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In the (Indochina) Loop Again

Friday, October 27th, 2006

My bus from Kunming to the Vietnam border town of Hekou left promptly at 7pm. The sun was setting quickly, and after only about 20 minutes, it was too dark to read and since there were no lights on the bus, I pulled out my handy but geeky headlamp and read some more. The bus seemed to be lurching and having some problems, and after another 15 minutes or so, we pulled over at a rest area, where we were suddenly stuck for about an hour while the driver and his helper, plus two men from this little repair shop took out the gear shift and messed around with some bus parts for a while. After going to get another part and installing it, we set off again, a little late but nothing to be concerned about. Or so I thought. [read on]

On Two Feet or Four?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Early in the morning, which was becoming the theme for our travels through China, Chris and I boarded our bus from Xiahe to Langmusi, another small Tibetan town featuring a monastery and beautiful scenery. The leg room, astoundingly, was quite good on this bus, and we comfortably settled in for the 4 hour drive. The scenery continued to keep us entertained,and as our bus rumbled along the hilly roads, we chatted to a nice French couple, Julie and Guillaume, about their travels in China. We exchanged stories and told them about the horse festival, which they regrettably missed. Unlike many bus journeys, the time flew by along with the numerous peaks and valleys outside. We arrived in Langmusi uneventfully and without a warning, with no signs or characteristics to show us that the journey had ended. We walked around the small town and looked for accomodation, searching in vain for a guesthouse that apparently doesn’t exist anymore. We finally settled on the first one we went to, and for less than half the price of a double room in their new wing, we had a dorm room to ourselves with comfy beds and less than clean floors. Julie and Guillaume had a room down the hall from us, so we arranged to meet them a popular cafe for lunch, where we hoped to get some information about travels to the next stop on our itinerary, to where there was no direct bus. The small town of Langmusi was surrounded by beautiful and unique scenery on every side. Facing one side was a huge red plateau similar to the scenery I saw in Australia at Kakadu, while on two other sides huge hills, or possibly they were mountains now, displayed rocky formations out of the ground known as the Stone Forest. The last side showed small hills in comparison, but was built with small homes and temples for the monastery in town. It was a bright clear day and we were looking forward to doing some exploring in the surrounding hills. But first was lunch, and at the small cafe, famous for its enormous Big Yak Attack burgers, we chatted with Julie and Guillaume about their next plans, and we agree to find some transport together to Songpan, the next town we wanted to visit. [read on]

Something New Every Day

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
Exiting the train station in Lanzhou, I had only one thought on my mind, and that was how crappy I felt. I pushed this thought aside however, and managed to concentrate on the new task at hand. We needed to ... [Continue reading this entry]

My Very Own…Train Ride From Hell Story?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

It is a common practice among travelers that you try to read a book about the country you are currently traveling in. Almost everyone I met was reading “First They Killed My Father,” a story about the Khmer Rouge regime, ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Holy Shit Factor

Sunday, July 9th, 2006
(Congratulations to my sister and her husband on the birth of their son, born July 7th. I love you guys!) The small town of Trat in southern Thailand is the last stopover before crossing over the border into Cambodia, about an ... [Continue reading this entry]

Paradise Found, and then Lost, and then Found Again.

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

The shuttle bus to the Perhentian Islands ended at a small jetty, where we were ushered out of the bus and brought into a small travel agency. Since it was the Malaysian school holidays, Ann and I were sort of ... [Continue reading this entry]

We’re in the Jungle, Baby

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

I left Kuala Lumpur early in the morning, on a bus that would cost me RM18, or about US$5, for a 4 hour journey. I was heading inland to an area called the Cameron Highlands, a large tea plantation and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Wonderfully Lost

Thursday, June 1st, 2006
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is a sprawling city of 1.5 million people. Huge skyscrapers, most seemingly with names of banks on them, loom in the center of the city, surrounded by endless neighborhoods of Malays, Chinese and Indians. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Quick update

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
I have added new photos to my smugmug homepage in the Australia gallery. The link is under my links on the right hand side of the page. They are up to yesterday's date, my first 6 weeks in Australia. I'm off ... [Continue reading this entry]

24 hours and counting…

Sunday, December 25th, 2005
Merry Christmas! I am down to my last day before I leave for Sydney. I have been trying to upload photos onto a storage website, but cannot figure out how to do it. I can see this is going to be ... [Continue reading this entry]