Because you get only a 15 days permission by overland entry to Thailand, I have to separate the trip in several parts. This also fits for my travel route trough south Asia. First I met my father in Phitsanulok, where we went to a local museum and a buddha sculpture factory.
Then further in Sukhothai we went by bicycle to the „little Angkor Wat“, a historical center with a lot of „Wat’s“ and temples.
The complex is quiet big, so it was a good choice to take a bicycle. And in the evening i showed Chris how to play shit head. Hey! I have to take care about my self t cold turkey about playing games! 😀
Next destination was already the border to Myanmar. We got luck, that we got to Myanmar without spend a night somewhere in between. And so I can only say, that the landscape on the road is very beautiful! If anybody has the change to do the same, go for it!
The Border crossing to Vietnam was quite easy, and the first difference (of many) what I remarked was the noise in the street. Because in China nearby all drives a electrical motorcycle, walking in the street is not so terrible for my ears than in Hanoi. So the first thing what I’ve done after check in in the hostel was finding a park to chill out.
For the next Day I bought a tour to the Perfume Pagoda,I was really surprised that we met nearby no other tourists… But on Vietnamese New Year in the middle of February this place would be crowded by many local tourists.
The pagoda is build in a big cave, and the atmosphere was really mystic there.
On the Way back with the boat, we could enjoy the beautiful landscape a second time.
In the Evening we went together to a water puppets theater in Hanoi. It was really funny, even I didn’t understand a word…
I was not really sure about having a trip to halon bay, because I’ve heard a lot of bad experiences, but I thought that in Cát Bà it would be better, so I booked a tour, and I was right. Even we didn’t sleep on the boat, and the whether was cold and not for swimming, we had a nice journey trough these great costal region.
In the middle of the way, we sit in kayaks and went through a cave to visit the monkeys living there.
Arrived on the Island I was surprised, because I booked for a dorm room and got a single very beautiful Bungalow!
For dinner, we went for a short hike on the top of the island. The guide said, it would be a easy hike…
Next day I went alone for the other of the two hikes on this little Island to the sunrise beach to the other side, and in the way were waiting some pigs for me. Cuute!
Then we went back to Hanoi with average 40 km/h, (faster is not possible) and took the night train to Lào Cai, near the Chinese border. The tourist office sold me a ticket to the next day, but on the train station was it easy to fix the problem. Nice and helping people!
In the morning then with a mini Bus direct to Sa Pa, a mountain Village with a lot of hiking possibilities. Because of the foggy and cloudy whether I didn’t went to a 2-day hike, but I did a short one for my own to a nearby village and surrounding.
On the touristic path is also a small waterfall located. Sorry, it is a big one of course! 😉
The day after, I went directly to Laos with a overnight bus and a short stop in Điện Biên Phủ.
In the bus was a poor local women very sick the whole journey long, and could only puke all the time. Very lucky that the bus had a good air conditioning system.
Next: Laos, the country with the worst road condition the happiest people.
First City in Laos was Oudomxay, but I went only for one Night, because there is not much to do. Next Morning I went to Luang Namtha and decided to book a 3 days hiking tour trough the primary and secondary rain forest. We were a great group and had a lot to laugh together.
In the first night, we had a stay within the forest. In the night, after 6 o’Clock were a lot of different sounds around…
Blub blub! (Insider)
But yeah, big animals, apart from the villages, were not visible on the way.
The Village has its own School, but there were no students by our visit…. Where they are?
Ah yeah, of course, its holiday, and they are playing outside!
Thanks for the great time to Frank, Jungle Ninja, Corinna, Honey Hannie, Patty, and of course our Guide, Boy.
Then I had to go back to Oudomxay to meet Daniel from Switzerland for one night, before I went directly to Vientiane, to apply for the Myanmar Visa. I was surprised that it would be cheaper than in Hanoi, and I like the quiet, little Capital of Laos on the Mekong, near the Thai border really, so no problem for me to spend a little more time here.
But here is not much to see, some temples, the COPE centre (Information about cluster bombs) and a Buddha Park one hour bus drive away.
On the way to the Buddha park I met Joe, a Lao English teacher, who invited my for dinner in his house.
And the day after I had a Dinner with the whole Family, who are living in summertime in Paris…. From now I’ve a Lao Name: Mr. Dee, what means Mr. Good!
So, I hope after some misunderstandings with the Hostel to pick up finally my Myanmar Visa here and meet my Father in Thailand…
After rushing trough Korea again, I took the ferry from Incheon to Tianjin. The Food on the ferry was not really good, because I got sick in the morning. Also I recognized, that the Chinese doesn’t take same care about hygienic than Korean, but this I knew already before.
I arrived without chinese money, because I thought, it would be easy to change or us a ATM on the ferry terminal. The ATM didn’t work, and the exchange office was closed. The ferry terminal was something about 20 km away from the next train- or busstation. So hmm, what to do? A taxi brought me to a bank of china for getting money and drove me afterwards to the subway station. This was my most expensive taxidrive ever made, because he scammed me, but I knew it of corse. To find the Hostel was also not so easy, because I didn’t had a chinese address, I was a Flat in a big building without any signs outside, and the guard doesn’t speek any english. Finally I could connect the hostel and got a room. Next morning, I had a great view… for the Smog.
In Beijing was very easy to find the hostel, and I took a tour for the next day to the great wall.
This part (and some other) was reconstructed for the tourists (with help von Germany), the rest of the wall is more a long grassz knoll than really a wall.
In Beijing I visited the Forbidden City, the famous Tiananmen Square and the old and new Summer palace, where I found some kind of fresh air.
Next city was Xi’an, which was the starting point of the silk route and with the located Terracotta Warriors nearby.
Back in the Hostel we met some Chinese guys, who invited us to drink plume whine and eat some chicken feets, it was such a great evening!
Next destination: Shanghai. Because it was a long jurney, I had to take a over night train. The sleepers looks similar to the russian ones, but the have 3 layers of beds instead of only 2.
Arrived in Shanghai I met for a short time Michael, who sent me the invitation letter for the buisiness Visa. Again: Thanks a lot Michael, and the tee is really tasty! The Smog in Shanghai was a little bit better than in Xi’an, but I got still only smoky pictures about the Financial Tower (highest observatorium of the world), and Shanghai tower (not open yet).
Inside Shanghai Financial Tower, there is a really nice model about Shanghai, I was surprised!
Because I don’t like the smog anymore (hust hust), I was only two nights in Shanghai and desided to move more south… actually to the southest point of China, Sanya. But unfortunately by moving of the train to the ferry we lost much time, and we arrived late on haikou, where I met Manuela & Lukas, other travellers from Switzerland. We had the same target and a good time together from the beginning, so we tried together to catch a ticket to Sanya, but there were not any left, so we had to spend a night in Haikou.
Arrived in Sanya I got to the beach and enjoyed the sun by 20°C, meet Manuela and Lukas sometimes until the end of the week. 🙂
Next I have to go to Nanning to catch my visa vor Vietnam. See you there!
Fotos are uploading to the Dropbox, but because China blocks Dropbox, Google and Facefuck, I need VPN, and openVPN is not really stable and Fast…
To get to Japan was a little tricky. For the Ferry to Osaka I had to buy a return ticket, or show another proof to leave Japan again. The Company to Fukuoka, I had to sign a weird letter, that I had do go home, if I would stuck in the immigration to Japan… Good Luck I was not alone with this problem, Melissa from Canada was in the same situation, and together we had enough courage to take the risk. After a 4-hours Speed-boat trip in Japan then, It was quite easy, just say something and yes, we will leave Japan together… 🙂
Hiroshima was really interesting, but the museum also very brutal. To see mostly everything about the results and hear a lot of personally stories whom survived the A-Bomb is really hard stuff. But the Japanese never judge the USA directly, they want only make that’s never happens again…
In Osaka I spent the Christmas-time for my Chinese Visa, and I found out, that my plan to leave with the Ferry from Kobe to Tianjin (China) doesn’t work, because this service doesn’t exist anymore… anyway, on the official Website there is this Service still available.. 🙂 One evening I visited the Castle with the 3-d Visual show, and I was impressed, even it was too crowded for me.
After I got my Visa, i went to Tokio. phooaa… after arriving, I decided to spend only 2 nights there, I felt me too small… 🙂 So I went for new year to Hakuba for Skiiing and visiting the Snow Monkeys, who take the Onsen in wintertime for keep warm… cute!
For Kyoto I had only one Night left, and Yes, this is not much… and over the days off for new year, the temples are getting crowded, and then I don’t feel me very comfortable anymore.
So then, after that I realized not being able to get a Chinese Visa in Korea, I decide to spend also a little time with travelling in this beautiful Country, and I went to Jeju, a nice Volcano Island situated in the south of South Korea.
There is a lot to visit, and the most things are about the Volcano Hallasan or the History of the Island. But also some sex museums are situated here, even pornography is strictly forbidden.
The hike to Hallasan was very Impressing, but also very crowded, I thought that everybody on this Island just climbed the Volcano..
Then it went windy, and all Ferry were canceled for couple of days, so I had to spend longer on this Island, but because I liked it, i t was not really hard for me… 🙂
In a Hostel I met Bob, who invited me to his house and prepared me a nice dinner and next day we went to Hot springs for taking a nice bath.
Then the Ferries become back to work and i went overnight (12 hours) to Busan and on the next day directly to Japan (3 hours)
It’s time for some news from South Korea!
This Country is nothing to compare with Russia, so many differences these nearby countries have is unbelievable. But both has its own charm. Travelling in South Korea is quite easy; go to a Bus or train Station and buy a ticket for the next Connection mostly between in a half hour. Specially in low season its not necessary to buy them in advance.
The nearby mountains are just great for hiking. Mostly you will find a Buddha temple on the Way, and free toilets are everywhere in a 5 Min. walking distance. The People are all nice and (probably sometimes a little bit too much) friendly.
Near the border to north Korea is the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), with some installed observation Centres visitable by foreigners after registration. I was on 2 different places, first for my own from Sokcho and then with a Tour from Seoul.
On my own? No, that’s not really correct. Without a car you couldn’t go further than the registration point, so I had to hichhike. It was raining the whole day, and after an hour without any success finally i found Koreans who took me with them. Conversation was quite difficult but with help of google translator possible.
After the Visit they brought me back to Sokcho and for this I would invite them for dinner. It was delicious, but they didn’t let me to pay the bill, that’s why they are sometimes too much friendly…
In South Korea it seems to they want really a reunification with North Korea, there are a lot of statues and posters who proof this. But i think this would be a really hard work in this political situation right now.
Also i tried to apply for a Chinese Visa, but i figured out that I will have more luck in Japan, because here is it just impossible for me.
That’s now going fast. Yeah, It’s only something about 6000 Km between the last News… 🙂 actually, its only because it was sunny the whole time… In Irkutsk I met Late from Finland and together we went to Olchon, the biggest Island in the biggest and deepest freshwater lake of the world. Incredible, and (yes Late) amazing! The water was in a beautiful blue and the sky was very clear.
Some Facts: all rivers of the world would need 1 year to fill it up, mostly 20% from all freshwater on earth is there.
In Ulan Ude Late was Late heading to Mongolia, and I went to a nearby lama monastery, where the buildings are painted in a lot of colors. I think I will see this kind of Buildings now more often..
Nearby each city in Russian has a sculpture from Lenin, and in Ulan Ude there its a big head on the square…
..where you can make some funny pictures about it…
Further in Khabarovsk, after a train-trip over 2 Days and a lot of Noodles, see main Picture, is the longest bridge in the Transibirian railroute. I spend the day with Anton, who could speak pretty good Spanish, it was a great time!
When I arrived in Wladiwostok, I thought to spend 2 Nights there, so I went to the Hostel and put my bag pack there for getting the ticket to south Korea. But in the Office they told me, that the Ferry is leaving in Wintertime every Tuesday instead of Thursday, so I had to buy a ticket for the same day, to not get into trouble with my Visa. So I left Russia i little bit to fast for my meaning, I would have spent more time in Wladiwostok, what a pity and what a luck, that I got there just in Time! 🙂
So I’m now in South Korea and the difference to Russia is immense. If you want to know more, ask me something and leave a comment or a question in my Guestbook! 🙂
The Photo from Russia are all in the Gallery and are awaiting for your comments!
The route is also actualized, so you will see where i was travelling trough.