Places Visited

World Tour

2002

  • Trip 2:  Jan 09 — from Kawaguchi, Japan and backday-trip (by bus) to Nikko

    ...a long, difficult trip to see a so-so waterfall.

  • Jan 15 — by plane to Sapporo; by bus to Furano

    ...ski-trip to the mountains of Hokkaido.

  • Jan 18 — by bus to Sapporo; by plane to Kawaguchi
  • Jan 27 — by plane to Fukuoka

    ...to visit Kumiko's family and friends.

  • Jan 29 — by plane to Kawaguchi
  • Feb 04 — by train to Yokohama; by train to Nagoya; by train to Osaka; by train to Kobe

    ...stopping at five Hard Rock Cafes along the way.

  • Feb 05 — by ship to Shanghai, China

    ...the proverbial "slow-boat to China"; timed our visit to coincide with Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year); I saw (and heard) more fireworks in one night than I've ever experienced in my life.

  • Feb 14 — by night-train to Beijing

    ...to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City... and to fall in love. ;-)  Kumiko and I had decided that we just weren't meant for each other and had split up again; she went on to Beijing a couple of days before I did, but I had promised to celebrate her 40th birthday, so I met up with her again the day I arrived; the next day I said goodbye and put her on a train at 3:30, then met Jia-qi at the same station 2 hours later. :p

  • Feb 21 — by night-train to Shanghai

    ...to spend more time with my new girlfriend, Jia-qi.

  • Feb 24 — by night-train to He Fei

    ...I was trying to get to Xi'an, but all flights and trains were booked because of people returning home from Spring Festival.

  • Feb 26 — by bus to Nanjing

    ...still couldn't get a train to Xi'an; backtracked back toward Shanghai; got as far as Nanjing.

  • Feb 28 — by train to Shanghai

    ...more time with Jia-qi.

  • Mar 03 — by train to Xi'an

    ...finally got a train booking; went to see the Terracotta Warriors.

  • Mar 07 — by night-train to Shanghai

    ...by now you know the reason. ;-)

  • Mar 19 — by plane to Kunming

    ...one of my favorite cities in China.

  • Mar 23 — by plane to Dali; by bus to Dali

    ...very touristy; didn't enjoy the boat excursion; Dali had frequent blackouts.

  • Mar 25 — by bus to Kunming

    ...more time in one of my favorite places.

  • Mar 29 — by plane to Guilin; by bus to Yangshuo

    ...this was really a pleasant place to visit; I met and hung out with a group of Chinese university students.

  • Apr 02 — by bus to Guilin

    ...hadn't planned to stop in Guilin, but changed my mind after meeting the university students; they invited me to visit them at their school in Guilin.

  • Apr 05 — by night-train to Guangzhou
  • Apr 08 — by night-train to Guilin

    ...didn't like Guangzhou much; applied for a visa extension; when they told me it would take eight days, I decided to go back to Guilin instead of staying in Guangzhou; visited more new friends.

  • Apr 14 — by (non-)sleeper bus to Guangzhou, then by (regular) bus to Shenzhen
  • Apr 18 — by bus to Guangzhou

    ...to meet up with Jia-qi (who was there on a business trip).

  • Apr 19 — by bus to Wuzhou

    ...together with Jia-qi to visit some of her friends.

  • Apr 22 — by bus to Guangzhou; by bus to Shenzhen

    ...Jia-qi had to go back to Shanghai from Guangzhou; I stayed a few more days in Shenzhen.

  • Apr 25 — by bus to Guangzhou; by night-train to Guilin

    ...to visit friends yet again before my final visa expired.

  • Apr 29 — by night-train to Guangzhou; by bus to Shenzhen; by bus to Zhuhai

    ...went with another new friend for a couple of days touring Zhuhai.

  • May 01 — by bus to Shenzhen; by plane to Shanghai

    ...yet again. ;-)

  • May 11 — by plane to Hong Kong

    ...forced by an expiring visa to leave mainland China, I made it only as far as Hong Kong (no visa required); I knew of an Internet cafe where I could connect my laptop, so I stayed long enough to update my web site.

  • May 23 — by train to Shenzhen

    ...met up with Jia-qi for an extended weekend.

  • May 28 — by train to Hong Kong
  • May 31 — by plane to Bangkok, Thailand

    ...I finally reached escape velocity and left China behind.

  • Jun 05 — by bus to Ban Phe; by ferry to Koh Samet

    ...during the rainy season, this island gets the least rainfall of any in Thailand.

  • Jun 11 — by ferry to Ban Phe; by bus to Bangkok

    ...again, I found an Internet cafe where I could connect my laptop; decided to stay and do more updates to the web site; also started looking for a job in Bangkok (to no avail).

  • Jul 05 — by car to Huahin

    ...a beach on the coast, not far from Bangkok; not the nicest beach in Thailand by any means.

  • Jul 07 — by car to Bangkok

    ...more work on the web site.

  • Aug 01 — by plane to Shanghai, China

    ...decided to leave Bangkok and start making my way down to Australia; but I wanted to visit Jia-qi in Shanghai once more before I got too far away from China; I rented an apartment for one month.

  • Sep 04 — by night-train to Beijing

    ...Jia-qi joined me for some sightseeing over the weekend, and I did more photos with one of my favorite models. ;-)

  • Sep 12 — by plane to Seoul, South Korea

    ...met many locals and got invited to a Chusok (Korean Thanksgiving) party.

  • Sep 16 — by train to Suwon; by train to Andong
  • Sep 18 — by train to Seoul

    ...back to Seoul for the Chusok party.

  • Sep 27 — by train to Naejangsan

    ...visited Naejangsan National Park.

  • Sep 29 — by train to Mokpo
  • Sep 30 — by ferry to Jeju-do

    ...an island off the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.

  • Oct 03 — by night-ferry to Busan; by train to Daegu
  • Oct 04 — day-trip (by bus) to Haein-ri and back

    ...to see Haeinsa Temple, where the 81,000+ wooden tablets of the Tripitaka Koreana are stored.

  • Oct 05 — by bus to Gyeongju
  • Oct 06 — by train to Seoul

    ...stayed another few days to get together with, and say goodbye to, some of the many Korean friends I made during my visit; got interviewed by a TV reporter.

  • Oct 11 — by bus to Seongnam

    ...one last weekend getaway with one of my Korean friends. ;-)

  • Oct 13 — by bus to Seoul; by plane to Manila, Philippines

    ...a popular honeymoon destination for young Korean couples; they can be identified easily because they always wear matching shirts; in the queue at passport control in Manila, I counted no less than twenty newlywed couples.

  • Oct 21 — by bus to Naga City
  • Oct 23 — by bus to Legaspi

    ...to swim with whale-sharks at nearby Donsol; but, as it turned out, it was the wrong season.

  • Oct 24 — by plane to Cebu City

    ...the plane was a small turbo-prop and flew at "see" level.

  • Oct 28 — by bus to Panagsama

    ...during the trip, locals got on and off the bus carrying everything from huge sacks of produce to live chickens.

  • Nov 04 — by van to Cebu City

    ...anywhere you go on Cebu Island, you have to do so via Cebu City; all bus routes radiate from there like spokes of a wheel; and it's nearly impossible to get to where you're going in one day.

  • Nov 05 — by bus to Daanbantayan; by ferry to Malapascua

    ...this turned out to be one my favorite destinations during my visit to the Philippines.

  • Nov 11 — by ferry to Daanbantayan; by bus to Medellin; by ferry to Bantayan Island

    ...in stark contrast to Malapascua, this is the least enjoyable place I visited in the Philippines.

  • Nov 13 — by ferry to Medellin; by bus to Cebu City

    ...again, in transit from point A to point B, requiring a stop-over in Cebu.

  • Nov 14 — by high-speed ferry to Tagbilaran; by car to Alona Beach

    ...another beautiful place to visit; marred only slightly by a recent fire that destroyed three resorts and two dive shops right on the beach-front.

  • Nov 18 — by bus to Tagbilaran; by high-speed ferry to Cebu City
  • Nov 21 — by plane to Caticlan; by ferry to Boracay

    ...a rather over-developed, touristy place; I couldn't wait to leave.

  • Nov 22 — by ferry to Caticlan; by plane to Cebu City

    ...by this time, Cebu was starting to feel like home.

  • Nov 26 — by plane to Manila

    ...it was my birthday and I wanted to spend it with one of my new friends in Manila.

  • Nov 29 — by bus to Angeles City

    ...after everyone told me I just *had* to visit Angeles City (at least all the males I met said so), well I just *had* to see for myself; it turned out to have more "eye-candy" in one place than I had seen anywhere in the world; a great place for bar-hopping.

  • Dec 01 — by bus to Manila; by plane (overnight) to Melbourne, Australia; by plane to Adelaide
  • Dec 03 — by chartered bus to Ceduna

    ...to see a solar eclipse on the 4th.

  • Dec 05 — by chartered bus to Adelaide
  • Dec 09 — by caravan to Ceduna

    ...with stops along the way in Ceduna (again!?!), Cocklebiddy (what a name), Kalgoorlie, and Merredin.

  • Dec 10 — by caravan to Cocklebiddy
  • Dec 11 — by caravan to Kalgoorlie
  • Dec 12 — by caravan to Merredin
  • Dec 13 — by caravan to Perth
  • Dec 18 — by tour bus to Margaret Row
  • Dec 20 — by tour bus to Albany
  • Dec 22 — by tour bus to Perth
  • Dec 25 — by plane to Melbourne

    ...yes, I was traveling on Christmas Day, thinking that it would be less crowded and hectic - which it was; but, at the same time, I was surprised to see a full plane when I boarded.

  • Dec 26 — by ferry to Devonport, Tasmania; by bus to Launceston; by bus to Hobart

    ...stopped off in Launceston long enough for a stroll through scenic Cataract Gorge.