec 13th Sun

Museum (70 Tenge~USD$0.50).
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Tried taking a bus to Medeo, then to Chimbulak which is up in the mountains. Met a Kazakh guy at the bus stop and he invited me to go hiking with him and his 5 years old son.
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Cute little Kazakh boy
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Mini bon fire
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He is a journalist and his background was in anthropology so he told me some stories about the Kazakh people.
The term Kazakh was formed in the 15th century and before then Kazakhs was not a distinct group. In 1468 an internal feud split the Uzbeks into 2 groups. Those who stayed north remained nomadic and became Kazakhs which mean free rider. Those who stayed south became settlers and became farmers. So actually Kazakh people came from Uzbek who wanted to live freely and who don’t like settle life. Some Kazakhs look like South East Asian, like Filipinos, some look like East Asian and some even has blue eyes and blonde hair.

Met some travellers in the mountains and went for dinner at a restaurant inside Ramstor at the south part of Almaty. The southern part of Almaty has more new buildings and looks like a newer part of the city.

Got back to the hostel and chatted with Danier, a Chinese Kazakh and his family in his room.

Dec 12th Sat

Golden boy at Republic Square
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There were’t any Starbucks here but found Gloria Jean cafe. If I have enough capital, I would want to open a Starbucks or McDonalds here. Was going to use their Wi-Fi but there were something wrong with my netbook and spent time trying to fix my netbook. My OS is in Polish so it’s difficult to troubleshoot the problem.

Streets in Almaty.
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Panfilov Park
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Wedding at Panfilov park.
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Zenkov Cathedral, a 19th-century Russian Orthodox cathedral located in Panfilov Park, is the second tallest wooden building in the world. The building wasn’t destroyed during the earthquake because it’s made of wood.
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Darigo showed me around the city and brought me to a Georgian restaurant and met some of her lawyer friends.
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Oct 01 2009

Sarande – Tirana, Albania

Arrived at Sarande 5am in the morning, Albania is an hour behind. Took another 6.30am bus to Tirana. Tirana is only about 230km from Sarande but the bus took 7 hours. Albania is a hilly country.

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The bus to Tirana took a while because the road is not that developed. So in total, I spent 17 hours on the bus.
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Tirana is the capital of Albania with a population of around 800k. Spent 2 hours walking around the city before found the Backpacker hostel (12 Euro).
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There are not many tourists in Albania and I think there are only 3 hostels.

The Historical Museum
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Skanderbeg Square (The Opera, National History Museum, Mosque, clock tower and the statue of Albanian hero Skanderbeg, stands in the square)
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Albanian money is called Lek, 1USD=91Lek. Things here much cheaper than Athens. Ate a lot of Soulaqe (Gyros, 100Lek) and ice cream (30Lek) today. Then met Edrin, an Albanian friend for a drink at night.

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Sep 08 2009

Last day in London

Walked around the city center today, from Northeast London city center, Faringdon Station to South West London city center, Imperial College.


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I have a late lunch at a Buffet Thai vegetarian place (5.50 pounds). I love buffet..and that will be my meal for the day..haha.

Stop by Harrods, a pretty interesting shopping mall
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A 5000 pounds cake, it’s not the weight, it’s how much it cost
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Spent some time at Imperial College then checked out a couch surfing meeting London at Oxford St in the evening.

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Sep 07 2009

Cambridge

Joined a free London walking tour this morning. They have free tours at 11am and 4pm.

Met at Wellington Arch which is just beside Hyde Park metro stop.

Walked to Buckingham Palace
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change of guards opposite St. James Park
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The walking tour took 2.5 hours and passed by Pall Mall st., Trafalgar square, some Palaces and then Westminster.

Then took a train to cambridge at 2.45pm (20 pounds for 45 mins off peak same day return ticket). There is also another option of taking a bus which is cheaper (around 5 pounds) and slower (2 hours), I took the train because it’s late in the day and Cambridge is just around 80km away from London.

Train to Cambridge
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Visited Wei Sing’s dorm and we went to Cambridge University Addenbrookes hospital for his training. While waiting, I took bus Uni 4 to west Cambridge where there are newer buildings for science and engineering.

Physics building
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Took another bus to the city,
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Cambridge University celebrates its 800 year anniversary this year. It’s one of the oldest university.

An old college
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Met my old high school classmate ChinLik who is doing his Phd in neuroscience and we went for dinner.

With the 2 doctors.
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Took the last train back to London at 11.20pm. Arrived at King Cross station around 12.30am then walked back to my aunt’s place which is not too far away.

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Sep 06 2009

London 2nd day

It’s very nice for Wei Sing to take a train down from Cambridge to visit me and we walked around the city. Called up YingJie, a good friend of mine and we decided to meet at King Cross station. I have not see her for 7 years and she still look the same.
King Cross Station

British Museum
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British Library
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Renae and Jay treated us at a good chinese restaurant famous for its roast duck. too bad I forgot to take a pic then..

Trafalgar Square
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Big Lion at the square, there are 4 of this lion actually
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Palace of Westminster Building
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Sep 05 2009

London

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Arrived at London Heathrow airport after 11 hours of flying time. At the airport, I tried to ask the direction to Farringdon station at an information counter since I heard there are some maintenance works going on at the subway. The lady at the information center doesn’t want to tell me anything and just gave me a map. At first I thought she was joking but she was not. I was going to say something bad to her face but managed to keep my cool.

Took the underground (4 pounds) to my aunt’s house. Since King Cross station is close on the Picadilly line, I got off at St. Paul and walked to Britton St. which is just beside Faringdon station.

I am supposed to fly out of London to Cairo on Monday morning but I called up the travel agent to change my flight to Wednesday morning instead (cost $52.80 which is not too bad) so I have more time to prepare for the next leg of my trip. I got my own bedroom here so I can have it easy for a few days before getting back into the backpacking mode.
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Renae and Jay brought me to a malaysian restaurant for dinner and I had curry noodles which is pretty good.

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