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Levi`s little trip through the world > 10. Oct 2012 - 5. Aug 2013

Alle Trips
  • 5. Aug 2013 > 61. stop Hoi An (2. time)
    Everyday live
    After coming back to Hoi An to stay for a while it took me a little while to sort things out. By now I am here since more than 1 month and starting to get to a more or less organized life. I share an amazing house with 3 other people, we even got a spare bedroom an I started hosting people from couchsurfing again. I have my motorbike (rented for the moment) to get around. I work every evening doing promotion for Wild Weasel Bar, which means that I am standing at a bridge in the center and try to convince people that cheap alcohol is good for them. At the moment it is low season and the rainy season just started as well, which makes my job a bit less fun. I play football with all the people from my bar 3 times a week. I just started teaching privat english lessons yesterday. The rest of my time I spend learning vietnamese, going to the beach, housekeeping, drinking coffe and beer and doing other more or less usefull things. Just got my new visa for the next 3 months as well. For the moment I am completly happy with my life and will stay in Hoi An as long as I feel like it.
    Random thoughts and pictures
    Since I am living in one place I get a bit lazy to update my blog. I am to busy with everyday things and other adventures. Some of the more exciting things in the past months include playing paintball, a trip to Hué, a weekend on Cham Island, buying my own motorbike, a few drunken nights out, a typhoon,... To make it short my life is close to perfect and I dont see myself leaving Hoi An anytime soon.
  • 29. Jul 2013 > 60. stop Hue (2. time)
    Visiting a friend
    I decided to stop in Hué on the way to Hoi An to visit Hien. I end up staying for 1 week and it is well worth it. I get to taste dog meat, drinking some Huda beer, revisite my favourite coffe lady and meet some new people. The higlight is a day trip to the elephant springs.
  • 26. Jul 2013 > 59. stop Savannakhet
    A silent place
    I stop in Savannakhet on the way back to Vietnam, the city feels quite dead. The highlight might be the guesthouse I am staying in, which is located in the former Thai embassy or the motorbike in the picture below.
  • 19. Jul 2013 > 58. stop Vientiane
    Reading & Eating
    I stay in Vientiane for quite a while cause I need to organize my for Vietnam. I read almost 3 hole books and eat a lot of diffrent things. Apart from the Lao food the city overs a big choice of food from all over the world. There are a lot of french style bakerys and bistros, which are great for breakfast or brunch. I discover a very nice Indian place as well and even manage to find a decent pice of lamb.
  • 11. Jul 2013 > 57. stop Vang Vieng
    Rice fields & happy pizza
    I decide to work as a volunteer in a project called SAE LAO. (www.saelaoproject.com) The project is located about 7km outside of town in the middle of the countryside. There are many other volunteers from all over the world and the atmosphere among them is very good. The project itself has a lot of potential, but is in desperate need of more structure and organization. A lot of times there is nobody in charge of organizing work and telling people what to do, which leads to people just sitting around and talking. Working on the rice fields is fun, but it takes quite some time to pick up the way to do some of the work. The locals are usualy about 10 times faster then you. On the evening before Buddah Day (kind of like Sunday, meaning the one day of) everybody goes to the town together. We all get some Happy Pizza, which leads to one of the most funny evenings I had in a while.
  • 4. Jul 2013 > 56. stop Luang Prabang
    A funny companionship
    I spend most of my time in Luang Prabang in the company of a bunch of funny people I did meet on the boat and afterwards. Some of the highlights are visiting an amzaing waterfall, a funny afternoon at the pool with a lot of happy hour cocktails and some other good drinking sessions. Luang Prabang is a nice and quiet place with amazing countryside around it, sadly renting a motorbike is crazy expensive and I pass on this option.
  • 3. Jul 2013 > 55. stop Pakbeng
    stopover
    The boat stops in Pakbeng for the night. I meet some other people from the boat and we have a few beers. On the next day it is another couple of hours on the boat to get to Luang Prabang.
  • 2. Jul 2013 > 54. stop Huay Xai
    slow boat
    I stop in Huay Xai for 1 night before I take the slow boat on the Mekong river to get to Luang Prabang. The village is just a small place on the riverside. The boat ride is amazing, going down the river through the mountains for hours watching the jungle pass by.
  • 1. Jul 2013 > 53. stop Chiang Rai
    on the way to the border
    I stop in Chiang Rai for 1 night on my way to the border to Laos. My 15 visa free days are runing out and I need to get out of Thailand. I am looking forward to get back to Vietnam anyway and don`t mind to rush a little bit. Chiang Rai is a nice quiet place, I find an amazing shirt in a small shop which is one of the few things I bought on the hole trip. The next day I take a bus to the border.
  • 25. Jun 2013 > 52. stop Chiang Mai
    playing poker & sleeping
    After a nice train ride from Bangkok I get to Chiang Mai late in the evening. I grab a taxi and get them to bring me to a cheap guesthouse. Chiang Mai is "okay", nothing special in my eyes. I spend quiet a lot of time sleeping, playing online poker and reading. I go to the weekly CS meeting and spend a fun night out with a bunch of people.
  • 18. Jun 2013 > 51. stop Bangkok
    Magic and swiss people
    I finaly manage to get my hands on some Magic cards and spend 3 days playing in Grand Prix Bangkok. It feels very good to play again. The rest of the time I spend exploring the city and meeting up with Flu (friend from back home, living in Bangkok). Bangkok is quite a weird mix of everything, but I like it. It is funny getting back to a place where you actualy have to spend money for your stuff.
  • 13. Jun 2013 > 50. stop Siem Reap
    Temple ruins & Martial Arts
    CS with Sasha, who is a Muay Thai and Pradal Serey fighter. We spend a lot of time talking about fighting and poker. We go to watch a performance of his japanese housemate, who is training Bokator (traditional cambodian martial art). I spend one evening and a hole day exploring Angkor Wat. Rideing through the countryside on a bicycle and visiting the various temple ruins is a great thing. I even spend a "Spa day" with my host, going to the sauna. Afterwards I get to eat the best pizza in ages at one of his friends shop/restaurant. Siem Reap was a nice place to be.
  • 9. Jun 2013 > 49. stop Sihanoukville (nr. 2)
    Full recovery
    I spend another 3 nights in Sihanoukville to recover from the fever and make sure it is nothing serious. The place is not nicer the 2nd time and I spend most of the time reading or sleeping.
  • 3. Jun 2013 > 48. stop Koh Rong (Monkey Island)
    A noisy paradise
    Koh Rong is a small Island, which is more or less empty apart from one village. That is where the boats from the mainland stop. The village has a few houses where the cambodians live, a couple of guesthouses/bars and some resorts along the beach. The evenings in the village are very noisy, cause all places have loud music playing and there is a lot of young tourists/travelers drinking. As soon as you get away from the village you can discover the jungle and find kilometer long empty beaches with withe sand and cristal clear water. The look completly unreal and are amazing (apart from the sandflies). My camera is out of battery and because I left most of my lugage in Sihanoukville and did not bring the carger there is almost no pictures of it all. I spend a nice time reading, swimming and exploring the island. After almost one week on the island I get sick and just lay around sweating like a pig with fever and a fucked up belly for about 30 hours. Afterwards I feel better, but decide to return to the mainland to have a place with aircon and a little silence to fully recover.
  • 1. Jun 2013 > 47. stop Sihanoukville
    Passing through an ugly place
    Sihanoukville is the most touristy city in hole Cambodia and no nice place to be. I arrive late in the evening and stay for 2 nights, leaving the place as fast as possible to get to Koh Rong a small Island about 2 hours boat ride away. I am lucky to meet a German girl and some people from Spain and Denmark I know from Vietnam and spend a good evening with them.
  • 28. May 2013 > 46. stop Kep
    seafood
    Thanks to a tip from my friend Ratha I visit Kep. After a bus ride through the cambodian countryside I get to the seaside and find a nice and cheap guesthouse thanks to a Tuk Tuk driver. Kep is a tiny little "village" consisting of a few resorsts, guesthouses and farms. I spend a quiet time enjoying the local seafood and exploring the jungle. Daytrip to a small island.
  • 23. May 2013 > 45. stop Phnom Penh
    Tuk Tuk drivers & sex tourists
    I got a bus from Saigon to Phnom Penh, which was quite comfortable apart from the fact that the driver was playing Cambodian pop music videos on the tv all the time and that does not make for good entertainment. I arrive in PP around 5pm and the bus gets greeted by a hord of Tuk Tuk drivers looking for customers. As soon as the dust has settled and I am still there, cause I need to organize a local SIM card to call my CS host Ratha, I get in to conversation with the remaining drivers. One of them is happy to sell my a SIM card and get it started, I can`t reach my host and decide to wait for a bit, a sit down with some of the guys and we start talking about a lot of things. My host can`t meet up before 8pm and I join the Tuk Tuk drivers to go for some beers and smoked waterbuffalo, they are happy to have me around and very clear that they are honest and we will split the bill even. It ends up being a fun evening and one of them gives me a ride to my hosts place later in the evening. I meet up with them a few days later to go for dinner, they are a bunch of hardworking and very nice guys. My host lives in a small sidestreet, but not to far of from the center to walk. We have a nice time visiting a temple in the countryside with some other of his friends in a rented Tuk Tuk, watching the ladyboy show at a gaybar, watching the CL finals at 2am, ... Phnom Penh is quite a nice city with a lot of greenspace and a big river, the only thing that gets me out of my good mood are the tons of sex tourists and all the odd couples of ugly, fat, old withe guys and young local girls.
  • 15. May 2013 > 44. stop Saigon
    Goodbye Vietnam
    CS with Shannon, the taxidriver that gets me to her place does the good old „drive a circle“ trick, which I realize after a few days of driving around in the city myself. I get to use my hosts bike all the time, which is great cause driving is one of the best things in Vietnam and getting around without your own motobike is not that handy. Even though Saigon is big and busy, it has a very good vibe and I feel very comftable. I meet up with quite a lot of other people from CS to go for coffe/dinner/beer/... One of them gets my a raincoat (the kind you can wear on the bike as well), which ist he one thing a always wanted to buy, but always forgot. I am a little sad to leave Vietnam behind, but I think I will get back there pretty soon and stay for a while.
  • 10. May 2013 > 43. stop Da Lat
    Rainy season and flowers
    After a few hours in the bus I get to Da Lat (the city of flowers). I get a Mototaxi from the busstation and get my driver to drop me of at a cheap guesthouse. It ist he start of the rainy season and more or less every day it starts raining pretty hard around 3pm. I meet up with Delly from CS on one day and we go to visit a waterfall and a pagoda together, I have a fun time being her privat driver. On Sunday I join an english conversation group that I was invited to by anoter CS member. I get to meet a lot of people and go for coffe with a bunch of young ladies the next day. Da Lat is a nice, small mountain town with pretty mild temperature. On my last day I get a shave in a barbershop, which is very convinient cause it is not to easy to shave yourself without hot water.
  • 5. May 2013 > 42. stop Nha Trang
    Welcome to Russia!
    Nha Trang is my least favourite city I visited in Vietnam, it basicly consists of a beach and a lot of big hotels. In the area around the beach almost everything is written in Russian and the place is full of russian tourists. I stay in a cheap hotel, cause my host had to cancel on short notice. I spend a lot of time sleeping, chilling on the beach and watching UFC events of the past month. Mac (71, form CS) invites me to join the english conversation class he is running in his project to talk with his students, this kind of saves my stay in Nha Trang and I have a good time talking with tons of Vietnamese.
  • 30. Apr 2013 > 41. stop Hoi An
    Guarding angels
    CS with Al, for the first night Kuzma is staying there as well and we realize that most people that passed through Hue, also stayed with Al. Over the next days there are quite a lot of other surfers coming and going. Al organizes the first ever CS meeting in Hoi An and I give him a hand with some stuff. On one day I am f*ing lucky two times within a few hours: First I am swimming in the sea with another CS guy from Saigon, it is quite windy and there are nice and big waves. At some point I realize that we got a bit far out because of the current and that it will take some work to get back to shore, at this point my companion starts asking me for help, cause he is tired an can`t swim anymore. I manage to calm him down and he is holding on to me, which makes swimming a bit harder and causes us to go under water whenever there is a wave coming. With the help from a nice guy, who we call for help I get my friend and myself to shore. On the way back from the beach later that day I almost have an accident with the motorbike, cause another guy drives a little stupid. Manage to get away in both cases. Hoi An is very touristy, but as soon as you get away from the old town it is an amazing little place. I get offered to buy 50% of a bar, which is tempting but not in my budget and a bit to much of a commitment. Good place to be.
  • 25. Apr 2013 > 40. stop Da Nang
    beach party & mothers
    I get on the train to Da Nang with a bit of a hangover, cause we had a little goodbye dinner the night before. By the time I am on my way to Da Nang I am not yet sure where I will stay for sure. I end up surfing with Suong for the 1th night and spending the rest of the days with Ly and her family. One evening I join Suong and other friends for a party on the beach, which turns out very funny. There is a small group of people dancing like crazy and drinking beer, while most of the vietnamese people are staring at us in disbelive or are takeing pictures. At some point it is decided to go to Hoi An, about 30km away. We head off there a group of 10 people on 5 motorbikes. We get back to Da Nang around 4am, I drop of another guy at his hotel and drive back to Ly`s place. I know she will go to work at 5am and dont want to wake up the hole family, therefore I take a nap on the sidewalk next to my motorbike. After a short and funny conversation with some passing policeman Ly gets out and has a little shock when she sees me. I go to bed at around 5am and her mom wakes me up around 10am by slaping me on the ass, to tell me that she will leave and lock the house. I know Ly will be back around 4pm and manage to communicate that this is okay and I will be sleeping. Her mom insists that I need to eat something and puts a pack of instant noodles next to my bed. Staying with a family is always a great experience and I have a good time. During the last days of my stay my friends Kuzma and Hien come to Da Nang, we hang out togheter and I join them to Hoi An.
  • 10. Apr 2013 > 39. stop Hue
    Time for a break
    The day I arrive in Hue is exactly the day I am on the road for 6 months, I stay with Kuzma (from Czech Republic, working on a project) and we get along right away. I spend a lot of time with Hien (who is also from CS) and he takes us along to visit his familiy, arranges for me to play football with kids from an NGO, takes me along to play PS 3,... All in all becomes a friend, same as Kuzma. The great company, along with my growing feeling that it is time for a break and the quiet beauty of the city, lead to me staying for 16 days. In this time so many things happend even though I was quite lazy that I cant put them all togheter. Lets just say I had a great time!
  • 3. Apr 2013 > 38. stop Hanoi
    Finding silence in a noisy place
    After an epic 12h train raid from Lao Cai I arrive in Hanoi and immediatly manage to get out on the wrong side of the station. This causes quite some confusion between me and my CS host Kaze. There is a lot of talking on the phone, while both of us keep telling each other that we are at the station and can`t see the other person. Finaly we find out that I am on the wrong side and I grab a mototaxi to get to the right place. Hanoi is very busy and loud, but if you manage to get away from the center you can find very quiet and peacefull places. The city center with the old quarter is quite what I expected and was afraid of when getting to southeast Asia: full of tourists and stuff for tourists. I manage to avoid it for most of the time and wander around in diffrent parts of the city, where you dont get to see any other foreigner. I am quite busy meeting up with diffrent people from CS and spend a good time in the city.
  • 1. Apr 2013 > 37. stop Lao Cai
    Good Morning Vietnam
    After walking over the bridge at the border between China and Vietnam in the early morning, I get greeted by a bunch of excited locals offering me free tourist information, money exchange, mototaxi,... After argueing with one guy for a while I pay 10 RMB to get a ride on his motorbike to the trainstation and the city center. I wander in to a random guest house, and get a room for 2 nights. Communication only works with signs and google translate, which did lead to some funny situations, like one guy showing up at my door in the evening with stuff to take a shower and condoms. We somehow manage to clear the obvious misunderstanding and he walks away. I spend quite some time wandering around in the countryside and eating in tiny little local restaurants for less then 2 CHF for a full meal.
  • 28. Mar 2013 > 36. stop KunMing
    Cat`s
    My last stop in China, CS with Michelle. When I arrive to her place I get greated by her mom and treated with a nice lunch. Over the next days I try to make her mom happy by eating all the food she serves me. One of her two cat`s (mr. grey) likes me a lot and decides to keep the other cat away from me by peeing on the couch (where i am sleeping) and on the bag with my dirty laundry. Kun Ming is an interesting "small" city. When I leave with the overnightbus to Hekou on the Vietnamese border I meet "mike" who has been working at and around the station for a long time and loves to chat with foreigners, we drink a beer togheter and he asks me to recommend him to the people i meet. so if you ever end up at the eastern bus station in Kun Ming and meet him, greet him from me.
  • 22. Mar 2013 > 35. stop Guilin
    sunburn in rural China
    CS with Lucy, she is currently unemployed and has a lot of time to show me around. GuiLin is a "small" (only 6 million) city and it is easy to get to the countryside. There is even hole areas in the city covered with tiny little houses and fields. Lucy loves her city and food, which leads to eating a lot of amazing food in tiny little local places. I get a terrible sunburn, which looks super funny, apart from beeing uncomfortable. I like the city quite a bit, it has a lot of green space and a lot of funny little rocks peaking out of the landscape.
  • 16. Mar 2013 > 34. stop ChongQing
    Leaving winter behind
    After leaving my winter stuff with my last host in Beijing I head south to ChongQing. During the train ride I can see the land turn green before my eyes, there is a lot of small villages in the mountains and I can see people working on the fields. CS with Zuo, we spend a great time eating a lot of diffrent local food and jokeing around. I manage to get a haircut in order to prepare for summer and start walking around in a T-shirt most of the time. ChongQing is quite a big city with a lot of mountains.
  • 8. Mar 2013 > 33. stop Beijing
    Dancing with old ladys and other things
    CS with Jan for the first few days, we spend a hole day wandering around the city at random, eating in tiny little restaurants. Afterwards I switch to stay with Susan, well more precisely at Rainbow Bridge, which is her Volunter project. The appartment is about 1h from the center at the end of the subway, which makes for an interesting commute every day. I spend some time organizing my visa for Vietnam and picking up my replacement bank card. Daytrip to the great wall, meet up with some people from CS for food and drinks. Meet Susan early in the morning to go to the park and take part in some morning activitys, including dancing some traditional chinese dances in a circle with a lot of old laydies. Beijing is a fine city, but on some days the air is really dirty and you feel it.
  • 3. Mar 2013 > 32. stop Shanghai
    Lucky me!
    After 2 days on the ferry I arrive in China and realize it is spring for sure with temperatures around 20+. After wandering out of the ferry terminal I try to find the next subway stop, realize that I need to get some chinese money, wander in to the next best bank, can`t withdraw cash from the ATM, go to the counter and change my remaning Yen which leads to a pretty funny procedure of me filling out a form, handing over my passport and the bank lady filling out about 5 forms. Welcome to China! CS with William, who lives about 1 h away from the center by subway and another 30 to 60 min away from the subway by bus (depending on how long you wait for the bus to come). I get my own appartment to stay in. On the second day I head to the center, meet 3 young Chinese people as soon as I pop out of the subway, join them to go and try tea and have a fun time chatting away with them, they are super excited to practise their english and to exchange with a foreigner. After saying our goodbyes I wander around randomly and end up on the main shopping street. This is where things get a little weird: A chinese girl starts talking to me, pretendes to be super excited to meet a foreigner, we walk and chat, she suggests going for a coffe somewhere, I (still having the other nice people in mind and beeing more than ready to talk with random strangers) not thinking anything wrong about it accept. So far so good, but after we sit down in the coffe and chat for a bit, drinking tea/coffe, all of a sudden there is whiskey on the table and we drink, from there my memory gets all blurry. I remember more drinks, eating somewhere and ending up in a karaoke room the girl vanishing and another one walking in and siting down on my lap, from there it is all blank until I wake up the next day and realize that I am back at the appartment. After checking my pockets I realize that I still have all my stuff, but all my money is gone. Over the course of the next days my head is still a bit slow to work and the following things become more or less clear: I am 90% sure that I was drugged, my credit card has been charged huge amounts of money in diffrent places and was locked when somebody tried to charge it 3000 CHF, to put it short I did fall prey to a scam. I am still unsure how that happened. Anyway I spent the next days organizing stuff like locking my credit card, planing what to do next and so on. In conclusion: Lucky me! Way worse things could have happened, cause I somehow made it all the way back, which still feels like a miracle, cause I can`t remember any of it. Apart from this unfortunate event, I really enjoy China so far.
  • 25. Feb 2013 > 31. stop Osaka
    Waiting for the boat
    CS with David (an irishman). I am excited to move on to another country and dont really expect much from my few days in Osaka, but the city turns out to be quite nice and offers the best selection and style of food in hole Japan. I meet up with two guys from CS to play some Tekken at the Video Arcade, which is good fun. All in all quite a nice finishing touch to my time in Japan.
  • 11. Feb 2013 > 30. stop Tokyo
    Week 1: Eating
    CS with Ken. After the first day there are two more surfers staying (Anais and Sophie / french), I spend the days exploring Tokyo togheter with them and we spend the evenings eating and talking all 4 of us. One evening I prepare dinner, the next one the frenchy`s do and on the other evenings we eat out (which ends up in tasteing almost everything on the menu). Apart from 1 ugly rainy day spring is coming.
    Week 2: Drinking
    CS with Keita. I spend the days wandering around the city and organize my visa for China, the evenings are spent drinking in a diffrent place everytime. Good time overall.
  • 5. Feb 2013 > 29. stop Kawaguchiko
    Lazy days
    I decided to take a break from the big city`s and from people, heading up in to the Mt. Fuji area. Stayed at a cosy hostel for 6 nights and spent a lot of time just chilling out, reading and watching "Boardwalk Empire". One day I did a "little" 6h hike up a small mountain, which was okay as far getting up goes (apart from soaked shoes), but getting down proved to be tricky, cause of all the snow. Managed to get to the bottom without any accident though. Was a good time.
  • 29. Jan 2013 > 28. stop Kyoto
    Partying in a cultural center
    CS with Fumie for 2 days, wandering around and visiting random tempels, shrines and palaces. CS with Simon for the rest, I visit Arashiyama on Friday and get to see bamboo forest and monkey mountain. After that I am done with culture and we never get home before 4am in the morning. Friday: CS meeting, followed by couple of bars, we wait for the first buses to run and get home 7am. Saturday: after getting up at 5pm, we head to downtown to meet up with a friend and end up in a nightclub. Sunday: meet up with another CS member and a friend of Simon to go to a local festival with a big bonefire, end up chatting up a lot of random strangers and going to karaoke with a bunch of people. On Monday it is finaly time for some last bit of culture, visiting Fushimi-Inari. Heading up in to the mountains to get some rest on Tuesday.
  • 25. Jan 2013 > 27. stop Hiroshima
    A - Bomb
    CS with Kana, I spend a lot of time wandering around at random and trying to finaly adapt to Japan. I spend a great evening with Kana and her friend Yoshi eating home made Sushi and talking. Daytrip to Myajima Island, peacefull hike up the Mountain. I spend the rest of the time staying with Hiro. We instantly get along and spend the first day talking, going to the Onsen and eating. He takes me to the peace memorial park in the evening and i get to feel the quiet peace and thoughtfullness of the place. The next day I spend close to 6h in the museum, wandering through the history of the city and the horror caused by the worlds first A Bomb. This gets me thinking a lot and I am in a melancolic mood for a bit. Then I decide to practise some Kung Fu to clean my mind and afterwards I wander through the city marveling at everydaylife, in a place that was bombed to ashes only a little more than 60th years ago, and laughing out of pure joy to be alive. Even though I did not choose to visit Hiroshima because of its history, I was caught by it and the strong desire for peace that is the message of the city. The people and the city of Hiroshima made me feel very thankfull and happy to live.
  • 21. Jan 2013 > 26. stop Fukuoka
    Rain
    After arriving in Japan my mood is not the best, the weather is shit (rain) and the hole place feels weird, it is almost like someone turned the volume of everything down and I feel like everyone in the street is making a face like someone just spit in his soup. My host from CS is great though: Bob (54), worldtraveler, father of a 14 year old daughter, english teacher at univeristy, great chief,... he just makes my stay worthwile. After a few days I switch to stay wit Tian and learn a lot about China + make up my mind to go there next. I meet up with Arnaud, whom I met in Seoul and we go to eat Sushi. When I leave Fukuoka I am staring to enjoy the country.
  • 15. Jan 2013 > 25. stop Busan
    Last stop in Korea
    I arrive in Busan in the afternoon with a slight hangover, after to much makoli (rice wine) the previous night and meet up with my host Chris. We decide to go for a hike, which is a good way to get over the hangover. Amazing view from the top, and there is a gym halfway up the mountain where people hike up to work out. Lot of wandering around during the next days and nice chats with Chris. Switch to my second host Ga Young on the weekend and spend a good time with her, even though I got to leave the flat with her early in the morning. Take the beetle (speedboat) to Japan on monday. I enjoyed my time in korea very much, especialy the food is great.
  • 11. Jan 2013 > 24. stop Gyeongju
    Blackout
    I arrive in Gyeongju in the evening and meet up with Erik, my CS host for the first night. We go out for dinner and a couple of drinks with some of his friends and end up in a Soju (korean vodka, made out of rice) bar. The next day he wakes me up early in the morning and I switch to my next host Lauren. It takes a while until my hangover kicks in and while I am wandering around in the afternoon I realize, that I can`t remember anything from the soju place to waking up the next day. But I can figure out that I must have been fully functioning, due to some clues. Later I learn that this kind of blackouts are common with soju, even if you dont drink way to much. I spend a lazy weekend with Lauren and enjoy the city (there is a lot of ancient tombs).
  • 7. Jan 2013 > 23. stop Daejeon
    Sweet home Alabama!
    CS with Andy and Sarah, I get to watch the National College Football Championship finals with Sarah (who is going crazy for Alabama). Spend a good time in a nice little town without much to see. I meet up with Juhee from CS for a chat and she takes me along to yoga class the next day.
  • 31. Dec 2012 > 22. stop Seoul
    A new year
    I arrived in Seoul on the 31th and did meet up with my host from CS Kate. She was busy in the evening and stayed with a friend over night, leaving me her comfy bed with a heating blanket. I spend the transition to 2013 in bed, watching the latest UFC event. That is way to go. The next morning Arnaud, another guest of Kate arrived at her place wakeing me up and looking rather surprised when I opened the door. In the end there where 4 people staying at Kate`s place and she was staying at a friends. After a few days I switched to a new host: Holly. We spend a good time and I eat the best burger I ever had in some place called Jacoby`s, the meat is Wayigu Beef.
  • 27. Dec 2012 > 21. stop Donghae-si
    start of a new adventure
    After leaving Russia and spending a boring day on the ferry, I arrived in Donghae-si. Because there are only 5 people with a CS profile in the hole city and none of those was able to host me, I decided to book a hotel in advance. I could not find any information about a youthhostel or something like that. I did not really feel like arriving and having to organize a place to stay, plus after spending almost 3 months sleeping on various couches, floors and trains, I felt it would be nice to have a big bed for a change. I managed to meet up with someone from CS anywaz and ended up teaching english to kids for a hole afternoon, which was fun. We went for korean BBQ in the evening. I spent quite some time relaxing in my room and the rest of the time with random exploring (as always).
  • 24. Dec 2012 > 20. stop Vladivostok
    Vladivostok
    CS with Olga and her Dog, she picks me up at the train station at 6am. Even though I only get to spend 2 days in Vladivostok it is my favourite city in Russia (i think). It is just way different from all the other ones. I spend quite some time wandering around, even though it is quite fresh (around - 20).
  • 16. Dec 2012 > 19. stop Irkutsk
    In the heart of Sibiria
    CS with Liuba. Love Irkutsk as a city, meet up with a ton of people from CS. Manage to hand over a present from my host in Kaunas to a girl from Irkutsk he knows and she is super excited about it. One day trip to lake Baikal where I nearly freez my hands of, while I am trying to eat some smoked fish outside.
    Train (final)
    From: Irkutsk To: Vladivostok Distance: 4515km Duration: 78h Time Differnce: 2h I have 2 books to read and tons of food to eat. Unfortunatly I got the worst place possible just at the end of the wagon, next to the door to the toilets. That means that everybody going to the toilet or for a smoke is passing by my place. Which would be ok, if it was not for the fact that the only way known to mankind to close a door seems to slam it shut. I manage to sleep quite a lot of time anyway. The rest of the time is spent reading, eating and watching the landscape, as my co-travelers are not very talkative. The hole thing feels kind of unreal and you lose count of time, but it was a nice ride. You cant really describe it in words, it is one of this things that you need to witness yourself.
  • 13. Dec 2012 > 18. stop Novosibirsk
    Sibirian Winter
    CS with Kyusha and Nastya, it is -34 or even -36 outside. I spend the first day wandering around outside and manage to get frozen eyelashes, I retrate into cafes and the like every hour to warm up for a bit. Spend the other day at my hosts flat.
    Train (4)
    From: Novosibirsk To: Irkutsk Distance: 3324km Duration: 31h Time Difference: 2h Nothing special, just another train ride.
  • 10. Dec 2012 > 17. stop Ekaterinburg
    Crossing the border to Asia
    In Ekaterinburg I am hosted by Yana and her parents and learn that I crossed the border to Asia on my way to Ekat by passing the ural mountains. They are more like big hills though. I spend a very nice time in Ekaterinburg, amazing people and nice city. Temperature: - 20. I walk around for almost 3 h before I start to get cold and decide to warm up inside. It does not feel much colder, then skiing in the mountains on a cold day.
    Train (3)
    From: Ekaterinburg To: Novosibirsk Distance: 1525 km Duration: 23 h Time difference: 1 h The wagon is almost empty when I get in, I sleep for a while and spend a lot of the time watching the landscape passing by, listening to the sad russian songs from the train radio. In the evening the train fills up with a lot of "old" russian men and there is drinking and talking. I am not really in the mood to try and speak with anybody and go to sleep early. The train ride is a nice quiet break from interacting with people all the time and I enjoy just leting it pass.
  • 5. Dec 2012 > 16. stop Moskau
    Moskau
    CS with Mike, no problem finding my way through the metro to meet up with him. Did meet a lot of his friends and we went to a georgian restaurant on night with some of them. Almost got in to a fight with a bunch of drunken guys there, nothing happend though. Average temparature: +3 to -4. Quite comfy to wander around in the city. Got myself a decent winter jacket for 2000 rubel (50 euros), even though it hurt my pride to admit that my beloved camel aka. softshell jacket wont get me through the russian winter.
    Train (2)
    From: Moskau To: Ekaterinburg Distance: 2026 km Duration: 26 h Time difference: 2 h First "real" russian train, in Platzkart there is one open wagon with 4 bunk compartments (without separation from the corridor) on one side and 2 bunks on the corridor side. There are around 60 bunks in the wagon and the temperature is almost +30 because of the heating and all the people and no aircondition. Everybody is switching to comfy pants and house shoes and getting out food. Warm water for free at the end of the wagon. I am lucky that there is a young guy from Novosibirsk in my compartment that speaks some english, we spend most of the trip talking and even play some chess. The bunks are comfy, but a little short and you can not stretch yourself to much, beacause otherwise people walking past will walk in to your feet.
  • 1. Dec 2012 > 15. stop St. Petersburg
    Welcome to Mother Russia
    After my bus from Tallinn did not run and I had to get another one a couple of hours later, I had some troubles reaching my host in St. Peterburg (Max), because I saved his number with 00 instead of + at the begining. After solving that problem I managed to meet up with him late in the evening. Stayed with him and his flatmates for some days and did quite a lot of random exploring in St. Peterburg. Average temperature between +4 and -5, but did feel colder because of the sea and the wind. Bought all my train tickets to cross Russia (with help from Max) for a little more then 13`000 rubel (= 325 euros), traveling Platzkart (3rd class) all the way. Spent one hole day sleeping for close to 16 h and sweating a treatening illness of.
    Train (1)
    From: St. Peterburg To: Moskau Distance: 650 km Duration: 4 h Time difference: - Fast train, seats only, nothing special.
  • 27. Nov 2012 > 14. stop Tallinn
    Passing time
    CS with Rainu, who only has one key to his flat, what leaves me with almost 10 hours to pass from the moment we leave the flat in the morning (which is not to early and depends on the amount of drinking the night before) until he finishes work around 9pm. I more or less manage to entertain myself, but realise that days can be pretty long. We spend most evenings sitting in the kitchen, talking and drinking.
  • 23. Nov 2012 > 13. stop Riga
    Heading into the winter
    CS with Janis and Ielka, they live next to the Laima cocolat factory and the air is full of a sweet taste most of the time. Epic night out wit Eleina from CS, walking home in the first snow of this winter (for me). Riga is a very nice city.
  • 20. Nov 2012 > 12. stop Kaunas
    State of the nation
    CS with Tuchkus, Agne and Vitugas (and Agne`s cat). Relaxed people, nice town/city, good time. State of the nation: - I lost some of my "retirement fat", due to skiping a few meals and walking around quite a bit. - I am most definitely not used to drinking anymore, cause I can feel every single drink the next day. Or maybe it is just cause I have been drinking cheap beer ;-). - Still smokefree, even when drinking and very tempted to do so. - Kind of running out of time to plan my trip through Russia and getting to realize it will take more planing than I would like it to. - All in all happy and healthy.
  • 15. Nov 2012 > 11. stop Warschau
    Smoking and stuff
    CS with Dorota, going to balkan music concert, lazy sunday, wine and cheese. Smokefree since 1th of November. It is getting cold, winter is coming.
  • 10. Nov 2012 > 10. stop Kiev
    Fishing
    On the day that I left Kiev I got up at 5am and went fishing with my hosts Dima and Olya. Before that CS with Marina, went to see some crazy art somewhere in the suburbs.
  • 7. Nov 2012 > 9. stop odesa
    Cab drivers and Marshrutkas
    I arrived in Odesa around 11pm and could not reach my host from CS (Erinn). After hanging around at the busstop for 1h, I decided to find a cab and get to a hostel. This worked more or less, but the "nice" driver charged me at least 3 times to much. As I walk in to the lobby of the hotel, my phone rings and its Erinn. I turn around and get another cab to her place, paying way to much again. I end up somewhere close to her place and manage to tell her my location shortly before my phone dies on me. She finds me and after that Odesa is a lot of fun. Marshrutkas are the way to get around in ukrainian citys, they are sort of shared cabs or minibuses, they stop pretty much everywhere. The problem is that stops are in no way signed and you have to know or guess where to get out. I managed to get lost 1 or 2 times.
  • 6. Nov 2012 > 8. stop Chisinau
    BSC YB and other things
    Found a sticker of my mates coming through one year earlier. CS with Jenna, drinking wine and beer on the balcony. Prepared dinner for some people.
  • 1. Nov 2012 > 7. stop Bukarest
    Traveling in East Europe
    Spent around 20h to get from Istanbul to Bukarest: bus from Istanbul to the border at 10pm, switch to train at 3am, switch to bus somewhere in Bulgaria at 7am, switch back to train around 2pm, arrive in Bukarest around 7pm. You need some luck to end up in the right place, but it surely is an interesting trip. Witnessed a bunch of bulgarian ladys stuffing their bras with tons of cigaretts, in order to get them through customs and some other fun stuff.
    Bukarest
    CS with Amanda and Robert. Went to BJJ training on friday and to watch a BJJ tournament on saturday. Went to the Hash (sort of trail running in the city) on Sunday.
  • 28. Oct 2012 > 6. stop Istanbul
    Train and other stuff
    I arrived in Istanbul yesterday after a quite uncomfy journey, that included switching to a bus at the turkish border at 3am on Sunday. Istanbul is crazy: 17 Million people, super busy and way different then any city I have seen before.
  • 25. Oct 2012 > 5. stop Sofia
    Sofia
    CS with Maria and her boyfriend (who`s name I can`t remember, but who was a very nice guy), lazy days.
  • 20. Oct 2012 > 4. stop Belgrad
    Belgrad/Zemun
    CS with Marijana, staying in Zemun (a nice old neigbourhood outside the center). The people in Belgrad are some of the most warm, kind and talkative I have ever met. Tons of random chats with people in bars or on the street.
  • 16. Oct 2012 > 3. stop: Zagreb
    Zagreb
    Staying in the Youth Hostel. Meeting up with CS people anyway, good food and party.
    Plitvička jezera
    Day trip to the National Park.
  • 13. Oct 2012 > 2. stop: Ljubljana
    Ljubljana
    CS with Matjaz and Primoz. Went to pick mushrooms in the forest.
  • 11. Oct 2012 > 1. stop: Trieste
    Trieste
    CS with Anna, I am meeting a lot of people. I get to sleep on a big, comfy couch and there is some drinking as well. A good way to start of.
    Singing in the rain
    Free concert of CLUB DOGO, in the rain.
  • 10. Oct 2012 > Home sweet home, Starting point
16376 108.336181640625 15.866241564066616 Vietnam > 61. stop Hoi An (2. time) 1 image 1 1 5. Aug 2013 5.8.2013 15°51'N 108°20'E
16328 107.578125 16.425547506916725 Vietnam > 60. stop Hue (2. time) 2 image 1 1 29. Jul 2013 29.7.2013 16°25'N 107°34'E
16327 104.765625 16.55196172197251 Laos > 59. stop Savannakhet 3 image 1 1 26. Jul 2013 26.7.2013 16°33'N 104°45'E
16326 102.61505126953125 17.965670264509296 Laos > 58. stop Vientiane 4 image 1 1 19. Jul 2013 19.7.2013 17°57'N 102°36'E
16089 102.44888305664062 18.932268511298073 Laos > 57. stop Vang Vieng 5 image 1 1 11. Jul 2013 11.7.2013 18°55'N 102°26'E
16047 102.1343994140625 19.87522588708924 Laos > 56. stop Luang Prabang 6 image 1 1 4. Jul 2013 4.7.2013 19°52'N 102°8'E
16046 101.14039421081543 19.897421837736655 Laos > 55. stop Pakbeng 7 image 1 1 3. Jul 2013 3.7.2013 19°53'N 101°8'E
16045 100.41126251220703 20.286029001242422 Laos > 54. stop Huay Xai 8 image 1 1 2. Jul 2013 2.7.2013 20°17'N 100°24'E
16044 99.854736328125 19.9010536062052 Thailand > 53. stop Chiang Rai 9 image 1 1 1. Jul 2013 1.7.2013 19°54'N 99°51'E
15974 98.96484375 18.791917744234425 Thailand > 52. stop Chiang Mai 10 image 1 1 25. Jun 2013 25.6.2013 18°47'N 98°57'E
15783 100.5029296875 13.7313809749427 Thailand > 51. stop Bangkok 11 image 1 1 18. Jun 2013 18.6.2013 13°43'N 100°30'E
15705 103.8427734375 13.304102866767074 Cambodia > 50. stop Siem Reap 12 image 1 1 13. Jun 2013 13.6.2013 13°18'N 103°50'E
15622 103.52142333984375 10.616743177492811 Cambodia > 49. stop Sihanoukville (nr. 2) 13 blog 0 1 9. Jun 2013 9.6.2013 10°37'N 103°31'E
15621 103.31594467163086 10.696875976006973 48. stop Koh Rong (Monkey Island) 14 image 1 1 3. Jun 2013 3.6.2013 10°41'N 103°18'E
15620 103.52073669433594 10.611006548449236 Cambodia > 47. stop Sihanoukville 15 image 1 1 1. Jun 2013 1.6.2013 10°36'N 103°31'E
15464 104.29046630859375 10.507053747340501 Cambodia > 46. stop Kep 16 image 1 1 28. May 2013 28.5.2013 10°30'N 104°17'E
15368 104.91943359375 11.566143767762856 Cambodia > 45. stop Phnom Penh 17 image 1 1 23. May 2013 23.5.2013 11°33'N 104°55'E
15083 106.69921875 10.746969318460001 Vietnam > 44. stop Saigon 18 image 1 1 15. May 2013 15.5.2013 10°44'N 106°41'E
14950 108.47900390625 11.888853082975956 Vietnam > 43. stop Da Lat 19 image 1 1 10. May 2013 10.5.2013 11°53'N 108°28'E
14937 109.248046875 12.211180191503983 Vietnam > 42. stop Nha Trang 20 image 1 1 5. May 2013 5.5.2013 12°12'N 109°14'E
14837 108.3416748046875 15.871525383375822 Vietnam > 41. stop Hoi An 21 image 1 1 30. Apr 2013 30.4.2013 15°52'N 108°20'E
14634 108.226318359375 16.04581345375217 Vietnam > 40. stop Da Nang 22 image 1 1 25. Apr 2013 25.4.2013 16°2'N 108°13'E
14450 107.567138671875 16.45715879614139 Vietnam > 39. stop Hue 23 image 1 1 10. Apr 2013 10.4.2013 16°27'N 107°34'E
14400 105.8203125 20.92039691397189 Vietnam > 38. stop Hanoi 24 image 1 1 3. Apr 2013 3.4.2013 20°55'N 105°49'E
14334 104.0185546875 22.451648819126216 Vietnam > 37. stop Lao Cai 25 image 1 1 1. Apr 2013 1.4.2013 22°27'N 104°1'E
14292 102.83203125 24.886436490787712 China > 36. stop KunMing 26 image 1 1 28. Mar 2013 28.3.2013 24°53'N 102°49'E
14064 110.302734375 25.244695951306014 China > 35. stop Guilin 27 image 1 1 22. Mar 2013 22.3.2013 25°14'N 110°18'E
14027 106.435546875 29.458731185355315 China > 34. stop ChongQing 28 image 1 1 16. Mar 2013 16.3.2013 29°27'N 106°26'E
13926 116.54296875 39.842286020743394 China > 33. stop Beijing 29 image 1 1 8. Mar 2013 8.3.2013 39°50'N 116°32'E
13925 121.46484375 31.12819929911196 China > 32. stop Shanghai 30 image 1 1 3. Mar 2013 3.3.2013 31°7'N 121°27'E
13885 135.516357421875 34.69646117272346 Japan > 31. stop Osaka 31 image 1 1 25. Feb 2013 25.2.2013 34°41'N 135°30'E
13808 139.7625732421875 35.67068501330236 Japan > 30. stop Tokyo 32 image 1 1 11. Feb 2013 11.2.2013 35°40'N 139°45'E
13715 138.76041412353516 35.50651802802079 Japan > 29. stop Kawaguchiko 33 image 1 1 5. Feb 2013 5.2.2013 35°30'N 138°45'E
13623 135.76904296875 35.00300339527669 Japan > 28. stop Kyoto 34 image 1 1 29. Jan 2013 29.1.2013 35°0'N 135°46'E
13578 132.451171875 34.3797125804622 Japan > 27. stop Hiroshima 35 image 1 1 25. Jan 2013 25.1.2013 34°22'N 132°27'E
13549 130.396728515625 33.58716733904656 Japan > 26. stop Fukuoka 36 image 1 1 21. Jan 2013 21.1.2013 33°35'N 130°23'E
13460 129.08935546875 35.17380831799959 25. stop Busan 37 image 1 1 15. Jan 2013 15.1.2013 35°10'N 129°5'E
13373 129.21844482421875 35.84230806912384 South Korea > 24. stop Gyeongju 38 image 1 1 11. Jan 2013 11.1.2013 35°50'N 129°13'E
13256 127.353515625 36.35052700542763 South Korea > 23. stop Daejeon 39 image 1 1 7. Jan 2013 7.1.2013 36°21'N 127°21'E
13141 126.9580078125 37.544577320855815 South Korea > 22. stop Seoul 40 image 1 1 31. Dec 2012 31.12.2012 37°32'N 126°57'E
13134 129.1168212890625 37.50972584293751 South Korea > 21. stop Donghae-si 41 image 1 1 27. Dec 2012 27.12.2012 37°30'N 129°7'E
13054 131.890869140625 43.117024121350475 Russia > 20. stop Vladivostok 42 image 1 1 24. Dec 2012 24.12.2012 43°7'N 131°53'E
12992 104.2822265625 52.281601868071434 Russia > 19. stop Irkutsk 43 image 1 1 16. Dec 2012 16.12.2012 52°16'N 104°16'E
12988 82.96875 55.02802211299249 Russia > 18. stop Novosibirsk 44 image 1 1 13. Dec 2012 13.12.2012 55°1'N 82°58'E
12971 60.6005859375 56.84897198026975 Russia > 17. stop Ekaterinburg 45 image 1 1 10. Dec 2012 10.12.2012 56°50'N 60°36'E
12952 37.6171875 55.677584411089505 Russia > 16. stop Moskau 46 image 1 1 5. Dec 2012 5.12.2012 55°40'N 37°37'E
12934 30.2783203125 59.95501026206205 Russia > 15. stop St. Petersburg 47 image 1 1 1. Dec 2012 1.12.2012 59°57'N 30°16'E
12929 24.8291015625 59.4227275008145 Estonia > 14. stop Tallinn 48 image 1 1 27. Nov 2012 27.11.2012 59°25'N 24°49'E
12921 24.1259765625 56.944974180851574 Latvia > 13. stop Riga 49 image 1 1 23. Nov 2012 23.11.2012 56°56'N 24°7'E
12828 23.88841749727726 54.89557545202092 Lithuania > 12. stop Kaunas 50 image 1 1 20. Nov 2012 20.11.2012 54°53'N 23°53'E
12780 21.03197218477726 52.21159171948998 Poland > 11. stop Warschau 51 image 1 1 15. Nov 2012 15.11.2012 52°12'N 21°1'E
12718 30.52415968477726 50.43492372985676 Ukraine > 10. stop Kiev 52 image 1 1 10. Nov 2012 10.11.2012 50°26'N 30°31'E
12679 30.7331500351429 46.47397778141609 Ukraine > 9. stop odesa 53 image 1 1 7. Nov 2012 7.11.2012 46°28'N 30°43'E
12678 28.8325152695179 47.01871611515607 Moldova > 8. stop Chisinau 54 image 1 1 6. Nov 2012 6.11.2012 47°1'N 28°49'E
12468 26.0529742538929 44.45835648864576 Romania > 7. stop Bukarest 55 image 1 1 1. Nov 2012 1.11.2012 44°27'N 26°3'E
12408 28.997810423374176 41.06619410963927 Turkey > 6. stop Istanbul 56 image 1 1 28. Oct 2012 28.10.2012 41°3'N 28°59'E
12330 23.32986557483673 42.69428494058173 Bulgaria > 5. stop Sofia 57 image 1 1 25. Oct 2012 25.10.2012 42°41'N 23°19'E
12296 20.45344853401184 44.809738668562815 Serbia > 4. stop Belgrad 58 image 1 1 20. Oct 2012 20.10.2012 44°48'N 20°27'E
12205 16.01897382736206 45.81409262767836 Croatia > 3. stop: Zagreb 59 image 1 1 16. Oct 2012 16.10.2012 45°48'N 16°1'E
12193 14.5108642578125 46.04715203558147 Slovenia > 2. stop: Ljubljana 60 image 1 1 13. Oct 2012 13.10.2012 46°2'N 14°30'E
12130 13.768815040588379 45.64709377049725 Italy > 1. stop: Trieste 61 image 1 1 11. Oct 2012 11.10.2012 45°38'N 13°46'E
12129 7.463606834411621 46.949178711150815 Switzerland > Home sweet home, Starting point 62 na 0 0 10. Oct 2012 10.10.2012 46°56'N 7°27'E
6
15.866241564066616
108.336181640625
10.507053747340501
139.7625732421875
59.95501026206205
7.463606834411621
1
 
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