Places Visited

World Tour

2006

  • Trip 3:  Feb 10 — from Busan, South Korea by train to Seoul

    ...another trip to see Tom, my friend from Germany.

  • Feb 12 — by train to Busan
  • Trip 4:  Mar 02 — from Busan, South Korea by high-speed ferry to Fukuoka, Japan

    ...to drop some things at Kumiko's place for her to store for me while I traveled again.

  • Mar 10 — by car to Shimonoseki; by ship (overnight) to Qingdao, China

    ...the amazing aspect of this trip was that there were only four passengers (including myself) on a very large ship.

  • Mar 12 — by night-train to Shanghai

    ...19 hours on the top-most bunk of three; difficult to climb up to; not enough head-room to sit up; I could only lie down and read the entire time.

  • Mar 18 — by night-train to Guangzhou
  • Mar 22 — by train to Shenzhen
  • Mar 26 — by train to Guangzhou

    ...like a ping-pong ball - hehe.

  • Mar 29 — by bus to Dongguan

    ...to meet up again with a Chinese friend I had met some years before in Hong Kong.

  • Mar 30 — by train to Shenzhen

    ...more ping-pong.

  • Apr 03 — by plane to Kunming

    ...for a few days in my favorite city in China before heading down into Laos (for the first time).

  • Apr 07 — by sleeper-bus to Mengla; by bus to China-Lao Border; by foot to Laos; by van to Luang Prabang

    ...I arrived just before Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year), so I decided to stay coz the Lonely Planet said it's place to be for Lao New Year; and they were right; I can't remember when I've had that much fun; their New Years celebrations include a water festival - which is really just an all-out, four-day water fight.

  • Apr 16 — by night-bus to Vientiane

    ...even though this was an overnight bus, it had seats only, no beds like some of the ones in China.

  • May 02 — by bus to Udon Thani, Thailand
  • May 08 — by night-train to Bangkok

    ...by this time, I had been to Bangkok so many times, it was starting to feel like "home".

  • May 13 — by bus to Pattaya

    ...'nuff said - hehe.

  • May 15 — by car to Bangkok; by night-train to Surat Thani; by bus to Phuket

    ...this is my first post-tsunami visit to Phuket; it was interesting to see the changes.

  • May 20 — by boat to Phi Phi

    ...this island was also hit hard by the tsunami; and the differences were more dramatic than in Phuket.

  • May 24 — by boat to Ao Nang; by bus to Surat Thani; by night-train to Bangkok; by bus to Ban Phe; by boat to Koh Samet

    ...this is my favorite island destination in Thailand

  • May 27 — by taxi (Expensive!) to Pattaya
  • May 28 — by bus to Bangkok
  • May 31 — by plane to Taipei, Taiwan
  • Jun 02 — by train to Tainan

    ...to visit Pia, a Filipina who was living and working in Taiwan on a two-year contract.

  • Jun 09 — by bus to Kaohsiung; by plane to Cebu City, Philippines; by plane to Davao

    ...this was my tenth visit to the Philippines, but my first time to venture down to the province of Mindanao; my guidebook (and locals I had met before) said it was dangerous to go there because of the high concentration of rebel forces in that part of the country; but I threw caution to the wind and went anyway. ;-)

  • Jun 13 — by bus to Cagayan de Oro

    ...I arrived during one of the hardest rains I'd seen in many months; I stepped off the bus into nearly knee-deep water!

  • Jun 16 — by (sloooooowwww) night-ferry to Cebu City

    ...it was a large ferry, with many passengers (200+, I think); but I was the only foreigner.

  • Jun 23 — by plane to Manila; by bus to Angeles City
  • Jun 26 — by bus to Quezon City
  • Jun 27 — by taxi to Manila

    ...if you're wondering about my mode of transportation being by taxi, Malate and Quezon are both part of the Manila Metro sprawl.

  • Jun 28 — by plane to Hong Kong, China

    ...my laptop died three days before I left the Philippines, so I decided to get it serviced in HK; the technician at the Sony Service Center there said it was probably the motherboard, and that it would be VERY expensive to replace it, so I would be better off putting that money toward the purchase of a new one; and that's what I did. :-)

  • Jun 29 — by train to Shenzhen

    ...while waiting for my new laptop to get setup and ready to go, I decided to spend that time in Shenzhen coz I like it better than Hong Kong.

  • Jul 02 — by train to Hong Kong

    ...back to pick up my laptop and to get yet another visa for mainland-China.

  • Jul 05 — by plane to Kaohsiung, Taiwan; by bus to Tainan

    ...to visit Pia once more.

  • Jul 11 — by bus to Kaohsiung; by plane to Bangkok, Thailand

    ...to visit another friend. ;-)

  • Jul 13 — by night-train to Udon Thani
  • Jul 15 — by car to Vientiane, Laos

    ...I felt so comfortable here when I visited the first time earlier this year, this felt like coming home.

  • Jul 24 — by plane to Kunming, China

    ...I didn't intend to stay overnight, but a problem with the language barrier caused me to miss my flight to Shanghai. :(

  • Jul 25 — by plane to Shanghai
  • Jul 29 — day-trip (by bus) to Hangzhou and back

    ...to see beautiful West Lake (with yet another Chinese friend) - but it was SOOOOO hot!

  • Jul 30 — by night-train to Beijing

    ...this was where I was going to book passage on the Trans-Siberian railway up thru Mongolia and across Russia to Moscow; but at the travel agency, I found out the Russian embassy in Beijing doesn't issue visas to Americans - ONLY Americans - everyone else can get a visa, no problem; Sigh!

  • Aug 02 — by plane to Istanbul, Turkey; by train to Eskisehir

    ...Turkey is another one of those places I've always wanted to visit.

  • Aug 04 — by night-train to Izmir; by bus to Selçuk

    ...I met up with Minja and Sujin, my good friends from Korea, and we toured southwest Turkey together.

  • Aug 07 — by bus to Pamukkale
  • Aug 08 — by bus to Antalya
  • Aug 09 — day-trip (by rental car) to Perge and back; by rental car to Aspendos
  • Aug 10 — by night-bus to Göreme

    ...amazing scenery!

  • Aug 13 — by bus to Eskisehir
  • Aug 16 — by train to Istanbul

    ...saved Istanbul for last, and I'm glad I did. ;-)

  • Aug 20 — by ferry to Bandirma; by bus to Marmaris

    ...to catch a ferry to Rhodes.

  • Aug 21 — by ferry to Rhodes, Greece
  • Aug 23 — by night-ferry to Athens; by plane (overnight) to Cairo, Egypt

    ...a very long and exhausting trip; even though it was a night-ferry to Athens, there were no sleeper cabins; then I had to hang out all day in Athens (still no sleep) and board an overnight flight to Cairo. :(

  • Aug 27 — by bus to Alexandria

    ...I had planned to go by train, but when I arrived at the train station that morning, I found out there had been a serious train wreck not far from the station; if I had been up early and on my way as planned I might have been on one of the trains involved; sometimes laziness can be a good thing. ;-)

  • Aug 30 — by night-train to Aswan
  • Sep 02 — by felucca err, train to Luxor

    ...well, I didn't actually make it to my intended destination (Luxor), or at least not by felucca, but that's a long story; I ended up back in Aswan and took a train to Luxor.

  • Sep 05 — by train to Cairo

    ...I didn't see the pyramids when I first arrived in Egypt, so I had to see them this time.

  • Sep 07 — by train to Alexandria

    ...back to visit my friends again.

  • Sep 13 — by night-bus to Sharm el Sheikh

    ...very touristy, VERY hot!!!

  • Sep 15 — by bus to Dahab

    ...possibly as touristy as Sharm El Sheikh, but with a very laid-back, comfortable atmosphere; so it was much more enjoyable.

  • Sep 22 — by bus to Sharm el Sheikh; by bus to Sharm el Sheikh; by night-bus to Cairo

    ...met up with Pao and went back to Sharm and Dahab.

  • Sep 24 — by bus to Dahab

    ...at this point, I had over-stayed my visa, but the guidebook (and the locals I asked) said it's ok; so I just hoped for the best.

  • Sep 30 — by bus to Cairo

    ...well, all was ok with the visa, even though I had over-stayed by 7 days.

  • Oct 02 — by plane (overnight) to Austin, Texas