Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back in Munich - Picture updates

Safely landed in good old Germany aka "Schland"! Got some special Lufthansa treatment in the airplane ("sorry we need to take your crutches because of safety instructions...") and the stewardess from Austria was anyway very friendly (and happy to have someone to talk to ;-).
She only did forget to bring me the crutches when we landed, so the plane was already empty when I started to make some hand signs to signal that I need my special weapons for walking...

Arrived at the airport MUC, "my" Taxi driver waited already for me with his 4.5 years old son. Ilyas took all my backpacks, so I could walk relatively relaxed. At my apartment he also insisted to bring all stuff to the 3rd floor (that was his choice, not mine), well I didn't complain :-).

A cold beer combined with JOHN RAMBO aka Rambo IV on DVD was a perfect "Schlummertrank".
Apropos JOHN RAMBO: Honestly, it's a very good movie (not that good as Rocky Balboa, but), the movie shows the cruelty of war (war and genocide, which is still up-2-date in Burma - Southeast Asia)!
Of course the movie has also an "happy end" for JOHN RAMBO...

Ok, now I started with a film review, so I easily can add another one ;-).
When I was in Kuala Lumpur, I watched Hellboy 2: The Golden Army in the Petronas Towers Cineplex. I can tell you, when you liked the 1st one or if you even "only" like superhero movies, this is a must! The humor/gags in the movie are awesome (also to mention the fantastic environment/creatures), Ron Perlman plays again a fantastic Hellboy and I'd say only BATMAN: The Dark Knight can top Hellboy 2!

Currently I'm uploading the remaining Asia pictures, so check out my PicasaWeb or as a preview the slideshows below:

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Chiang Mai (Thailand) // Updated

Vang Vieng (Laos)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

DUCK TOUR rocks!

Did yesterday a MUST: Singapore by duck.... :)

Met yesterday night Deborah, Kristin and Nico (get connected thru Sallinger) and we had dinner with a "few" jugs of beer. We ended up in the CLINIC, see the wheelchair action pictures!

Today is my last day in Asia and I did the HIPPO Touri Sightseeing together with Nico. And some shopping :).

Talk 2 u tomorrow from MUC, take care!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

KL and SIN with a blue cast

or how to explore Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with crutches... :)

I can tell you that's a kind of a pain in the ass' but also a very good experience in life (and a good exercise for your mind and upper body ;)).

When you're travelling alone you will meet a lot of nice, friendly locals or travellers, but when you have a cast the amount of people paying attention to you doubles easily. There's also always a very good and obvious reason why people start a conversation with you. And in special cases (e.g. bus ride, check-in, immigration, airport transfers, etc.) you get unexpected help from a various bunch of people.

Then you recognize that the world is still a good place :) (even in rush hour...)

In a nutshell, I still have fun and enjoy the travelling!
Anyway Friday will be the "back2MUC" day - on the one hand I'm looking forward to it (what will the German doctor tell me about my leg?), on the other I'll miss the day-2-day action and the interesting conversations with people from all over the world (and the great food!)

Stay tuned. Here some pics to enjoy. (SIN update follows tomorrow night)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chiang Mai and the broken leg...

I'll update the blog soon with all of my pictures and some more funy stories, because I'm flying back to Germany in one week...why that, well see the pictures...

Shit happens. Big time.

Where did it happen? In Laos, Vang Vieng at the end of the tubing action.

But nothing to regret!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lovely Laos!

Arrived safely in Laos, which I liked immediately! Veeeeeery nice here and people are much friendlier than in Vietnam (Vietnam in the North started to get a bit more "rude")!

And of course Beer Lao tastes GREAT. Big Time.
I'm a bit behind with my pictures...

Here's a bit of Hanoi, Ha long Bay will hopefully be done by tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

18h sleeping bus to

Finally arrived in Hanoi after a 18h trip in a sleeping bus (4h delay caused by rain and flooded streets). Sleeping bus? I didn't sleep...
So far: City is not that nice, but I'm only 2 hours here. Now the sun is shining, finally!

Yesterday we (2 Portuguese siblings and I) left the beautiful Hoi An and went to Hue. We did the "eXtreme 3.5h touri crash explorer" on a moto. It was really great, because it also included a lot of Vietnam countryside! So far I really can say that Vietnam is a very beautiful, nice and peaceful country!

Tomorrow we go to a 2 day excursion trip to Ha Long Bay (one of Vietnam's candidates for the new natural 7 world wonders). Looking foward to see the amazing scenery...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vietnam War and Hoi An

Had a great 2nd day trip in Saigon (Cu Chi Tunnels, rubber plantage, very local food plus snake liquor...) and at night a serious (but great) discussion with an Ex-Marine Vietnam Veteran. He was 61 years old but his handshake was the strongest I've ever experienced. His hand did nearly had the double size of mine...
He roughly killed over 31 people and he wished nobody the experience he had durring the war (and after). Also he mentioned he never wants to return to the US plus he thought, that Iraq and Afghanistan were the stuppiest things the US did the last time. Smart guy ;-)

Catched the early flight to Da Nang and took a Taxi to Hoi An (Sascha that was no smart move, because it was way to expensive...)

Anyway, next time I'll be smarter. Hoi An is really great and looking forward to do tomorrow some city exploring (UNESCO World Heritage) plus a cooking course.
They have here roughly 200 cloth stores where you can get tailored stuff (e.g. 10 US for trowers!), but I try to be strong...

Here are the first pictures - enjoy:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good morning Vietnam...!

Safely arrived in Vietnam, better in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, a country (and city) with a very sad history.
First impression: People are again very nice and open minded and I did not feel that someone ripped me off when I was making a deal.

Two highlights of today:
1) Boarder crossing Cambodia to Vietnam. Worked very well for me (but the bloody guy in Cambodia charged me the full price for a 30 day visa, I recognized yesterday that I got only a 15 day visa...anyway, should work out with my travel plans in Vietnam).
Unfortunately one of the 2 UK girls (fun fact: They where from Reading, which is very close where I worked the last 19 month in the UK) had a visa starting only the day after what happened to her? Our bus driver did make a special arrangement with the boarder guys, so she did get in, but payed 40 US Dollar as backhander!
Well with money the world is working (and even better in poor countries). Basically 40 US means more than an average of a monthly salary! Lucky boarder guy.

2) When I wanted to explore the city by foot, I met this moto driver (for the records: SAIGON is FULL of motos, check the pics! And everybody is wearing a moth/face masks to reduce breathing polluted traffic air) "Nghia".

He is really different compared to the other drivers. His English is very good and also he's keeping a booklet with references (!!!) of his customers in their mother tongue. And you thought Amazon did invent the "feedback/reference" feature!
I had a 3 hour trip today with him on his moto and we explored the inner city. Tomorrow I'll do a day trip with him overland and to the Cu Chi tunnels. It's a 30 US full day trip, but I think he as a guide and the distance, etc. is it worth. He told me "you get what you pay for", so let's check that out tomorrow!

Stay tuned.
Hen gap lai (See you)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Very very very HAPPY PIZZA in Phnom Phen

From Siem Rehab I took the bus to Phnom Phen, where I met 2 other Germans from Hongkong, also traveling to the Cambodian capital.

Was a very funny bus ride, with karaoke all the time... iPod saved my life during that 6h bus ride...

Compared to Siem Reab, Phnom Phen is noisy, dirty, sticky and it has basically no real "worth seeing sights" (except of the Killing Fields outside of the city). So the city is a sight for itself.

Two things I can recommend (or not...): Martini Bar (when you take a Tuk-Tuk, don't be too afraid of the strange location of the bar, the area looks a bit doggy and spooky)
And to eat a happy pizza. So what's a happy pizza...well a regular pizza, but with some grass on top. Unfortunatley the other German guy ordered not a happy pizza, but a very very very happy pizza. He had four slices, I two and his mate as well 2.

To keep the story short: He and his mate was already "done" the evening and they had a nice "night trip". They get up the next day at 14.00pm...

I only felt bad during the night (strange kind of feeling very dizzy, high heart rate, etc.) and felt totally exhausted the next morning till noon. But I think my very very spicy chili sauce did cut the effect down (Remember: To be on the save side always eat very spicy, that kills everything!)

Unfortunately I had to stay in this "not so pretty city" for 3 nights (reduces my nights in Saigon by one...), but my Vietnam Visa wasn't ready this noon.

CU and hear you in Vietnam!

BTW: This blog was written in 2 different places in the city, because we had a nice power outage in my area...(and no generators...)